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LOVERS 2022 Lovers Goes Industry

REPORT: Lovers Goes Industry 2022

- We met with the directors of the various LGBTQIA+-themed film projects which were presented to producers, festival programmers and sales agents at the event

REPORT: Lovers Goes Industry 2022
A promotional image for Orpheus, a project by Stéphane Riethauser selected at the event (© Norbert Bisky/Luna Films/Lambda Prod)

Nine projects, consisting of four feature films, four shorts and one TV series, were presented in Turin on Saturday 30 April during the closing session of Lovers Goes Industry 2022, a networking forum for those working within the film industry’s LGBTQIA+ sector which unspooled in parallel with the 37th edition of the Lovers Film Festival. Cineuropa selected a handful of these projects and recorded the reactions of directors and producers following the event’s various pitches and one-to-one meetings.

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Orpheus - Stéphane Riethauser (Switzerland)

Young Leo is hired to dance the lead in Orpheus at the opera, where he falls in love with famous choreographer Matthias Stern. Produced by Geneva’s Luna Films, Orpheus is an intimate drama celebrating the mysteries of love. Accompanied by producer Véronique Vergari, Stéphane Riethauser confirmed that Lovers Goes Industry “gave us the opportunity to meet key people from the sector face-to-face – producers, festival programmers, sales agents – to hear their criticisms and to draw benefit from their experience. Overall, it helped us to move forwards in developing our project”.

Carmine - Canto di strada - Andrea Grasselli (Italy/the Netherlands)

The various personalities of Armandə, a photographer and cross-dressing sex worker, dialogue with his past and with the changes which the Brescia neighbourhood Carmine has undergone, immersing audiences in the fluidity of gender and in the community Armandə inhabits. Andrea Grasselli’s documentary is produced by Malfé Film and Onira, in collaboration with Collective OmVideo. “I got the opportunity”, the director explains, “to exchange ideas with prepared and competent individuals both during the pitches and in the various one-to-one sessions. Our documentary film is now in the re-writing phase. I saw Lovers Goes Industry as a crash test for the project, and I would say that we passed the test. Alongside Malfé and Onira, we’ve managed to expand our distribution contacts to help secure our documentary’s future”.

The Invisibles - Ricky Mastro (Brazil)

The Invisibles is a vivacious and passionate story about young lovers in Brazil, which shines a light on a young LGBTQIA+ community - surrounded by HIV since birth - during an oppressively sweaty wave of summer heat. This is Ricky Mastro’s second time at Lovers Goes Industry, having previously presented his short film 7 minutes here in 2018. “Léon Diana and I are happy to be here with our new project, produced by Daniel Van Hoogstraten and Syndrome Films, who also produced Diamantino [+see also:
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[awarded Critics’ Week’s Grand Prize in Cannes 2018]. We’re currently in the development phase, so this type of event makes us feel like the project is really alive. As directors, we were grateful for the opportunity to hear the reactions of potential producers, festival programmers, sales agents and colleagues to our film. Once again, Turin is one step ahead and is doing what all LGBTQIA+ festivals should be doing: creating opportunities for producers and directors to showcase their work before it arrives on screen”.

Tutti uccidono - Francesco Puppini (Italy) (short film)

When Giacomo returns to his native land Italy for his murdered brother’s funeral, a homophobic act brings out the incendiary worst in his former community. It’s not easy creating a story, and telling it is even less so”, explains the director Francesco Puppini, whose film is produced by Dispàrte. “But Lovers Goes Industry helped me to overcome this difficult hurdle too, in an informal, safe and secluded setting”.

The Orchard - Ana Manana and Joana Lourenço (Portugal) (short film)

It’s the end of summer in the West and Laura is working for the family business harvesting pears. In the afternoon, Carol turns up in the village to spend a few days from her holiday with friends. That night, when Laura catches them stealing pears from one of her father’s orchards, she’s challenged by a friend over her real intentions. Playground are producing the movie. For Lisbon-based directors Ana Manana and Joana Lourenço, “participating with our project The Orchard means a lot to us, not just because it’s a little-explored Portuguese reality in Portugal’s cinema – pear harvesting and the associated social context – but also because it acts as a springboard for us, as international directors within an LGBTQIA+ community which is inclusive of but not always well-represented by women”.

Everybodys Got To Love Sometimes - Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar) (short film)

30-year-old Burmese gay man Phyo has just arrived in Paris and is putting together his immigration case. Phyo seeks out intimacy in order to overcome the trauma of having been sexually abused. "I became more confident in my short film project after meeting individually with experts”, Burmese, Paris-based director Sein Lyan Tun explains, when discussing his film produced by France’s Angele De Lorme and Indonesia’s John Badalu in league with Panorama Production. “I really hope I can secure support or assistance in the second instance, in order to make the film”.

The other selected projects presented at Lovers Goes Industry were Renzo Cozza’s feature film Prodigal Son (Argentina), Duc Doan’s short film Resurrection (Vietnam) and Erich Rettstadt’s TV series Tales of Tea (Taiwan/USA). Full details on the various projects can be found here.

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