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The 17th Tokyo International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
July 11-13, 2008 in Shinjuku, Tokyo
July 17-21, 2008 in Aoyama, Tokyo

[Festival Official Party "Le Grand Bal"] July 12(Sat) 10:00pm @BAR HIJOUGUCHI
Were the World Mine Were the World Mine  (OPENING FILM / ASIAN PREMIER)
2008 / USA / 96min / Language: English  

Love, real or magical, has never travelled a smooth road

Timothy's lush musical daydreams are an escape from his miserable high school life. But his fantasies leap to new heights when he's cast as Puck in the school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and discovers the famous purple pansy love potion. Timothy sees his chance to reshape the world, and make the school rugby jock fall in love with him. Shakespeare becomes a little Shakesqueer when Timothy ensnares everyone around him in musical comedy and errors. With a pop-rock and Broadway soundtrack, and a first-rate cast, Were the World Mine is based on the award-winning short film Faeries by SPEAKproductions.

[Trailer]   [MySpace]   [Official site]

7.11(Fri) 6:15pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.19(Sat) 6:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
GUEST SPEAKERS: Thomas Gustafson (Director), Cory J. Krueckeberg (Producer)  
*Guests appearing only on the 11th
Out at the Wedding Out at the Wedding (CLOSING FILM / JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / USA / 96min / Language: English  

A fake lesbian reluctantly comes out

Glamorous New Yorker, Alex, has been hiding her bi-racial boyfriend from her very conservative white family, but she's been hiding her family from her boyfriend as well. At her sister's wedding, chatter and speeches are misinterpreted and suddenly the whole family thinks Alex is a lesbian. Instead of coming clean, Alex instead gets more tangled in her own comical lies. Her new life as a lesbian, complete with a hired girlfriend, brings lots of surprises, not the least of which is that she's misjudged her family. She may discover that among her real sisters is just the one sister that she's always had.

[Trailer: QuickTime / Windows Media]  [Official site]

7.21(Mon.Holiday) 6:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
The director Lee Friedlander will not be able to attend the closing event due to the personal matters.  
No Regret No Regret
2006 / South Korea / 114min / Language: Korean  

A poor boy struggles to maintain freedom

Sumin is an orphan, and a poor one. He's attending art college, but to make ends meet he works in a factory, and has a night job as well. One evening he is propositioned by a rich young businessman; he refuses, but it turns out that the businessman is Jaemin, his boss's son. The next day Jaemin offers Sumin a chance to save his job, but Sumin refuses again. Out of work he is eventually seduced into working as a prostitute. Misfortune and Jaemin's obsession pursue him relantlessly, wreaking havoc in his life. Boldy sexual and tragic.

[Trailer: Windows Media]  [Official site (Japanese)]

7.11(Fri) 8:45pm WALD9 CINEMA  *No English Subtitles  
GUEST SPEAKERS: Lee Young-hoon (Actor)  
Breakfast with Scot Breakfast with Scot (ASIAN PREMIER)
2007 / Canada / 95min / Language: English  

The sissy or the jock – who's tougher?

Eric, a former pro hockey player, and Sam, a lawyer, are a happy gay couple living the perfect "straight" life, but a surprise visit from the stork turns their life upside down. 11-year old Scot is Sam's nephew, and when his mother dies, he becomes Sam's temporary ward. That alone might be a shock but Scot is far more interested in glitter balls than footballs, and doesn't hide a thing. His new fathers try to teach him about being a man but they are the ones who learn. Breakfast with Scot caused a stir when the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team endorsed it and allowed their logo and name to be part of the story.

[Trailer / Official site]

7.12(Sat) 12:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.17(Thu) 8:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
Endorsed by Canadian Embassy  
Love Songs Love Songs
2007 / France / 95min / Language: French  
When you can't say it with words, say it with a song

An unconventional musical about a trio of lovers – Ismael, his long-time girlfriend Julie, and his co-worker Alice – whose lives are about to be touched by tragedy. When fate intervenes, Ismael has to navigate his way through an entirely new landscape of emotions, as Julie's sister and a young male college student vie for his aff ections. Featuring 13 songs by popular French songwriter and composer Alex Beaupain, the characters in Love Songs sing what they feel because they are incapable of expressing themselves in any other way. Shot on the streets of Paris, it is both nostalgic and utterly contemporary, and sure to charm in Tokyo as it has at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals.

