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, Kona Katranya, Jillian Christmas, and Adèle Barclay. Total running time: 90 minutes
Screening Sponsors: 24 Frames, The Cultch
Runtime: 80 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.
Screening Sponsors: Be the Change Group Inc., Scotiabank
Writer Marisa Calin in attendance.
Runtime: 62 min
Spotlight Partner: SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs
Screening Sponsor: Hastings Crossing BIA
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.
Screening Sponsors: Cineplex, OUTtv
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.
Spotlight Sponsor: RBC
Screening Sponsor: Cineplex
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.
Screening Sponsors: Cineplex, Vancouver Frontrunners, Northwest Kennels & Daycare
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.
Screening Sponsors: English Bay Swim Club, James Goodman
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.
Runtime: 88 min
Our annual local program brings together debut and established filmmakers. Notably, Jason Karman is celebrating his seventeenth film with his suspenseful hockey-themed drama, Lions in Waiting. In turn, health researcher Britney Dennison is hailing her first film with the healing-themed documentary, Still Here. Come out to our new East Van venue—the York Theatre—to cheer on this multifarious mix of documentary, romantic, fantasy, and dramatic short films.
Directors in attendance.
Screening Sponsors: Creative BC, The Cultch
Runtime: 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 Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson | David France | USA | 2017 | 105 min
Screening Sponsors: Hospital Employees Union, The Cultch
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.
Screening Sponsors: Cineplex, DailyXtra.com
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.
Screening Sponsors: Davie Village Post, Delta Air Lines
Runtime: 59 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 for back-to-back thrills.
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.
Screening Sponsor: Cineplex, Scotiabank
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!
Director Jac Gares in attendance.
Screening Sponsors: Scotiabank, UBC: Critical Studies in Sexuality / UBC Education
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.
Fawzia Mirza, cast member of Poshida and The Streets are Ours, in attendance.
Director Faizan Fiaz of Poshida in attendance.
Screening Sponsors: Be the Change Group Inc., DailyXtra.com
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.
Screening Sponsor: Scotiabank, Vancouver Civic Theatres
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.
Screening Sponsors: Be the Change Group Inc., Vancouver Frontrunners
Runtime: 103 min
The award-winning Contreras brothers—director Ernesto and writer Carlos—have teamed up again to bring us their most ambitious film yet. Set in a small jungle settlement in Mexico’s Vera Cruz province, I Dream In Another Language begins with a young linguist, Martín, and his research with the last three surviving speakers of the Indigenous language Zikril. Martín quickly discovers that communication between two of the three language holders, Isauro and Evaristo, has been severed by a fifty-year feud. This seeming irreconcilable feud gradually gives way to a long-lost love story.
Winner of the 2017 Audience Choice Award at Sundance, much of the film’s success lies in its ability to blend a compelling romantic drama with the captivating magical realism that frequently hallmarks Latin American cinema. But at the crux of this story is its portrayal of the loss of Indigenous languages; as Director Ernesto Contreras said in a feature Sundance interview, “When you lose a language, you lose a culture, a worldview, knowledge.”
Since, its big win at Sundance, I Dream in Another Language has gone on to garner audience choice awards at film festivals in Guadalajara, Minneapolis, and Maitland, Florida.
Screening Sponsors: Cineplex, Scotiabank, Vancouver Civic Theatres
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).
Spotlight Sponsor: Vancity
Screening Sponsors: Downtown Vancouver BIA, OPUS Hotel Vancouver
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.
“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.
Screening Sponsors: Downtown Vancouver BIA, OUTtv
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.
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.
Director Samantha Lee in attendance.
Screening Sponsors: Cineplex, Coast Coal Harbour Hotel by APA, DailyXtra.com, Delta Air Lines
Runtime: 22 min
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.
Crossing Bridges director Rama Luksiarto is joined by Rainer Oktovianus and members of the Rainbow Refugee Committee in a post-film panel.
This presentation is part of Migrant Voices, presented by: Carl Meadows and Les Dick
Screening Sponsors: Modo the Car Co-op
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.
Spotlight Partner: SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs
Runtime: 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.
Runtime: 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.”
Director Francis Luta in attendance.
Older than What? Director Steen Starr in attendance.
Screening Sponsor: Delta Air Lines
Runtime: 81 min
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.
Cast member t’ai freedom ford in attendance, and will be guest reading from her new poetry collection, how to get over.
Screening Sponsors: The Cultch, Dr. Langston Raymond
Runtime: 109 min
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.
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.
Writer and cast member Fawzia Mirza in attendance.
Screening Sponsor: DailyXtra.com, Scotiabank
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.
Spotlight Sponsor: SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs
Screening Sponsor: Coast Coal Harbour Hotel by APA, IATSE Local 891
Runtime: 58 min
An evening of short films that highlight local artists and elders.
Screening Sponsor: OUTtv, West End BIA
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.
Director Doris Yeung in attendance.
Screening Sponsors: Be the Change Group Inc., Delta Air Lines, Scotiabank
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.
Troublemakers: Javier Barajas, Natasha Barsotti, Josie Boyce, Roger Chin, Dave Decarlo, John Dub, Fatima Jaffer, Veronique Noelle, Keith Oberding, Kasey Reese
Youth: Heather Addison, Mohamed Ibrahim Ali, Desaraigh Byers, Kweegay iiwans, Ruby Liu, Drew Neill Leitz, Amar Mangat, Han Pham, Shanelle Sham, Sabrina Guzman Skotnitsky, Pieta Rupia, Moe Yang
With Special Thanks To: Cadillac Fairview, Love Intersections, Reel Youth, SFU – School for the Contemporary Arts
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada.
Ce projet est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.
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.
Screening Sponsor: Northwest Kennels & Daycare
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