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ASIA - Feb 27, 2003

At an annual gathering of global queer film festival organizers, Asian gay and lesbian film festival programmers highlighted the challenges they faced. Speaking to the public on this issue were John Badalu, founder of Jakarta's Q! Film, Liu Wei-Jan from the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taipei, and film professor Cui Zi'en who spearheaded Beijing's first attempt to hold public screenings of gay-themed movies.

Mr. Badalu revealed how Jakarta organizers partnered with local journalists and international cultural organizations to present their landmark event in Sept of 2002, despite censorship regulations and death threats from conservative Muslims.

In Taiwan gay-themed films are regularly produced, with many finding success through international distribution. Despite conservative Chinese values which keep filmmakers in the closet, Ms. Liu noted recent progress and hopes for a completely gay and lesbian festival in the future.

Professor Cui spoke about Beijing's first attempted festival which attracted large crowds and was shut down by authorities after just a few days. Never-the-less, smaller groups formed as a result of the event and continued to hold private screenings.

To read more about this meeting, please click here to view the indieWIRE feature by Eugene Hernandez.


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