Event Category: Screening

Shorts: You Can’t Hurry Love

Still from "U for Usha" - two people walking down a rural lane with fields and trees

This collection of shorts is all about looking for love wherever you can find it…at your kid’s school, in your school, online, during a tarot card reading, or at your ex’s house.

This program has 6 films.

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The Date
Lizzy and Olivia might be total opposites but they do have one thing in common: they both swiped ‘right’ on each other.

U for Usha
Usha, a single mother and farm labourer in rural India, finds herself drawn to a female teacher who works at a local primary school.

Breastfriends
A driven young female relay runner begins to question her sexuality when a new member joins the team.

Xiao Xian
Xiao Xian’s mother has put her in charge of finishing a dress and her daughter obeys, as usual. But when the girl’s best friend shows up looking to party, Xiao Xian can’t say no.

Love on the Cards
Frustrated by her failing love life, Tess turns to a tarot card reading for clarity.

The Night Before
On the night before her wedding, Shae pays a visit to her ex, Nikki, a woman she ghosted years ago.

Being Impossible

Still from "Being Impossible" - a person sitting by a curtained window, with a person with their head on a pillow in the foreground

Finding your identity is difficult at the best of times, but what if a critical piece of your history has been kept from you?

When Ariel has sex with her boyfriend for the first time she experiences intense pain. Her mother gives her strict instructions to visit a very specific doctor but will tell her nothing else. To make matters more confusing, Ariel has developed a strong attraction to her new co-worker, Ana. Everything comes to a head when Ariel discovers that she was born intersex, which affords a new understanding of who she really is and the opportunity to explore what she really wants.

Being Impossible provides a sensitive, non-sensational way of looking at the complexities of gender and sex.

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Shorts: Thrive

Still from "The Bony Lady" - a person with chin in hand looking at a skeleton wearing an ornate costume, overlaid over a person's eyes and nose

Dating, parenting and spirituality. This year, Thrive takes a closer look at these topics, featuring trans stories that go beyond our gender markers, and asking bigger questions about the human condition.

This program has 7 films.

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Rani
A poor, socially outcast Pakistani transgender woman sets out to take care of an abandoned baby.

Autumn
A transgender woman tries to make it to the Miss Oregon audition but first has one quick stop to beat up some thugs.

Waking Hour
A trans woman is pursued by a potential lover at a party and must balance concerns about her safety and her desire for intimacy.

I
A young trans person living in a small town travels to the city searching for freedom.

Will I Say So
Two men are on a first date and each has a secret. Can they find the courage to speak the truth and accept one another?

The Bony Lady
A Mexican transgender woman and leader of the Santa Muerte Cult in Queens prepares for her yearly celebration of the Bony Lady.

Tell By Date
Ryan has something important to tell his seven-year-old son but comes up with every excuse to avoid it. He needs a “tell-by date.”

Shorts: Real and Spectacular

Still from "Lee and Wanda" - Lee and Wande are posting with blue feathers indoors with a Chagall poster in the background

From trans trailblazers to intersex activists to gay porn starts to a pair of elderly lesbian entertainers, this program highlights a few of the very real and very spectacular members of our communities.

This program has 6 films.

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Framing Agnes
In the late 1950s, a woman named Agnes approached the UCLA Medical Center seeking sex reassignment surgery. Her story was long considered to be singular until never-before-seen case files were found in 2017.

Battle Cry
At the longest-running queer theatre in the world, Toronto’s most cerebral drag queen, Pearle Harbour, prepares to take the stage for her new show, Battle Cry.

A Normal Girl
A Normal Girl brings to light the widely unknown struggles of intersex people, through the story of intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis.

Rick
Rick is gay and deaf and a porn star.

How to Make a Rainbow
How to Make a Rainbow observes a young girl and her mother over two years as they journey through the realities of a parent in transition.

Lee & Wanda
This touching portrait of two lesbian entertainers, together for almost 60 years, looks back at a lifetime of performing.

José

Still from "José" - two people riding on a moped with trees blurred by motion in the background

Chinese-American director Li Cheng lived in Central America for two years interviewing gay and marginal youth, and learning about Guatemalan culture and history, in preparation for his second feature film, José.

The film follows 19-year-old José, who lives at home with his religious mother in hardscrabble Guatemala City. He manages to sneak off for the occasional motel hookup, but when he meets Luis, a construction worker from the Caribbean coast, José is forced to make choices he would rather avoid making. Working in a gritty, realist style with an impressive cast of nonprofessional actors, José captures the thrill of love and sex in an environment that’s not conducive to either of them.

