Our Top 10 list of the best queer movies in 2021 selected for the Amsterdam LGBTQ+ Film Festival Roze Filmdagen 2021. Already for 25 years, the biggest Dutch LGBTQ+ film festival is inviting the LGBTQ+ community to see the best, the most popular, and the newest LGBTQ+ movies, shorts, and documentaries. To make sure, you won’t miss any of the great queer movies, shorts, and films from Brazil to Argentina, from Italy to Israel, or from the USA to Iraq, we teamed up with festival director Werner Borkes to select some of the best movies about queer people, love, families and different generations from around the world. In 2021, the LGBTQ Film Festival in Amsterdam will celebrate its 24th-anniversary featuring movies like the Italian movie “Bitter Years”, the US-American film “Cowboys” and the movie “Kojin” from Iraq.
Top List of Queer Movies 2021 at Roze Filmdagen
The LGBTQ+ Filmfestival Roze Filmdagen edition 2020 sadly had to be canceled just a couple of days before the opening night. In the Netherlands, cinemas and theaters are currently not open. Therefore, the organizers decided for the 2021 edition, to simply turn the queer film festival into an online version. That means: Start planning your queer home cinema nights in March 2021! Streaming will begin on 11th March 2021 with the opening movie of the Amsterdam LGBTQ+ Film Festival. The LGBTQ+ film nights will continue for 11 days in total until 21st March 2021. The film festival will be screening feature movies, documentaries, and short movies coming from many countries like the other editions in the past year. But don’t worry, you won’t get lost with our list of the best gay movies including trailers and screening information on couple of men. And no, we did not add gay porn to this list 😉 And don’t forget to check our Top 10 List of Lesbian Movies 2021 and our Top 10 List of Gay Movies 2021, too! And now, snuggle up and enjoy the best queer movies 2021 selected for the Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam 2021!
#1 Bitter Years | Italy
(2019) Mario Mieli is one of the founders of the Italian gay movement. His radical ideas and uncompromising approach stirred up many controversies, but of course, he was also criticized. The flaming essay ‘Towards a gay communism’ is still considered a milestone, linking radical social criticism to razor-sharp humor.
The gay film Bitter Years is a wonderful biopic about the life and early death of this flamboyant activist, his difficult relationship with his family, his intense loves, but also his struggles with drugs and depression, which finally led him to leave life in 1983, at the age of only thirty.
Italian and English, with English subtitles
#2 Cowboys | USA
(2020) In this modern western film, a moving and suspenseful family story unfolds. Troy, a troubled but well-intentioned father, has recently split up from his wife Sally. Horrified by Sally’s refusal to let their 11-year-old trans son Joe live his life like his authentic self, father and son flee into the Montana wilderness. Meanwhile, detective Faith is chasing them, but her resolve on the case is tested as she learns more about Joe’s family.
An expertly told story of a contemporary family struggling with the best way to raise a transgender child.
English, no subtitles
#3 Dating Amber | Ireland
(2020) Teenagers Eddie and Amber are BFFs and both not yet out of the closet. Eddie would like to follow in his father’s footsteps into the army, while Amber dreams of bustling London city life and about opening an anarchist bookstore there. Due to the heteronormative pressure of their schoolmates, they decide to enter into a fake relationship to avoid doubts about their orientation. To the outside world they look like characters from a romantic movie, but inside it gnaws. While pretending to be a straight couple, they each explore their gay or lesbian feelings. Soon their cover turns out to be less than watertight, turning their lives upside down. Although fleeting romantic love is fun, it turns out that sometimes a deep-rooted friendship can transform us the most.
An absolutely delightful feel-good coming-of-age film.
English, no subtitles
#4 Alice Júnior | Brazil
(2019) Trans-teenage internet sensation Alice has it all: an apartment in a cool beach town, a loving father, her counseling vlog, an almost-victory at Teen Top Model, and a cat named Rhinoceros. The only thing she’s missing is her first real kiss, but she’s pretty sure that’s coming her way soon. So, when her father moves the family to the countryside in southern Brazil, and worse, sends Alice to an old-fashioned Catholic school, things start to look pretty desperate.
Full of multicolored animations and with an energetic soundtrack, this lively coming-of-age film will warm your heart like the Brazilian sun.
Portuguese and French, with English subtitles
#5 Yo, Adolescente – Memories of a Teenager | Argentina
(2019) After the suicide of his best friend and a fire in a local club called Cromañón, life goes on as usual for Zabo. At least it seems that way to the outside world. High school pranks, illegal parties, and first sexual experiences with boys and girls. A teenager like any other, but everything that happens under the surface, Zabo writes off and shares it via a blog.
Energetic coming of age film that takes the topic of suicide (among LGBTQ+ youth) out of the taboo zone and thus makes it an object of discussion. Recommended.
