Acts of Love - 2021

Acts of Love - 2021

💌 📹 👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 💦 🛋 🍆 📞 🍻 🎱 📸 🛌 ⏰ ☕ 🎵 🚿 📺 📄 🚗 🏡 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 🎁 💔 🐶 🤕 🚕 🕳 📱 ❤️ 👩‍👦 ✈️ 💞.

“When his older boyfriend loses interest in him, the filmmaker relocates to Chicago and uses dating apps to cast new lovers in an amorphous project about attraction, rejection, compatibility and attachment. His mom hates the concept and offers her honest opinions throughout the process. Her amusing role as a sounding board prevents the experiment from becoming an aimless or narcissistic way of dealing with a break-up. Blending pop-up photos, scripted and unscripted scenes, this hybrid picks up on the vulnerability and protections men put up in sexual scenarios, and discovers a meaning of love where investment in a relationship isn’t measured by a partner’s commitment but by your own – to pleasing yourself. Who you love can be determined by who fits you best, whose body is your landscape and how well you travel together. The director searches for love in the other, and with the help of his mother, finds it within himself.” -Angie Driscoll, Hot Docs

– a film by Isidore Bethel and Francis Leplay / produced by Lucie Rego and Pauline Tran Van Lieu (Hutong Productions, France), Jamie Gonçalves (Sin Sitio Cine, USA), Isidore Bethel, and Francis Leplay / photographed by Ryan Saunders

Hutong Productions, Sin Sitio Cine, Outplay Films (international sales)

– Hot Docs (Nightvision program), Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (Newcomers competition), Transilvania International Film Festival (What’s Up Doc? program), Sidewalk Film Festival (SHOUT competition), In & Out Queer Film Festival (Nice), Pink Apple Zurich LGBT Film Festival (documentary section), Queer Lisboa (Queer Art Competition), Black Canvas Contemporary Film Festival (Nuestros Días section), Tacoma Film Festival (Best Feature Documentary), Reel Pride Winnipeg LGBTTQ* Film Festival (documentary section), Chicago International Film Festival (City & State, Documentary, and Outlook sections), Porn Film Festival Berlin (Documentary competition)

– Île-de-France region writing grant, Agora Docs in Progress (Thessaloniki Documentary Festival), Eurodoc

– 71 minutes

SCREENINGS:
– April 29 – May 9, 2021 in Canada and worldwide for those with industry accreditation at Hot Docs
– June 24 – July 4, 2021 online throughout Greece and in-person on June 28, 2021 at the John Cassavetes open-air theater at 9:15pm at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
– July 24, 2021 at 2:30pm at ARTA Cinema and July 25, 2021 at 7:30pm at Muzeul de Artă at the Transilvania International Film Festival
– August 28, 2021 at 10:15pm at ASFA Recital Hall at the Sidewalk Film Festival
– September 14, 2021 at 9pm at the Villa Arson in Nice’s In & Out Queer Film Festival
– September 15, 2021 at 9pm at Arthouse Uto at the Zurich LGBT Film Festival
– September 21, 2021 at 10pm at Cinema São Jorge – Sala Manoel de Oliveira at Queer Lisboa
– October 8, 2021 at 8:30pm at Cinemex Insurgentes and October 10, 2021 at 3pm at the Cineteca Nacional at Black Canvas Contemporary Film Festival
– October 11, 2021 at 6:30pm at The Grand Cinema #1 at the Tacoma Film Festival
– October 12-17, 2021 streaming online in Manitoba at Reel Pride Winnipeg LGBTTQ* Film Festival
– October 19, 2021 at 8:30pm at AMC River East, Screen 4 at the Chicago International Film Festival
– October 30, 2021 at 5:15pm and October 31, 2021 at 10:15pm at Moviemento at the Porn Film Festival Berlin

PRESS:
The Hollywood Reporter: An “exciting, genre-bending film” that “proves that it’s worth taking risks – in art and in romance.”
NOW Magazine: “A bold, brave look at intimacy, honesty and the power dynamics that exist both in interpersonal relationships and between artist and subject.” (4/5 Ns)
Filmmaker: “Acts of Love is simultaneously discomfiting and meditative, its locked-down frames capturing troublesome scenarios building to an unexpectedly cathartic ending.”
A Moveable Fest: “The film feels as if it’s capturing raw emotions more than manufacturing them, with a self-consciousness that’s particularly impressive when Bethel is both the film’s driving creative force and its central subject.”
POV Magazine: “A thoughtful study of love and heartbreak, but ultimately a celebration of savouring the encounters that define us throughout our journeys.”
One Movie, Our Views: “A daring and exciting hybrid documentary…the film itself becomes surprisingly moving, building towards an incredible final sequence of images that ends this journey on a deeply resonant note.” (3.5/4 stars)
ForReel Movies: While Bethel “wades through footage to find the purpose of his production, we as an audience get to watch him wade through hopes, desires, and fantasies to find what it actually means to love people and to cherish the experiences they offer.”
KinoCulture Montréal: “A one-way mirror behind which hides a budding filmmaker who’s shy despite his appearance – or who acts that way – who’s aware of his actions, who’s wildly in love with film and cameras. He’s a filmmaker who unsettles us, who deliberately disorients. But that’s how true moving image makers assert themselves.”
Il Manifesto: “Cinema becomes an instrument for both showing and seducing – and it’s almost never the person behind the camera who’s leading the game…When sex and art blur, where’s the line between simulation and truth?”
Cinema: “Last but not least: One of the [Thessaloniki Documentary] Festival’s most exciting and remarkable films was Acts of Love…[It] is a film that blurs boundaries, in terms of both genres and intimacy, and receives our warm recommendation.”
La Estatuilla: “Acts of Love is a tremendous example of documentary cinema’s malleability and power. Directors Isidore Bethel and Francis Leplay use a fascinating combination of fiction and nonfiction to explore the complexities of a romantic relationship…a brave and highly creative film where we see an individual seize upon the uncertainty of his own romantic life to celebrate courtship, to forge a path towards self-discovery, to understand the role of sex in relationships, and to study everything that could constitute an act of love, from hooking up to taking a picture – or thousands of them.”
– on NOW Magazine’s top “12 must-see films according to NOW critics,” Yohomo’s “10 Queer Films to Watch at Hot Docs,” The Queer Review’s “LGBTQ+ highlights at Hot Docs 2021”, and Lifo Magazine’s (“15 Unmissable Films at the 23rd Thessaloniki Documentary Festival”) lists

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