This week I venture to Rome for the launch of a small new festival. Artistic director, Giona Nazzaro, whom I met at the Thessaloniki doc fest in Greece a couple of years ago, heads up this new initiative, part of Gay Village 2010 and under the patronage of the Province of Rome's Cultural Aldermanship. (It is, of course, encouraging to note that there is now this type of film fest, however small, in the shadow of the casa di Papa.) The Rome Gender DocuFilm Festival's main imperative will be to explore the boundaries of self-representation by showcasing a small selection of documentary films. (Pictured above, writer and sexual renegade, Kathy Acker, the subject of one of the films in the program.)
The festival's notion of "documenting reality" is one of the most lucid definitions of this genre I've come across, so I will quote directly from the web site here: "A constantly evolving force, the documentary has come to the fore in the contemporary cinematic economy in the past few decades. A film genre traveling light, without the weights and frills linked to mass entertainment, it can therefore move extremely fast and explore the world at a low definition. The documentary now is a complex and multifaceted reality, almost a stand-alone gender within the film system of today." The festival's stated mission is to explore all possible worlds, particularly those in between male and female stereotypes. (Pictured below, filmmaker Kimberly Reed, courtesy Details Magazine.)
The event will take place from the 26th through the 29th of August and the free program will include screenings of: L'Esprit De Madjid by Ines Johnson-Spain (Germany); Should I Really Do It? by Ismail Necmi (Turkey); Ella Es El Matador by Gemma Cubero del Barrio and Celeste Carrasco (Spain); Stretch Marks by Zohar Wagner (Israel); Too Much Pussy by Émilie Jouvet (Germany); Who's Afraid of Kathy Acker? by Barbara Caspar (US); and Prodigal Sons by Kimberly Reed (US). There will be a prize for best film and an audience choice award. Visit the website for more information and showtimes.