[Trailer]   [MySpace]   [Official site]

7.12(Sat) 2:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.19(Sat) 9:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
Sous le patronage de l'Ambassade de France au Japon  
Kiss the Bride Kiss the Bride (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / USA / 99min / Language: English  

You may now kiss the bride, groom, best man...

Everyone's favorite valley girl, Tori Spelling, is getting married – or is she? Kiss the Bride follows Alex (Spelling) and her finance Ryan (James O'Shea) as they prepare for what should be the perfect wedding. Enter Matt (Philipp Karner), an old boyfriend – Ryan's old boyfriend! Determined to save his old fl ame from an evil woman, Matt rushes back to his hometown. Instead he finds out the evil woman isn't evil and must admit his true feelings for Ryan. Will Ryan reciprocate? Old passions and new friendships pull the players in this love triangle in unexpected ways.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.12(Sat) 4:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.20(Sun) 6:15pm SPIRAL HALL  
GUEST SPEAKERS: C. Jay Cox (Director) *Currently negotiating for the appearance of two actors!  
Riparo - Anis tra di noi Shelter (Riparo - Anis tra di noi)
2007 / France | Italy / 100min / Language: Italian  
Seeking shelter, and solidarity... family is where you find it.

Returning from a Tunisian holiday, Anna and Mara discover a young Moroccan boy, Anis, hiding in their car. Initially mistrustful, they decide to help him reach Italy and find work. The accidental trio briefly enjoys an idyllic 'family' life together, until it is pushed to the breaking point by Anis' impossible infatuation with Mara and the insecurity of his life as an illegal migrant. A rare look, in Italian cinema, at a lesbian relationship, Riparo skilfully and sympathetically shows what happens when these two women accept responsibility for someone even more vulnerable than themselves.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.12(Sat) 6:40pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.20(Sun) 1:45pm SPIRAL HALL  
Endorsed by Italian Cultural Institute  
Nina's Heavenly Delights Nina's Heavenly Delights (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2006 / UK / 96min / Language: English  

Good curry has spice; great curry has love too

Nina Shah, estranged from her father, returns home to Glasgow only to mourn him. In the midst of tragedy, she finds that the family restaurant, The New Taj, is a contender in the local curry competition. So she steps into her father's shoes and starts to cook. There's plenty of spice in the curry, but plenty more in her Bollywood-fuelled drag queen friend, Bobbi, and her father's unexpectedly helpful and mysterious business partner Lisa. As the competition recipe is perfected, it's not just the curry that's cooking. Indian food has never been so sexy, and with a great soundtrack to boot, Nina's Heavenly Delights will delight you too.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.12(Sat) 8:45pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.18(Fri) 4:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
Endorsed by British Council  
Bangkok Love Story Bangkok Love Story (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / Thailand / 112min / Language: Thai  

Cool city, hot hunks, and an earnest longing for love

Mhek works as a hitman to support his mother and brother. When he fails to kill It, a rich and handsome target, Mhek and It have to run away together. Their fugitive life in the City of Angels begins on a rooftop hideout where It nurses a wounded Mhek back to health. Though he has a beautiful wife, It realizes he has never been fulfilled until meeting Mhek. What begins with lust soon turns to love. Released in Thailand in 2007, Bangkok Love Story's cool cinematography and sexy actors made it the talk of the town.

