Music & Culture
Music & Culture

A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Films: QC International Pink Film Festival is Back!

A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Films: QC International Pink Film Festival is Back!

Mynila Team November 4, 2018 Music & Culture

The International Pink Film Festival is back in Quezon City and for those who are not familiar, it is the only LGBT Film Festival in the Philippines that envisions making the country a hub for the biggest LGBT festival in Southeast Asia!

Since the city council’s approval of its landmark ordinance protecting the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer (LGBTQ+) community against discrimination and harassment, the Pink Film Festival continues to be at the forefront of gender empowerment and awareness in the city and in the country.


What to expect? LGBTQ+ films from around the world: films that promote and advocate stories, struggles, and triumph of the LGBTQ+ community. QCIPFF also offers seminars and workshops on topics regarding LGBTQ+ awareness, HIV education, LGBTQ+ rights, employment, and the promotion of the Quezon City Anti-Discrimination ordinance.


Featured in the festival are a total of 64 international and local feature and short films. Filmmakers and actors from the United States, Brazil, Indonesia, Tonga, Spain, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Syria, Turkey, and the United Kingdom will participate in this year’s celebration.

Opening the festival on November 14 is Jethro Patalinghug’s “50 Years of Fabulous,” (2018) a documentary on the world’s oldest surviving LGBTQ+ charity organization, San Francisco’s Imperial Council.


Also featured in the international lineup are films celebrating gay pride and sexuality such as Brazil’s “Liquid Truth,” Japan’s “Boys for Sale,” and Turkey’s “Mr. Gay Syria,” Tonga’s “Leitis in Waiting,” and Thailand’s “The Driver.”

The Philippine lineup commemorates the life and contributions of former Quezon City Pride Council President and film director Soxie Topacio, his comedy film “Ded na si Lolo” leads the Philippine lineup.

The highlight of the local film program is PJ Raval’s documentary on the tragic life of Jennifer Laude titled “Call Her ‘Ganda’.”

Fusing personal tragedy, human rights activism and the little known history, and complex aftermath, of U.S. imperial rule in the Philippines, CALL HER GANDA forges a visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical investigative exposé.

The film won Best Documentary Audience Award in the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award in the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, is brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine, three women intimately invested in the case, an activist attorney, a transgender journalist and Jennifer’s mother), galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of US imperialism.


A special feature of the festival are 42 short films coming from various parts of the world and the archipelago.

Eight films coming from 10 countries add color, glamor, and relevance to this year’s edition of the Quezon City International Pink Film Festival (QCIPFF)!

Boys For Sale
Itako, Japan
2017 | 1h 16m | Documentary (Gays, prostitution)


Boys are selling sex in Japan. Who is buying?

Itako’s award-winning documentary is an illuminating look into a rarely seen world that tantalizingly shows the humanity of sex work.

This Japanese film won the 2017 Outfest Film Festival Fox Inclusion Award, Best Documentary at the 2017 Durban Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and Best Feature Documentary at the 2017 Queer Film Festival Playa del Carmen.

“In the Tokyo district of Shinjuku 2-chome there are bars that specialize in “Urisen”, young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews and interspersed with animation detailing the awkward, sweet, and sometimes horrific situations these young sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground.”

Mr Gay Syria – Film
Ayse Toprak, Turkey/Syria/United Kingdom
2017 | 1h 15m | Documentary (Gay)


Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces?

Ayse Toprak’s award-winning documentary is about two gay Syrian refugees as they live through the migration crisis, being gay in Turkey, and their hope to find a better future in Europe.

The film premiered globally at the Sheffield Doc Fest in 2017. It has won Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival 2017, Human Rights Award at the Saravejo Film Festival, Best European Documentary at Tirana Film Festival 2017, Best Documentary at the Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival, and the Grand Prix at the Paris Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

“Mr. Gay Syria follows two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their lives. Husein is a barber in Istanbul, living a double life between his conservative family and his gay identity. Mahmoud is the founder of Syria’s LGBTI movement and is a refugee in Berlin. What brings them together is a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest as an escape from their trapped lives and an answer to their invisibility.”

Arantxa Echevarría, Spain
2018 | 1h 43m | Narrative (Lesbian)


This coming-of-age romance film is included in the official selection of the Director’s Fortnight of the 2018 Cannes International Film Festival.

“Carmen, who lives in a gypsy community in the suburbs of Madrid, meets Lola, an uncommon gypsy who dreams about going to university, draws bird graffiti and likes girls. Carmen quickly develops a complicity with Lola and they discover a world that, inevitably, leads them to be rejected by their families.”

Tonga Leitis in Waiting
Dean Hamer, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Joe Wilson, Tonga
2018 | 1h 12m | Narrative (Transgender)


The film is about an intrepid group of transgender women rising to reclaim their righteous place in a South Pacific Kingdom.

