Molodist Kyiv international film festival
15 June 2023



The SUNNY BUNNY LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, which will be held in Kyiv from June 22-28, 2023, announces the full list of films that will be presented this year, including an extensive Ukrainian program as part of the Ukrainian Retrospective. 

The team of SUNNY BUNNY presented films for programs such as: Panorama, Ukrainian Queer Retrospective, Queerby, X BORDERS, International Short Films: Decolonize, Reclaim, Rebuild and Queer Fighters. It was also announced which films will be the Opening and Closing films of the film festival.

The opening film of the first SUNNY BUNNY will be the French documentary Orlando, My Political Biography directed by Paul B. Preciado. The film became a sensation at the Berlin International Film Festival, winning four awards, including the Teddy Award for Best Documentary/Essay Film, the Encounters Competition Special Award, the Berlinale Special Documentary Award and the Tagesspiegel Readers' Prize. Based on the trans classic Orlando from Virginia Woolf's novel of the same name, the film speaks to the author through the voices of transgender and non-binary people. The film tells of a fictional character (created in the image of Woolf's lover — Vita Sackville-West) who became a reality.

The closing film is the first feature by German-American director Harvey Rabbit, Captain Faggotron Saves the Universe, which had its world premiere in the Bright Future program of the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2023. Shot during the pandemic and featuring mostly porn actors, the Berlin micro-budget film uses a masterful mix of genres and forms (feature and animation, musical, comedy and thriller) to tell the story of Captain Faggotron, who faces a challenge — will he be able to save the world from a queer apocalypse?

Ukrainian Queer Retrospective  will present 6 full-length films. The festival guests can watch the legendary film by Serhii Parajanov Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. This film was the debut of Ivan Mykolaichuk, who later became a famous actor, director and one of the symbols of Ukrainian cinema. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is considered the best Ukrainian film of all time — and it's important to emphasize that its creator wasn't heterosexual.

This program will also feature: Ihor Chernytskiy's dramatic film Ivin A., which is known for its homoeroticism, Kira Muratova's crime comedy Three Stories with an LGBTQ theme, Vadym Ilkov's documentary My Father Is My Mother's Brother, which had its world premiere as part of the European documentary film festival Visions du Réel in Nyon, Switzerland. There, the film received an award as the most innovative film of the international competition program; in addition, My Father Is My Mother's Brother was awarded as the Best Ukrainian Feature Film at the Odesa International Film Festival 2019.

The festival will also feature a special event called Queer Fighters, which will screen the documentary short film Ukrainian Queer Fighters  for Freedom by Anzhelika Ustymenko. The film is about LGBTQIA+ military personnel who talk about their experiences in the first weeks of  russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Anzhelika’s and Alex King’s Rebel Queers: Ukraine’s Queer Resistance follows up on these characters almost a year later. The film screening will be followed by a discussion on the need to adopt a law on civil partnerships, with the participation of MP and the author of the bill No. 9103 Inna Sovsun, LGBTQ+ activists and representatives of the organization LGBTQ Soldiers and Their Allies. The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine is also invited to the event.

The Documentary program included two more films that expand and change the perception of documentary film with their hybrid experiments: Nicky Lapierre's Belgian film Astro, nominated for the 2023 Magritte Awards in four categories: best editing, best sound, best original score and best documentary; and Playland by American director Georden West, nominated for the Tiger Award at the 2023 Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Full program - at the link

Detailed release - at the link




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