What is the Some Prefer Cake festival made of? It’s made of lesbian and feminist movies on the big screen, of course. Of events, workshops, debates, presentations. But not only that.
As for every festival, especially for those whose aim is to create every year a place of shared space and time, the most important feature of Some Prefer Cake is the community itself. The community as a field of living and political bodies relating to one another, existing together, in proximity, in contact, being near during 72 dense hours. Watching and hearing together, talking from a close distance, touching each other, breathing the same air. How could we recreate the same alchemy during a time in which loving each other means keeping a distance? We have wondered many times about this, we have made so many hypotheses amongst the numerous available solutions. In the end, in the context of a global pandemic making sick and killing people around the world, we have decided to combine the virtual side of the bigger community and the physical side of a smaller one. This year, Some Prefer Cake will be online and in our homes: the movies will be streamed on an independent platform, which considers culture as a fully political field. Events will be online and the actual experience of the festival, which we stubbornly feel should be collective, will be organized in small close groups. We have decided to call these supportive lesbian screening groups. So let’s gather, making sure we do it only with our closest ones, those we share our everyday life with.
This year is also the year of the Black Lives Matter high peak turmoil that has led to an intense series of protests around the world. For this reason, we have tried our best, in spite of our reduced program, to give space to non-white and non-western visions. We say giving space and not “giving voice”, as those voices already exist. We just need to listen to them. Vibrancy of silence: a discussion with my sisters, chosen by Silvia Radicioni and Lucia Tralli, is a documentary born by the visual research of Frieda Ekotto “Vibrancy of Silence, Archiving the Images and Cultural Production of Sub-Saharan African Women”: intimate and political conversations by director Marthe Djilo Kamga with four African artists and have experienced exile, telling about themselves and their artistic and cultural journeys. From the same director, we have the short movie Zurura Zurura, a video-poetry, as defined by Teresa Sala curator of the Some Prefer Cake short movie section, expressing a self-conscious and proud outlook on the lesbian and African identity. Vitiligo by Soraya Milla proposes a visual and poetic language as well, telling about black women affected by vitiligo, speaking about the perception of the self starting from their own skin. Black Mamba by photographer and director Amel Guellaty tells the story of a girl fighting, unexpectedly, to determine herself outside social expectations, ascribing women to a certain pre-written path. From Turkey, the short movie Anneler Günü – Mother’s Day by Merve Cagla Dincer, going through the theme of loss and encounter. But also: a French animation short movie Et Chaque Nuit, directed by Julie Robert; Velour, a short movie by American Miranda Manziano, about the therapeutic effect of BDSM practices; the funny Not Your Ordinary Sister, against the stereotypes of the queer cinema genre, by Slovenian filmakers Maša Zia Lenárdič & Anja Wutej; the teenager diary of a young girl finding out to be a lesbian, in the animated Diario Blu(e) by Titta Cosetta Raccagni.
From the USA, Nice Chinese Girls Don’t by feminist director Jennifer Abod, author of The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen (awarded in 2018 as best documentary by the Some Prefer Cake public). The short documentary, through her direct voice and a beautiful photographic archive, tells the story of Chinese-American activist, poet and bodybuilder Kitty Tsui, who emigrated to San Francisco from China during the war in Vietnam. Coming from Argentina, the movie Margen de error by director Liliana Paolinelli, who we had the pleasure to know in 2014 through her movies Lengua materna and Amar es bendito. Federica Fabbiani, programmer of the fiction section, together with Nina Ferrante, have chosen her comedy as the only fiction movie of this year’s edition.
Lastly, we make hommage of lesbian memory with documentary All we’ve got by Alexis Clements, a journey looking for physical places created lesbians and queer women throughout various towns in the US: bars, libraries, political and cultural centres. An emotional outlook aiming to reason about the places we need, to understand how to defend those already existing and to create others.