The film won the Prix Special Du Jury at the International Oceanian Film Festival, and has been selected for the FRAMELINE San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, OUTFEST Film Festival, and AFI Docs.

“Leitis in Waiting is a raw yet tender portrait of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom.”

Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku
Garin Nugroho, Indonesia
2018 | 1h 25m | Narrative (Gay, Drama)


A sensual, dance-filled journey of self-discovery: the film is about love, sensuality, dance and violence on the island of Java.

This film has been selected for the 2018 Venice International Film Festival and the Adelaide Film Festival.

“Juno is just a child when his father abandons him in their village of Center Java. Alone now, he joins a Lengger dance centre where men shape their feminine appearance and movement. But the sensuality and sexuality that come from dance and bodies, mixed with the violent social and political Indonesian environment, force Juno to move from village to village.”

Huang Hui-chen, Taiwan
2016 | 1h 28m | Documentary (Lesbian)


A few simple questions spark a series of talks, which reveal some things that we’re not sure if we’re ready to face.

The film was awarded Best Documentary at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival and Taipei Film Festival and Best Film at the China Film Media Awards.

“The film is a meditative exploration into Huang and her mother A-nu’s past, each layer revealing a little more about who A-nu is, as a Taoist priestess, a lover to many girlfriends, a dependable friend, and an absentee mother. It is the identify of a mother that Huang wants to understand, since A-nu has made it clear that she never wanted to get married nor have children.”

Aos Teus Olhos
Carolina Jabor, Brazil
2017 | 1h 27m | Narrative (Gay, Drama)
The film is nominated for Best Feature Film at the 2018 Guadalajara International Film Festival and Jury Award at the 2018 World Cinema Amsterdam.

“A boy’s parents accuse a swimming teacher of abusing one of his students.”

Thitipan Raksasat, Thailand
2017 | 1h 25m | Gay Drama (Erotic, Thriller)

Driver is a story of Kade (Sita Chutiphaworakan) searching for her husband, Tae (Puri Hiranprueck) who disappears after a trip to Korea. Kade asks her police friend, Tum (Patipol Nakhaprasertkul) who believes that Tae takes a longer trip without telling her so he advises her to wait for a few more days. Tracking down for Tae reveals the secrets which haunt Kade for the rest of her life as she can no longer trust anyone ever again.

Here’s the official lineup of international short films: six award-winning shorts from eight countries!

Three Centimetres
Lara Zeidan, United Kingdom/Lebanon
2018 | 9m | Narrative (Lesbian)


The film was awarded the 32nd Teddy Award for Best Short Film at the Berlinale 2018. It was also officially selected at Generation 14plus and BFI Flare London LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

“Four Lebanese girls go on a Ferris wheel ride to make their friend feel better about her break-up. Their conversation drifts to a less fun place.”

Devi – Goddess
Karishma Dube, India
2017 | 14m | Narrative (Lesbian Family, Social Injustice)


A young closeted lesbian risks both family and tradition, as she embraces her attraction for her childhood maid, Devi.

“This film is about a young closeted lesbian Tara, who juggles conflicting identities as she is caught embracing her attraction towards the woman who has helped raise her. Set in New Delhi, this 12 minute narrative is as much as coming of age as it is a commentary on the savage social and class lines that divide contemporary India today.”

BOY – kortfilm
Lucas Helth Postma, Denmark
2014 | 16m | Narrative (Transgender)


This short film tackles transgender identity and acceptance.

“Emilie, born a female, wishes to be a boy. Sadly, her mother doesn’t wish for the same thing. Emilie attempts to convince the world that she’s trapped in the wrong body.”

Lia Hietala, Sweden/Norway
2017 | 15m | Short Drama (Lesbian)


My Gay Sister is a story about a young girls first meeting with the expectations to define her sexuality and about the ability to create, gain and lose trust for one another.

Leandro Goddinho, Brazil
2017 | 15m | Documentary (HIV)


End the stigma: in today’s digital era, four Brazilians have created Youtube Channels to talk openly about their HIV status, in a very positive way. In the complex age of social media, these content creators have a direct cause.

Mrs McCutcheon
John Sheedy, Australia
2017 | 17m | Narrative (Drama)


Having always felt wrong in his own body, 10-year-old Tom prefers to be known as Mrs. McCutcheon. This change creates challenges at his new school, as Mrs. McCutcheon struggles to find acceptance from peers.

Screenings Venues:

  • November 14 to 18 – Gateway Cinema Complex in Cubao
  • November 19 to 21 – University of the Philippines Cine Adarna, Diliman
  • November 22 to 25 – Cinema Centenario, Maginhawa Street


For Ticket information and screening schedules check the official Quezon City International Pink Film Festival Facebook page.