INDONESIA’S Q! Film Festival, the biggest of its kind in Asia, celebrated its 11th year with a slate of LGBT films that included Judas Kiss. As a predominantly Muslim nation, Indonesia’s religious community has had problems with the gay film festival hosted in the nation’s capital, Jakarta.
“When I was in Indonesia earlier this year, I saw pirated copies of Judas Kiss everywhere,” commented writer-producer Carlos Pedraza, “so I know there’s an audience hungry for films like ours, despite the prevalent fundamentalism of the country.”
The festival focuses on movies with LGBT and HIV/AIDS themes, QFF was founded in 2002 by a number of freelance journalists and movie buffs who were passionate in these issues.
According to the national newspaper, The Jakarta Globe, the festival faced protests from several religious fundamentalist groups the past few years, but the organizers remain undeterred, “albeit with less fanfare.”
THE FESTIVAL organizers noted, “We have learned and paid the high price to recognize our true friends, to defend our rights to live as human, to fight for what we believe the most: love, compassion and humanity.”
The Jakarta Globe article admirably concludes:
Indeed, in a time when tolerance increasingly becomes a scarce asset in this country, QFF serves as a reminder that human rights and freedom of expression have to be championed and fought for. Conveying that message through a universal medium, i.e. film, there is a fervent hope that, through this festival, more people can open their minds toward the diversity that surrounds us. Not to mention, the organizers has done their best to make all events free of charge — all the more reason to support the festival in the future.