about us

In 1981 Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba decided to stage their own rebellion against mainstream movies where homosexual "characters" were always relegated to marginal roles and/or to offensive stereotypes. Their opposition took the form of their first film, shot in video, Dalla vita di Piero. The film was well received at Festival Cinema Giovani di Torino, Turin's festival for young film-makers, and was then presented at several international festivals. 

 

So the seed of the Torino International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes, "From Sodom to Hollywood", was planted. As Mai and Minerba travelled to the various festivals to present their film, they realized that there were many excellent films being made on GLBT themes that were never released in Italy in any shape or form. They therefore began to work on the concept of a Festival and presented their ideas to local government bodies: to the Piedmont Regional Council, to the Turin Provincial Council and to the City Council of Turin. For three years they received no response. Then in 1985, the City Council appointed a new Councillor for Culture, Marziano Marzano, a man of open, liberal ideas, and non-conformist attitudes. With his support the first festival took place in 1986, in the face of the fierce opposition and controversy which was to dog the event over the years to come. The festival also managed to obtain funding from the Turin Province and from the Piedmont Region, and, subsequently, the invaluable artistic and cultural backing, which has been maintained through the years, of such prestigious national and international bodies as the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, the British Council, the Goethe Institut, the Colegio de Salamanca, the B.F.I., the Canadian Embassy, the Spanish Ministry of Entertainment, and the Centre Culturel Français.

 

Initially conceived simply as a programme of films focusing on GLBT themes, the event became a Festival in 1989 and was recognized as such by the Italian Ministry of Culture and Entertainment in 1990. Since 2006 the Festival has been under the administration of the national film museum, the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino.

 

As well as presenting films not yet screened in Italy, our Festival has always considered its most important role to be that of vigilant observers, on behalf of Italian audiences, of developments in a certain kind of cinema, which would otherwise have absolutely no possibility of being released in theatres in Italy, either for commercial or non-profit screenings. 

 

What are the memories we treasure of unforgettable moments and exceptional guests of past Festivals?

1988, when our Festival revealed the great talent of Gus Van Sant, awarding him a prize for his debut film  Mala Noche,  and we also screened for the first time ever in Italy another new director, later to become a cult auteur: Gregg Araki.

1989, with the world preview of The Rainbow, a new film by Ken Russell,

1995: celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Festival, and 100 years of Cinema. Huge success for the retrospective "One Hundred Years of Cinema", which was accompanied by an interesting book of essays written by international experts and critics  (David Robinson, Richard Dyer, Vieri Razzini, Mariuccia Ciotta, Fabio Bo) and  entitled "Da Sodoma a Hollywood. Fotogrammi sovversivi attraverso cento anni di Cinema".

In 1996, we once again held the international preview of a Ken Russell film, Salomé, andwe welcomed to Turin Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, winners of two Oscars.

2005 saw an homage to cult director John Waters, who chose to come to Turin for our Festival in order to present, in European preview, his latest, "provocative" film,  A Dirty Shame.

2009 markedthe anniversaries of two memorable events: the 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and 40 years since the Stonewall riots in New York. We commemorated the Berlin Wall in collaboration with the "Biennale for Democracy" a Turin city event, and with the presence of Wieland Speck as our guest. To remember the Stonewall riots we focused on two emblematic figures: actress Judy Garland, a GLBT icon, who died a few days before the rebellion, and Harvey Milk, the political activist murdered in San Francisco in 1978. Milk's story was told in the remarkable documentary by Rob Epstein, The Times of Harvey Milk, which won anOscar in 1985.

 

The celebrations for our twenty-fifth anniversary, our "Silver Wedding", in 2010, involved cinema, the gay community and the general public. For our 25th festival, the signature graphic was created by renowned painter and sculptor Ugo Nespolo, today President of the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino.

Guest and patroness of our 25th year celebrations was Claudia Cardinale, who opened the Festival, presenting a film by Tunisian director Mehdi Ben Attia,  Le Fil.

James Ivory received the "Dorian Gray Prize" career award from Liliana Cavani, and presented his film The City of Your Final Destination (based on the well known novel by Peter Cameron The City of Your Final Destination). The closing ceremony was emceed by Fabio Canino with a performance by singer, Patty Pravo, special guest for the evening. 

 

2011: The Festival's signature graphic and the promotional trailer were created by writer and cartoonist Massimo Fenati.

At the inauguration ceremony, singer Noemi performed a short set for an audience of close to one thousand people.  Other guests for the evening included Stuart Milk, adviser to Barack Obama on personal rights, and actress Luciana Littizzetto. The Dorian Gray Prize for career achievement was awarded to the great Lindsay Kemp.

The festival was expanded with a new section, Vintage, which was supported by "Italia 150" (organizers of events marking the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy in 1861), and wasdedicated entirely to Italian films, to celebrate "150: il nostro Risorgimento" (150: Our Independence). Films in the section ranged from the 1950s to the present day, showing how GLBT themes were treated in different historical periods as cultural attitudes evolved.

