As part of LGBT+ History month, the Showroom cinema in Sheffield is screening a series of films dedicated to and curated by the LGBT+ community. Last night the programme of films No Template was shown which explores ethnically diverse LGBT+ communities. The programme was curated by LGBT+ filmmaker Bobby Tiwan.
The Dutch filmmaker Melissa Marten’s film “Nasser”, which follows the struggles of a young teenager of Moroccan descent as her relationship with her mother is challenged by her desire to dress like a boy, was the standout film of the evening. The film explores Nassira’s gender identity struggles and how they strain her relationship with her mother. Martens film is, above all else, beautifully shot. The grey scenes of Utrecht perfectly depict Narrisa’s deteriorating relationship with her mother. Dounia Allane’s performance as Narrisa is impressive for an actor of such young age. Despite being just shy of 20 minutes “Nasser” was the most powerful film of the evening.
Another strong outing was “A Marriage of Inconvenience”. which was written and Directed by Derrick D. Pete and Franklin Jin Rho respectively. This short film paints a picture of intolerance towards homosexuality in the US. The film delivers the abuse and intolerance towards the LGBT+ community in both a nuanced and brutal fashion.
Throughout the evening all of the films concluded with a promise of hope. However, “A Marriage of Inconvenience” highlights the damage that intolerance can have on relationships between families and the impact this has on LGBT+ individuals.
Other films shown during the programme were “Walking the Walk” – a documentary covering Telangana, India’s first queer Swabhimana (self-respect) Pride march which was held in protest of the brutal murder of a trans-woman in January 2015 and dealt with the socio-economic and cast factors which permeate LGBT+ discrimination in India. The British short films “What You Looking At?”, “Little Elephant” and the animation “Chariot Riders”, also featured during the programme.
LGBT+ History Month takes place throughout February. No Template is the second of three LGBT+ screenings supported by Sheffield City Council at the Showroom Cinema.