2003 Pride International Film Festival will be presenting its “Judy” award to Madonna as one of the festival highlights that will take place on November 5-9, 2003 in the Philippines. The 1st Pride International Film Festival, which is a gay and lesbian film festival, will be held tentatively at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on November 5-9, 2003, and at the Ayala Greenbelt Theater on November 7-9, 2003.
The mission of the 2003 Pride International Film Festival (PIFF) is to help advocate HIV/AIDS education on awareness, prevention and care through films and other events during the festival. PIFF also has a beneficiary, where portions of the proceeds from its festival and events will be donated to a local non-profit organization fighting for HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and facilitating support responses for the needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the Philippines.
Pride International Film Festival is currently being assisted by major international organizations like UNAIDS (Switzerland); local government agencies such as the Philippine Department of Tourism, Department of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs, Philippine National Aids Council; international gay organizations such as PlanetOut and Gay.com; noted Hollywood websites such as the Hollywood Reporter.Com, Notes from Hollywood.Com; and international film festival organizations such as Teddy Awards of Berlin, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Los Angeles OUTFEST, LesGaiCineMadrid, the Tokyo International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and alot more. PIFF has also been assisted by international film festival organizers, producers, directors, and film distribution companies. Major Philippine Sponsors for this year’s festival include Kodak Philippines, Philippine Wine Merchant, Ad-Man Resources, Ayala Greenbelt Theaters, Cultural Centre of the Philippines, Yehey.Com, Warner Music Philippines, and many more.
The Festival will present its program, an exhibition of work that will showcase the best of foreign and Philippine gay and lesbian films and videos. The Film Festival programming staff have viewed over 150 submissions (from shorts, documentaries to features) from all over the world, which include submissions from India, Israel, Lebanon, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines. This wide range of programs will represent the best and most diverse work by, about, and of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities worldwide. PIFF's exhibition of films will include shorts, animations, documentaries, and full length feature films never before shown in the Philippines. There will be segments such as Queer Animations, Gay 70's Style, Drag Along I and Too, Queer Asian, and much more.
The Opening Night Gala will present the world premiere of a Philippine gay-themed film titled “DOUBT”, which is a story of deception and intrigue in a relationship. It is a poignant drama which depicts the gay lifestyle in the Philippines. This will be preceded by a short comedy titled “TARGET AUDIENCE” (2002, USA)
The Closing Night Gala will present the British film “LAWLESS HEART,” preceded by the presentation of the “Judy” award to Madonna. The “Judy” award, named after the late Ms. Judy Garland, is presented to the Most Influential Woman in the Entertainment Industry. Madonna, who has been an "Icon" of the diverse GLBT communities all over the world for the past few decades now, and has excelled tremendously with her hit songs and albums, not limiting to her Golden Globe winning role as “Evita” in the same movie title, will be honored during this event. PIFF’s “Lifetime Achievement & Distinction” award will also be presented to Sir Ian Mckellen for his excellence and outstanding performances in acting and his unending advocacy for gay rights. Sir Mckellen, a noted and well known thespian, will be awarded the highest honors of the Festival this November in Manila.
The films Pride International Film Festival will be screening in the Philippines have previously participated in international gay and lesbian film festivals such as OUTFEST (The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival); THE NEW FESTIVAL in New York, USA; THE TEDDY AWARDS in Berlin, Germany; DUBLIN GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in Ireland; the MELBOURNE QUEER FILM FESTIVAL in Melbourne, Australia; the LONDON GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in London, England; INSIDE OUT TORONTO in Toronto, Canada; AUSTIN INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in Texas, USA; MIAMI GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in Florida, USA; PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN & GAY FILM FESTIVAL in Pennsylvania, USA; the SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in California, USA; the NEW MARDI GRAS FILM FESTIVAL in Sydney, Australia; and the TOKYO INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL in Japan. Some of these films were also premiered in 2003 at Robert De Niro's TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL in Tribeca, NY, Robert Redford's SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL in Utah, USA, FILM FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DI MILANO in Milan, Italy, and the TURIN INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL in Turin, Italy. All films and videos that will be screened during PIFF will be its Philippine and Southeast Asian premiere. The screening of each film will only be shown once during the festival.
