Mezipatra celebrates pride with “Identity in the City” series
Queer film festival Mezipatra returns in November, but already this week, the organization is hosting "Identity in the City," an English-language film series running parallel to Prague Pride. We spoke with Mezipatra director Pavel Bicek to learn about the weeklong event, and why his organization has endured in the Czech Republic for nearly two decades.
“It's summer, it's hot, and people cannot necessarily cope with some harder or some art films and so on. So the programming is rather focused on different kinds of families, on lighter stories, on stories of love, and on the kind of films which the viewers can enjoy in summer in the Prague Pride week.”
Each film in the series is accompanied by a discussion, and on the final night of the program, the conversation highlights the experience of queer foreigners in Prague. I asked Bicek about the decision to put the spotlight on expats.
“We think that the view of foreigners on queer life in Prague can be very different than ours, and it can be a certain look into the mirror, and a critical view on how we live here and how the gay life actually is in Prague. For example, holding hands in public is not really common here, and the life is just different. So we are interested in how queer expats look at life in Prague.”
While this is only the 8th installment of Pride, Mezipatra has existed for 19 years, which according to Bicek makes it the longest-running queer event in the Czech Republic. After nearly a decade with the festival and three years as its director, he says Mezipatra has evolved along with the Czech Republic.
“I think we are educating the viewers. And we are so happy, because the viewers that come to Mezipatra are very open-minded already, and I think we can do really good programming and daring programming, because our viewers can take it.”