From changing room showdowns to clandestine encounters and societal repression, sometimes it takes a little longer to tell your tale…

Dir: Barbara Kronenberg
Germany | 29 min
While the 8th grader Ella faces a decisive exam, she dreams from last summer: love lessons of her grotesque ballet teacher, her first kiss, and permanently annoying parents.

Dir: Charlie Parham
UK | 26 min
Nightstand stages the destructive relationship between two men over three consecutive nights— one is gay, lost and adolescent, the other is married to a woman and middle-aged.

Dir: Peter Lee Scott
UK | 25 min
Colours shows how Adam’s (17) world is turned upside-down when he and two other football team-mates, Mike and Alex, discover Adam’s best friend Tom is gay.

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

Strike a Pose

When seven young male dancers were plucked from the New York drag-ball scene to appear in Madonna’s Vogue music video, they never could have envisaged what life had in store for them. Embarking on the 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour, they would become global icons for the gay community, making vogueing a global phenomenon and forming a kind of surrogate family with the Queen of Pop, as seen in the movie In Bed With Madonna (1991). Revisiting their stories 25 years on, Strike a Pose is open, emotional retelling of the highs of fame and stardom, and the hardships of dealing with the fall once it’s all over.

Followed by Q&A with the filmmaker Ester Gould and original Madonna dancer Kevin Stea. Introduced by the delectable voguers House of Shabazz. 

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

After party at VFD, for more information click here.


Transit Havana

Odette, Juani and Malú are awaiting gender realignment, courtesy of Europe’s best surgeons. They are the beneficiaries of a programme established by Fidel Castro’s daughter Mariela, who is being credited with leading a sexual revolution under the auspices of the socialist state. Marking a sea change in the lives of Cuban trans people, they nevertheless face the difficulties of bigotry, poverty and prostitution, all themes that are sensitively explored in this truly touching documentary.

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.



Nesrin flees her job, her home and her crumbling marriage, leaving Istanbul for the plains of Anatolia to finally realise her dream of becoming a writer. But when her conservative, unstable mother arrives in the village, her idyllic vision of her new existence begins to crumble. As the walls close in, and the parental relationship becomes increasingly unhinged, her mother gets closer to the religiously conservative neighbours, and it’s all going to come to a nasty head. A terrifically wrought, potent metaphor for the schisms of modern Turkey.

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

Uncle Howard

Filmmaker Aaron Brookner delves into the fascinating and tragic story of his uncle Howard, a filmmaker and major player in the 70s and 80s cultural revolution that defined New York’s Lower East Side. Rediscovering Howard’s life and influence through interviews with family and friends such as Jim Jarmusch, much of the film focuses on Howard Brookner’s relationship with William Burroughs, with the former’s unfinished film project languishing inside a locked apartment building, unseen. Loaded with electrifying archive footage, this is unparalleled insight into a vibrant period of queer and NYC history, with a moving personal dimension.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

Seven Sisters Indoor Market, The

The groundswell of gentrification, urban regeneration and community exclusion in East London is touchingly explored in The Seven Sisters Market. Depicting a rapidly transforming London through the eyes of a diverse group of migrants, this observational documentary takes in the work and social lives of the people frequenting this vibrant and historic local marketplace, its importance in the community, and the threat posed by hyper-capitalist development to the melting pot cultural life of London, where the nature of urban space is being rapidly, disturbingly redefined.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available at the Rio Cinema website here.

London Overground

‘A tiny little map of what is happening now’ is how legendary east London author Iain Sinclair describes the London Overground line, the subject of John Roger’s (Make Your Own Damn Art, EEFF 2012) film following Sinclair and frequent collaborator Andrew Kötting as they traverse the train line on foot. Undertaken for the purposes of Sinclair’s book of the same name, this journey takes place over a year as opposed to the day’s walk written about by Sinclair. But that simply creates space for Sinclair’s fascination with the ‘Ginger Line’ as the ‘spin-drier of capitalism, whirling banknotes around the city…a real moment to look at this city of unreal money’. An engrossing, frequently humorous exploration of a unique mind, and its insights into a changing city.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

Desire Will Set You Free

A richly funny, touching and meandering walk through Berlin’s queer scene, the debut feature from Yony Leyser (William Burroughs: A Man Within) is based on his own life as an American living in the city. Following Ezra (Leyser) on an odyssey through Berlin’s subcultural life, his journey takes in the clubs, drugs, and creativity of the scene, where is joined by his Nazi-paraphernalia obsessed best friend Catharine, and new crush Sasha, whose relationship with his own sexuality and gender is more mysterious than it first appears. A convincing delve into the neon gloam of Berlin and both expatriate and refugee life, also featuring luminaries of the scene Nina Hagen, Blood Orange, Rummelsnuff, Sookee, Blixa Bargeld (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds) and Peaches.


Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.

After party at Dalston Superstore, for more information click here.



The second feature from one of Turkey’s most important new filmmakers, Emin Alper follows Beyond the Hill with a timely state-of-the-nation thriller. Set in some near future in which Turkey seems on the verge of collapse, it sees Kadir released from prison on the condition that he turns informant for the state, spying on his neighbours and helping to defuse the numerous bombs that are being planted across the city. Meanwhile his brother Ahmet is employed to kill the city’s numerous stray dogs, a task that along with his estrangement from his wife seems to be causing him to lose his mind. The pressure of their circumstances, and forces from their past, will create a situation that neither of them can escape. And perhaps neither can anyone else, in this taut vision of a nation gone wrong.

Frenzy won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 2015.
Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.


Blue Wave, The

Zeynep Dadak and Merve Kayan impressive debut sees Deniz return from holiday to the provincial city of Balıkesir, immediately falling back into her old life, gossiping with her friends, caring for her rebellious younger sister, and crushing on high school heartthrob Kaya and guidance counselor Ferat. A perfectly realised view of the impulsive seachanges of hormonal teenage life, where both nothing and everything happens all at once, and million miles from the Turkey seen in most festival exports.

Tickets available from the Rio Cinema website here.