Festival mixes it up with sex and sentiment

It's not often that words such as porn, raw sex, rape and cum-whore, amongst others, are associated with a festival, but for the world’s oldest lesbian, gay, bi and transgender film event, this is just the surface.

Provocativeness and titillation aside, the Copenhagen MIX – Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender Film Festival as always promises to provide an insightful, emotional, and oftentimes frank look at the lives of the LGBT community around the world.

Aiming to break sexual boundaries and stir up gender politics, there is a great range of events, parties and international films to suit everyone – regardless of sexual orientation.

Kicking off their opening night is a showing of the Danish award-winning documentary My Love: The Story of Poul and Mai. It tells the story of one of Denmark’s last pound net fishermen, 62-year-old Poul, who tragically lost his partner years before, but manages to find love again. Directed by Iben Haahr Andersen, who was behind the 2009 Danish hit Hello My Name is Lesbian, this film acts as a reminder that it’s never too late to change the course of one’s life.




Mix Tape
This is a great chance for music lovers to see three documentaries and a musical for just 100kr. The event focuses on LGBT people within the music world, starting with Wish Me Away, a touching documentary about American country singer Chely Wright, who chose to come out amid criticism. On the other side of the coin, Hit So Hard is the gripping story of openly gay Hole drummer Patty Schemel’s rise to fame and subsequent addiction turmoil. The real standout, however, promises to be Leave it on the Floor, an amazing, sweaty dance musical that will get people moving. Both Beyonce’s music director and choreographer were involved.

Empire Bio, Guldbergsgade 29F Cph N; Friday 26 October 21:30; tickets 100 kr; www.empirebio.dk


Out in Indonesia
Festival organisers have this year chosen to focus on queer activism in Southeast Asia with a special focus on Indonesia. As part of this focus, two documentaries and a feature film will be aired. The award-winning Lovely Man portrays the harsh conditions of the majority of Indonesian transgenders in this well-played drama, while in Tales of the Waria, pivotal issues of the transgender community are also identified. Contextually Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, often faces both gender and sexuality issues, especially for women who openly choose to live as lesbians. This and more themes are addressed in the documentary Children of Srikandi, which is the first film made by a lesbian woman in Indonesia.

Empire Bio, Guldbergsgade 29F Cph N; various showings; tickets www.empirebio.dk


Director spotlight: Virginie Despentes
Virginie Despentes’ biography is short but powerful. A French writer, novelist and filmmaker, she came to fame in 1993 when she released her scandalous novel Baise-Moi (Fuck Me). Since then she has gone on to highlight the remarkable lack of films by female directors and the enduring issue of power relations between the sexes. The women in her films always challenge existing power relations, often because they are portrayed as violent, sexually active and willful – all traditionally masculine characteristics. This year MIX salutes Despentes by showing the film version of Baise-Moi  and her newest film Bye Bye Blondie.

Cinemateket, Gothersgade 55, Cph K; various showings; tickets www.dfi.dk/cinemateket


Centrepiece: Love Free or Die
This moving documentary tells the story of an evangelical bishop whose two defining passions, god and his partner Mark, are in direct conflict. It was awarded the special jury prize at this years’ Sundance Film Festival.
Empire Bio, Guldbergsgade 29F Cph N; Wed 19:45; tickets www.empirebio.dk


MIX Copenhagen

Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender Film Festival

Various Copenhagen
locations; starts Fri, ends Oct 28; ticket prices vary;