International LGBT Film Festival was held in St. Petersburg
On November, 21 – 27, the International LGBT Film Festival “Side by Side” was held for the fourth time in Russia. Forum’s motto – “Different love — equal rights” – provoked a strong reaction in society.
The ceremony had all the chances to not even start. Someone reported that the building «Warsaw Express», where the film forum opening ceremony was to be held, contained the bomb. After an hour of police checks, the Film Festival was announced as open. At the opening ceremony, Alexander Şhishlov, Commissioner for Human Rights in St. Petersburg, made a speech in which he condemned xenophobia against homosexuals.
On November, 23, there a new precedent occurred. At that time, building Loft Project «Floors» appeared to be“mined”. Because of that festival visitors and guests were forced to leave the premises. Films «For Dorian» and «Face in the Mirror» were not shown. Finally, on November, 24 and 27, due to noncompliance to contract by the owners of the «Levels» building, the meeting had chances to be disrupted. Fortunately, organizers were able in a short time find a new place for Festival. The creator of one of the films, producer Bruce Cohen expressed his gratitude to the representatives of the LGBT community. Cohen said, «while sharing our cinematic achievements, we demolish the barriers between us.»