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July Events...

  • AltFest New York
  • GLITTER! Oklahoma's LGBT Film Festival
  • Hotter Than July Film Festival
  • Houston Qfest
  • Motovun Film Festival
  • Pride in Hull Film Festival
  • Queer Arts Festival
  • Reel Desires
Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Thursday, 10 August 2017 until Sunday, 20 August 2017

For 26 years, Out On Screen has proudly showcased films that illuminate the transformative moments in the lives of queer people – telling stories of the journeys we have taken to find ourselves, each other and our place in the world. Every time we take a seat at the festival, we are experiencing the difference we are making: creating social change through film, education and dialogue. We are honoured to celebrate you and to celebrate with you the unique, strong and splendid Vancouver queer communities that makes us who we are.


 

2017 films...

195 Lewis

Runtime: 60 min

Race, queerness and polyamory are investigated with honesty and affection in this award-winning web series turned international film festival hit. Director Chanelle Aponte Pearson sets out to represent Bed-Stuy as she sees it: Black, queer, and home to the activists and artists that make the neighbourhood vibrant and unique. Bronx-bred, and Brooklyn-based herself, Aponte Pearson allows her audiences to feel completely immersed in the complex, sexy, and inherently political world of 195 Lewis.

Watch the first five episodes and see for yourself why this series won an Independent Filmmaker Project Award—episodes will be complimented with pop-up performances by local poets Tiare Kela Jung, Jillian Christmas, and Adèle Barclay.

A Million Happy Nows

Runtime: 81 min

Albert Alarr is best known as an Emmy award-winning director and producer of Days of Our Lives; he is also one of the few filmmakers of colour working in daytime television. For his debut feature film, Alarr draws upon his career to tell the story of Lainey Allen (Crystal Chappell from Days of Our Lives and One Life to Live), a veteran soap opera star who retires to a beach house with her partner Eva (Jessica Leccia from Guiding Light). Lainey soon reveals that her early retirement is due to Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Steering clear of the slow pacing and melodrama of soaps, A Million Happy Nows genuinely reminds us that every day, every minute with the one you love, counts.

Antonette & Tobin: local trans stories

Film category: Short films collection.

Runtime: 65 min

B&B

Runtime: 87 min

Joe Ahearne (guest director for Doctor Who) puts a gay spin on the British murder mystery genre. Like the popular television series Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, B&B takes place in a rural village that seems quaint enough on the surface, but becomes more eerie and frightening as the action builds. Protagonists Mark and Fred are newly married husbands who return to a bed-and-breakfast after a lengthy court battle with the establishment’s homophobic owner. What begins as a demonstration of their equal rights, turns into an entangled whodunnit, forcing Mark and Fred to face off with a mysterious Russian stranger, the B&B owner’s closeted son, and a cruising park full of anonymous men.

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall

Runtime: 100 min

This year’s Youth Gala is sure to inspire queer, trans and allied youth, and also the young-at-heart.

With over 2 million subscribers, multi-talented YouTube and Broadway star Todrick Hall launches his most ambitious project yet: the full-scale original musical Straight Outta Oz. Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall is a fiercely fun and inspiring documentary that offers a behind the scenes look into Hall’s journey producing the album, visual album and musical stage tour in a heart-stopping production schedule of mere months.

Director Katherine Fairfax Wright (Call me Kuchu) delivers a film that is part tour chronicle and part biography—allowing audiences to form a deep connection with Todrick Hall and his crew. Hall grew up Black and gay in a religious household in Texas. His personal roots greatly influence his 2016 tour, which was set amidst the political backdrop of the US election, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille at the hands of police. Behind the Curtain offers an intimate look into the creative process and tells an artist’s coming-of-age story at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality that’s made possible thanks to family, friendship, dance, song and lots of glitter.

