An equitable society where gender and sexual diversity thrives.
Illuminating, celebrating, and advancing queer lives through film, education, and dialogue.
At Out On Screen, film-lovers, volunteers, and supporters of all kinds believe that film has the power to transform social and political landscapes. We curate films that illuminate transformative moments in the lives of queer, trans, and Two Spirit people, convene meaningful dialogue around issues relevant to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities today, and catalyze change locally and globally.
We lead courageously, think strategically, and work together with committed partners to foster belonging, affirmation, and connections within our community and with other social movements. We are honoured to celebrate you and to celebrate with you the unique, strong and splendid queer communities in Vancouver and beyond that make us who we are.
We value art as critical to vibrant communities, as an interpretive medium to communicate complex ideas, and as an empathetic tool for change.
Fun and celebration
We value joyful and uplifting shared experiences.
Respect and Equitable Inclusion
We value the removal of barriers and the creation of platforms for a diversity of stories, voices and identities.
We value shared experiences and partnerships to create dialogue and foster community. We value a community that feels included and invested in our work and programs.
Intersectionality, Anti-Oppression, and Social Justice
We value the expression and practice of intersectionality, anti-oppression, and social justice in queer communities, arts, and education.
A Brief History
The first iteration of what we know today as the Vancouver Queer Film Festival was held as the First Vancouver Lesbian Film Festival among a small group of friends.Read the program
Out On Screen becomes an official non-profit Society and the first Vancouver Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is launched!
Out On Screen receives its first form of government funding with a casino license through BC Gaming.
Out On Screen is one of the first film festivals in the world to adopt the more inclusive “queer” title becoming the “Vancouver Queer Film and Video Festival” and in 2006, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
The Festival creates a space for local and BC-based 2SLGBTQIA+ filmmakers through two new initiatives. We launched Made-in-Vancouver, one of Vancouver’s first nights of festival programming dedicated solely to BC-based artists and filmmakers. Three years later, this program would become the audience-favourite The Coast is Queer shorts program. We also named the inaugural winners of the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award including Best Canadian Submission, Joe Balass (Nana, George and Me); and the Best BC Submission, a tie: Laurel Swenson (Fistfull) and Wayne Yung (Surfer Dick). The Gerry Brunet Memorial Award continues to this day, honouring Gerry’s legacy by recognizing the work of outstanding short film artists living in BC.
The Queer Video Production Scholarships are launched and 36 films are made over the next six years thanks to this video-training program!
The BC Film Classification Office (FCO) attempts to shut down the Festival’s Opening Gala film Little Sister’s vs Big Brother which chronicled the late Jim Deva’s battles with the Canadian Government over censorship. Fortunately, Out On Screen’s dedicated membership rallied and thwarted this ironic censorship attempt and the show went on!
Out In Schools is launched as a pilot project with presentations in six high schools in Vancouver and Burnaby.
REAL Women of Canada launches a smear campaign against the Festival, claiming that only “mad hatters” attend this “waste of taxpayers’ money.” Once again, the membership at Out On Screen rallies against hateful discrimination and the Festival lives on, louder and prouder than before.
Out On Screen celebrates 20 years in Vancouver, hosts a legendary and risqué bathhouse party, and launches the Queer History Project which aims to showcase memories from Vancouver’s queer past.
Celebrate Queer Vancouver engages 68 Canadian artists through film commissions and community art. Out On Screen celebrates by installing Celebrate Queer Vancouver plaques throughout the city to create a legacy of queer visibility.
Rise Against Homophobia youth video contest goes national! Youth from across the country submit their anti-bullying films proving that “Hate is not a Canadian Value.”
Out On Screen launches the Troublemakers Film Project, a spiritual successor to the Queer History Project in which queer youth and seniors are paired together to create documentary short films about Vancouver’s queer history.
Out On Screen celebrates 30 years in Vancouver with films which revisit and celebrate formative moments and stories from communal queer histories.
Out In Schools exceeds 120,000 youth reached throughout BC and comes close to having reached all 60 school districts throughout the province.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we delivered our first fully digital VQFF, reaching audiences throughout the province, while Out In Schools developed new online channels for engaging LGBT2Q+ youth isolated at home.
Share your story!
Do you have a fond memory of the Festival you think should be included? Contact us to share your story.Share