 

Among the many illustrious guests to the Festival, we have welcomed: Peter Cameron, Ivan Cotroneo, Negramaro, Ferzan Ozpetek, Eytan Fox, Ira Sachs, Rose Troche, Veruschka, Dario Argento, Udo Kier, Greg Gorman, Franca Valeri, Chaz Bono, Franco Nero, Monika Treut, Paola Cortellesi, Lucia Bosé, Lillian Faderman, Kenneth Anger, Filippo Timi, John Maybury, Ida Di Benedetto, Asia Argento, Luciana Littizzetto, Adriana Asti, Paul Bartel, Arnoldo Foà, Antonia San Juan, Vladimir Luxuria, Agustin Villaronga, Lorenza Foschini, David Weissmanm, Donatella Maiorca, Léa Pool, Andrea Occhipinti, Isabel Ruth, Alessandro Golinelli, Serra Yilmaz, Bruce LaBruce, Walter Siti, Lisa Thrasher, Barbara Hammer, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Paul Vecchiali, Ron Athey, Jenni Olson, Gianni Amelio, Lino Banfi, Franko B, Patricia Rozema, Holly WoodlandAndrea Sperling, Joao Rodriguez, Melania G. Mazzucco, Jamie Babbitt, Roberto Cuzzillo, Ventura Pons, John Greyson, Harry Baer, Auraeus Solito.

In 2012, the opening intro for the Festival was composed by the students from the three-year post diploma of Video Design and Filmmaking course at the IED in Turin. The song achieved acclaimed and warm success and reached 150,000 visits on YouTube. 

The opening ceremony of the 27th TGLFF took place on the night of April 19 at the UCI Cinemas Lingotto. The actress Chiara Francini, who won the Biraghi Award for the Best Debut at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, patronized the event. She also was part of the Jury for the Features Films during the TGLFF. The singer Arisa guested on the event; she performed and aroused enthusiasm in about a thousand people with her short concert. She said: "I accepted the invitation because I see it is a courageous Festival and all the things made with courage deserve respect and adhesion."

Another special guest in cooperation with TorinoDanza is the great English dancer and choreographer Matthew Bourne, here in Turin to present the first European preview of the film by Ross MacGibbon,in a 3D version of his Swan Lake ballet. 

There was a great turnout the night Luciana Littizzetto  was awarded with the 2012 "Dorian Gray" Award. 

Despite the economic crisis, afflicting the Italian State, which was considered to be an influencing factor on the audience participation, the 40 thousand spectators of the previous year came back increased by the 12% filling the theatres of Cinema Massimo in many sold-out screenings.


2013
: April 19. Giuliana De Sio patronized the opening night ceremony of the 28th TGLFF. The songwriter Roberto Casalino played a short concert; he was well known for his song "L'Essenziale" -performed by Marco Mengoni- which had recently won the Sanremo Italian song Festival. Also the Mayor of Turin Piero Fassino, the writer and director Ivan Cotroneo, and the actress Luciana Littizzetto attended the special event.

That night Any Day Now by Tavis Fine (President of the Jury for Feature Films Competition) premiered. Renzo Rubino, who had won the 2013 "Premio Mia Martini" at the Sanremo Italian song Festival, was the guest of the closing night ceremony.

As in the other past Festivals, the main picture of the TGLFF was created by an artist. The artist of the 28th TGLFF was Ralf König, a German cartoonist and writer who is one of the most important authors of comic strips based on homosexual topics in the world.

The "Dorian Gray" Career Award has been established in 2010. Since then, James Ivory, Lindsay Kemp, and Luciana Littizzetto were the ones winning this prize. The 28th TGLFF winner was Ingrid Caven -actress, muse and wife of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

There were about 120 films representing 34 countries. The United States presented the largest number, 36 films, followed by Israel with 6, Canada 5, and Australia 4. From Latin America arrived 20 works. Among the Europeans: 14 from Spain, and 11 from France, then Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Poland and Croatia. Some of them came from countries like Iran, Laban, Morocco, Pakistan and Taiwan.

The Festival has involved for seven days a wide and participating audience in afternoon and night screenings, with an increase of the 10% of the takings compared to the 2012 Festival, which means over 45 thousand spectators.

The list of honoured guests of the previous Festivals includes: Peter Cameron, Ivan CotroneoNegramaro, Ferzan Ozpetek, Eytan Fox, Ira Sachs, RoseTrocheVeruschka, Dario Argento, Udo Kier, Greg Gorman, Franca Valeri, Chaz Bono, Franco Nero, Monika Treut, PaolaCortellesi, Lucia Bosé, Lillian Faderman, Kenneth Anger, Filippo Timi, John Maybury, Ida Di Benedetto, Asia Argento, LucianaLittizzetto, Adriana Asti, Paul Bartel, Arnoldo Foà, Antonia San Juan, Vladimir Luxuria, Agustin Villaronga, Lorenza Foschini, David Weissmanm, Donatella Maiorca, Léa Pool, Andrea Occhipinti, Isabel Ruth, Alessandro Golinelli, Serra Yilmaz, Bruce LaBruce, Walter Siti, Lisa Thrasher, Barbara Hammer, Giuseppe Bertolucci, Paul Vecchiali, Ron Athey, Jenni Olson, Gianni Amelio, LinoBanfi, Franko BPatricia Rozema, Holly WoodlandAndrea Sperling, Joao Rodriguez, Melania G. Mazzucco, Jamie Babbitt, RobertoCuzzillo, Ventura Pons, John Greyson, Harry Baer, Auraeus Solito.