Body Electric (Corpo Elétrico)

Runtime: 94 min

Summer arrives and Elias, a young assistant at a busy garment factory in Sao Paulo, is dreaming of carefree parties and hot hook-ups. Outside of the factory’s long hours, Elias becomes increasingly interested in connecting with work colleagues, including a casual and tender fling with a flirty co-worker. Despite upper management warning him not to fraternize with the “common” floor workers, he finds a new joy in the acceptance and openness of his fellow young working class friends. When his much older and wealthy ex-boyfriend re-enters his life, Elias endeavours to bring the separate parts of his life together for the biggest party of the summer.

Director Marcelo Caetano achieves a richly textured and honest portrayal of a young gay man’s life in contemporary Brazil. Body Electric won the Best Feature Film 2017 Premio Maguey—Guadalajara International Film Festival.

Center of My World (Die Mitte der Welt)

Runtime: 115 min

Phil returns to his small provincial hometown after his summer holidays to find his family is stranger than ever. His sister barely speaks to him, and his whimsical mother has managed to become even more eccentric. Alienated at home, Phil hangs close to his boisterous best friend Kat. But when the crush-worthy new kid at school, Nicholas, takes an interest in Phil, Kat grows cagey and possessive. The combined complexities of family, friendship, and first love soon demand that Phil grow into adulthood and self awareness.

This quintessential queer coming-of-age story is artfully rendered with photo collages, childhood flashbacks, cinematic jump cuts, fun pop-song montages, creatively shot love scenes, and other visual treats. In 2016, Center of My World won the Best Feature Award at the Florence International Queer Festival and the Audience Choice Award at the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival.

Chutney Popcorn

Runtime: 92 min

Our special outdoor screening inspired us to bring back one of our all-time favourite films. Director Nisha Ganatra was born in Vancouver and raised in a traditional Indian household. She wrote and directed her first feature—Chutney Popcorn—at age 25. Film lovers know this beloved cult classic received immediate praise and awards among International film communities. But what many audiences don’t know is that Ganatra originally did not cast herself in the film. Weeks before production was scheduled to start, a leading actress canceled, leaving Ganatra to play the now-iconic part of Reena.

Reena is a lesbian living in New York with her girlfriend, Lisa. When her happily married sister, Sarita, discovers that she is infertile, Reena offers to be a surrogate mother. How does this act of love impact Reena’s relationship with her disapproving mother and her girlfriend? Find out for the first time, or rediscover this South Asian queer, Canadian-made, cinematic favourite.

Discreet

Runtime: 80 min

For anyone who has accused queer cinema of becoming too mainstream, this film is for you! Director Travis Mathews (Interior Leather, Bar and I Want Your Love) positions a kinky gay survivor of childhood abuse as an unlikely and utterly compelling protagonist. Alex returns to his hometown in rural Texas, reuniting with hurtful memories and estranged family. His search for answers and healing attracts a cast of unusual people into his life, including a strange local teenager, a spiritual YouTube star, anonymous fetish online hookups, and a menacing, shattered man from his past.

Discreet has an undeniable David Lynch-ian, cult-classic in the making aesthetic. This film is both transgressive and keenly sincere in its portrayal of trauma, masculine vulnerability, and the systemic failures of modern-day America.

Dream Boat

Runtime: 92 min

Dream Boat is an annual gay cruise that promises seven days of fun, sun, and two-thousand nearly-naked men. But beneath the speedos, lies a host of tender stories. In one way or another, the Dream Boat cruisers have complicated and varied identities, families, relationships, and desires. There’s buff, Polish-born, Marek, who underneath his muscled body just wants to be loved. Dipankar, an Indian living in Dubai, begins to feel lonely despite partying with thousands of men. Philippe finds himself the sole user of a wheelchair on the ship. Palestinian Ramzi travels with his Belgian partner, both celebrating the latter’s recovery from cancer. Finally there’s Martin from Austria, who’s navigating hooking-up while living with HIV. While gorgeous to watch, Dream Boat challenges the idea that men’s party culture is vacuous or unfeeling.

DTF: Down To Fright

Film category: Short films collection.

