Every year the Cannes Film Festival offers a dizzying array of the highest quality cinema from international auteurs, and the queer films that play the croisette are no different. The queer films of recent years have ranged from the wildly controversial (see last year’s “Girl”) to the downright divine (2017’s “BPM”), and this year promises to be no different. With new films from gay auteurs Xavier Dolan, Ira Sachs, and Christophe Honoré, this year’s Cannes promises a veritable feast of riches for queer cinephiles. One exciting new addition is Levan Akin’s Georgian dance romance “And Then We Danced,” which will premiere in Directors’ Fortnight. IndieWire is thrilled to premiere the first trailer.
The official synopsis reads: “Merab has been training since a young age at the National Georgian Ensemble with his dance partner Mary. His world is suddenly turned upside down when the charismatic and carefree Irakli arrives and becomes both his strongest rival and desire. In this conservative setting Merab finds himself having to break free and risk it all.”
“And Then We Danced” is directed by Swedish born filmmaker Levan Akin. His first feature, “Certain People,” premiered at Tribeca in 2012; and his second, fantasy horror film “The Circle,” was based on the popular YA novel of the same name. With his third feature, he visits his family’s Georgian roots for the first time.
“With this film I find myself really going back to my roots as a filmmaker, working in an organic way, where the real lives of the people in the film and what’s going on in Georgia now affects the story,” wrote Akin in a director’s statement. “It is ever evolving. Telling the story of young LGBT+ people and their struggles on a smaller scale but also showing the history and situation of Georgia today on a larger scale. This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free.”
Through extensive interviews with Georgian dancers, Akin saw themes of gender and queerness emergedas a major conflict in the conservative religious culture. “When I witnessed some brave kids trying to have a pride parade in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2013 be
attacked by a mob of thousands organized by the Orthodox church I felt I needed to address this issue in some way.”
“And Then We Danced” premieres in Directors’ Fortnight alongside new films from Robert Eggers and Lav Diaz. Check out the exclusive trailer below.