[Trailer / Official site]

7.12(Sat) 10:45pm WALD9 CINEMA  
Looking for Cheyenne Looking for Cheyenne (ASIAN PREMIER)
2005 / France / 85min / Language: French  

Two women, struggling to balance integrity and passion

Cheyenne is a young, unemployed journalist with no money or prospects, who decides to quit the rat race in Paris to live a marginal life in the country. She leaves behind the woman she loves, Sonia, a science teacher at a Paris high school, who does everything she can to forget Cheyenne. But forgetting is not that easy. Pushed apart by politics, money, and diametrically opposed views on life, but bound together by bonds of affection, Cheyenne and Sonia begin a delicate dance of compromise in hopes of finding a way to accommodate all of their considerable baggage. An intense portrait of a modern couple.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.13(Sun) 12:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.18(Fri) 7:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
Sous le patronage de l'Ambassade de France au Japon  
Drifting Flowers Drifting Flowers (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2008 / Taiwan / 97min / Languages: Taiwanese, Mandarin  

Three women, three stories, three destinies delicate as flowers

Diego plays the accordion in a high school rock band. Her family disdains her gender-bending ways, but that won't stop her from tasting liberation and transformation through an impromptu performance. Years later, 8-year-old May gets her first taste of romantic disillusionment when she catches her blind sister kissing Diego, the fetching androgyne. In another time and place, Lily struggles with Alzheimer's as her old friend Yen succumbs to HIV. Together, they rediscover what it means to live and love. Award-winning Taiwanese director Zero Chou (Spider Lilies – 2007) weaves this complex tale of three intertwining lives of women drifting toward self-discovery.

[Trailer]   [Official weblog]   [Official site]

7.13(Sun) 1:55pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.19(Sat) 4:00pm SPIRAL HALL  *No English Subtitles  
GUEST SPEAKERS: Zero Chou (Director), Chao Yi Lan (Actress), Serena Fang (Actress)  
*Guests appearing only on the 19th
Shelter Shelter (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / USA / 88min / Language: English  

In the most surprising places, we find shelter

Zach dreamed of going to art school but got stuck in a dead-end job instead. Now he spends his energy selflessly taking care of his nephew, Cody, and his free time surfing, drawing and hanging out with his best friend, Gabe. Along comes Shaun, Gabe's older and more worldly brother, a fellow surfer, a writer, and soon-to-be admirer. Moving quickly from strangers to lovers. Zach's new joy is mixed with great confusion, and met with rejection by his family. Shelter sweeps us along as a young man is buff eted between family obligation, love, and the desire to chase his dreams.

[Trailer / Official site]   [MySpace]

7.13(Sun) 4:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.21(Mon・Holiday) 1:40pm SPIRAL HALL  
GUEST SPEAKERS: Jonah Markowitz (Director)  
*Guests appearing only on the 21th
The scheduled appearance of Trevor Wright, who plays the leading character in SHELTER, has unfortunately been cancelled due to a change in the scheduling of his next project. However, the director of the film, Jonah Markowitz, will be in attendance for this screening.
A Jihad for Love A Jihad for Love (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / USA, UK, France, Germany, Australia / 81min / Languages: Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Urdu, French  

Queer Muslims give us a brave view from within the faith

Iranian refugees in Turkey await asylum in Canada or expulsion back to Iran and an uncertain fate. A dramatic reunion in the streets of Cairo sets off a sacred pilgrimage for two lesbians from Egypt and Morocco. An openly gay imam from South Africa addresses a conservative Islamic organization and wins surprising support. These are just some of the brave souls you will meet in A Jihad for Love, a film that goes "where the silence is loudest" to bring us multiple stories as diverse as Islam itself. Filmmaker Parvez Sharma and his subjects – all gay Muslims who refuse to give up their faith – struggled for six years, and risked their lives, to make this invaluable documentary.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.13(Sun) 6:00pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.18(Fri) 2:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
GUEST SPEAKERS: Parvez Sharma (Director), Sandi Simcha Dubowski (Producer)  
*Guests appearing only on the 13th
Boystown Boystown (Chuecatown) (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / Spain / 99min / Language: Spanish  

A good neighborhood requires sacrifices

Stylish and sexy real estate agent Victor dreams of transforming the Chueca neighborhood of Madrid into a gay Mecca, and making money along the way. There's nothing wrong with this dream, but Victor's method of finding property is a little harsh, murderous even. In fact, he kills old ladies, remodels their apartments and then sells them to gay couples with more Euros to spend. Ray and Leo are one such couple. The problem is Victor's next "client" is Ray's mother, Antonia. A colorful mix of outrageous characters and intrigue of every sort will keep you entertained and guessing.

