Those who have been following news of China’s LGBTQ community will likely be aware of filmmaker and activist Fan Popo whose enlightening documentary works include Chinese Closet (2010), Mama Rainbow (2012) and its sequel Papa Rainbow (2016). A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, Fan is now based in Berlin where he recently shot his fiction short Beer! Beer!
Currently seeking post-production funding through Indiegogo, the short is described by its creator as an “anti-romantic comedy”. It follows what happens when two young men, Sebastian (Marc Philipps) and Tao (Fan) spend time together in the early hours of the morning after a crazy party has wound down. Beer! Beer! is inspired by Fan’s life in Berlin, particularly the experience of finding a mattress on the street, and it all starts with two guys sharing a döner kebab. As Fan explains at the project’s Indiegogo page,
This story is my reflection about love and sex, which I think really deserved to share with you. Through the black humor of two strangers meeting, you will see the transformation of active and passive positions for different identities. It reflects urban loneliness from a queer angle; the entertainment surface takes you to a more profound layer.
Fan is a candid crusader for equality whose incisive point of view is imbued with a refreshingly cheeky sense of humor. He scored a victory of sorts against China’s notoriously opaque censorship board after filing a lawsuit over the removal of his short films from local websites and gatecrashed a Donald Trump election victory party in Shanghai in a concentrated effort to see the world beyond his “liberal bubble”. In today’s climate, it’s debatable as to which was more of a challenge. You can read Karen Ma’s 2016 interview with Fan here.
Production of Beer! Beer! was completed in August 2018 with funds awarded by the XPOSED Queer Film Festival Berlin. Support is now needed for editing and post-production expenses. Once completed, Fan and producer Anna Xian aim to show the short at international film festivals and make it more widely available through streaming platforms. Rewards on offer for backers include thanks in the end credits, a private link for watching the finished film, and a producer credit.
Visit the project’s Indiegogo page for full details.