Film Maudit 2.0 is inspired by French avant-garde filmmaker and writer Jean Cocteau who created the original Festival du Film Maudit (literally “cursed films”) in 1949 aiming to celebrate overlooked, shocking and experimental films.

This third edition is a showcase and celebration of new and some classic outré, unusual and startling films takes places January 12-23, 2022. This year, there are over 100 works of cinema from 23 countries, including films rarely if ever, seen in festivals: works addressing socio-political issues and taboo subject matter that challenges conventional artistic assumptions and sexual mores.

The hybrid festival presents online screenings of feature films and shorts programs, specially commissioned sections, and a collection of new scores to silent films starring the iconic Lon Chaney, by artists who reflect the diversity of Los Angeles. Included in the festival are a range of narrative, documentary and experimental films that are deliberately bold, extreme, confrontational and unusual.

The BEHOLD! Series in the festival are all queer themed short form works, except the repertory feature screening of DAYS OF PENTECOST from 1995. The other Queer-ish features are DIVIDE & CONQUER, a B-movie, trash filmmaking (Troma-affiliated), and FEAST, high-European experimental art cinema.

Feature Films:
Jacinto (Javi Camino, Spain)
Masking Threshold (Johannes Grenzfurthner, Austria/USA)
Directamente Para Video (Straight to VHS) (Emilio Silva Torres, Uruguay)
Hotel Poseidon (Stef Lernous, Belgium)
LandLocked (Paul Owen, USA)
Timekeepers of Eternity (Aristotelis Maragkos, Greece)
Alien on Stage  (Lucy Harvey, Danielle Kummer, United Kingdom)
Midnight in a Perfect World(Dodo Dayao, Philippines)

Special program: Behold! Queer Film and Performance Series:
features multiple feature and shorts film and video programs that showcase works from and about the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities in curated categories.

Transgressive Desire: Body Work from Queer Women, Trans, Nonbinary, and Intersex Short Filmmakers
Curated by Gina Young
What links these five short films is not just the inherently transgressive nature of queer women, trans, nonbinary and intersex people owning their unique desires and enacting their most radical fantasies, but also that all the filmmakers are performance artists in one form or another, who bring their comfort confronting a live audience to your screen as they turn the lens on their vulnerable and powerful bodies.

Queer(ing) Time
Curated by Dino Dinco & Juan Fernandez
An array of short and feature length films, largely from California-based queer and trans filmmakers and artists of color, that each in its own manner offers a glimpse into the cultural climate of its release date along with a distinct vision of the past and/or the future. The most recently made film in our program is Leo Herrera’s Queer Futurist The FATHERS Project (2020) in which Herrera intercuts both shot and re-purposed imagery through a hybrid genre he calls sci-fi documentary to imagine a queer utopia, if not jouissance, by reframing the impact of HIV/AIDS on queer history and queer future. 

Shorts Programs include:
Future Present, Future Past (sci-fi-ish work)
Truth, Abstracted (experimental documentaries)
Life is Weird (surreal dark comedies & dramedies)
Treasure Cove of Animation (diverse range of animated films)
Routine Explosion (surreal & genre-based works around ‘routines’ and breaking out of them)
Poetic Pictorialism  (experimental & narrative works based around language and image)
Child’s Play (dark, genre-based works based around children/youths)
In the Depths (The World Over) (horror works based around the darkest parts of humanity)
Horrific Tears of Laughter (horror ‘comedy)
Absolutely (No-Question About It) NSFW (self-explanatory, 18+ only)

The Dope Elf Films

Six short films by Gawdafful National Theater made between December 2020 and March 2021 during the global pandemic, and shot largely by the actors themselves with a little help through the windows of their homes. The company have spent the last ten years working together on theatrical installation-performances tipped toward issues of American power and violence. A message in a bottle from their halted touring production, The Dope Elf, a collection of six plays by Asher Hartman about molecular white supremacy and patriarchy evidenced in the minutiae of daily life, these films peer into the psyches of beings who are both human and non-human, violent and banal, creatures drawn from an American fascination with European myth and magic, whose love of violence and self-harm remain at the core of their shifting identities.

Encountering ConstruX From Rick Castro to Gio Black Peter
There is only the encounter with one’s own projections.  Encounter the construx of our filmmakers and perhaps find yourself in their works. Three short videos depicting the aesthetics, artists, talents, sights & sounds of 
Rick Castro’s legendary fetish Hollywood art Gallery~Antebellum.  World artist Gio Black Peter breaths life unfettered by shame and unencumbered by fleeting notions of morality in his new short-film Sushi, a glimpse into a day with a family of prestigious art collectors and descendants of the Swine Burger fortune who meet to celebrate sex, drugs, and violence with candor.

Emerging artists break it down and start again. It’s a journey through 
six-short videos by two emerging artists. Jose Tinoco explores desire and connection through the endless bombardment of internet content while Izzy Bravo’s queer, de-tribed indigeneity merges a raunchy avante garde style that reflects emotional complex interactions through body, mind, and spirit.

2 Short Films at the intersexion of dance and spoken word as a safe space.
féi hernandez‘ Our Lungs, Your Wings is a meditative contemplation of a new safe world and foreseeable future that is defined by and for trans and queer Black, Indigenous, People of Color.

Taso Papadakis & Kevin Williamson’s Safe and Sound explores queer love, pleasure, and safety in times of pain. The film is based on a dance-theater performance for queer dancers to resist structures of oppression and violence through cathartic movements and tender care.

3rd Highways Film Maudit 2.0 Festival ( January 12 – 23, 2022

Click here for Film Guide and Schedule.

lick here for virtual screenings.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.