2014
: the opening event of the 29th TGLFF had actress Ambra Angiolini as patroness and as guest star one of the most famous Italian pop singer Orietta Berti who entertained the audience with a short concert; another guest was Carlo Gabardini. Among the guests who took part in the event, the Mayor of Turin Piero Fassino, the writer-director Ivan Cotroneo, the actor Fabio Canino, Vladimir Luxuria and the actress Luciana Littizzetto.

During the event there was also the preview of the film Azul y no tan rosa (Venezuela) of Miguel Ferrari, a feature film in competition at the festival which then won the Goya Award for the Best Foreign Film in the Spanish Language.

During the closing night the singer guest star was Levante, whose single "Alfonso" recorded million views and was then asked to perform the opening act of Negramaro's concerts during their Summer Tour all around Italy.

In addition, every evening there were original entertaining moments with young emerging artists, an event created in collaboration with  resetfestival which was received with interest by the audience and confirmed its success. Bianco, Cecilia, Alberto Cipolla, Daniele Celona, 2 Fat Men, Diecicento35, Maria Messina, Eugenio in Via Di Gioia, Paolo Ferrarini delighted the audience of Cinema Massimo with enjoyable breaks between a screening and the other.

Director Max Croci directed the teaser of the 29th TGLFF.

The "Dorian Gray Award", a career achievement award established in 2010,  was given in past years to James Ivory, Lindsay Kemp, Luciana Littizzetto and Ingrid Caven. During the 29th TGLFF was awarded the playwright, director  and film and theatre actress Emma Dante

Around 130 films from 40 different countries for this 29th Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (TGLFF), occurring in Turin from April 30th to May 6th 2014, which is becoming more and more international every year. Among all the countries, United States is the one which present a larger number of films, 27, followed by France (14), Spain (13), Italy (11), Germany (8) and Switzerland (8).

It is with great verve that the Jury for Feature Film Competition, represented by Paola Pitagora, Gal Uchovsky, Pippo Del Bono, Gabriele Ferraris, Ron Peck, rewarded Stefan Haupt's Der Kreis (The Cirle) with "Premio Ottavio Mai". The film was later elected to represent Switzerland  for the Academy Award  for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Audience Award was given to the Brazilian film Hoje eu quero voltar sozinho by Daniel Ribeiro, selected to represent Brazil in the Academy Awards.

For the Documentary Competition, the jury composed of Milena Paulon, Luigi Romolo Carrino and Gabriele Farina rewarded Violette Leduc: la chasse à l'amour (Violette Leduc, in Pursuit of Love) by Esther Hoffenberg (France, 2013).

Rodrigo Barriuso 's For Dorian (Canada), was instead awarded by the Jury for Short film Competition, represented by Silvia MinelliAlessandro Fullin and Enrico Salvatori.

The jury composed of young students of Dams and IED of Turin, led by director Max Croci, rewarded with Queer Award the Ich fühl mich Disco by Alex Ranisch (Germany).

One more special award, "Premio DAMS – Sguardi sul Festival", was given to 20 leugens, 4 ouders en een scharrelei (Netherlands).

"Dalla Russia con amore" (From Russia with Love) was the title of a section dedicated to the confederation of states of the former Soviet Union. The purpose was to draw attention and to express solidarity in a moment far from easy, offering documents apt to witness and report the current situation of the LGBT community in Russia. The idea was sponsored by Francesco Pellegatta and "enriched" by a hyperrealist sculpture depicting Vladimir Putin, made ​​by the artist Annalisa Venuturini.

Great interest was also shown to the 60 years of Rai TV tribute, made in collaboration with RAI itself and created by Enrico Salvatori.

The Festival has always been committed also to the GLBT-themed literature, and to the whole section dedicated to books and their authors : "A qualcuno piace libro" (Some Like It Book), edited by Gerry Ferrara and Piero Valetto, and hosted at Circolo dei lettori, where also other titles was presented: Walter Siti's Exit Strategy, Alessandro Fullin's Panico Botanico, Alexander Golinelli's Una Rivoluzione, Vladimir Luxuria's L'Italia Migliore, Sorella Outsider - Audre Lorde by Margherita Giacobino and Marta Gianello Guidi , and Vincenzo Patanè's L'estate di un ghiro. Il Mito di Lord Byron.

For a whole week the Festival captivated over 45 thousand persons, thanks to afternoon and night screenings. Around a thousand of requests for accreditation were made by journalists, press agents, cultural associations and students.

 

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