The feature films will include : "GULABI AAINA" (The Pink Mirror) (2003, India - Official Selection at the 2003 Turin International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival), a celebration-of-life story about two fading drag queens in India; "KIKI & TIGER" (2002, Germany), a story based on true events of pure friendship between a Kosovo Albanian and a Serb; "AKA" (2002, UK - Official Selection at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival), a story of disaffected youth, identity lost and found, and the search for love; "LILY FESTIVAL" (Yurisai) (2002, Japan), a light hearted story of love for aged women; "SUOR SORRISO" (Sister Smile) (2001, Italy - recently premiered at Espoo Cine in Helsinki, Finland), a true to life story of a once famous Belgian nun and her misfits; "THE PERFECT SON" (2002, Canada), a story of sudden life changes between two estranged brothers; "SHOW ME LOVE" (1999, Sweden), a contemporary story about two teenage girls who are longing for joy & pain and the comical aspects of being in love; "EDEN'S CURVE" (2003, USA), a coming of age romance in a conservative U.S. southern school in the 70's; "QUEEN OF THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD" (2001, USA), a comical documentary of seven drag contestants vying for the title crown (featuring Linda Blair, Kristen Johnston (of Third Rock from the Sun series), and Eric McCormack (of Will & Grace TV show); "DANNY IN THE SKY" (2001, Canada), a story of a young goodlooking man searching for love; "THE POLITICS OF FUR" (2002, USA), a melodramatic story of a woman who lives with a pet tiger cub and her erotic liaison with a wanna-be-rock star; "GALLANT GIRLS" (2003, Germany), a temperamental story, based from true events, of seven young women and their idealism in the 80's; "UNDER ONE ROOF" (2002, USA), a story brimming with humor about a young asian guy and his irresistible hottie living under the same roof; "LIKE IT IS" (1999, UK), a story of an aspiring young boxer, struggling with his sexual identity; "JOURNEY TO KAFIRISTAN" (Die Reich Nach Kafiristan) (2001, Germany), a tender love story of two women searching for refuge in 1939;"DO I LOVE YOU?" (2002, UK), a love story of a woman, her relationship and the mid-life crisis; "A NORMAL LIFE" (2003, USA), a story of a gay man who married a woman and bore a child; "APRIL'S SHOWER" (2003, USA), a woman's comedy about love, romance and expectation; "GOLDFISH MEMORY" (2003, Ireland) a film that chronicles the ups and downs of several Irish singles; "THE EXPERIENCE BOX" (2003, USA), a dark comedy exploring the ways in which creation and carnality are inextricably linked; "BETWEEN TWO WOMEN" (2000, UK), a classically performed story of forbidden love, class divisions, social roles, and destiny; "LUSTER"(2002, USA), an authentic romantic love story and a charming look at a queer boy's adventure in love; "MY MOTHER LOVES WOMEN" (A Mi Madre Le Gustan Las Mujeres) (2001, Spain), a family farce that is clear cut above the rest; "FLUFF" (2002, Canada ), a comedy of greek interpretation translated in modern love; "SAGITARIO" (2002, Spain), a romantic-drama about a woman who finds herself going from no man in her life to having more suitors than she can handle; and "GARMENTO" (2003, USA), a story of the dark and comical look at New York's wholesale garment industry, to name a few.
