The organizers of the Side-by-side GLBT film festival, subjected to repressions by Arkhangelsk authorities along with Orthodox clergy men, on a special press conference told the audience about "quasi legal" movie forum.
According to the words of this festival's organizers, despite the "private performance" that was announced via tet-a-tet, about 300 people have visited the action from July 7 to 11, 2010.
Its programme included 7 landmark films of directors from all over the world, "Coming out" exhibition staged by Lyda Mikhailova - a photographer from Saint- Petersburg and three discussions on GLBT issues.
Discussions dedicated to actual GLBT issues of modern Russia were quite vivid and sharp. Viewers and experts talked about different problems of same-sex parenthood, difficulty and importance of coming out, the need and the means of fighting for GLBT rights and ways of overcoming discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"A big number of Orthodox clergy men, e.g. archpriest Eugene Sokolov and bishop of Arkhangelsk and Kholomogory Tikhon, tried to set Arkhangelsk townspeople against this film festival in particular and GLBT society in general, accusing the festival in propaganda of sodomy", written in a statement of GLBT festival's organizers.
"We regret that the festival was under repressions of the local authorities and was unavailable for the mass audience, for everyone who wanted to participate in its official opening. Anyway, Side- by-side festival HAS taken place: films were shown, photo show "Coming out" was open, discussions went on and were of big interest of Arkhangelsk townspeople", said GLBT festival's director Gulya Sultanova.
"The situation with the refusal to accept the gay festival is not an unexpected one. However, we continue to do what we've begun - we are happy to know that with every banned GLBT action that we are forced to hold in quasi legal form, we get more friends and just common people who support our human rights defence activities", adds Manny de Guer, the founder of the festival.
Translated by Yerdna Bananes