The third annual 'Queer' Asia Film Festival invites submissions from a diversity of film makers including activist groups, academics, professional and amateur filmmakers to be held between 8th - 14th July 2019 at The British Museum and various central London locations.
As an annual celebration of films from across Asia including Asian diasporas QAFF has showcased a wide diversity of films from across Asia including China, India, Thailand, The Philippines, Myanmar, Lebanon, Singapore, and Indonesia in Central London venues including The British Museum, SOAS, University of London, and University College London.
The film festival has grown since 2017 with 11 films to 33 films and with 500 footfall to nearly 2500 tickets sold in June 2018. QAFF has included a range of films from short films, features, documentaries, music videos, and performative cinema exploring queer and LGBT content in relation to Asia, Asian Disaporas, and themes relevant to queer struggles globally.
In two short years QAFF has attracted extensive media coverage including films from the QAFF line up being showcased on TV programmes in the UK such as Brighton TV, and in private screenings at major companies.
1. QAFF invites Filmmakers/ Producers/ Distributors across the world to submit features, documentaries, short and animation films that highlight/ focus on Asian and other LGBTQI+ lives and struggles.
2. Films in any language are accepted but should have subtitles in English (if relevant).
3. 'Queer' Asia Film Festival is a not for profit film festival focused on raising visibility and awareness and therefore DOES NOT OFFER SCREENING FEES to any film, since it invests its limited resources in showcasing all the films to the best possible extent.
8. Filmmaker/ Producer/ Distributor certifies that the person submitting the film holds the rights for submission of film to the festival and will be considered as the original submitter. All correspondence will be done through email ONLY to the original submitter.
9. A submission will be considered complete only after the DOWNLOAD IS ENABLED for the film's preview screener in FilmFreeWay or other accessible links provided.
10. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: February 28, 2019. The Festival will not consider late entries due to volume of submissions.
NOTE: Films are selected for programming only based on their merit. Please do not be persuaded by anyone who claims to have access to the Festival Team / Selection Committee, and asks for monetary or other favours to get your film selected in the festival. The Festival will not be responsible for any such dealings.
A Letter To The Person I Have Met On Tinder
Dir. James Allen Fajardo
[Running time: 4.33]
The film is about my experience meeting a stranger I matched with on Tinder. The film explores the idea of how we find love in this modern time.
Dir. Edwige Pezulli, Giulia Prizzitano
[Running time: 17.03]
A yoga instructor, a boxing girl, an aerial artist. Three stories, three bodies, three different ways of living in them. The same need: to achieve their own personal freedom. What separates or unites these three distinct bodies and how do they form a unique female body?
Dir. Maaria Saayed
[Running time: 14.19]
‘Chudala,’ is an intimate exploration of a father-daughter relationship in a rapidly developing India. Based on an Indian mythological story of a woman turning into a man in order to seem significant to her family, this film tells the story of a lower middle class Muslim girl Rukhsana who returns to her house as Rehan.
Dir. David Thế
[Running time: 06.00]
An insight into a struggling gay artist in Vietnam where the LBGT situation is still frowned upon.
A Wonderful Affair
Dir. Tahir Ün
[Running time: 05.00]
Harika is a child whose Kurdish family was set refuge from Siirt to Manisa at the end of 1980’s. Harika self identifies as a transsexual feeling female spirit living in Izmir since 2000 and making a living through prostitution.
From AM to PM (A Look into Ishaq’s Life)
Dir. Alizeb Raees
[Running time: 14.16]
From AM to PM is an intimate look into the life of Ishaq, who must maintain a balance between providing for his family and following his desire to become part of Khawaja Sira community.
Dir. Lucie Liu
[Running time: 1.10.00]
Taipeilove* is a documentary on the perception of homosexuality in the Taiwanese society. As Taiwan is the first country in Asia that is in the process of legalizing same-sex marriage, the documentary follows activists, politicians and experts in the Taiwanese society who have been fighting for marriage equality and navigating their lives through the hardship of coming-out, reaction of families, abandonment and finding love.
Dir. Sridhar Rangayan
[Running time: 1.42.00]
‘Evening Shadows’ is a universal story about a mother-son bonding and its emotional strength to withstand the ravages of time and harsh realities.
Dir. Xu Xiaoxi, Roberto F. Canuto
[Running time: 19.57]
A transgender Chinese woman receives news of her mother’s death. As the only “son”, she feels obligated to return to her birthplace in the mountains, even though she’ll have to hide her true self from family and friends.