Pride International Film Festival will also stimulate the viewing Philippine audience with such great Boys Shorts like : "L.T.R." (2002, USA); "BLUE HAVEN" (2001, USA); "ROCK BOTTOM" (2002, USA); "SUMMER BLUES" (2002, Norway); "LIMBO" (2002, USA); "COFFEE DATE" (2000, USA); "DEPARTURE" (2002, USA); "FOTOSTAR" (2002, Switzerland); "SUNDAY MORNING" (2001, UK); "PHINEAS SLIPPED" (2002, Sweden); "AUDIT" (2001, USA - starring Alexis Arquette & Sally Kirkland); "FIRE ISLAND PINES ON $0 A DAY" (2002, USA); "PARADISCO" (2002, France); "RED CHEWING GUM" (2000, USA - a Lebanese Short Film); "LUCKY BUGGER" (2001, UK); "PRECIOUS MOMENTS" (2001, Norway), “TRUTH OR DARE” (VERDADE OU CONSEQUENCIA – 2002, Brazil) and much more. The Girls Shorts will include : "ATOMIC SAKE" (1999, Canada); "IS YOUR WIFE A SECRET LESBIAN" (2002, USA); "BEAUTEOUS" (2002, USA); "LOVE LIFE" (2002, USA); "HOW TO MEND A BROKEN HEART" (2002, Canada); "STARCROSSED" (2003, USA); "PUSSIES FROM OUTER SPACE" (2003, USA); "LIVES OF THE PHAROAHS" (2001, Australia); "BABY'S BEDROOM" (2003, USA); "THE GIRL AND HER WILD ASS" (2002, USA); "BLUE TUESDAY" (2001, Canada); "LAS AMIGAS BONITAS" (2002, USA); "SELMA & SOFIE" (2002, Sweden); "EX" (2003, Australia); "PEELING" (2002, USA); "LIPSTICK" (2002, USA), to name a few.
The HIV/AIDS Documentaries will include : "PANDEMIC: FACING AIDS" (2002, USA - presented in HBO Channel USA on June 2003 & directed by Rory Kennedy, youngest daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy); "MERCY" (MED-DAH) (2002, Thailand/USA); "MY LIFE IN VERSE" (2003, USA); ODDS OF RECOVERY (2003, USA), and "FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES" (2002, Myanmar).
Other GLBT Documentaries that were included are : "FASSBINDER'S WOMEN" (2000, Germany); "THE DEVIL IN HOLY WATER" (2002, Canada); "CHINA DOLLS" (1997, Australia); "RICE & POTATOES" (2002, USA); "SADNESS" (1999, Australia); "SUNFLOWERS" (1998, USA/Philippines - Philippine premiere); "HEROES" (2003, USA); "PAPAS" (2000, Germany); "IN SEARCH OF TRUTH FROM BANANA RELATIONSHIPS" (2003, Canada); "MIKE & JOEL'S WEDDING" (2003, Canada); "SAUL SEARCHING" (2003, USA); "BOYGIRL" (2002, Finland); "SIR: JUST A NORMAL GUY" (2001, USA); "DEAR GABE" (2003, USA); "JUST LIKE YOU IMAGINED" (2002, USA), and much more.
Pride International Film Festival will also showcase QUEER ANIMATION SHORTS, which will include : "BLUE EYED MOON" (2001, Bulgaria); "GAY LIFE FOR BEGINNERS" (2002, Germany); "AU COMMENCEMENT" (In The Beginning) (2003, Belgium); "THE FABULOUS NUTCRACKER" (2002, USA); "VIA WIRE" (2002, Hong Kong); "RICK & STEVE, THE HAPPIEST GAY COUPLE IN ALL THE WORLD" (2000, USA); and "I WAS A STRIP CLUB VIRGIN" (2001, USA).
With these list of films for the 2003 Pride International Film Festival, the organizers hope to bring out to the general public the message of our mission and to build bridges amongst audiences & filmmakers, both foreign and local, through the exhibition of high-quality gay and lesbian themed films and videos. Some of the events during the festival will include a Film Forum (sponsored by Kodak Philippines), with discussions on “Global Trends in Filmmaking” & “Gender and Cinema.” This will take place on November 8, 2003 at the CCP. There will also be an HIV/AIDS symposium coinciding with the festival, to take place on November 7, 2003.
With these, the festival may be able to set a new international standard in the local filmmaking, festival and cinema industry; and help develop gay themed films and filmmaking in the Philippines. For 2003, the festival theme will be "Pride, Freedom and HIV/AIDS awareness."
Please check on Pride International Film Festival’s website for more information or please contact Stephen Schulman at SASi Public Relations at 212-946-1158 or at SASiPR@aol.com.
Mr. Severino Planas
Pride International Film Festival
80 Scout De Guia Street
Metro Manila, Philippines
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