HRC Blog

Serbian Gay Comedy Wins Top Honors at Berlin Film Fest

The following post comes from HRC Digital Media Intern Eric Cameron:

A gay-themed comedy from Serbia took home the audience award for best film in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday.

The Parade, written and directed by Srdjan Dragojevic, has been a surprise smash across the Balkan region, selling more tickets in Serbia than any other film last year.

In the film, a gay veterinarian enlists the services of a Serbian gangster, to form a protection squad for a Pride parade in Belgrade. The unlikely duo travel across the Balkans and recruit help from former adversaries in the Yugoslav wars.

The black comedy plays the recruiting mission for laughs, but anti-LGBT violence in the Balkan region has proven all too real in recent years. Belgrade’s only real-life gay pride parades -- held in 2001 and 2010 -- ended in violence after clashes broke out involving far-right extremists. The 2011 Belgrade Pride was canceled in anticipation of similar chaos.

The Parade has certainly provoked controversy, but also much-needed dialogue about homophobia in the Balkans. Dragojevic tells the Guardian that he hopes the film’s mainstream popularity will translate into visible change in Serbia. "If Belgrade Pride 2012 happens without violence for the first time in history, I will be proud that I made something important for the society in which I live."

Image courtesy of Vukasin Veljic at filmparada.com.

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