By Guest Blogger Adèle Barclay: Let the films play! The 27th Vancouver Queer Film Festival kicked off last night at the Vancouver Playhouse to a full house of dapper attendees. Programmers and sponsors regaled the crowd with speeches, and a common thread emerged–the integral role film plays in queer experience and community.

VQFF - Opening Gala Film - Aug 13
Metha Brown, Interim Executive Director

As Metha Brown honoured Drew Dennis’ 15 year legacy, the audience rose to a rousing standing ovation to celebrate Drew’s achievements in their own way.

A resounding standing ovation for Drew Dennis

The opening film, Peter Greenaway’s Eisenstein in Guanajuato, was an eccentric but apt choice to begin the festivities—the film celebrates the queer awakening of the twentieth-century’s most important film figure, Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein. A bewildering hurricane of fact and myth, the film concentrates on Eisenstein’s (played by Elmer Bäck) jaunt to Mexico in 1930 to film ¡Que viva México!, a project he never finished due to fraught financial backing and Soviet intervention. More importantly, however, while visiting the country, a steamy, intellectual affair with his studly guide Palomino Canedo (Luis Alberti) ensues.

Shana Myara with the Eisenstein in Guanajuato slide
Shana Myara with the Eisenstein in Guanajuato slide

After the steamy Eisenstein on-screen affair, Greenaway-like debauchery continued at the Hollywood circus-themed open-air gala in the August heat. Robson Square was packed with cinephiles and partygoers who enjoyed roving circus performances like fire-eating and acrobatics, juggling and poi, Ikue Ueno and Jonathan Kol’s vogue-off, and electric drag numbers by Shanda Leer, Anna Propriette, and ManUp’s golden Ponyboy.

House of La Douche vogue-ing it up!
House of La Douche vogue-ing it up!
Vancity Photography - Opening Gala Party - 37
Our roving circus performers were having a ball!
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Roving circus performers keeping us on a tight rope!
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Anna Propriette and Shanda Leer belting out those sweet tunes!
PonyBoy whipping more than just their hair back n' forth!
PonyBoy whipping more than just their hair back n’ forth.
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Martina’s smokin’ hot talent wrapped up the night.

It all erupted into a dance party in the end. Not bad for a Thursday night. The festival is off to a fine start. Grab a date and go see some queer cinema! Next screening of Eisenstein in Guanajuato: Sat Aug 22, 4:30pm, International Village Find the rest of the Opening Gala Photos on Facebook!