The 10th International Queer Film Festival, Merlinka will be held from 6th to 9th December at the Dom Omladine in Belgrade.
During the four festival days, over 100 films from 35 countries will be screened, including those from Europe, Paraguay, Brazil, Russia, India, China and Australia. German cinema is in the focus of this year’s festival programme.
The festival opens with the film “The Happy Prince”, the directing debut of actor Rupert Everett. Alongside Everett as Oscar Wilde, the film also stars Colin Firth (in the role of Wilde’s good-hearted musician friend), Reggie Turner and Emily Watson (as the wife of Oscar Wilde) and Colin Morgan, as Alfred Douglas, the famous writer’s lover.
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This is a touching dramatization of the last years of the exile of writer Oscar Wilde, the time he spent in prison jail after being charged with homosexuality, and the relocation to France after his release. In Everett’s film, he skilfully depicts Wilde’s period of fame and his optimism when he first arrived in France. The film also shows his life which, for the most part, was miserable and him dying of an illness, as a dreadful consequence of his imprisonment. Despite his genius, Oscar Wilde was abandoned and ridiculed by the British society, even when he wrote under his pen name “Sebastian Melmoth”.
The Merlinka Festival has been taking place in Belgrade’s Dom Omladine every December since 2009, with the support of numerous sponsors, partners and friends of the festival. Except in Belgrade, it is held in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Novi Sad, Niš and Podgorica. It was created with the aim of promoting LGBT culture through film and contributing towards better acceptance of the LGBT population. The festival proved to be a successful method in reducing homophobia, transphobia and prejudice towards the LGBT population, as it informs the audiences about the lives of members of the LGBT population in a non-conflict manner.
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