Andy devotes his days and nights to looking for a lesbian wife of convenience who could possibly bear his child; from online search to underground marriage markets, he is meeting all sorts of girls. Cherry has already married a gay man, but the quest for a baby proves to be a far more complex challenge.
Will Andy and Cherry deny their own happiness and sexual orientation to satisfy their parents’ wishes? The documentary Inside The Chinese Closet follows Andy and Cherry in their search. Along the way, they clash with their parents’ hopes, their love partners and the partners of convenience. It is through these encounters that the film lays bare the challenges that confront gay people in China today.
Director: Sophia Luvarà
Director of Photography: Ton Peters NSC
Sound: Mike Hough, Qiao Xin, Amos Ho
Editing: Diego Gutierrez, Stefan Kamp NCE, Patrick Schonewille
Composer: Alex Simu
Sound design: Jeroen Goeijers
Production manager China: Lilian Wu Jingyang
Financed by: the Netherlands Film Fund and the Dutch Cultural Media Fund
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Sophia Luvarà received her MSc with merit in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Turin, where she also studied for a PhD in Cancer Research, but in 2007 she discontinued her studies and moved to London to follow her passion for documentary filmmaking.
In 2008 she attended the Documentary Filmmaking course at the London Film Academy and subsequently directed a number of independent documentaries, including:
The Great Mafia Orange Squeeze (2011, UK/Italy), about African immigrants who rioted against ‘Ndrangheta mafia oppression in a small town in the South of Italy.
The Road to Fureidis (2011, UK), about Arab Israeli women, who receive training to increase their self-confidence and employability.
In 2013 Sophia spent two weeks embedded with soldiers on duty in Afghanistan for the MTV documentary Soldati – Missione Afganistan. She is currently co-directing and producing the feature length documentary ‘Ishmael’s forgotten children of Israel’ about Arab citizens of Israel, for the Foundation Media EdProject, where she is also a board member.
Inside The Chinese Closet is Sophia's first feature length documentary, which she developed at the Documentary Campus Masterschool in 2011 and at the Crossing Borders in 2012 - Eurasia-Pacific documentary training scheme.
IDFA (The Netherlands)
Competition Best Dutch Documentary
Berlin International Film Festival (Germany)
In competition for TEDDY Award
Thessaloniki Film Festival (Greece)
One World (Czech Republic)
BFI Flare: London LGBT Film Festival (United Kingdom)
Official Festival Selection
Human Right Watch Film Festival - Toronto (Canada)
Human Rights Watch Film Festival (United Kingdom)
Roze Filmdagen (The Netherlands)
Pink Apple (Switzerland)
Documentary Edge (New Zealand)
Competition New Talent Award
Docs Against Gravity (Poland)
Freiburger Lesbenfilmtage (Germany)
Human Rights Watch Film Festival - New York (USA)
KQFF (South Korea)
Lo Otra Banqueta (Guatemala)
Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival (USA)
Managua Cine Mas (Nicaragua)
Durban International Film Festiva (South Africa)
Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (Hong Kong)
Mix Copenhagen (Denmark)
Perlen - Queer Film Festival Hannover (Germany)
Festival International du Film des Droits de L'Homme (Guadeloupe)
One World (Slovakia)
This Human World (Austria)
Amnistia Internacional Sintra (Portugal)
Brisbane Queer Film Festival (Australia)
Human Vision Film Festival (Germany)
Vues d'en Face (France)
“It has all the hallmarks of a classic, sappy romcom, the only difference is, the film doesn't follow people looking for true love.”
The F word
“When we come out, our parents go into the closet themselves”
Whicker's World Foundation
“Sophia Luvarà is one of the top 11 female directors that we predict will be pushing the boundaries of doc film this year and beyond…”
International Business Times
“It offers an up-close and personal view of how the LGBT community is coping in a country which still holds traditional values very much at its hearts.”
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