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“The new challenge for LGBTQI+-themed films is to think about domestic consumption as early on as in the conception and writing phase”

Industry Report: Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Valerio Filardo • Project Coordinator, Lovers Goes Industry


The third edition of the LGBTQI+ industry days, linked to Turin’s Lovers Film Festival, will unspool on 29 and 30 April; we discussed the event with its coordinator

Valerio Filardo • Project Coordinator, Lovers Goes Industry

In April 2018, we wrote about the creation of Lovers Goes Industry (see the news). It represented a formidable challenge: creating the first space for meeting and experience-sharing dedicated to the LGBTQI+ film industry within an historic festival, the Turin Lovers Film Festival. It was an Industry Day which didn’t yet exist in any other Italian festivals and which brought together directors, producers, distributors, cinema operators, sales agents and festival delegates.

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This year, Lovers Goes Industry is returning with a new edition on 29 and 30 April, running parallel to the festival, with the aim of creating a networking forum for those working within the global film industry’s LGBTQI+ sector. We chatted about the event with Project Coordinator Valerio Filardo.

Cineuropa: How is this third, post-pandemic edition shaping up? Was it harder to organise?
Valerio Filardo:
I wouldn’t say it’s been harder to organise this year’s edition, but it was harder getting the motor back up and running. It was all downhill once we’d started though, mostly thanks to the work ethic we shared with Flavio Armone of Lights On and with other members of the team.

What will be different about this year’s edition?
The main change is that it will unfold over two days rather than one.

How many projects have been selected and where do they come from?
There are 9 selected projects, and they stand out for their diversity, as well as for their international nature. Specifically, we have 4 short films (one Italian, one Portuguese, one Vietnamese and one from Myanmar), 4 feature films (Italy, Argentina, Brazil and Switzerland) and one TV series co-produced by Taiwan and the USA.

The event will also consist of a pitching session and one-to-one meetings. Have there been any positive results following on from previous editions?
Absolutely, which proves the value of initiatives such as these. Projects “created” at our event which have subsequently enjoyed an interesting trajectory include Savoia, a project put forward by the Turin-based collective Elvira, which was selected for last year’s Cannes Doc - Marchè du Film, and the short film 7 minutes, which did the rounds of numerous international LGBTQI+-themed festivals and which enjoyed its Italian premiere at Rome’s RIFF. Director Ricky Mastro will also be attending this year, among other filmmakers, thanks to his project Os Invisíveis.

What’s on the agenda for 30th April?
The day will kick off with a speech by Paolo Manera, the director of the Turin Piedmont Film Commission, who will talk about Torino Film Industry, which is now reaching its fifth edition. Immediately afterwards, we’ll have a talk illustrating the current distributive landscape for LGBTQI+-themed films and, last but not least, in terms of the morning schedule, we’ll listen to Silvia Sandrone as she talks about the programme offered up by Creative Europe - MEDIA for the period running 2021-2027.

How hard is it to produce and/or distribute LGBTQI+ films, given the general difficulties already plaguing the audiovisual industry? Have the sensitivities of producers, distributors, cinema operators and the public changed?
More generally speaking, I’d say the landscape of international film distribution has changed. I do realise I’m stating the obvious... But we need to keep this fact in mind when we talk about distributors and cinema operators these days, and especially when we’re talking about the sensitivity of the public who are leaning increasingly towards domestic viewing of the seventh art.

So, to answer the first part of your question, I would say that, in my opinion, it’s not only much harder to produce and/or distribute an LGBTQI+-themed film; we also need to think about domestic consumption of these works as early on as in the conception and writing phase.

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(Translated from Italian)

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