Vancouver Queer Film Festival is excited to announce its four film Spotlights for this year:

The Experiential Lens: Filmmakers of Colour;

Young Hearts, Bright Eyes: Spotlight on Youth;


and Indigenous Cinema.


The Experiential Lens: Filmmakers of Colour shines a light on directors and writers of colour. With integrity of voice and personal perspective, directors and writers of colour from around the world bring the stories closest to them to the big screen. From the humour and sweetness of Signature Move (USA) and Fathers (Thailand), to the detailed complexities of Doris Yeung’s Taxi Stories (China) and the deep care and respect of Ernesto Contreras’ I Dream in Another Language (Sueño en Otro Idioma) (Mexico), audiences will be charmed and stunned by the talent, skill, and heart of these artists.

Film stills from Signature Move, Fathers, and I Dream In Another Language


Films featuring queer and trans youth are moving far beyond the typical coming-of-age story, pushing both artistic and narrative boundaries in this year’s Young Hearts, Bright Eyes: Spotlight on Youth. Maria Govan’s breathtaking, lush and intense Play the Devil (Trinidad and Tobago) delves deeply into what it means for a young queer man of colour who lacks role models to carve his way through the world, and Jacqueline Gares’ FREE CeCe (USA) is a searing and heartfelt participatory documentary that lifts up the story of young trans woman activist, CeCe McDonald.

Still from FREE CeCe!

The Intergenerations Spotlight invites audiences into conversations with our elders, our peers, and our futures. In what is perhaps the most intimate documentary of the Festival, Small Talk (Ri Chang Dui Hua) (Taiwan) charts the life and loves of butch lesbian Anu through the eyes of her daughter, director Huang Hui-chen. Many of the films in this Spotlight feature the lives of local and international elders and trailblazers: David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (USA) investigates the circumstances of the legendary trans activist’s mysterious death and reverently looks back at the generous and outspoken person she was in life; Antonette (Canada) lifts up the remarkable life and work of local artist and elder Antonette Rea; and additional local documentaries, The March Sweater (Canada) and Stay Gold: Man Up (Canada), explore formative queer geographies and people of Vancouver.

Film stills from Small Talk, The Death & Life of Marsha P. Johnson, and The March Sweater


The Indigenous Cinema Spotlight is a tribute to Two-Spirit role models and other Indigenous queer filmmakers who work to decolonize cinema and preserve tradition, knowledge, and creativity. The intimate and moving Kumu Hina (USA), which previously screened at VQFF as a short film, returns to the Festival as a full-length documentary. Indigifemme (a term gifted to the program by Gitxan artist Jessica Wood) honours the many facets of Indigenous and Two-Spirit femme identities and experiences. This powerhouse double-bill will feature archival classics and new shorts from Dana Claxton, Thirza Cuthand, Shelley Niro, Kent Monkman and Gail Maurice to name a few, as well as live performances by local multidisciplinary artists.

Still from Kumu Hina


With over 50 films from 15 countries, the Festival will showcase these spotlights from August 10-20 at various venues throughout Vancouver.

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