Runtime: 60 min

Do you ever find casual encounters terrifying? You will after watching this program of horror, hook-ups, and just the right amount of humour. Whether via mobile app or at the bathhouse, the gay heroes in these short films find far more than the NSA (No Strings Attached) they seek. Zombies, demons, and other queer creatures lurk in the night. Watch DTF after gay murder mystery B&B (p 39) for back-to-back thrills.

Tonight It’s You | Dominic Haxton | USA | 2016 | 18 min

A late night on a hook-up app leads CJ to a backwoods farmhouse.

PYOTR495 | Blake Mawson | Canada | 2016 | 15 min | Russian with English subtitles

Pytotr is online catfished by a violent anti-gay group, but he has a diabolical surprise of his own for his attackers.

The Night Cleaner | Blair Fukumura | Canada | 2016 | 5 min

The cleaner at Canada’s busiest bathhouse has some harrowing work to do.

Sauna the Dead – A Fairy Tale | Tom Frederic | UK | 2016 | 21 min

The men at this sauna are hungry … really hungry! Who will live to see the dawn? Who will still find a hook-up in the midst of a zombie outbreak?

Fathers

Runtime: 95 min

Phoon and Yuke are a young Thai couple raising their adopted son Butr in an environment where they face legal and social barriers. When Butr and his classmates celebrate Mother’s Day at school, he is teased for having two fathers, and begins asking why he is different from all the other kids. Tensions rise and threaten the relationship when Phoon and Yuke are confronted by the director of a child protection agency who is unsympathetic to their situation. In a country where gay marriage is not yet recognized by law and traditional beliefs about families still hold strong, Fathers is a sweet romantic drama that looks at navigating childhood, staying true to yourself, and creating your own definition of family.

FREE CeCe!

Runtime: 102 min

On June 5, 2011, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was brutally attacked. While defending her life, her attacker was killed. CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including trans activists Kate Bornstein, Leslie Feinberg and Laverne Cox.

Soon after CeCe’s incarceration, Laverne Cox met director Jac Gares, and together the two immediately knew the critical importance of CeCe’s story reaching large audiences. “Of the 25 anti-LGBTQ murders in 2012, 53.8% of homicide victims in 2012 were transgender women and 73.1% were people of color,” Gares noted in an interview with Persephone Magazine.  Gares aimed to push past the everyday narratives of victimhood surrounding the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement fighting for the rights of transgender people everywhere.

Cox signed on as executive producer of FREE CeCe!, and committed to exploring the role race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. “CeCe’s story is one that should have been covered more in the press. Trans women, particularly trans women of color, experience disproportionate amounts of violence and not enough is being done to eradicate that violence,” said Cox.

The documentary’s focus follows CeCe’s trail, but above all it shows the months after her release as she calls upon a circle of support from caring friends and family, and demonstrates her invaluable leadership as an activist and educator. Her leading voice resonates throughout the documentary and will surely remain in the minds of everyone who sees FREE CeCe!.

Handsome Devil

Runtime: 95 min

After 11-days of laughing, crying, learning and connecting, come close the Festival with a feel-good comedy. Picture Dead Poets Society meets Glee at a Rugby obsessed Irish boy’s boarding school. In Handsome Devil, lanky, red-haired misfit Ned, sticks out glaringly among his macho peers. Ned copes with everyday bullying by keeping to himself, until the rugby team’s newest star athlete, Conor, moves into his dorm room. Gradually, the loner and the jock form an unlikely friendship—one that teaches them to both care for and challenge one another in ways they never thought possible.

The film also offers satisfying sub-plot in the story of closeted English teacher, Dan Sherry (Andrew Scott of Pride and Sherlock), who struggles to support Ned and Conor while trying not to out himself. Writer and director John Butler successful shows the true threats of homophobia for youth and adults, while keeping the narrative decidedly optimistic. Winner of the Dublin Film Critics Circle Award in 2016, John Butler’s sophomore feature film has been charming audience worldwide.

