Hoje eu Quero Voltar Sozinho Dir: Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil, 96 mins, Portuguese with English subtitles

Out Takes 2012 audience favourite short, I Don’t Want To Go Back Alone, has been expanded into this impressive feature. Blind teenager Leo is fully integrated into his high school, though a few bullying kids occasionally make life unpleasant. His best friend Giovanna faithfully looks after him, and he’s chomping at the bit for independence from his over-protective parents. Then, along comes new classmate Gabriel, upending Leo’s world as he finds himself falling in love. The three young leads deliver outstanding performances in this affirmative, coming-of-age romance that’s bound to be another audience favourite. 

Mai Dai Kor Hai Ma Rak Dir: Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, Thailand, 103 mins, Thai with English subtitles

Three intertwined stories take a candid, empathetic look at Thai ladyboys’ quests for personal, family and community acceptance – and their achievement: it really does get better. Cosmopolitan and glamorous, middle-aged transwoman Saitarn finds herself out of place in a rural village; a young boy is forced into a monastery after his father finds him dancing in his mother’s clothes; and expat Tonmai discovers that his late, estranged father has left him a ladyboy cabaret in Pattaya. Gorgeous scenery, spectacular performances, and entertaining club routines complete a portrait of transgender lives rediscovered and redeemed. 

W Imię Dir: Malgoska Szumowska, Poland, 2012, 97 mins, Polish with English subtitles

Adam is a Catholic priest in rural Poland, working with troubled teenagers. Handsome and unconventional, the locals accept him as one of their own. But after meeting eccentric, silent Lukasz, son of a simple farming family, Father Adam faces a spiritual crisis. He wrestles with sexual feelings long suppressed as his attraction to soft-spoken Lukasz grows. Superbly acted, beautifully filmed in the lush Polish countryside, In the Name Of... asks important questions about faith, repression and the longing for love.

Winner – Teddy Award, Best Film, Berlin Film Festival 2013 

Dir: Marcel Gisler, Switzerland, 2013, 106 mins, Swiss German with English subtitles

Summoned by his sister, queer writer Lorenz returns to his small Swiss hometown. Thinking his only concern is taking a break from writer’s block, he finds he now has to cope with his mother, Rosie, who is increasingly unable to live without help. Infuriatingly, Rosie refuses to accept a life without drink and cigarettes. But a one-night stand with a local guy is set to turn Lorenz’s situation around. As Rosie’s condition steadily deteriorates, Lorenz almost fails to notice that love is knocking on the front door of his parent’s house. 

La Partida Dir: Antonia Hens, Spain/Cuba, 2012, 94 mins, Spanish with English subtitles

In this sexually-charged Cuban drama, Reiner and Yosvani are best friends and football mates. To support his mother, wife and baby, Reiner prostitutes himself to older male foreigners while Yosvani is reluctantly engaged to a girl and lives with her loan shark father. Sharing a kiss at a nightclub, followed by a lusty roof top encounter the two men quickly fall hard for one another. But they will fight hard to keep this love in the reckless Havana streets. As their love intensifies, the challenge is not with them but with the unforgiving world they exist in... a world they long to escape. 

Zwei Mütter Dir: Anne Zohra Berrache, Germany, 2013, 75 mins, German with English subtitles

Mixing fiction and documentary, Two Mothers follows Katja and Isabella, happily married, who decide to have a child. However, like many lesbian couples, they soon discover how difficult this is as many of the sperm banks and fertility clinics in Germany don’t offer treatment to homosexual couples, citing ‘legal problems’. The toll on their finances and relationship is telling. Refusing to give up, they take matters into their own hands and start casting for potential sperm donors online... 

Ich Fühl Mich Disco Dir: Axel Ranisch, Germany, 2013, 95 mins, German with English subtitles

Chubby teenager Florian is very close to his mother. The two enjoy nothing more than dressing up and lip-syncing to disco songs. His diving coach father can’t understand this obsession at all, nor why his son isn’t interested in sports or girls. One day, tragedy strikes Florian’s mother, leaving father and son to cope in each other’s company. But when Florian meets his father’s young Romanian diving student, a tentative adolescent romance begins. At times heartbreaking, at others laugh-out-loud funny, this impressive tragi-comedy is one of the highlights of the festival. 

Dirs: Kate Johnston & Shauna MacDonald, Canada, 2013, 87 mins

Laurels - Best Feature - Out Takes 2014Tru is a single lesbian who cannot commit to a relationship or a job for long... that is, until she meets Alice, a beautiful widow who has come to town to visit her daughter, Tru’s friend Suzanne. Suzanne leads a busy corporate life-style and asks Tru to look after Alice while she works. A strong bond forms between the two women and tensions escalate after Suzanne witnesses an intimate moment between them. She tries to sabotage the budding romance, but it backfires, as Tru Love is hard to contain. 

Dir: Marco Berger, Argentina, 2013, 102 mins, Spanish with English subtitles

When a young drifter, Martin, turns up at writer Eugenio’s house in the country and they recognise each other as childhood playmates, Eugenio offers him work for the summer and a sensual game of power and desire begins. As they get to know each other and share increasingly intimate moments, their mutual attraction and Eugenio’s reticence build an almost unbearable erotic tension, for them and us! Fans of Argentine director Marco Berger’s work in Out Takes 2013’s Sexual Tension: Volatile will love this accomplished and beautiful exploration of the gay male gaze and desire. 

Dir: Virginie Despentes, France, 2011, 87 mins, French with English subtitles

A punk-infused drama centring on the turbulent reunion between two disparate women who were once teenage lovers. Gloria and Frances first met when they were both patients in the same psychiatric hospital back in the 1980s, and decided to run away together. At the time their love affair was defined by youthful intensity. Over 20 years later their lives have taken very different paths, with nomadic Gloria spending most of her time drifting between record shops and bars, while Frances enjoys success as a TV personality. Can they rekindle their affair?