After the success of first BearCity a sequel was inviteable: BearCity 2 will be in the movies in Europe from this September. That is why we asked Jim Landé who is one of the movie' producers about the background of the movie.
What is the reason of choosing Budapest as the site of the movie's European premiere? Why you decide like this?
Well, the truth is that it is not really our "European premiere". Instead it is our "Continental European Premiere" because we will also be premiering in Oslo, Norway, on September 14-19.
We have chosen Budapest because we knew that there were some bears in Hungary who had seen the first film, BearCity. Earlier this summer, the Budapest Bears contacted us and we learned that Budapest's bear community is becoming more numerous. Of course, since we are filmmakers, we know Hungarian cinema has a prestigious history (Szabó, Zukor, Fox, Tarr, Janczsó, Korda...). To show an independent American film in Hungary seemed to be an amazing opportunity. One of our producers visited Brody House in Budapest for the New Year's Eve holiday last winter, and enjoyed the city very much. So he was interested in supporting the Budapest Bears since they are increasing a sense of brotherhood and gay awareness and respect in Hungary and Central Europe and are part of the worldwide development of the bear community. So it was easy to say yes when the Budapest Bears asked us.
Unfortunately the BearCity hasn't been distributed here in Hungary. Do you have any idea why (not)?
When we released the first film in the summer of 2010, we wanted to release all over the world, but our limitations were similar to the challenges that every ultra-low budget independent film has: Not many people knew about us then, and even after going to four dozen film festivals around the world, we got distribution agreements in only a few countries. The economics of film distribution mean that a distributor who has to pay for subtitles or dubbing a foreign film takes a big risk whether there is a market to repay his investment. The bear market, even in the counties with huge bear populations, like the US, Spain, Germany, and a few other countries was not as efficient then. But now, just two years later, social networking and globalization has changed everything. We really want to release the film in Hungarian. The Budapest Bears are working hard on Hungarian subtitles, and after their screening, we are considering releasing the film with their subtitles to thank them, and the Hungarian gay and lesbian audience.
Can people hasn't watched the movies understand and enjoy it?
Yes absolutely, you can understand and enjoy this film even if you have not seen the first one! The stories are easy to follow because they are like real life, and so everyone will identify with some things. We provide enough of the first story to help anyone join the BearCity scene. And since it is a film about love and marriage, the themes are universal. Its a good movie to bring a boyfriend to. And you may not know this, but the women that are friends with bears and who bears like are called "Goldilocks" in America. This comes from the choldren's story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (Mashenka és a három medve) We hope the Hungarian bears will bring their Goldilocks girlfriends to the film too. There are sexy scenes, but nothing that is too raunchy, and girls like our film, maybe because its so romantic and fun.
Where and how long time can we watch the movie in Budapest?
Our Budapest bear friends will be showing the film only once, at Vöröosmarty Mozi, on September 23, during Budapest Bear Weekend. Check the Budapest Bears website for more information.
Are you going to plan to publish either the first or the secong part of the movie in DVD? If you are, when?
We want to release a DVD with foreign subtitles in many languages, and now that the Budapest Bears are presenting the first show in Hungary, our producers want to offer a DVD, and internet movie downloads, that Hungarian gay people will want to get. We are working hard on this and would like to be ready by the end of November or early December 2012.
What is the artists' goal with this movies?
Our director, Doug Langway, who is a bear who lives in New York City, wanted the bear community to see an entertaining, cinematic work they could be proud of. The stories in the film come from the real life friends of Doug. Only one other major film before BearCity has looked closely at the bear community and put hairy gay men - including fat men - in a serious movie. That was the Spanish film "Cachorro" ("Bear Cub"), a movie we love very much. Our second movie was filmed in Provincetown ("Ptown"), Massachusetts, which is an artist's colony and important gay beach town that is visited by up to eight thousand bears every summer during Provincetown Bear Week. We think that after seeing the film, gay men and women from Hungary and all over the world will be interested in visiting Provincetown, because it is such a cool, romantic, sexy, interesting place. Doug has called this film his "love letter to Provincetown and the Ptown Bears."