Heartland

Runtime: 98 min

Following the tragic death of her partner, Lauren retreats to her childhood home in Oklahoma reuniting her with her sweet but less-than-accepting mother, played by actress Beth Grant—known for playing conservatives and religious zealots (Little Miss Sunshine, The Mindy Project). The arrival of young wine entrepreneur Carrie—played by Laura Spencer (Big Bang Theory, Bones)—rouses Lauren from her grief. However, Carrie may be the last woman Lauren should develop a crush on. Heartland is a satisfying contemporary take on a forbidden lesbian love drama.

This crowd-funded independent drama is the debut feature for Maura Anderson, an emerging director who has built her career doing everything from casting to producing horror films. Anderson saw her premiere at the 2016 Cinequest Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award for Narrative Drama, and has since gone on to play countless festivals around the world.

IndigiFemme: Body Sovereignties

Runtime: 49 min

Opening comments with Si Sityaawks (Jessica Wood) and Sarah Hunt.

Our film program begins with the self-discoveries of an Indigenous child, the focus of Cree/Métis director Gail Maurice’s latest short narrative, Assini. Inuk director Alethea Arnaquq-Baril illuminates complex relationships in an outpost in Nunavut in AVILIAQ (ENTWINED). Celebrated iconoclasts Shelley Niro and Kent Monkman use sharp satire to resist colonial narratives in their award-winning experimental films, while African and Cherokee multi-media artist Indira Allegra poetically explores healing her sexuality.

Special IndigiFemme live performances with poets and storytellers Samantha Nock (Michif) and Ookishkimaanisii (Anishinaabe-kw).

Assini | Gail Maurice | Canada | 2015 | 13 min

AVILIAQ (ENTWINED) | Alethea Arnaquq-Baril | Canada | 2015 | 13 min

Mary | Kent Monkman | Canada | 2014 | 15 min | Inuktitut with English subtitles

Blue Covers | Indira Allegra | Canada | 2008 | 4 min

The Shirt | Shelley Niro | Canada | 2003 | 4 min

IndigiFemme: Sex Sovereignties

Runtime: 26 min

Self-love, sexuality and an infusion of sass are reoccurring themes in the second half of IndigiFemme. Director Jessie Short sets a first kiss on a sweet grass covered hill in Sweet
Night. Preeminent artmakers Dana Claxton and Kent Monkman probe dance and cultural appropriation in their experimental shorts. Jaene Castrillon’s video poem is a promise to love herself as a mixed race Indigenous Colombian/Hong Kong Chinese queer woman living with disabilities. Festival favourite Thirza Cuthand brings us another offbeat romantic Two-Spirit comedy.

Live performance includes the breathtaking burlesque of Shane Sable (Gitxsan) and Ruth Ordare (from the Mohawk Nation), members of the all-Indigenous troupe Virago Nation who focus on rematriating indigenous sexuality and songstress Edzi’u (Tahltan-Tlingit) will mesmerize with her sultry harmonic vocal loops.

Sweet Night | Jessie Short | Canada | 2017 | 6 min

Two Spirit Dreamcatcher Dot Com | Thirza Cuthand | Canada | 2017 | 5 min

Her Sugar Is | Dana Claxton | Canada | 2009 | 3 min

Celebration of Darkness | Jaene Castrillon | Canada | 2015 | 7 min

Dance to Miss Chief | Kent Monkman | Canada | 2010 | 5 min

Jewel’s Catch One

Runtime: 90 min

“This club is a dark, sultry machine,” says one dedicated nightclub goer. For over four decades, Jewel’s Catch One Nightclub in Los Angeles served as the oldest Black lesbian owned disco in the United States. Honoured elder Jewel Thais-Williams has worn many hats in her life: entrepreneur, restaurateur, DJ, activist, healer. Known as “The Catch” to many regulars, the nightclub was a safe haven and refuge, opening its doors to all races, genders, and sexualities and earning its legendary title as the “Unofficial Studio 54 of the West Coast”. Featuring interview appearances by Sharon Stone, Thelma Houston, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Sandra Bernhard, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis, Representative Maxine Waters and Bonnie Pointer, Jewel’s Catch One is a glowing celebration of community and chosen family, highlighting the importance of the dancefloor as a gathering place for racialized, queer, and other marginalized groups.

