Event Category: Screening

The Coast Is Queer

Two people in a dim room by a large window. The person on the left is seated on a red couch with a grey and white cat, and the person on the right is seated on the floor on a blanket by trays of food and yellow tulips in vases

Our perennial local shorts program returns, highlighting the work of homegrown queer filmmakers both emerging and established. These short films range in genre and style, from documentary to narrative, animation, fantasy, experimental and romance. Make sure to join us at The York Theatre for the best in local queer film.

Artists will be in attendance.

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Above the Bar | English
Brunch Queen | English
Come Around | Tagalog with English Subtitles
Everything’s Great! | English
La Ceri-se | English
I Am Me | English
Ô Criatura: Navigating (dis)location | English and Portuguese with English Subtitles
Ricecake | English
A Typical Fairytale | English
Voicemail | English

Have We Met Before?

Two people wearing masks and latex shirts and pants crouched on a sidewalk at night

Longing, loneliness, serendipity, missed connections and parallel lives are the themes explored throughout this charming short film program. Have We Met Before? documents the history of queer men’s hook-up culture, from bathrooms, cruising and the hanky code to internet chat rooms and dating apps. Spectrum follows a diverse cast of characters through a single night in Manchester’s gay village; for some it’s their first night out of the closet and in the village, for others it’s a familiar haunt with old friends. Finally, In The Dark is a peek into the sexy basement of a Berlin cruise bar, where lovers find their desires piqued and their curiosities stimulated.

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Have We Met Before? | English
Spectrum | English
In The Dark | No dialogue


Two people in a greenhouse with tropical plants in the background. The person on the left is wearing bright pink makeup over one eye and touching a pink orchid in the foreground. The person on the right has red makeup over one eye.

This sci-fi anthology feature film is composed of seven stand-alone short stories where supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight and thrive. A girl in love uses her third eye to defend her relationship; a business professional resists capitalist patriarchy with a magic connection; bullies are defeated with a sacred dance; politicians are brought into submission with spells; and supernatural beings find intimacy with the earth. The omnibus format of this film celebrates a diverse array of cultural, spiritual and science fiction traditions, honouring the many ways queer and trans people of colour connect to our inheritances in the face of oppression.

The films, all written by a different team of QTBIPOC artists, are guided by a singular vision by director Neelu Bhuman, strung together by poetry and gorgeous animation. It features the voices and talents of an array of emerging and established queer and trans people of colour performers, including D’Lo, Harmony Santana (Gun Hill Road, 2011), Carmen K Moore (Drunktown’s Finest, 2014) Blossom Brown, Skyler Cooper and Davia Spain.

Director Neelu Bhuman will be in attendance for a Q&A.

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Preceded by

K and L are cultural conservationists working in a not-so-distant future to preserve the artifacts and histories that are being systematically destroyed by a totalitarian government. When they are in a deadly car accident, time splinters into parallel realities, and they embark on a search between worlds to find each other again.

Actors and writers lee williams boudakian and Kamee Abrahamian will be in attendance for a Q&A. And don’t miss their workshop, QTBIPOC Futures with Kalik.

Transfinite | English
Transmission | English

Nothing to Lose

A group of people, appearing to be in mid-shout, dancing in a dim room lit from the back

Nothing to Lose follows the fierce, fat, queer cast of Force Majeure’s award winning, groundbreaking dance theatre production of the same name. The film explores the inherent movement potential of the fat body and the relationships the extraordinary cast of the production have with themselves and each other.

The show was a collaboration between Force Majeure’s Artistic Director Kate Champion, an award winning choreographer and dancer, and Kelli Jean Drinkwater, a fat activist and performance artist. The two came together to facilitate the show because they felt a keen lack of representation of queer fat bodies on stage, especially in the world of dance. The documentary follows the cast from their open audition process to the opening of the sold out show at Sydney Festival 2015. The performers, some with no formal dance training, draw upon their lived experiences that have often been defined by their size. Over the course of rehearsals, the cast forms deep ties with one another, and much of the choreography relies on their trust in one another as much as their individual bodies and stories. Through their performances, the dancers confront cultural projections around beauty, sexuality and ability, with unapologetic self love, strength and solidarity.

Director Kelli Jean Drinkwater will be in attendance for a Q&A.

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Preceded by
Dressed for Pleasure
A young disabled woman throws off her over-protective parents in pursuit of her own sexual liberation.

Nothing to Lose | English
Dressed for Pleasure | French with English Subtitles

Troublemakers 4.0

Three people walking away from the camera, down an urban promenade with picnic tables on the left

Our intergenerational film project Troublemakers is back for a fourth year! The Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Reel Youth and Love Intersections have gathered a fresh team of aspiring young filmmakers and experienced “troublemakers” to work together through an eight-session filmmaking program that captures our local queer, trans and two-spirit histories. The unveiling promises to be a gathering of talented young filmmakers, inspiring troublemakers, cast and crew, friends and family.

