From 20th to 24th April 2018 the 33rd edition of the second LGBT film festival in Europe will start in Turin. Lovers is organized by the National Cinema Museum.
In 1981 Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba decided to stage their own rebellion against mainstream movies where homosexual "characters" were always relegated to marginal roles and/or to offensive stereotypes. Their opposition took the form of their first film, shot in video, Dalla vita di Piero. The film was well received at Festival Cinema Giovani di Torino, Turin's festival for young film-makers, and was then presented at several international festivals.
So the seed of the Torino International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes, "From Sodom to Hollywood", was planted. As Mai and Minerba travelled to the various festivals to present their film, they realized that there were many excellent films being made on GLBT themes that were never released in Italy in any shape or form. They therefore began to work on the concept of a Festival and presented their ideas to local government bodies: to the Piedmont Regional Council, to the Turin Provincial Council and to the City Council of Turin. For three years they received no response. Then in 1985, the City Council appointed a new Councillor for Culture, Marziano Marzano, a man of open, liberal ideas, and non-conformist attitudes. With his support the first festival took place in 1986, in the face of the fierce opposition and controversy which was to dog the event over the years to come. The festival also managed to obtain funding from the Turin Province and from the Piedmont Region, and, subsequently, the invaluable artistic and cultural backing, which has been maintained through the years, of such prestigious national and international bodies as the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, the British Council, the Goethe Institut, the Colegio de Salamanca, the B.F.I., the Canadian Embassy, the Spanish Ministry of Entertainment, and the Centre Culturel Français.
Initially conceived simply as a programme of films focusing on GLBT themes, the event became a Festival in 1989 and was recognized as such by the Italian Ministry of Culture and Entertainment in 1990. Since 2006 the Festival has been under the administration of the national film museum, the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino.
As well as presenting films not yet screened in Italy, our Festival has always considered its most important role to be that of vigilant observers, on behalf of Italian audiences, of developments in a certain kind of cinema, which would otherwise have absolutely no possibility of being released in theatres in Italy, either for commercial or non-profit screenings.