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04 August 2011

Out In Africa Back With Award-winning Lineup In August

The 18th and 2/3rds edition of Out In Africa (OIA) returns to Nu Metro Hyde Park and V&A Waterfront from 12-21 August 2011.

The lineup, drawn from fourteen countries, includes six feature films, four documentaries and nine short films.

This year’s selection showcases the challenges that still face the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.

Getting Out, co-directed by Alexandra Chapman, Chris Dolan, and Daniel Neumann, is an epic documentary about three gay Africans seeking asylum because of the persecution they’ve experienced. Sadly, neither South Africa nor Europe turn out to be GLBT sanctuaries either.

In Waited For, Nerina Penzhorn’s touching documentary about adoption in South Africa, her mixed race, lesbian couple is told clearly that they’re last in line after heterosexual, same race, same religion parents.

But just as importantly, the festival is a celebration.

Glitterboys and Ganglands peeks behind the pink veil preparations for Miss Gay Western Cape. Directed by Arthur C. Clarke winning novelist Lauren Beukes (Zoo City), Glitterboys had extra screenings added during its sell-out run at Encounters South African International Documentary Festival.

Sheldon Larry’s Leave It On the Floor has even more outrageous costumes than Glitterboys . The Hollywood Reporter called his musical love story “a good-hearted joy ride,” saying it “illustrates the possibilities” of musicals and predicting “cult status.” Beyonce’s musical director Kim Burse and Michael Jackson’s choreographer Frank Gaston Jr. deliver some electrifying action and a crop of new queer musical anthems.

This year’s selection can compete with any other festival on quality; a number of the films are stacking up accolades.

Weekend, directed by Britain’s Andrew Haigh, was the buzz film at America’s SXSW festival, where it earned extra screenings and won the audience award for Emerging Visions. The Guardian called Weekend a ”deftly played and beautifully paced little romance.”

We Were Here, directed by Bill Weber and David Weissman, chronicles the beginnings of the HIV/Aids pandemic in San Francisco in the USA in the ‘80s. The New York Times called it the most “heartbreaking and inspiring” cinematic exploration of the AIDS crisis yet.

Jon Garano and Jose Maria Goenaga’s For 80 Days is an exquisite story of second chances about two sexagenarians who meet over the hospital beds of their sick relations and rekindle a relationship after 50 years. Variety called it “a winner.”

Kareem J. Mortimer’s Children of God, a tale of forbidden love and an exploration of the influence of conservative Christianity’s influence in The Bahamas, has already won 11 international awards.

Jonathan Lisecki’s Gayby, a comedy short about a straight woman who wants to have a baby with her gay ex-college housemate, is on six prizes so far.

And Laura Neri was named best director at The LA Femme Film Festival last year for Kill The Habit, an offbeat black comedy about three women trying to get rid of the body of a dead drug dealer.

Of course, since all OIA films have an 18-age restriction regardless of content, there has to be one which earns it: Fran├žois Sagat, a famous French porn star, takes a serious role in Man At Bath, a revealing (in all ways) look at the end of a relationship and the two men's different ways of coping.

Tickets are R47 in Jozi and R42 in CT - but there are lots of concessions available - Clicks, Metropolitan, OAPs and half-price Wednesdays. 

Out in Africa is made possible through support from Atlantic Philanthropies, The National Lottery, The National Film and Video Foundation, The Times, the British Council, and 6 Spin Street Restaurant. For more information, visit

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