David C Jones, Christopher Hunte, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Terrie Hamazaki, Gregory Karlen, Marg Yeo, Sumter/April Sumter-Freitag, !Kona, Lisa Salazar, Morgane Oger

Mac Walsh, Ichiro Kubozono, Corey Kuefler-ter Weeme, Ezra Loggin, Garima Garima,
Emily Tsang, Ezra Avdeyev, Christopher Riaz, Alex Dounce, Wyatt Chan, Mina Yang

The Troublemakers series will be preceded by 2019 Cinematheque and Out In Schools Student Short Films: Boy, Gen-darr, Painted Dreams and Becoming Me.

Please join us for a post screening reception with cast and crew at Bean Around the World at 5:30 PM.

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No Box for Me: An Intersex Story

A smiling person on a bus, with their head resting against the head of a second person in the seat next to them. The second person's face is a blank outline, but they are wearing glasses.

An estimated 1.7 percent of people are born with variations to their sex characterisitics that defy medical and societal perceptions of “male” and “female” bodies. Intersex people and their identities are still highly discriminated against in Western countries, where infants and children undergo nonconsensual surgeries, hormone treatments and blockers and genital mutilation. Many of their doctors and parents believe they are doing the child a service by modifying their bodies to fit within the socially constructed binaries of biological sex. Some parents are not even notified prior to the surgeries, and some are fed false medical information to encourage them to put their children under the knife.

This artful and courageous documentary follows two young people, M and Deborah, as they seek to reclaim their bodies and stand firm in their identities, revealing the limits and cruelty of hegemonic binary definitions of sex and gender. Despite the incredible physical and psychological toll they have been through, M and Deborah step into their power to become brave advocates for their community, and to live life with integrity and hope.

Preceded by
A Normal Girl
Intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis takes us on their journey to advocate for an end to intersex surgeries and the right for bodily autonomy for intersex people.

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No Box For Me: An Intersex Story | French with English subtitles
A Normal Girl | English

Coming Into Our Own: Youth Shorts

Two people sitting on the floor in a crowded room lit with pink and purple lights. The person on the left is leaning in to kiss the person on the right

Emerging queer, trans and gender non-conforming youth meet their lives head on in this collection of short films that showcase the diversity of experiences that they face every day with ingenuity, determination and humour. First Day features eleven year old trans actor Evie McDonald as a young trans girl who stares down bullies in her new school. In Spermaceti, a young man comes of age on a whaling ship, mesmerized by the men who lead him into initiation. 2017 Gerry Award Winner Linnea Ritland’s Amateur Dramatics is a gay teen twist on Romeo and Juliet, and Les lèvres gercées poignantly illustrates it’s own heartbreak between a gender non-conforming teenager and their mother. Anemone features the bright and bold coming of age of a young African British immigrant who challenges their family’s expectations with flair. In We Can Be Heroes, coming out to your friends is a struggle and joy all in itself; in Misdirection, falling in love with a friend poses its own complications. And the sweet and tender Maybe is a delightful exploration of a young crush leading to self discovery. This year’s Youth Gala is as dynamic and engaging as our young leaders can be.

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First Day | English
Spermaceti | No dialogue
Amateur Dramatics | English
Les lèvres gercées | French with English Subtitles
Anemone | English
We Can Be Heroes | French with English Subtitles
Misdirection | English
Maybe | English

Shift Change

Two people standing in a sandy open area with buildings and people visible in the background

Explore the heartbreaks and joys of the women who take centre screen in this program. Terminally In Love is a journey through the mind of Quinn, a neurotic stoner trying to get over her ex-girlfriend. In the program’s namesake film, Shift Change, Alicia and Vero work security in an art gallery guarding a sculpture that unexpectedly tests their compatibility. After a drunken hook-up, best friends Belle and Jesse have to deal with the consequences in Treacle. The Night Before follows Shae, a deaf South Asian bride-to-be, as she pays a visit to her ex-girlfriend, confronting repressed emotions and unanswered questions. Oranges is a sensuous meditation on a relationship, recalling the beauty of the beginning to make the end more bearable. In Rehearsal, Anna’s UK student visa is on the verge of expiration, so she and her girlfriend decide to get married—the only obstacle is Anna’s conservative Russian mother. Parker finds two lovers who flirted with others at a party tease each other during the ride home, both trying to brush off their jealousy. In The Half Wall, a couple’s argument about their bathroom renovation sparks a laughable argument. And Adeline tells the story of an elderly woman in a care facility, reminiscing about her first love. Misunderstandings and re-connections are portrayed with compassion, honesty and humour in these short films.

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Terminally In Love English
Shift Change | Spanish with English Subtitles
Treacle | English
The Night Before | English and ASL with English Subtitles
Oranges | French with English Subtitles
Rehearsal | English and Russian with English Subtitles
Parker | | English
The Half Wall | Norwegian with English Subtitles
Adeline | French with English Subtitles

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy as Lee Israel, holding a manila envelope and a sheaf of cash, with a typewriter guide in the foreground with "Melissa McCarthy: Can You Ever Forgive Me?" in red and black typewritten letters

Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy), the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).

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