First established in Jakarta in 2002, the Q! Film Festival has spread its reach to four other cities: Bali, Surabaya, Bandung and Yogjakarta.
According to organisers, the festival - said to be the only queer film festival to be held in a predominantly Muslim country - has attracted more than 75,000 people and has screened over 500 films in its six-year history.
John Badalu, the co-founding festival director, says 2008 will be one of the most important and challenging years for the festival. "We will have to fight against the National Censorship Board, the soon-to-be launched Anti Pornography Law and the crueler Islamic fundamentalist groups."
The 37-year-old says organisers have received threats of violence and even death from religious conservatives given that Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.
Notably missing from the festival programme is the highly anticipated and acclaimed documentary A Jihad For Love which features the lives of 12 gay Muslim men and women and had taken director Parvez Sharma more than five years to make.
Badalu told Fridae that the screening has been postponed to next year as the director is unable to attend the festival next month.
The controversial film was screened at the Istanbul International Film Festival in April - the first time the film is being screened in a Muslim country - and at the ongoing Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. The film was to have its Asia premiere in Singapore in April but was banned by censors at the last minute due to its "sensitive" subject.
This year, the festival has teamed up with Kalyana Shira Foundation, a non-profit group that works with women, children and marginalised groups, to present a new Human Rights section featuring five local films
Aside from films, other events include three photo exhibitions by French photographer Amaury Grisel (Q! Life in Paris), Indonesian photographer Adi (Transgender in Indonesia) and a group exhibition by Indonesian and international professional and non-professional photographers. There will also be two discussion panels on Homosexuality and Religion, and "Bahasa Binan" which examines the use of queer related slangs in the Indonesian language as well as literary events including a book launch "Heterophobia," the second book of blogger "Macho Man Ngomong Cong" and a book discussion on poetry and short stories by lesbians.
The majority of screenings and events oganised in conjunction with Q! Film Festival, a non-profit organisation, is free of charge. If you wish to make a cash contribution, please contact email@example.com.
Q! Film Festival Jakarta
Aug 8-16, 2008
Venues: Blitz Megaplex at Grand Indonesia, Goethe Institute, Erasmus Huis, Galery Cemara 6, Centre Culturel Francais (CCF) Salemba, Kineforum, Subtitles
Q! Film Festival Bali
Aug 21-24, 2008
Location; Seminyak and Denpasar.
Venues: Kudos Bar and Q Bar, Taman 65.
Q! Film Festival Surabaya
Oct 14-19, 2008
Venues: CCCL (The French Cultural Centre)
Q! Film Festival Bandung
Feb 27-Mar 3, 2009
Venues: Centre Culturel Francais, Kineruku
Q! Film Festival Yogyakarta
Dates and venues are yet to be confirmed.
Fridae is proud to be the official online media sponsor of Q! Film Festival.
A list of highlighted films at Q! Film Festival Jakarta can be found on the next page. For more details, please visit www.qfilmfestival.org from end July.
Highlights @ Q! Film Festival Jakarta (Aug 8-16, 2008)
- The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (Dir: Olaf De Fleur Johannsson - Iceland/Philiphines)
- I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Dir: Tsai Ming Liang - Taiwan/France)
- My Super 8 Season (Dir: Alessandro Avellis - France)
- Spinnin' (Dir: Eusebio Pastrana - Spain)
- Sita Sings The Blues (Dir: Nina Paley - USA)
- Good Boys (Dir: Yair Hochner - Israel)
- A Very Natural Thing (Dir: Christopher Larkin - USA)
- With Gilbert and George (Dir: Julian Cole - UK)
- 881 (Dir: Royston Tan - Singapore)
- Risk, Stretch or Die (Dir: Saskia Heyden - Germany)
- The Birthday (Dir: Negin Kianfar & DaisyMohr - The Netherlands)
- Suddenly Last Winter (Dirs: Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi - Italy)- Love Songs (Christophe Honore - France)
Human Rights Section:
- Perempuan Punya Cerita [Chants of Lotus] (Dir. Fatimah T. Rony, Upi, Nia Dinata, Lasja Fawzia - Indonesia)
- 9808 (Dir. Anggun Priambodo, Ariani Darmawan, Edwin, Hafiz, Ifa Ifansyah, Lucky Kuswandi, Otty Widasari, Ucu Agustin, Steve Pillar Setiabudi, Wisnu Suryapratama - Indonesia)
- May (Dir. Viva Westi - Indonesia)
- Suddenly Last Winter (Dir. Gustav Hofer & Luca Ragazzi - Italy)
- My Super 8 Season (Dir. Alessandro Avellis - France)
- Opera Tikus Got (Dir. Santosa Amin - Indonesia)
- Dua Sisi (Dir. Faisal - Indonesia)
- The Birthday (Dir. Negin Kianfar & Daisy Mohr - The Netherlands)
For more details, please visit www.qfilmfestival.org from end July. If you wish to make a cash contribution, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.