Ma Vie En Rose: the most scandalous LGBTQ screenings at this year’s TLVFest

By Jennifer Greenberg

In 2006, a cramped record store on King George took a chance on a LGBTQ film festival - not sure how successful it would be. Much to their surprise, from the festival opener to the very last screening, the venue was filled to capacity with all walks of life; a seed had been planted. The following year, TLVFest moved to the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and from that point on, it grew into a blossoming film festival phenomenon (the only of its kind in the Middle East). We've rounded up this year's most dangerously exotic, scandalously exciting and all-round beautiful screenings. 


No film festival is complete without a little goose bump-inducing horror. This chilling cinematic work incorporates a quartet of spine-tingling, nerve-wrecking, anxiety- producing horror films, all of which feature strong female protagonists dealing with various crises. From the nightmares of motherhood to a camping trip turned Blair Witch Project, the films are designed to expose the public to a new perspective on queer and feminist issues. 

Prom King, 2010

Charlie is a hopeless romantic who is more in love with love than James Dean is with Natalie Wood in Rebel Without A Cause. As he tries to navigate the New York college dating scene, relating his own experiences with those found in his favorite rom-com classics, Charlie begins to see a discrepancy between the two, questioning if his homosexuality will inhibit him from realizing this Hollywood dream. Christopher Schaap’s debut film is beautifully summed up as “a love story trying its hardest.”

Casa Roshell

What happens behind the doors of the Casa Roshell Club, stays behind the doors of the Casa Roshell Club...or not? This film, which was screened at the 2017 Berlin Festival, brings viewers behind the scenes of a transgender club on an unassuming street in Mexico City, where boundaries are blurred, and men of all sexual preferences and orientations challenge gender norms for a few hours. Whether gossiping around the table or having a 'rendez-vous' with a crossdresser behind closed curtains,  this film promises a 'happy ending.' 

The Wound 

This year’s festival opener is no stranger to internationally acclaimed film festivals. Directed by festival guest John Trengove, The Wound has already found its way into Sundance and Berlinale. The South African film examines class struggle and social class, as it paints the picture of an outdoor, week-long initiation ceremony for teenage boys (including an authentic circumcision ceremony meant to assert masculinity).

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

Any Quebecois will remember the 2012 student protests that painted the (down)town red, literally. This film, directed by Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie, follows four of those veterans (a lesbian couple, a transgender, and a young man),who have been disillusioned by their failures to effect meaningful social change in Montreal, and have turned to minor vandalism instead. This film was named Best Canadian Film at last year's Toronto Festival. "A thrilling fusion between feature film, documentary, and experimental film. An epic, ambitious, emotional, and intellectual experience."

Emo the Musical

Everyone has an Emo phase, and Ethan is no different. When the sensitive child with an active imagination and suicidal tendencies joins the Emo band in a rival high school with a Christian youth group, his budding love for a devout Christian band member is tested. While only the secondary characters in this film are gay, TLV Fest chose to screen Emo the Musical because it touches on important social messages regarding acceptance and differences in society. A delightful Australian musical with a touch of queer and plenty of humor. 

Jun 1-10. Tel Aviv Cinematheque, 2  Shprintsak St, Tel Aviv (03-6060800/

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