Dir. Zahra Mir Rzazadeh
[Running time: 7.35]
A daughter attempts to visit her convicted poet father in prison. She brings a series of drawings to give to him.
Ashen River of Remembrance
Dir. Ronaldo S. Vivo, Jr., Ronnel S. Vivo
[Running time: 15]
The Spanish colonization of the Philippines is in its infancy. Townsfolk believe Pinang has been possessed by an evil spirit. Pinang’s parents have unwavering faith that Father Vacion’s rituals will cure their daughter. Soleng, Pinang’s dear friend, thought otherwise.
Hands and Wings
Dir. Sungbin Byun
[Running time: 18]
Mi-Sook helps her son, Woo-Sung, with masturbation because he has disability that makes him unable to masturbate by himself. One day, Woo-Sung rejects his mother’s offer to help.
Dir. Paayel Chouudhury
[Running time: 32.47]
A story about two girls and their love, desire, pain, and passion. It’s a story about finding themselves and their journey to be together as a couple. However the path is not clear and they face enormous hardship from society and their own families. (CW: Rape)
I / Him
Dir. Güldem Durmaz
[Running time: 22.34]
Esmeray is a transexual Kurdish artist and feminist who lives in Istanbul. Two simultaneous films become an experiment in self-shadowing.
I Say Dust
Dir. Darine Hotait
[Running time: 14.13]
Two Arab-American women in New York City fall in love, argue home and identity, engage in a chess battle, and express themselves through the power of the spoken word. Their brief love affair challenges their understanding of what makes a home.
My Name was January
Dir: Elina Gress, Lenee Son
[Running time: 25.45]
When a trans sister, January Marie Lapuz, is brutally murdered, a community reacts and her friends and other trans women of colour come to share and voice their issues, concerns, and challenges. This film brings justice to January and to the many trans women who have lost their lives. (CW:Trauma, violence)
A Face without a heart
Dir. Xinning Liu
[Running time: 2.00]
An animation about a woman who is struggling to find her identity between beauty and ugliness.
Dir. Xuetong Zhao
[Running time: 15.50]
The sound wave frequency of the average whale is 15 to 20 hertz, but one-of-a-kind whale, Alice, has a frequency of 52 hertz. With no response, she has been called the loneliest whale in the world. Qian Li, a young Chinese gay guy, seeks to find Alice. This is a story about love, differences in culture, freedom and loneliness.
Dir. Atikah Zainidi
[Running time: 3:42]
A short documentary exploring what it is like to be a girl in Brunei.
The Land of the Brave
Dir. Rhadem Morados
[Running time: 29:00]
Lupag Sug translates to ‘land of the brave’ in Tausug, a language used by a major ethnic group hailing from Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines. This documentary narrates firsthand accounts of the struggle for safe space and acceptance.
Dir. Düzgün Akdeniz
[Running time: 04:09]
An ordinary day of a trans woman who lives like a man outside.
Dir. Ahmad Seyfipoor
[Running time: 10:00]
A burglar sees two men having sex on the back seat of a parked car. The men know if they call the police, the burglar will only be sentenced to three months in jail. But they will be sentenced to death.
Dir. Abdul Zainidi
[Running time: 3:04]
Strange things happen to boys who are ‘unnatural’. They mean no harm but want to escape this world to be happy. Teluki finds his calling…
The Tyger [Tropical Malady edit]
Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul
A short video essay on man and nature.
They Won’t Let A Dream Come True
Dir. Shumaila Kanwal
The world outside / Always wants some reason / For something new / For a dream to come true.
Aren’t We Here For Each Other
Dir. Gilb Baldoza
Romance endures violence as a couple celebrates their anniversary against the backdrop of Duterte’s war on drugs.
Things I Would Say To My Mom If Only I Were Brave Enough
Dir. James Allen Fajardo
Filmmaker James Allen Fajardo recalls his childhood before his mother left him to work abroad, and all the things he wished he could have told her about his burgeoning sexuality.
Dir. Romi Kim
Whispers of queerness in a young woman’s coming out story, an intimate narrative that holds her first kiss, first love and feelings of exclusions. She navigates and explores both the negativity around the word ‘queer,’ and her struggle to identify within it.
I Dream / Yalani Dream
Dir. YaliniDream & Krissy Mahan
Artist YaliniDream – Lankan Tamil Blood, Manchester-Born, Texas-Bred and Brooklyn-Brewed – performs a poem of refugee/migrant love for the self and the world, through dance and a hiphop beat.