Kumu Hina

Runtime: 80 min

In 2015, the short film Kumu Hina: A Place in the Middle screened as part of our Best of International Shorts program. Kumu Hina—the feature-length documentary—builds off of themes from the short: the Hawaiian concepts of māhū (gender fluidity and inclusion), and the vital importance of preserving indigenous knowledge and perspectives. Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader. She is a founding member of Kulia Na Mamo, a community organization established for māhū wahine (transgender women), and has served for 13 years as the Director of Culture at a Honolulu public charter school to forward Hawaiian culture and history as tools for empowering the next generation of warrior scholars. This award-winning documentary follows Hina as an educator and an activist, and also offers an intimate look into her personal life as she builds a relationship with her new husband Hema Kalu.

Maybe Tomorrow (Baka Bukas)

Runtime: 83 min

What happens when you fall in love with your best friend? Alex is a twenty-something creative professional in Manila juggling multiple jobs, while dealing with a recent breakup. She hasn’t yet come out to her best friend—the “straightest straight girl she knows” Jess—an up and coming actress who she’s had feelings for since childhood. Alex eventually lets Jess in on the truth, and the pair are driven to face their inner selves. Samantha Lee’s directorial debut is as stylishly shot as the carefully curated social media feeds of the film’s main characters. The winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Cinema One Originals Festival in Manila and with references that every millennial can relate to, Maybe
Tomorrow is a tender and funny love story that quietly captures the time in your life you’re expected to adult but still don’t quite have it all figured out.

More Than T

 Silas Howard | USA | 2017 | 60 min

In 2001, Silas Howard directed one of the first feature films with trans characters played by trans actors. This groundbreaking cinematic moment of trans talent onscreen and behind the camera was the multi-award-winning By Hook or By Crook. Since then, Howard has held unique space as one of the only trans directors (Transparent, This Is Us) working in North America.

His latest documentary shines a spotlight on seven transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, all of whom are artists, activists, and groundbreakers in their own right. Deeply human and honest, More Than T veers from themes of isolation and violence commonly seen in trans documentaries and follows stories of triumph, healing, and belonging.

Play the Devil

Maria Govan | Trinidad and Tobago, USA | 2016 | 89 min

The mountain beauty of Paramin village in Trinidad and Tobago, along with the pulsating rhythm of Carnival, serves as a backdrop to this story where aspirations and obsession collide. Headstrong eighteen-year-old Gregory is studying furiously to obtain a scholarship in medicine so he can one day provide for his family. Amidst academic and home pressures, Gregory manages to pursue creative passions: photography, dance, and theatre. It is during one of his enthralling stage performances that wealthy, married businessman James takes a keen interest in him.

This sophomore film from director Maria Govan shatters conventions of sexuality, privilege, and masculinity to tell a multi-layered coming-of-age story that is bound to leave you thinking. “The Caribbean, in general, is so misunderstood and clichéd, and yet there is so much history, diversity and complexity to our region,” says Govan.  Her directorial vision thus far has earned her awards at film festivals in Los Angeles, Nashville, and Woodstock.

Project Gelb
Francis Luta | Canada | 2014 | 43 min

Often reduced to racist stereotypes like the model minority, kung fu master, or desexualized nerd, this documentary from Francis Luta features East, South East, and South Asian men from the greater Toronto area openly discussing struggles with both internal and external racism in the queer community and beyond. The ideal—muscular, masculine, and White—is implied when one interviewee points out the common disclaimer “no fatties, no femmes, no Asians” seen on gay dating apps. Project Gelb critically and frankly examines Asian masculinities and why it’s not simply “just a preference.”

