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September 24, 2021
The 2021 Vancouver Queer Film Festival was our second during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and it was as challenging as it was rewarding. Digital delivery of film content is already a challenge when so much of what we do as a film festival is rooted in sharing these artistic experiences together. Moreover, this year, we have continued to strive to program art that responds to and amplifies ongoing calls for social, racial, and gender justice and equity. Our work programming and streaming art created by queer, trans, and Two Spirit people, many of whom have multiple intersecting marginalized identities, has been all the more important.
When we look back at the work we’ve accomplished over the past year—yes, a full year, our 11-day festival doesn’t just come together overnight!—we could stop at the numbers:
These are accomplishments in their own right, particularly as our team, like many in the communities we serve, struggled to balance health and personal needs while working remotely. We do this work to meet the very real need our communities have to see themselves authentically and beautifully reflected on screen, but it isn’t always easy.
Today, as I reflect on my first year as Program Logistics Manager, and prepare myself for the long grey West Coast winter ahead, I wanted to focus on the intangible successes of the Festival. We do this work for our communities, for the people—friends, family, artists, and strangers alike—who provide the vibrancy and verve of our collective experience as 2SLGBTQIA+ people. So many of you took to social media this year to share your thoughts and feedback on #VQFF2021 and #VQFFHome, and I wanted to highlight my Top 10 (+2 bonus) picks for comments we received during this year’s VQFF.
And finally, I want to acknowledge that people showed up. We do this work for the people in our communities, and just showing up—online or in-person; for features, workshops, or shorts programs—is a huge demonstration of support and a significant sign that what we do is meaningful.
Thank you to everyone who made this year’s VQFF not only possible, but incredibly successful! I encourage you to keep a lookout for more off-season programming coming in the future, for you to share your comments and feedback with us via DM or email, and to consider deepening your connection with our work by becoming a monthly donor or by signing up to be a volunteer.