Earlier this summer, Italian extreme horror mogul Domiziano Cristopharo announced the Scream Queer Film Festival, which is dedicated to those who would more than likely be rejected from more mainstream festivals, “to the most mistreated side/category of underground cinema, where avant-garde, sensuality, sexuality and – why not – pornography find a place in the experimental matter of a film (or performance) where a language without limits of moralism, bigotry and conformity of the gender identity: horror, comedies, arthouse, exploitation and porn are welcome in this fest (especially) if LGBTQ-themed!”
Wow! I am so fucking excited for this. As someone who watches extreme horror on the reg, and as someone who is a member of the LGBTQ community, this is exactly something I did not know that I needed. I caught up with the grandmaster of sticky and uncomfortable things himself, and we discussed this new project, what keeps his creativity going, and of course, horror movies.
You can read our previous interview with the filmmaker here.
PopHorror: Please tell us about your newest endeavor, the Scream Queer Film Festival. What inspired you to start this festival?
Domiziano Cristopharo: Scream Queer is a sort of factory I created one year ago. After all the unexpected rumors and shock generated by the release of movies like Torment [2017 – read the PopHorror review here] or Doll Syndrome, I realized how much street we still have in front of us to reach that goal we call civilization, progress and a love for cinema. Looks like the positive feedback for a good movie still depends by how many titties are in it… and it also looks like a bad movie with naked women is more accepted by festivals and the horror community than a good movie with a male naked.
PopHorror: Where can filmmakers find more information, and where can they submit their films?
PopHorror: What kind of entries are you hoping will be received?
Domiziano Cristopharo: What we are receiving already makes us proud and happy! We got submissions even from Venezuela, Turkey, Uganda, India and China! I wasn’t expecting that the LGBTQ subject was so strong in filmmaking there. This means a lot, that there is a voice that still needs to be heard. People and filmmakers are writing to us full of happiness because fests usually reject movies that do not have standards contents. I can give my own personal sample with Red Krokodil which was rejected by over 50 festivals worldwide. It was accepted only in France, at La Samaine Du Cinema Fantastique, where we won as best screenplay. We accept porn, fetish, drama, horror, extreme, LGBTQ or not. We accept everything is real expression of freedom.
PopHorror: How do you feel about the current queer representation in the genre?
Domiziano Cristopharo: It iss full of stereotypes, often forced in a comic direction, or a too dramatic vision… but it could be literally everything. And we don’t always need to justify why a character in a horror is gay, just like we don’t have to specify why one is black. It’s life. Life is made by people. And what happens with people does not always need an explanation.
PopHorror: You are a very talented man. You sing opera. You’re a director, producer, writer, actor… what continues to drive you to create and entertain?
Domiziano Cristopharo: The fact that I don’t repeat myself… that I don’t swim always in the same little pool. Experiments keep me alive. Many people often say that in my movies, we can always find a man naked and that is always the same. First of all, my movies are always different in comparison one to another; I never use same style, not even in editing. I never repeat same theme, and the most important thing is that I have had in my movies some of the most beautiful women ever, from porn star Roberta Gemma to Irena Hoffmann. The nudity in my movies is always few minutes in total… even in movies like Red Krokodil where the actor is fully naked all the time. We see his penis for a total of four minutes in 84 minutes of film. So, if what remains in the minds of people after a movie is only a penis, this means they have problems, not me. We have people traumatized for watching a penis but fine with rape scene of a woman… well, this means that what I do is important. More than we think.
PopHorror: You’re a very busy guy and always working on something. What else are you working on, and what can we look forward to?
Domiziano Cristopharo: I’m preparing new anthologies, because I love to cooperate with different artists worldwide, and a new feature of mine plus a docufilm.
PopHorror: What’s your favorite queer horror film?
Domiziano Cristopharo: I may be too common, but I love Rocky Horror Picture Show—I used play it, also, in theaters—and Farewell to My Concubine!