‘THE WORLD IS ROUND SO THAT NOBODY CAN HIDE IN THE CORNERS — PART II: THE KISS
BRAZIL / GERMANY
SHORTS: THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
& REWRITE THE ENDING
SAT NOV 17, 21:00, HACKNEY HOUSE | 20 min | FREE
SUN NOV 18, 15:00, HACKNEY HOUSE | 4'45 min | FREE
THE WORLD IS ROUND SO THAT NOBODY CAN HIDE IN THE CORNERS — PART II: THE KISS - An Nigerian refugee visits the Gay Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and imagines the power and bravery of a simple kiss. Part of a series about a gay refugee seeking asylum in Germany who was forced to flee to save himself from persecution.
Pool - A stunningly beautiful and emotional story about a woman going to give her grandmother’s last words to the woman she loved in her youth.
Hi Leandro thanks for talking to TNC. Your two films, Pool & The Kiss will be screened at Fringe! Queer Film Fest this November, what does it mean for you to be at the festival?
My work is focused on LGBTQ+ issues and it's always a pleasure to be part of a Queer film festival. This year I have a double pleasure with my films "Piscina (Pool)" and "The world is round so that nobody can hide in the corners - Part II: The kiss" selected to be part of FRINGE!
How important is it for LGBTQ+ films like yours to have a platform like Fringe! Queer Film Fest to be screened?
Queer film festivals are always a fantastic political platform. It's our most significant tool to face homophobia and to keep the community together.
Do you think film festivals like this open up LGBTQ+ lives and stories to a wider, perhaps mainstream audience?
Yes! I can see the rise of interest in all film festivals to include diversity in their programs and also in the cinema industry in general. LGBTQ+ characters are everywhere and I believe the Queer film festivals have had an important role in that, making the industry finally open their eyes to our cause.
Tell me a little bit about your films, how did they come about?
"Pool" is a short fiction film with an all-female cast that discusses issues involving gay persecution during the Nazi regime. The Holocaust is widely known as a Jewish genocide committed by the Nazis, however, little is said about the extermination of gays and lesbians in concentration camps. The premise came after a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp in Munich where I had the opportunity to know more about how gay persecution started in Germany. We are definitely the forgotten victims of the Holocaust and even within the LGBTQ+ Community, we know little about it. After the war, the plight of homosexuals in concentration camps was not recognized in many countries, and only in the 1980s did some governments recognize homosexuals as victims of the Holocaust. Only in 2002, the German government formally apologized to the gay community and only in 2017 were some of the surviving gay men and women indemnified by the government.
“The Kiss” is the second part of the documentary series "The world is round so that nobody can hide in the corners", which is about LGBTQ+ Diaspora due to homophobia in the world. I started this project as part of the German Chancellor Fellowship for Prospective Leaders sponsored by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. It's an experimental documentary film taking place in front of the gay holocaust memorial in Berlin.
What was the inspiration behind your films?
My first intention was to talk about the achievement of LGBTQ+ civil rights in contemporary history and to honour those people who fight in the past to give us the freedom we have today in many countries. But now I believe the film has another meaning. It's also an alert to keep the eyes open in order to not lose the few rights we have finally achieved. We were experiencing a political moment of greater acceptance of diversity as many countries have legalized gay marriage. However, we recently figure it out the existence of gay concentration camps in Chechnya; In the US, the Trump Administration has been rescinding recently won transgender rights, and in some African countries, the death penalty is still a reality for the LGBTQ+ citizens. Brazil is the world record holder in homophobic crimes and we have a new fascist president who is the number 1 enemy of all minority groups in my country. Faced with this pushback, it is important to note that as in Germany in the 1930s, we are witnessing a historic moment of increase of intolerance. At any moment, mistakes of the past can repeat themselves, and we are at risk of seeing our rights cyclically curtailed. And as history has shown, gays are always among the first victims.
What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing these films to life?
Finding money is always the biggest challenge for an artist.
Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
No. I first went to drama school and after 10 years working as an actor, I decided to start film school.
How much has your style and approach to your films changed since your debut?
It's been 10 years now since I've directed my first short film at film school. Everything has changed but I am still talking about the same social issues and injustices on my works and I will keep doing it for the following years.
"...that they always keep alert and proud, stronger..."
Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?
Well, you have to love what you are doing. It's the only reason to keep insisting on that.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from your films?
I hope to raise awareness on LGBTQ+ History, especially to the new generation, and that they always keep alert and proud, stronger than ever because THE FUTURE IS LGBTQ+, and there is no way back.