[Trailer / Official site]

7.13(Sun) 8:30pm WALD9 CINEMA / 7.18(Fri) 9:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
Endorsed by Instituto Cervantes Tokio  
Endorsed by Embassy of Spain
Boys Shorts Boys Shorts

Five Stories about Life and Love

In Mr Right 22, Adam goes on a blind date with someone he met on the internet, only to be stood up ... or is he? Flatmates is a story of how flatting with your friend can turn into unrequited love. In Dirty Love teenage Deric plucks up the courage to go to the gay district for the first time, only to be hit on by a good-looking guy. Luc of Serene Hunter used to do nothing but sleep around, but finds himself moving in with the man of his dreams. Things are going well until a visitor appears... Lloyd Neck takes us to a scenic seaside town to watch a gentle love story unfold between two teenagers.

"MR_RIGHT_22" (2007 / Germany / 12min / English)  [Official site]
"Serene Hunter" (2006 / France, USA / 13min / French, English)
"Flatmates (Kompisar)" (2007 / Norway, Sweden / 21min)  [Official site]
"Lloyd Neck" (2008 / USA / 16min / English)
"Dirty Love" (2006 / USA / 6min / No words)

7.18(Fri) 12:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
Here's Looking at You, Boy Here's Looking at You, Boy (JAPANESE PREMIER)
2007 / Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Australia / 90min /  
Languages: Swedish, Spanish, French, German, English  

You're invited to queer cinema's coming-out party!

Queer-themed films have moved from the margins to the center of contemporary film culture, winning countless awards along the way – even the occasional Oscar. Here's Looking at You, Boy picks up where The Celluloid Closet left off, documenting and celebrating the dramatic upsurge in gay and lesbian feature film production in the past 20 years. With its compelling mix of film clips, behind-the-scenes and archival footage, as well as new interviews with actors and filmmakers (Gus Van Sant, Tilda Swinton, Guinevere Turner, John Waters, Stephen Frears, Rosa von Praunheim) this documentary is a must-see for queer cineastes.

[Official site]

7.19(Sat) 11:45am SPIRAL HALL  
Girls Shorts Girls Shorts

"A Patchwork of Different Kinds of Love"

Who's the Top, a sadomasochistic musical comedy from the director of Paris is Burning, is about two women living together. We ask if their problem is sexual frustration or something else... Love is Love asks how exciting how the world would be if everyone was queer. The main character in Sugar in the Blood tries to get over rejection by looking for love in the park. All this and more in Girls' Shorts!

"Private Life" (2006 / UK / 16min)
"Sugar in the Blood" (2005 / Germany / 13min)
"Filled With Water" (2006 / Australia / 5min)
"Love is Love" (2007 / USA / 7min)
"Who's the top?" (2005 / USA / 23min)

7.19(Sat) 1:50pm SPIRAL HALL  
Strange Couples / Moon Shadow Strange Couples / Moon Shadow

A Strange Gay Couple, A Weird Friendship

"Strange Couples"
2008 / Japan / 52min / Language: Japanese  

Jackson and Hosaku are two gay college students, living together in a cozy apartment. What is normal for them seems unusual for everyone else, but from their point of view, others are far more "queer"! One day, something happens and it makes this "queer" couple suddenly seem so normal... What's "normal" anymore!

[Trailer]  [Official site]

"Moon Shadow"
2007 / Japan / 40min / Language: Japanese  

A straight woman ends up living with a gay man, and they find that they both have an unspoken agony within their hearts... a brave decision to make a change leads their lives into a new direction.