The tender, loving care Cheng applied to the subject matter certainly paid off in this sweet and moving drama, which won the Queer Lion at last year’s Venice International Film Festival.

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Brief Story from the Green Planet

Still from "Brief Story from the Green Planet" - a person holding a phone to their ear with the subtitle "Your grandma's house was a good place to live."

Winner of the Teddy Award at this year’s Berlinale, A Brief Story from the Green Planet follows trans woman Tania on a strange and surprising odyssey.

When Tania receives the news that her grandmother has passed away,she returns to her hometown with two friends to take care of her grandmother’s estate. Tania realizes she has inherited more than she bargained for when she discovers a peculiar creature in the house. Her grandmother’s dying request is thatTania return this friendly companion to the place where it first appeared, led only by the help of a mysterious map. When the road gets rough, the travellers must overcome their fears and work together to complete their mission.

An odd premise breaks open to reveal a heartwarming tale about chosen family and the power that outsiders wield when they stick together.

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Jack & Yaya

Still from "Jack and Yaya" - two people looking out at the ocean at sunset

Growing up trans in a rural community can feel isolating and lonely. But Jack and Yaya, who grew up with neighbouring backyards, had each other every step of the way. Years later, despite living in separate States, they remain best friends.

Jack, only a few years into his transition, struggles to decide whether to move forward with gender-affirming surgery, while Yaya tackles the bureaucratic nightmare of legally changing her name in New Jersey, an eighteen-step ordeal. Through Skype calls and visits, Jack and Yaya are behind each other for every setback and every milestone.

Drawing on home videos and conversations with their eclectic cast of friends and family, Jack & Yaya proves that hardships and distance are no match for a friendship that seemed destined from the start.

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Fabiana

Still from "Fabiana" - a person seated in a truck by the window, with a small child's face peering forward by the seat

The life of a long-distance trucker isn’t easy, and proves especially challenging for Fabiana, a 56-year-old trans woman who spends her life crisscrossing the highways of Brazil.

In director Brunna Laboissière meditative documentary, we follow Fabiana during her final days on the job as she prepares to retire from the road. Perched behind the wheel, cigarette in hand, Fabiana is both engaging and mysterious, speaking openly about her various sexual conquests and relationships. But she is also emotionally wary, afraid to show her deep feelings and fears.We watch as Fabiana struggles to reveal her lesbian identity to a female friend, hiding the truth from her, and later we witness Fabiana’s tense relationship with her girlfriend, Priscilla.

Laboissière is a compassionate filmmaker who is not afraid to ask the tough questions. In the end, we are left with a poignantly tender portrait of a woman who embraces life and who lives by her own rules.

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Second Star on the Right

Black and white still from "Second Star on the Right" - a person looking to the right of the frame, with the subtitle "You want me to leave? I'll leave if you want to" in purple

Young at heart and lost in life, Emilia is far from having it all figured out. She’s unemployed, in a relationship she won’t commit to, and the odd one out in her friend group in almost every way possible.

As an actor whose theatre work is high in concept but low in attendance, Emilia teaches acting classes while she awaits her big break. When she is unexpectedly fired,she is forced to take a job working for her best friend Angelica. As Emilia sinks more deeply into a comfortable life, she grows further away from herself. If this isn’t enough to manage, she is also trying to figure out exactly what her relationship with Mariana is. Everything comes to a head at Angelica’s bachelorette party, where a few too many drunken truths are revealed.

With clear vision, director Ruth Caudeli spotlights the highs and lows of female friendship, and masterfully answers the question: does growing up have to mean giving up?

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A Dog Barking at the Moon

Still from "A Dog Barking at the Moon" - a person seated at a dining table with another person at the sink in the kitchen in the background, with the subtitle "Didn't you guys talk about divorce last year?"

Unhappiness can become such a habit that we forget about its root cause. In her assured and lyrical debut feature, writer-director Xiang Zi introduces us to a family living with sorrow at its core, although the source of that sorrow may not be all that it seems.

Ever since she was young, Huang Xiaoyu (Gaowa Siqin) has been cheering for her parents’ divorce, particularly in light of evidence that her father might be gay. Arriving home from the United States to have her first child, Western husband at her side, Xiaoyu already seems demoralized. Her father is cheerful but absent, and her mother, played by veteran actress Renhua Na, is a bundle of nerves and disgruntlement. As the curtain pulls back, we can see that secrets (although her father’s were less well kept) run in the family.

Revealing the story over various time periods, Xiang invites the viewer to act as a fly on the wall, enticing them to watch as astutely observed moments unfold in the history of a family who have barely been able to keep up appearances.

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