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August 12, 2020
(Vancouver, B.C.) – Out On Screen is pleased to announce Brandon Yan as its new Executive Director. Brandon has served as Out On Screen’s Deputy Executive Director and Interim Executive Director, and was previously the Director of Education for Out In Schools.
“I want to thank Out On Screen’s community, staff, and Board of Directors for their continued support and trust in my ability to serve,” says Yan. “We have a fantastic Festival lined up for you all, and I look forward to sharing all this queer brilliance.”
Taking place digitally from Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 23, the 32nd annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) is presented by RBC and is available for streaming across British Columbia. In addition to over 60 films from around the world that explore transformation, resilience and survival, VQFF audiences can participate in digital workshops, join artist Q&As, gain insight into the future of film through industry-spanning roundtables and panels, and attend virtual parties – all in a safe and socially distant manner.
Notable films include March For Dignity, a documentary that follows a small group of LGBTQ activists in Tbilisi, Georgia as they plan for the first-ever Pride March in the country. Queer and trans rights are virtually non-existent for Georgians, and activists face harsh and overwhelming opposition from far-right nationalist groups, the Georgian Orthodox Church, and politicians. Mathilde Capone’s intimate documentary, Consent Factory: Lesbo Queer Perspectives, explores the way in which women who identify as queer, lesbian, and bisexual relate to consent, pleasure, and play. The film also explores strategies to dismantle rape culture through the ways in which we talk about and embody consent, through the intersectional lens of race, gender, sexuality, and social justice. Cicada explores many complex traumas, specifically focusing on the destabilizing long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse and the ever-present fear of violence that Black people in America live with every day. Set against the backdrop of the national scandal of the 2013 Jerry Sandusky trial, Cicada is a timely survivor story and an honest, loving, and sometimes uncomfortable depiction of an interracial relationship and the deeper conversations we need to have with each other when we love across identities.
Panels include Queering Digital Space – a conversation with The Darlings: Continental Breakfast, Rose Butch, Maiden China and P.M., four non-binary drag performers who have been bewitching, confusing, and stunning Vancouver audience for years now. In moving to a digital platform in the pandemic, they encountered censorship and homophobia, and will share their struggles and successes, as well as excerpts from their recent online performances on this engaging panel on August 15. VQFF also presents Still Here: Black Femme Resilience – 5 self-identifying Black femmes gather to share open dialogue about the current position of Black Femmes in advocacy work, and their thoughts on progressing the conversation, after a screening of Dionne Brand’s 1993 documentary, Long Time Comin’ on August 21. And Festivals After COVID19 will be an industry-spanning roundtable which will bring together film festival professionals working in queer and non-queer scenes to discuss the impact of COVID19 now and into the future.
VQFF opens the Festival on August 13 with the acclaimed documentary Pier Kids, followed by a digital party hosted by local beloved drag queen Symone Says. Guests are encouraged to wear white in honour of and in solidarity with Black queer and trans resistance and resilience, as is depicted in Pier Kids.
Curated by Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF 2020 celebrates the best in independent queer cinema and features programming from queer filmmakers and artists whose work shows the many ways we fight for the fullness of our lives, for what and who we love, and for our shared futures.
“I am so grateful we can still provide a platform for these beautiful stories, especially during this difficult time,” says Anoushka. “Within a few months, we had to learn how to digitize our programs, and come to terms with the loss of in-person collective and communal experiences. For me, it has become even more urgent and necessary to provide the best and most intersectional platform I possibly can for our incredible filmmakers and for our audiences.”
Passes and tickets for this year’s Vancouver Queer Film Festival are available online at https://queerfilmfestival.ca/buy-tickets/.
Additional information regarding the Festival lineup, artist Q&As, workshops, panels, and parties can be viewed at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.