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Moscow Gay Pride Documentary Premiers at National Film Center


“Now, I understand what happened in Moscow and why they organized this action” – heterosexual pensioner



В Москве состоялась большая премьера полнометражного фильма о первом гей-прайде
(This article in Russian from GayRussia)


■  Part of the audience at Moscow Film Center on Saturday for the premiere of the Moscow Pride documentary.

MOSCOW, November 27, 2007 (  –  The documentary “Moscow Pride ‘06” had its world premiere at the National Film Center.  It was screened to more than 60 guests.

The premiere was exactly six months after the first Moscow International LGBT Pride Festival, held between May 25 and 27 and attended by 120 delegates from 20 countries.

The movie looks at the Nordic festival, the Russian gay cultural contest, Merlin Holland’s lecture on his grandfather Oscar Wilde and the IDAHO Conference (International Day Against Homophobia).

The 84-minute documentary also focuses on the trouble around The Kremlin and Moscow city Hall when participants gathered to protest the ban on the Pride march – and the Tverskoy Court decision to uphold the Mayor’s decision.

“We are proud because this movie is an important work that will stay in history,” said Nikolai Alekseev, Moscow Pride organiser.

“It’s the first long documentary that deals with LGBT issues which took place in Russia.  This is a living testimony that will be distributed in Russia and abroad,” he added.

After the movie, LGBT activists who organised this year’s Moscow Pride discussed their preparations for next year’s event.

They were joined by other activists who plan to take part next year. Among them, were activists from Nasiliu Net.

“There were half a dozen of us who organised this year’s event – and already we have three times the number for next year,” Mr. Alekseev said.

“I am happy to see that a new generation of activists has emerged.

“Conformism and passivism are now behind us.  We managed to generate passion and hope this finds its way into the hearts of many LGBT people in Russia and to revive the spirit of activism,” he added.

Vlad Ortanov, former editor of Argo, one of the oldest gay magazines in Russia, described the movie as “a great human historical document that will say a lot to the future generations”.

And Nikolai Khramov, leader of the Russian Radicals, the first political movement to support the Moscow Pride, insisted that “this movie shows that there was something strong behind the gay pride and not only a desire of a few people to go in the streets”.

It was not just gay activists who were in the audience at the premier on Saturday – heterosexuals also attended.

“Now, I understand what happened in Moscow and why they organized this action, commented a pensioner Tamara B – she asked that her full name not be used.

“But unfortunately, in the current political climate in Russia, the majority of the population will never see it as it will be ignored by local TV,” she added.

Alexander, 21, gay but not activist said: “My friend and I wanted to take part to the parade but unfortunately, we did not know where to go and so we missed it.  Now we know what was there.”

Eugenia Debryanskaya, described Moscow Pride 2006 as “historical – an event that will stay in history forever”.  Ms. Debryanskaya, leader of Russian lesbian movement, was arrested in front of Moscow City Hall on the day of the pride.

“I am very proud that I took part in this event,” said film director Vladimir Ivanov after the premiere of the movie.  With this premiere of Moscow pride documentary he was celebrating not only his 60th Birthday but also a 35-year career in the Russian film industry.

Organisers wanted this movie to give a very accurate picture of what happened during the festival.  But it also shows some of the homophobic attacks against one of Moscow gay clubs three weeks before the Pride.

Ironically, the film ends with the reporting of the Russian and foreign media on the evening after the pride.

The Moscow Council-controlled TVC mentions the statements from Moscow Mayor’s press-secretary Sergei Tsoi: “Nothing happened and everything is quiet in Moscow today”. Yet the footage screened worldwide and shot by RTL, Euronews, BBC, RTVi, and CNN crews show the attacks against gays and mass disorders organized by the nationalists that local militia is unable to prevent near the walls of the State Duma.

Among the audience at the premier were journalists from RTL and ZDF.

“We have succeeded in bringing the subject of homosexuality into homes through the media,” said Nikolai Baev, on of the Pride organisers.

“The coverage was maybe not always of the high level that we would like to see, but many people who ignored the word ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ until last now know what it is.”

Project GayRussia.Ru celebrated its 18th month of existence on November 17 – the Project was born with the first International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th 2005.  But it has already proved that Russia is no different from any other Eastern European country when it comes to LGBT rights.

The movie shown on Saturday will be shortly released on DVD, and distributed to all major human rights organizations.  It will also be part of the complaint by Moscow Pride organisers to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Project GayRussia.Ru has already released a short 12-minute documentary about the violent attacks against pride participants in the streets of Moscow on May 27.  This ‘short’ movie has already been screened in Turin, London, Strasbourg, Montreal, Portland and Sofia.

■  Some of the activists and guests who attended Saturday's premiere.



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Posted: 27 November 2006 at 00:00 (UK time)