Vancouver Queer Film Festival Announces Artists In Residence and Festival Spotlights
Out On Screen's 30th Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) is pleased to announce its 2018 Visiting Artist in Residence, Indigenous filmmaker Thirza Cuthand along with Local Artists in Residence Jen Sungshine and David Ng of Love Intersections. VQFF also announces today its Festival Spotlights: decolonizing discipline(s): a two-spirit showcase; RISE: Youth Spotlight; Trans Women On Screen Spotlight; and a Spotlight on The Artist. With over 70 films from 15 countries, the Festival will run from August 9-19 at various venues throughout Vancouver.
VQFF is proud to welcome Thirza Cuthand (Plains Cree & Scot) as this year's Visiting Artist In Residence. For over 20 years, Cuthand has been producing videos that tackle issues of sexuality, madness, youth, love, and race. Her short film 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99 screened to acclaim at the 2017 Festival. She is this year's winner of the Anniversary Media Art Award at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. 2018 Local Artists In Residence are Love Intersections, co-founded by Jen Sungshine and David Ng. Jen and David are artists, filmmakers and activists, and will premiere their new 6x6 'Finding' short film series with TELUS STORYHIVE at this year's Festival.
"Our Artists In Residence are bringing more than just film on screen, they offer unique opportunities for audience/artist exchanges," says Co-Artistic Director Amber Dawn. "We're excited for Thirza Cuthand, Jen Sungshine, and David Ng to connect with and inspire our festivalgoers."
This year's Festival Spotlights includes decolonizing discipline(s): a two-spirit showcase, which brings an array of Indigenous film and live performance that defies the settler knowledge surrounding two-spirit and Indigiqueer identities. It includes a free archival screening of late director Clint Alberta's award-winning film Deep Inside Clint Star; a retrospective screening of Thirza Cuthand's films; and Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu's Leitis in Waiting, from Tonga. At the core of this showcase is Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island & Aotearoa, a collection of films showcasing the multifaceted ways in which two-spirit/Indigiqueer folks express their sexuality, programmed by filmmaker and VQFF programming coordinator Justin Ducharme.
"This year's Two-Spirit showcase provides audiences an extremely diverse melting pot of Indigiqueer identity and artistic approach," says Ducharme. "By simply existing within spaces, being Indigenous and being queer is decolonial. Celebrate these narratives."
In RISE: Youth Spotlight, youth RISE like the moon, uplifted by fearlessness and flair, friendship and family. Visiting director Debalina conscientiously addresses the gravity of queer teen suicide in ...and the unclaimed and If You Dare Desire - a reimagining of a double suicide in West Bengal in which two teenage girls, Swapna and Sucheta, get to live and love, together. Youth share their stories in the Love Intersections: New and Retrospective Short Documentary Program; and Troublemakers returns, pairing local aspiring youth filmmakers with inspiring troublemakers for this home-grown edition of short documentary films.
The Trans Women on Screen Spotlight sees trans women artists and activists making commanding appearances in this year's documentaries. Pinay author and LGBT staff writer for Buzzfeed, Meredith Talusan, fights for trans justice and anti-imperialism in Call Her Ganda; Brazilian musician Linn da Quebrada lights up São Paulo stages and airwaves in Bixa Travesty; and Miss ROSEWOOD takes a close look at one of New York's most controversial and adored stage performers. At the centre of this Spotlight is the #TransWomenAreBeautiful program - a collection of highly-accomplished shorts that rightfully position trans women as desirable and beautiful.
The Spotlight on The Artist explores what makes queer art subversive and important. Audience members are invited to consort with poet Alberto Raposo Pidwell Tavares and his sexy bohemian friends in the biopic Al Berto; to swirl in the nuanced, neon-bright love story of Tinta Bruta (Hard Paint); and contemplate the traditional art of Thai Bai Sri, the spiritual practice of sculpting jasmine flowers in Malila: The Farewell Flower. The documentary Every Act of Life commemorates five decades of work from playwright Terrence McNally; Dykes, Camera, Action! highlights the evolution of queer women on screen and in the director's chair; and Shakedown tells the story of a Black sex-positive performance series in LA.
Early Bird passes for the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival go on sale Thursday, July 5 and all tickets go on sale Thursday, July 12at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.