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Film with Gay Sex Scene Dropped From Moscow Film Fest

still from 'The Fans'

A film featuring a gay sex scene has been dropped from the Moscow International Film Festival at the last minute with no explanation given.

The short, titled The Fans, is about two skinheads who are fans of popular Russian soccer teams and is based on a true story. It follows the two young men as they watch an American Pride parade on television, insult and murder gay men, and have sex with each other.

It stars Philip Grabovetsky and Igor German, and was directed by Seva Galkin, who says the film explores “the crisis of masculinity caused by ‘Russian Section 28,’ banning positive representations of LGBTQ+ people among minors.”

Galkin told Attitude that he thinks there are several reasons behind his film disappearing from the festival lineup. “In addition to the LGBT theme, the film raises questions of masculinity crisis, social division, conservative ideology, and political disinformation in Russia.” He added that “in total, this cocktail of questions scared the organizers of the MIFF. Everything about actual politics and modern Russia scares the cowardly program directors.”

In 2013, Russia banned the distribution of “propaganda” to minors that promotes “non-traditional sexual relationships” including same-sex ones. The law was based on the Section 28 law in England enacted by late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Galkin says that he has not been told why the film was removed, but is in contact with the person who selected the film for the festival, who is still supportive. “They immediately offered to organize a screening of the film in a bookstore in Moscow outside the MIFF program,” he said. “In addition, I received two more offers to organize showings. So instead of once, the film will be shown three times in Moscow. And also, in St. Petersburg and in Nizhny Novgorod.”

While The Fans has been removed from the festival, Estonian film Firebird, which also has LGBTQ+ themes remains on the schedule.

RELATED: Vladimir Putin Just Officially Banned Same-Sex Marriage In Russia

Tags: Film, Russia

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