Seventeen (Siebzehn)

Monja Art | Austria | 2017 | 109 min | German and French with English subtitles

Monja Art’s debut feature film dishes up a classic, yet remarkably unique love triangle. In small-town Austria, Paula secretly swoons over shy and gentle Charlotte during the final weeks of high school before summer break. Meanwhile, the school’s mean girl, Lilly, takes a very vocal and gossipy interest in Paula. Caught between an unobtainable crush on one hand and predator-like attention on the other, Paula explores her feelings and sexuality in brave and uncertain ways.

Beautifully shot, with a mix in intimate close ups and panoramic views, Monja Art took home the prestigious 2017 Max Ophüls Prize largely for cinematography. Seventeen undeniably shows the sexual openness, fast-paced, hopeful yearning of youth.

Signature Move

Jennifer Reeder | USA | 2017 | 80 min

Pakistani Muslims, Lesbians, and Luchadora Wrestlers Have More in Common Than You Think. – No Film School

Premiering at this year’s SXSW, Signature Move is an indie comedy-drama co-written and starring Fawzia Mirza as Zaynab, a queer second generation Pakistani woman living in Chicago. Zaynab’s mother, delightfully played by Shabana Azmi (Midnight’s Children, Fire), has moved in after becoming a widow and spends her days glued to the couch watching Pakistani soap operas and occasionally peering outside with binoculars scouting for husband “potentials” for her semi-closeted daughter. When Zaynab meets and falls for Alma, an out Chicana woman who has a very different relationship with her immigrant mother, Zaynab must literally grapple with her choices in life and love—and grapple with a few tough women wrestlers too. Signature
Move explores the parallel experiences of hyphenated American communities of colour through clever dialogue, tender moments, wrestling, and romance.

Small Talk (Ri Chang Dui Hua)

Hui-chen Huang | Taiwan | 2016 | 88 min | Taiwanese with English subtitles

The intimacy of autobiographical documentary is unequivocal. In director Hui-chen Huang’s case, her mother-daughter documentary isn’t only intimate, but it also breaks a taboo in her culture in its questioning of a mother’s unconditional love. Anu (Hui-chen Huang’s mother) married off at a young age—as was customary in Taiwan in the 1970s—and had two children. She quickly divorced her violent husband and brought up her daughters alone. Since then, Anu has become a Taoist priestess, and has had many, many relationships with women.

Throughout the documentary, the director attempts to better understand her mother through a series of long conversations about topics such as trust, abuse, and cognizance. Frequently these conversations end in painful silence, and yet even the silences reveal a deep yearning for closeness. Will this mother and daughter close the gap between them by the time the credits roll? Small Talk won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the 2017 Berlinale.

Stay Gold, March Forward

Film category: Short films collection.
Runtime: 58 min

Taxi Stories
Doris Yeung | China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Netherlands | 2017 | 98 min | English, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese with English subtitles

Doris Yeung’s sophomore feature may be the most ambitious, nuanced film of the Festival. Filmed in three different countries, Taxi Stories tells the story of a closeted cab driver in Beijing, a trophy wife with her Indonesian maid in Hong Kong, and a young pedi-cab driver in Jakarta. In the making, Yeung wore three different hats—writer, director, and executive producer—to ensure her inquiry into the growing divide between the social and cultural classes in Asia was handled with integrity and vision. This career defining film is deeply personal to Yeung, who says, “My work often deals with cross cultural migrant stories of home, identity, family, and sexuality as I [myself] am a product of different cultures.”

While Taxi Stories features 80% non-actors to give it a hyper-realistic feel, the film also boasts leading roles by renowned Hong Kong actress Petrina Fung Bo Bo and Indonesian pop star Shanty.

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
David France | USA | 2017 | 105 min

Marsha P. Johnson is best known for being a leader in the Stonewall uprising and first person to fight back against police raids. In the 1970s, Johnson co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Sylvia Rivera, and in the 1980s she became a respected organizer with the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Johnson was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. The NYPD deemed her death a suicide and her case was quickly closed. Years later, Victoria Cruz re-examines Johnson’s case. Cruz, who is a domestic abuse counsellor and trans activist herself, is deeply familiar with the violence trans women of colour face. “They’re yelling out from their graves for justice,” Cruz says.