Dir. Sui-hin Mak
An experimental montage.
Dir. Pham Thien An
The night before her wedding, a woman seeks out her ex-girlfriend for the last time.
Do It Again
Dir. Hsin Hsuan Yeh
Not knowing who I am and what should I do, floating in the air, I am a bear in the mortal world. I always wander in the dead-end road, swinging back and forth between disgust and joy. When will I face my own desires without hating myself?
Care For You
Romance blossoms when two souls cross paths in a late-night diner. A tender and surreal meditation on expressions of love.
Make Up Your Own Mind
How do we determine the value of others, who has the right to decide a person’s worth? Two dancers move through a desolate building in this short film dedicated to the Filipinos of Hong Kong.
Dir. Honami Yano
Running into your ex can trigger a flood of bittersweet memories, but the world brims with with new and complex ways to love.
Dir. Kristin Li
An experimental animation and documentary about diasporic desires for foundational myths. Seeking a home in reclaiming ones’ ancestry and seeking a self in reappropriated narratives. What is found is an identity, one that is fragmented, but open.
Dir. Linnea Ritland
Two actors competing for the same role find truth in a moment of pretending.
You and Me
Dir. Ha Na & Lu Ling
Produced by Queer University
When you turn the camera around, you can’t see yourself.
Dir. Lei Lei Aye
Produced by Rainbow Reels
A woman from the village and a man from the city fall in love, make a home and raise a family in this delicate documentary portrait of queerness in rural Myanmar.
Dir. V. Ramanathan
Produced by KASHISH Arts Foundation
Shireen drives a taxi and dreams of becoming an actress. Krithika is focused in her ambition to become a police officer. A story of two friends striving for recognition of their preferred gender in a society that can’t think beyond the physicality of being a male or female.
Produced by Queer University
In the eastern city of Jinan, a group of trans men meet in solidarity and call each other ‘brother’. Tony is one of them. Yaoyao’s documentary follows Tony on his journey to self-acknowledgement, taking in the hardships his community faces along the way.
Son of A Dancer
Dir. Georges Hazim
[Running time: 20.00]
Torn between his relationship with his now-silent father, and Hanine, the woman who will help him overcome his grief, Majed takes a trip down memory lane into the mysterious past of his mother…
A Simple Love Story
Dir. Hnin Papa Soe
[Running time: 21.00]
A documentary film following a not so simple yet simple love story between a tomboy and a transvestite man in Myanmar.
Zara nazar Uthake Delkho – Tales of Cruising in India
Dir. Anindya Das
[Running time: 23.00]
This documentary explores personal cruising narratives against visuals of Indian public spaces. Urban cruising remains one of the most dominant ways of finding sexual/romantic partners for the LGBTQ community in India.
From AM to PM (A Look into Ishaq’s Life)
Dir. Alizeb Raees
[Running time: 14.16]
An intimate look into the life of Ishaq, who must maintain a balance between providing for his family and following his desire to become part of Khawaja Sira community in Lahore.
Dir. Eluna Cepeda
[Running time: 14.00]
Unmoored from the chaos & prejudice of the outside world, we are left with a gentle, bittersweet snapshot of a loving couple savoring every moment together before an inevitable conclusion.
Dir. Eugene Chin
Neyna, who took her name from a demigod in a storybook, recounts memories of her parents, her life and her close encounter with death.
Dir. Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
A brave young transgender woman sets off on a journey to become her true self in the conservative Pacific Island Kingdom of Tonga – with a little inspiration from Tina Turner along the way.
A young trans man reaches into his identity, but at the risk of losing his family.
Feminist Voices Funeral and Disco Memorial Party
Dir. Feminist Voices
When Feminist Voices, China most prominent feminist media organisation, was banned on International Women’s Day 2018, a group of activists mourn its loss with a disco party on a grave.
3 Minutes Me and Myself
Dir. Chen Qiu
Artist and filmmaker Chen Qiu explores the relationship between her body, her camera and herself.
Dir. Vonne Patiag
A young Filipino boy in Western Sydney gets an enchanting crash-course in his homeland culture when his uncle reveals himself to be a cross-dresser in the ‘Bakla’ tradition.
