Loud & Proud: Sexual Diversity Film Festival in Santiago

From the 17th of October till the 2nd of November, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual) community in Santiago are making their voices heard during the MOVILH Sexual Diversity Film Festival.

 Photo by Carmen Paulson
Photo by Carmen Paulson

Movimiento de Integracion y Liberacion Homosexual (Movement for the Integration and Freedom of Homosexuals) is an LGBT-rights non-profit that works to increase the rights and visibility of sexual minorities in Chile. Founded in 1991, the non-profit organization organizes events to get the Santiago community involved in LGBT awareness. Recently, MOVILH launched a children's book titled Nicolás Tiene Dos Papás ("Nicholas has two dads") in order for adolescents to gain awareness of the presence of gay and lesbian families; this was met with considerable controversy. With Cine MOVILH, the organization is working to bring to light LGBT issues through film.

Within these sixteen days the LGBT community will provide awareness for those who do not know, comfort for those who endure, education for those who want to learn more, and a space open to any and all without judgment or discrimination. Cine MOVILH will be screening a movie every day throughout the public spaces of Santiago. Of the seventeen movies that will be played over the course of this festival only five are Chilean films. This fact alone may provide the audience with an idea of how the LGBT community continues to suffer from discrimination throughout the world.

The opening event held at Parque Forestal was a success. Rafael Dochoa, Jakin Kiefer and Elijah Pirttiaho, ambassadors from the UN, Switzerland, and Finland, respectively, all spoke inaugurating the start of the festival. The amount of people who attended easily surpassed the amount of chairs provided. People were strewn on the various grass areas within the park, on park benches, and some comfortably stood on the dirt path leading to the movie. Seeing various same sex couples around the park, snuggling and cuddling, provided a warm touch to the event.

Chilean youth have a slight addiction to PDA, or public displays of affection. Walking through any park within Santiago it's hard to miss the couples littered across the grass, in their own worlds, doing whatever pleases them publicly for the world to see. Heterosexual couples are still the most commonly seen couples, making it a rarity to see such public affection between two same-sex couples in Santiago. Realizing that the festival was one of the few opportunities that provided a comfortable, non-judgmental space for homosexual couples to show this affection publicly made the moment all the more cherishable.

 Photo by Carmen Paulson
Photo by Carmen Paulson

Overall, the opening night was a joy to attend and included quite a bit of audience interaction. Scenes of intimacy or romance between homosexual characters caused the audience to respond with an automatic, "Awww," while for the more humorous scenes, the audience would laugh openly and applaud, making the whole experience that much more entertaining.

Festivals such as Cine MOVILH, the upcoming Gay Parade 2014, and additional initiatives by MOVILH and associated LGBT-rights organizations continue to lead the way in efforts to create a more accepting, non-judgmental mindset in Chile.

More Information:
+ October 17 – November 2
+ 20:30 HRS
+Entrance is free if you sign up ahead of time. Otherwise, $2.000 (~$3.50 USD) general admission
+Cineteca Nacional
+Metro La Moneda
+Cineteca Nacional is located directly in front of Palacio La Moneda, underground. There are multiple entrances – check http://www.ccplm.cl/sitio/contacto/ and hover over “Como LLegar” at the bottom of the page for more information on getting there.
+ https://www.facebook.com/events/316170745223181/

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