The 16th edition of Amsterdam’s
exceptional LGBT film festival, known as Roze Filmdagen, opens at the
spectacular Eye Film Institute on the 13th of March 2013 and
continues for the next eleven days at the equally charismatic Ketelhuis,
impressing audiences with a stunning collection of classics from the inspiring
world of gay cinema.
prestigious reputation amongst both the public and the critics, the Roze
Filmdagen, literally translated as Pink Film Days, has remained a hotly
anticipated event for the city’s LGBT community since its triumphant opening in
1996. Its predecessor, the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Holland,
originated ten years previous, occurring once every five years within
underground cinemas across the capital. After discovering the third instalment had
been cancelled, a group of employees from the film theatres Rialto and Cavia
respectively decided to instigate their own festival and hence the Roze
Filmdagen was born.
the Netherlands, being a land of unabashed tolerance, showcased several
mainstream gay films throughout the 90s, the vast majority of smaller
independent productions, shorts and documentaries disappeared unnoticed,
prompting the cinemas to create a festival offering a more diverse and
subsequently a more authentic portrayal of homosexual and transgendered life.
This broadening of horizons and inclusion of less conventional cinematic forms emphatically
strengthened the event’s appeal, allowing audiences a fascinating insight into
queer nature across the globe.
edition witnessed an unprecedented 8,000 visitors that descended upon the
unique Ketelhuis for a feast of rousing, heart wrenching and hilarious tales.
With its industrial heritage and inimitable aesthetic, this distinctive setting
always provides an endearing venue for a rewarding cinematic treat, residing
within Amsterdam’s beloved cultural expanse of the Westerpark. This picturesque
position was also a destination of convenience for myself, living within ten
minutes cycling distance of the festival’s location.
So my first
introduction to the Roze Filmdagen transpired on a typically wet March evening,
as I arrived into the warmth and atmospheric buzz of the cinema’s foyer, an
open area saturated with cosy tables and a well equipped bar. We had chosen
Circumstance for a number of reasons,
primarily as a result of its success on
the festival scene and also due to its depiction of lesbian life in Iran, a
subject certainly intriguing to an uninformed westerner such as myself. The
auditorium was completely full and populated by a healthy mix of men and women,
with an expectant yet jovial ambience pervading the crowd. An introduction to
the movie was delivered by a volunteer, a contribution granted to every
screening, and a ballot handed out for rating the film’s merit in preparation
for the series of accolades bestowed upon the winners at the closing awards
I was a little taken aback as the translation was in Dutch, however the
majority of non English presentations do provide English subtitles so be sure
to check the event’s webpage before making your selection. Despite the lack of
complete understanding, the film floored me with its visual intensity,
agreeable leads and motivational propensity, delivering me into an exotic world
of both beauty and horror. The audience appeared to agree as the credits rolled
and approving murmurs ruptured the silence.
The 2013 Roze
Filmdagen promises even more inspirational narratives, tempting spectators with
an incredible repertoire of almost 120 performances representing a colourful
spectrum of gay, lesbian and transgender existence. Homosexual travellers, or
indeed film fanatics of all persuasions, fortunate enough to be visiting
Amsterdam during the festival’s duration are implored to take advantage of this
fantastic opportunity to join me and thousands of like minded individuals for a
gay cinematic extravaganza to treasure indefinitely.
information and to purchase tickets visit the festival’s website at
or check out the concise English version at