7.20(Sun) 11:25am SPIRAL HALL  
Live appearance by directors and actors.  
Freeheld / A Lez In Wonderland Freeheld / A Lez In Wonderland (ASIAN PREMIER)
Freeheld - 2007 / USA / 38min / Language: English  
A Lez In Wonderland - 2006 / France / 28min / Languages: English, French  

The fight for queer equality has not been won

Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester devoted 25 years of her life to law enforcement in Ocean County, New Jersey. Then when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer she applied to the local elected officials, the Ocean County Freeholders, to have her partner, Stacie Andree, receive her pension. Although an automatic right for heterosexual partners, she was rejected. Freeheld chronicles the community's fight for justice and Laurel's declining health. Freeheld does more – it introduces a truly devoted couple at the most tragic time of their lives. Showing with the short film A Lez in Wonderland.

[Trailer / Official site]

7.20(Sun) 4:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
GUEST SPEAKERS: OTSUJI Kanako (Previous member of Osaka Prefectural Assembly)  
Suddenly, Last Winter Suddenly, Last Winter (ASIAN PREMIER)
2008 / Italy / 80min / Language: Italian  

Politics, religion and same-sex rights in Italy

In 2006 the Italian center-left coalition government moved towards legislation to acknowledge same-sex partnerships. We think of Europe as universally liberal, but film makers and couple Gustav Hoffer and Luca Ragazzi found that nothing can be taken for granted. To document the backlash against the legislation they took to the streets, interviewing passers-by, church groups, and politicians; documenting demos and campaigns. What they made is a portrait of a country at a seminal moment in its history – a country, they were surprised to learn, was not at all the one they thought they knew.

[Trailer]   [Official site]

7.20(Sun) 9:00pm SPIRAL HALL  
Endorsed by Italian Cultural Institute  
Asian Shorts Asian Shorts

A Selection from Some of the Region's Most Anticipated Filmmakers

It Seems to Rain is a story about a boy's relationship with his classmate and with his problem hair. In Just we find out what it was a young man was looking for when he spent the night with another. Master Taiwanese director Mickey Chen strives for new heights of cinematography with Poetry in MotionFragile in Love. Asian Shorts also features two films from upand-coming Singaporean director Boo Jun Feng: A Family Portrait, a story about a boy who discovers a family secret, and Katong Fugue, a depiction of the deep relationship between a mother and her closeted son. This program won't disappoint with its uniquely Asian flavor.

"It seems to rain; prequel" (2007 / Taiwan / 7min)  [Official site]
"Just" (2007 / USA / 12min)  [Trailer / Official site]
"Katong Fugue" (2006 / Singapore / 10min)  [Official site]
"Poetry in Motion - Fragile in Love" (2007 / Taiwan / 14min)
"A Family Portrait (un retrato de gamilia)" (2004 / Singapore / 9min)  [Trailer / Official site]
"It Seems to Rain" (2007 / Taiwan / 7min)  [Official site]

7.21(Mon・Holiday) 11:30am SPIRAL HALL  
Rainbow Reel Competition (Japanese Shorts) Rainbow Reel Competition (Japanese Shorts)

Films of great variety like a rainbow!

A boy who meets his father for the first time discovers the secret of his birth and his father − "blue seeds". Something unexpected happens when someone breaks the rules of "Othello". Sudden notice of an ex-boyfriend's death takes a man back to his college days − "Ten Years After". A lesbian couple faces problems when they decide to live together − "When I Become Silent". Story of fairies from an all-male world − "HiBi-Chan". A gay-lesbian-hetero triangle and a mother are entangled in love − "San-Kaku".

"blue seeds" (2007 / Japan / 25min / Japanese)
"Othello" (2006 / Japan / 2min / No words)
"Ten Years After" (2007 / Japan / 9min / Japanese)
"When I Become Silent" (2007 / Japan / 18min / Japanese)
"HiBi-Chan" (2008 / Japan / 4min / No words)
"San-Kaku" (2008 / Japan / 25min / Japanese)

7.21(Mon・Holiday) 4:25pm SPIRAL HALL  
Live appearance by directors and actors.  
Audience members will be asked to cast ballots and select the Grand Prix Rainbow Reel Award winner!  
Note: Depending on circumstances, talk and guest events may be subject to last-minute changes or cancellations.  
Copyright © 1999-2008 Tokyo International lesbian & Gay Film Festival committee. All Rights Reserved.