Dir. Aditya Dawar
This film portrays a reality of the wrestlers in which they are belittled in contrast to their strength and masculinity and are stuck as puppets in a play in a constant recurring cycle of fighting and tiring and preparing to fight again. Where the dark nature of the fighting is rather showcased as frivolous and insignificant.
Boys Of Hong Kong
Dir. Luke Casey
A sensual exploration of maleness, and of new articulations of masculinity, amongst the youth of Hong Kong.
Dir. Bell Zhong
Mesmerized by a pair of red heels, a lonely street guy in Shanghai follows its owner into a forbidden club. There, he discovers something that challenges, yet awakens his mind. This short is inspired by the real underground elder LGBTQ community in Shanghai.
Join us on a journey through film as we put queerness and the child together. How is queer subjecthood and identity haunted by the figure of the child? What role does nurture play in the making of the child? How are social systems geared towards regulating the queer child? The mothers. The families. The schools. And what forms of love, violence, and entanglements shape the child?
What I Would Have Told My Daughter If I Knew What To Say Back Then (Screener)
Dir. Cha Roque
[Running time: 12:31]
This film features over 13 years of home video footage. The filmmaker deploys this private archive to engage in an imagined conversation with her daughter as a child, revealing a big secret about her identity.
Dir. Noriko Yuasa
[Running time: 30:22]
Mr Tsuda is a handsome dance-club coach. Concerned about one injured member, Ami, he visits her home in the middle of Tokyo. What he finds is a seemingly perfect family life, but Ami’s father is missing. Growing closer to the family, he realises the family lead anything but an ordinary life. (CW: Violence)
Dir. Ezgi Temel
[Running time: 4:21]
On a normal Sunday shopping trip, a son rejects the Batman toy his mother selected. He wants the Barbie Doll House instead. The mother does not let him buy it. Back home, the boy transform the Batman toy into what he wants with his father’s support.
Two Boys and a Sheep
Dir. Hyung-suk Lee
[Running time: 18:00]
Two different love stories criss-cross in a remote community: between two boys, and a man and a woman.
Langit Budak Biru
Dir. Kean Hian Lim
[Running time: 23:36]
Two teenage boys forced to balance self-discovery with the challenges of school bullying, at a time of great uncertainty and self-doubt in their adolescent years.
The Liberation Man
Dir. Scott Dance
[Running time: 06:30]
Scott Dance’s latest documentary on a sensitive issue reveals what it is like to be a Queer Muslim in 2019 in a heartfelt and fascinating interview with the LGBT activist and Gay Muslim, Khakan Qureshi. How has he used his differences strategically to help queer South Asians like him?
Dir. Ratheesh Ravindran
[Running time: 1.10.48]
Pixelia, a movie with a stylistic blend of documentary and magical realism talks about the fragmentation in our daily lives. Two people Kumar, an uber driver, and Mandakini, his passenger a transwoman bond over this journey and explore queer identities and its meaning.
One more Cigarette
Dir. Ivan Romanov
[Running Time: 7.15]
A young man lights a cigarette, bringing him both closer to his friend and at the same time more lonely…
I Can’t Breathe
Dir. Zehong Zhu
[Running Time: 2.50]
A short fiction documentary animation about a tradition from Western part of Nepal.
Car Park Blues
Dir. Khomthong Rungsawang
[Running Time: 1.00]
A short walk in a parking lot reveals how much time has changed the dynamic between Game and Toy.
Dir. Harun Baysan
[Running Time: 30.00]
Akif has to avoid compulsory military service and there’s only one way… He gets close to Uğur who is exempt from military service for being gay.
Dir. Jacqueline Nassour
[Running Time: 11.00]
A story about two girls from different backgrounds who finds one another and express their similarities in a rather strange way.
Dir. Flame Channel
[Running Time: 5.27]
A short experimental film exploring identity.
The Boy Who Bleeds in the Middle of the Sea
Dir. James Allen Fajardo
[Running Time: 15.00]
Simon, a teenage boy, menstruates in the middle of fishing. Simultaneously, his father, Nestor, an activist leader in their community, organizes and mobilizes the fisherfolks to continue to fight for their community, which faces impending demolition.
Dir. Riyad Vinci Wadia
[Running time: 12.00]
Bomgay is a 1996 Indian anthology of short films directed by Riyad Vinci Wadia and Jangu Sethna. The film stars Kushal Punjabi and Rahul Bose with music by Ashutosh Phatak. It is often regarded as India’s first gay film and is known for its controversial gay sex scene in a library.