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September 7, 2018
Dear Out On Screen family,
The period immediately after the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is always a time of change and renewal for Out On Screen. So it is with love in our hearts that we say both thank you and farewell to one of our Co-Artistic Directors, Amber Dawn, and congratulate Anoushka Ratnarajah on her appointment as our Artistic Director moving forward.
Amber Dawn leaves us after having curated six Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) programs, first from 2009 to 2012, and then alongside Anoushka Ratnarajah in 2017 and 2018. During her most recent tenure, she and Anoushka brought to life an artistic vision that prioritized artistic excellence, representation of LGBT2Q+ identities and stories least seen and heard in film and media, and bringing the best filmmakers from around the world to VQFF audiences.
Amber Dawn leaves behind a legacy of programmatic excellence created with Anoushka, that includes initiating our Artist in Residence program; integrating multidisciplinary programs such as The Root at the 30th VQFF; and initiating The Coast is Genderqueer, a shorts program exclusively focused on local films centering genderqueer identities.
Amber Dawn will be missed by our Festival audience and Out On Screen family alike. We wish Amber Dawn all the best as she continues to build upon her successful artistic and teaching practices. Her second novel, Sodom Road Exit, was released this year to critical acclaim and she continues to teach at the University of British Columbia.
Anoushka Ratnarajah continues on as Out On Screen’s Artistic Director and will helm the 31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival. I, and the board of directors and staff, are excited for Anoushka to bring her singular artistic vision to life for Vancouver’s second largest film festival next August 15-25, 2019. In addition to being Out On Screen’s Artistic Director, Anoushka is a writer, performer, and arts organizer. She works as a playwright, director and performer in theatre, and as an advocate for equitable representation in the arts in Canada.
Please join me in a loving farewell to Amber Dawn as we excitedly move forward with Anoushka Ratnarajah at the helm of the VQFF.