Spanish, with English subtitles
#6 Kojin | Iraq
(2019) In this very personal documentary, Diako Yazdani, a political refugee in France, goes back to his family in Iraqi Kurdistan. He does so together with Kojin, a 23-year-old friend of his, who is gay and looking for his place in a world that does not want to see him. With humor and poetry, Diako confronts his family, imams, and random passersby with their irrational hatred and dislike. And at the same time, it is a tribute to Kojin, who with unyielding strength and courage manages to stand his ground in a society obsessed with religion and social status.
Kurdish, with English subtitles
#7 Metamorphosis | Philippines
(2019) Until he was 14 years old, Adam grew up as a boy, in a conservative Christian family. And even though his father is a pastor, Adam gets into all the mischief you’d expect. Until he hits puberty and becomes interested in a girl. But puberty brings another drastic change for Adam; when he gets his period for the first time and thus discovers that he was born with two genitalia. Adam will have to follow his path heading to adulthood.
Director J.E. Tiglao sets up a powerful plea for acceptance with the film, and does so with lots of colors but also candid scenes. A little too much for the local censors, who wanted to ban the film, after which it won all the major awards at the Cinema One festival in the Philippines. Well-deserved, sweet revenge.
Filipino / Tagalog and English, with English subtitles
#8 Valentina | Brazil
(2020) Valentina, a 17-year-old trans girl, moves with her mother to a small mining town for a fresh start. Afraid of being bullied at the new school, the girl seeks more privacy and tries to register under her new name. However, she and her mother face dilemmas when the local public school mistakenly demands the absent father’s signature to enroll her.
The film is a reflection of the obstacles society forces a young woman to overcome to embrace who she really is. Featuring a beautifully rendered title role by trans actress and YouTuber Thiessa Woinbackk.
Portuguese, with English subtitles
#9 Douze Points | Israel
(2019) A delightful musical romantic comedy with, in addition to a cat and mouse game between extremists and Mossad agents, mainly a story of friendship and love between two Muslim boys. Rasoul and TJ grew up together in Paris. The friendship came to an end when TJ was forced to come out of the closet at the age of 15, causing Rasoul to turn his back on him under pressure from his homophobic environment.
TJ is now an ‘out & proud’ singer with a dream: to represent France at Europe’s biggest music competition in Tel Aviv 2019. Through a musical twist of fate, the friends of yesteryear are brought back together. Will love blossom again on Europe’s biggest stage? Not to be missed by any Song Contest fan! “Let the Eurovision Song Contest begin!…”
French, Hebrew and English, with English subtitles
#10 Gossamer Folds | USA
(2020) In 1986, 10-year-old Tate moves against his will with his tormented mother and adulterous father to the outskirts of Kansas City. Far from his familiar surroundings, he is bored and lonely. To escape his parents’ high-stakes arguments, he seeks contact outside his home. The vocabulary-obsessed Tate soon develops a strong bond with two of his neighbors: a black trans woman named Gossamer and her father Edward, a retired professor. This is against the wishes of Tate’s transphobic father.
A heartwarming coming-of-age story about overcoming prejudice and nurturing unexpected connections.
English, no subtitles
Best Queer Movies 2021 for Roze Filmdagen & others:
- Overview: Tips, Info, & Articles for “Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam” >
- Start Planning: 10 Best Gay Movies 2021 >
- Good to know: 10 Best Lesbian Movies 2021 >
- Check the Best Queer Movies for 2020 Film Festival >
- Check the Best Queer Movies for 2019 Film Festival >
- Check the Best Queer Movies for 2018 Film Festival >
- Best of Amsterdam “Gay” Pride with Canal Parade 2018 >
- All you need to know about traveling to the Dutch capital Amsterdam >
- All you need to know for your Gay Travels to the Netherlands, Holland >
List of the best Queer Movies 2021 selected for Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam
Of course, our top list of queer movies 2021 is just a selection for some guidance to get an overview of the online festival. Check the whole program of the Roze Filmdagen for all movies, films, and documentaries! A single movie ticket will cost you €8.50. Access the online movie theater by visiting: watch.rozefilmdagen.nl. This year again, it is possible to support the Amsterdam LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2021 with two different kinds of memberships (website in NL/EN).
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Option 1: Become a Pink Member You can support the Amsterdam LGBTQ Film festival by becoming a member; one-year membership is €50. A Pink member gets a €30 discount for this year’s online passepartout. During the year you also get a discount on tickets for Gay Night at Het Ketelhuis, and sometimes other festivals and events we cooperate with.
Option 2: Become a Platinum Member Want to go all in? Then become a Platinum Member. For €750 you’ll be our guest at the opening, you’ll receive a personal passepartout for all screenings during the festival. And we’ll throw in a unique T-shirt. Plus we’ll invite you to some special events during the festival, and during the year.