Special Report: 18th Paris Cineffable Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival, 2006

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
The Paris Cineffable Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival an international "non-mixte" event held exclusively for women ushered in its 18th edition, and with a 23% increase in public attendance there should be not be any question of a 19th festival. In fact the fabulous "Cineffablians" are busy preparing their 20th festival with a special Greek theme. The festival been held during what can be seen as the (unsuccessful) attempt to bring Halloween to France and just before All Saints Day (Touissant). Perhaps we should say "Happy Hallowguine", which is the French slang for "lesbian". The festival is held at the legendary "Trianon Theatre", built in the late 19th century and a former venue for Jacques Brel, and at the folklore museum "Halle Saint Pierre", both situated just below the Sacré Coeur. Run by approximately 50 volunteers, Cineffable is sponsored in part by the city of Paris and one of my favourite radio stations "Radio Nova". This year's trailer featured a smart collage set to Brigitte Bardot's 1967 classic "Harley Davidson."

Cineffable's success is partly attributable to the vision of the selection committee, which chose this years program 78 films out 7000 short films submitted. Its an excellent package featuring the best in lesbian global cinema. All the films are translated in to French and the team is fluent in six languages. The program includes a screenwriting award with support for production and features debates at Halle Saint Pierre.
A concert by Nawal, a vocalist from the Comores archipelago in the Indian Ocean, kicked off opening night and The Journey, the story of two young upper class Indian women who attend a private school in a small village and later fall in love, was the evening film. Slam poetry was one of the main themes of the films of this festival. The audience award for best short documentary went to Krudas, a film on Cuban lesbian rappers beautifully executed by Sandra Boero-Imwinkelried from Argentina. Left Lane, by Samantha Farinella, won the award for best feature documentary which follows a year on the road with Alix Olson, a spoken word poet.

The theme same sex marriage was evident in other recent work. In The Attack of the Bride Monster by Vicky Boone, a woman uses all of her energy to convince her partner to marry her. The same theme is explored in Floored by Love by Desiree Lim, who grew up in Malaysia and Japan and now works in Canada.

Two feature films that won prizes at the Créteil festival last year were featured at Cineffable this year. Both is a compelling drama that explores the life of a bisexual stuntwoman. The San Francisco-based and Peruvian-born Lisset Barcellos directed the feature. The other film, Sévigné by Marta Balletbò-Coll, is about a famous theater director who falls in a love with a playwright.

The audience award for best feature film was tied between Sévigné and Fremde Haut (Unveiled) by Angelina Maccarone from Italy, a film about an Iranian woman who is forced to take on the identity of a deceased man in order to survive in Germany.

For Movie Magazine this is Moira Sullivan Paris FRANCE
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18th Paris Cineffable Feminist and Lesbian Film Festival, 2006