Out On Screen is proud to announce the appointment of two accomplished queer artists, Anoushka Ratnarajah and Amber Dawn, to the positions of Artistic Director responsible for the curation of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival through to the 30th anniversary year in 2018 and beyond.

“Looking to our 30th anniversary next year, Out On Screen’s future looks bright with Amber Dawn and Anoushka, two accomplished queer artists,” says Stephanie Goodwin, Out On Screen’s Executive Director. “Their prolific portfolios demonstrate an experience with and commitment to centering voices and stories from the margins, which aligns well with our strategic vision.”

As Artistic Directors, Anouska and Amber Dawn will provide senior arts leadership within Vancouver’s queer, trans, two-spirit, and allied communities. Their shared role provides artistic vision and programming to fulfill Out On Screen’s mission of illuminating, celebrating, and advancing queer lives through film, education and dialogue through its key programs, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Out in Schools. Amber Dawn and Anoushka are following in the footsteps of the outgoing Artistic Director Shana Myara. Amber Dawn previously stood in the same position from 2009 to 2012 before Myara.

 

anoushka-webAnoushka Ratnarajah is a leading writer, performer, and arts organizer whose works explore the intersection of identity, belonging and community. She is an associate artist and facilitator at ShapeShift Arts, and works as a producer, director, playwright and filmmaker. Recent artistic endeavours include the continued co-creation ofToasted Marshmallows, a documentary that explores what it means to be a mixed-race woman in North America today, and partnered projects with Kalik, an interdisciplinary arts company & spaceship, including “Dear Armen”, and an upcoming production of “(Untitled) Boxes” at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival. Anoushka holds a BFA in creative writing and an MA in Arts Politics.

“I am thrilled to be joining Out on Screen, where the belief that cinema and storytelling can be transformative tools for change and connection is what drives our work forward. I am honoured to bring my passion as an artist and arts organizer to this work, and to my communities. I am delighted to be in creative partnership with Amber Dawn, and I look forward to supporting and elevating queer film, especially from those of us who are underrepresented. I am so excited for the stories we will create together!”

amber-webAmber Dawn is an educator, an award-winning writer of poetry, memoir, and fiction, and a facilitator of connections between artists, idea-makers and audiences. She teaches at the University of British Columbia and Douglas College, and is a speaker at festivals, conferences, and universities across North America. Current projects include directing the Thursdays Writing Collective, a creative writing group at Carnegie Community Centre for members of the Downtown Eastside, and teaching Tough Language, Tender Wisdoms, an ongoing memoir writing workshop for queer, low-income participants. Amber Dawn holds a BFA and MFA in creative writing.

“Teaching creative writing for the last five years has evolved my appreciation for sharing stories, and has often reminded me to be aware of whose stories continue to be under-heard. I am proud to be returning to Out On Screen, where advancing complex, authentic and intersectional LGBTQ2S stories is the very heart of what we do. I feel I’m bringing my passion for storytelling and education back home again, and what an honour to be returning teamed up with Anoushka! ”