Made by Academy Award nominated director David Frances (How to Survive a Plague), and featuring rare archival footage and interviews with Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson honours the legacy of her tremendous life while asking hard questions about the circumstances of her death.

The Geopolitics of Queer

Film category: Short films collection. Runtime: 90 min

Often audience favourites, international docs allow us to deepen our understanding of the world and our own roles within it. But how many of these films are made by directors from their subjects’ nations or communities? These questions have been increasingly vocalized in film communities, and have even prompted the hashtag #DocsSoWhite (a riff on #OscarsSoWhite)

Included in our Experiential Lens: Filmmakers of Colour Spotlight, The Geopolitics of Queer honours films (three documentaries, one docu-drama and one narrative) made by filmmakers who have direct connections to the people and stories featured in their films.

Sisak | Faraz Arif Ansari | India | 2017 | 15 mins

Poshida: Hidden LGBT Pakistan | Faizan Fiaz | Pakistan | 2016 | 29 mins

The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi | Michelle Fiordaliso | Pakistan
| 2017 | 16 min

She | Ndimbira Claudine | Rwanda | 2015 | 16 mins | Kinyarwanda with English subtitles

Where Do I Belong? | Vanna Hem | Cambodia | 2016 | 18 mins | Khmer with English subtitles

The Migrant Mixtape
Eli Jean Tahchi | Canada | 2017 | 22 min

Genre: Documentary.

HELEM Montreal (an acronym for “Lebanese protection for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trans individuals”) is a grass-roots organization that provides support to queer refugees arriving from Arab countries. Director Eli Jean Tahchi positions a series of cassette-tape recordings sent to HELEM from Arab LGBT individuals; each tape is a letter, a request for support and asylum in Canada in order to escape persecution and homophobic violence. Tahchi’s creative background spans fashion photography to experimental film, making The Migrant Mixtape as visually striking as it is critically engaging.

The Revival: Women and the Word
Sekiya Dorsett | USA | 2016 | 81 mins

What happens when a group of Black queer poets and musicians pile in a tour van and set off across the USA?

Bahamas-born queer television and documentary filmmaker Sekiya Dorsett is more than familiar with giving issues of visibility and social justice a voice. Camera and creative authenticity in hand, Dorsett follows the touring artists from stage triumphs to fleeting flirtations with audience members, as well as the challenges they face surrounding gender, race and, sexuality. Insightful feature interviews with leading Black feminist and queer thinkers including Dr Alexis Pauline Gumbs and Alexis De Veaux, offer this road-trip-meets-participatory documentary deeper intersectional contexts.

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin
Jennifer Kroot | USA | 2017 | 90 mins

The latest from director Jennifer Kroot (To Be Takei) celebrates the life of beloved storyteller Armistead Maupin, best known for his newspaper column-turned-novels, Tales of the City. Maupin’s own life tales are lesser known and just as interesting as his fiction. He tells his story with the help of some friends (including Laura Linney, Sir Ian McKellen and Olympia Dukakis) to offer a disarmingly candid look at his journey from conservative upbringings in the south, serving multiple tours in the Vietnam War and later life in the Castro District of San Francisco. The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin weaves together the history of an iconic gay rights pioneer in a tender, lively, and at times laugh out loud hilarious fashion.

Troublemakers Film Project: Troublemakers 2.0

Runtime: 90 min

Double Trouble: Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Reel Youth, and Love Intersections teamed up for a matchmaking project pairing aspiring youth filmmakers and troublemaking seniors. The results of these fruitful unions are short documentaries profiling seniors whose work spans generations. Come celebrate these conspirators! Special thanks to Vancouver Foundation’s Fresh Voices and Fostering Change programs.


Other Short Films...

Crossing Bridges | Rama Luksiarto | Canada | 2017 | 20 min

Older than What? | Steen Starr | Canada | 2017 | 13 min

The Golden Age of Hustlers | Silas Howard | USA | 2014 | 5 min


 

Map & Directions...