MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ+ Film Festival takes place 22nd – 31st October, 2021 at Empire Bio and Cinemateket. The festival has been around since 1986, making it Denmark’s oldest continuously running film festival.
MIX is also the leading LGBTQ+ film festival in the Nordics, with 10,000+ attendees annually. Every year the festival screens over 80 films and invite prominent jury members to give bestow the Lili Award (named after Lili Elbe, the Danish artist who was the first Dane to have a gender-affirming operation) to the year’s best Film, Documentary, and Short Film.
In 2020, MIX added two exciting initiatives to their line-up: [email protected], an online festival with a selection of films from the program available for all of Denmark to stream from 1st – 15th November, and MIX Industry Weekend, a gathering for budding LGBTQ+ filmmakers to network, learn, and improve their craft by meeting international industry professionals.
Finally, there is a new season of MIX’s podcast: Coming Out of The Celluloid Closet, wherein hosts Andrea Coloma and Kate Krosschell interview guests like May Lifschitz, Caroline Osander, Beck Heiberg & Maji Claire about topics including trans representation, mental health for queer women, and ballroom/voguing.
Here are the films we recommend this year from the MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2021:
All films, unless indicated otherwise, at:
1123 København K
Program description: The right to exist as a LGBTQ+ person is hard to achieve and requires continual fighting, not only to maintain but also to push forward. The films in this program showcase the pioneers of the community, as well as the contemporary activists fighting for this right to exist.
March for Dignity
Dir. John Eames, UK, 2020
Sunday, 24th October
This documentary follows a small group of LGBTQ+ activists in Tbilisi, Georgia, as they attempt to conduct the country’s first Pride march. The group faces overwhelming opposition from far-right groups, the government and the Georgian Orthodox Church who have a history of inciting violent attacks on the LGBTQ+ community.
Dir. Patrick Sammon & Bennett Singer, USA, 2020
Monday, 25th October
Mentally ill. Deviant. Diseased. These were among the terms psychiatrists used to described LGBTQ+ people in the 50s, 60s, and early 70s. ‘Cured’ illuminates a pivotal, yet little-known chapter in the struggle for LGBTQ+ equality in the United States: the campaign that led the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 1973.
Dir. Eline Gehring, Germany, 2021
Tuesday, 26th October
(This showing at Empire Bio)
Friday, 29th October
The self-confident and lively German-Persian Nico loves her job as a geriatric nurse and enjoys the Berlin summer with her best friend Rosa until a racist attack suddenly tears her out of her carefree everyday life. Though her physical recovery is swift, we soon see — in her isolation from Rosa and her growing despondency — the full spectrum of what it means to feel unsafe in one’s skin. Two things may spell Nico’s comeback: the self-confidence she begins to find with a karate coach, and the growing intimacy offered by a mysterious young carnival worker.
Racialised, Queer and Unstoppable
Program description: Racialised, Queer and Unstoppable is about fighting for what you believe in. In a world where queer lives are threatened by heteropatriarchy, families, religion, border regimes and the state, hope, love and friendship can be a matter of survival. These four films illustrate and celebrate those in the queer community who fight against their oppressors to break free!
Dir. C.B. Yi, Austria, Belgium, France & Taiwan, 2021
Saturday, 23rd October
Fei makes a living in the big city working as a hustler. His world collapses when he realizes that his family accepts his money but not his homosexuality. Broken-hearted, Fei struggles to create a new beginning in his life. Through his relationship with the headstrong Long, Fei seems able to find new energy for life, but then he encounters Xiaolai, the love of his youth, who confronts him with guilt of his repressed past. Premiered at Cannes!
La Leyenda Negra
Dir. Patricia Vidal Delgado, USA, 2020
Sunday, 24th October
Aleteia has just transferred to a new high school and struggles to fit in. As an El Salvadorian immigrant who has grown up in the US, Aleteia has made underground activism her way to make her voice heard, but everything is thrown into jeopardy when her temporary protection status is compromised. She unexpectedly befriends Rosarito, a popular girl drawn to Aleteia’s resilience.
I Am Samuel
Dir. Pete Murimi, Kenya, UK Germany, USA, Netherlands, Canada & South Africa, 2020
Monday, 25th October
Samuel grew up in the countryside, where tradition is paramount. He is close with his mother, but his local pastor father doesn’t understand him. After moving to Kenya’s capital, Samuel falls in love with Alex, defying anti-LGBTQ+ laws and finding community along the way.
Dir. Eliane Raheb, Germany, Lebanon and Spain, 2021
Wednesday, 27th October
In this multi-layered portrait, Miguel confronts trauma and the ghosts of his past. After fleeing war and oppression 37 years ago, Miguel returns to Lebanon where he traces tormenting feelings of guilt and unrequited love. Miguel’s War is about trauma – how it misconstrues and suppresses memory, and makes it hard to be honest with yourself and other people. Leading Lebanese documentary director Eliane Raheb mixes creative techniques and styles to explore her subject’s life and trauma.
See the full program here.
Important dates for MIX: