Vancouver Queer Film Festival Announces 2023 Jury, Industry Panels and Special Guests

August 8, 2023

VANCOUVER, August 8, 2023The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) is delighted to welcome over 35 directors, stars, writers and producers to Vancouver from August 10-20. Guests slated to attend the 35th edition of the Festival represent 29 of the films showcased and will participate in Q&As following each in-person screening. Tickets can be purchased at www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

“For our 35th anniversary, we are hosting more visiting artists than ever. I’m thrilled that we can provide space for many international and local queer filmmakers to make meaningful connections and network,” said Charlie Hidalgo, Artistic Director, Out on Screen. “2SLGBTQIA+ film festivals are a hub for community strengthening and much-needed collaboration.”

VQFF will award 2SLGBTQIA+ filmmakers $52,500 CAD in cash, in-kind prizes, and play encore screenings of the winning films on August 20. $30,000 CAD in cash and prizes will be distributed amongst the Audience Choice Award winners for Best Canadian Feature, Best Canadian Short, Best International Feature and Best International Short.

The jury for the inaugural RBC Narrative Change Award with a $5,000 CAD cash prize include acclaimed film producer and Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD, Alex Schmider; award-winning journalist and media personality Shar Jossell; and Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab Director, Lucy J. Mukerjee.

The jurors for the 2023 Gerry Brunet Memorial Award: Best British Columbia Short, with a $2,500 CAD cash prize sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada, BC plus a $15,000 CAD camera package from Keslow Camera are; visiting feature filmmakers V.T. Nayani (THIS PLACE), Twiggy Pucci Garçon (MnM) and Gabe Gabriel (RUNS IN THE FAMILY).

On Monday, August 14, VQFF is proud to host a series of three online industry panels centered on the past, present and future of 2SLGBTQIA+ storytelling.

A Present History of LGBTQ Storytelling will feature a panel of LGBTQ experts from GLAAD, including; Alex Schmider, Megan Townsend, Monica Trasandes, Nick Adams, and Tre’vell Anderson, award-winning journalist and author of We See Each Other: A Black Trans Journey Through Film and TV. They will reflect on the progress they’ve witnessed in LGBTQ storytelling and how they’re pushing the future of LGBTQ storytelling forward.

Cultural Strategy and Narrative Change will see a conversation with cultural strategist Sonya Childress, Co-founder of Color Congress; Tre’vell Anderson, author of We See Each Other: A Black, Trans Journey Through TV and Film; and film strategist Asad Muhammad, the Vice President of Impact and Engagement Strategy at POV. This powerhouse trio will walk the audience through practical ways that storytellers can use their work to transform how 2SLGBTQIA+ people are seen and understood.

Positionality/Authentic Authorship and Stereotype will feature Rico Johnson-Sinclair, Director of the Anti-Racist Taskforce for European Film and Gian Franco, Co-Founder and Chairman of The Stereotype Project, offering an immersive and interactive workshop on authentic authorship and positionality, designed to give 2SLGBTQIA+ filmmakers practical tools to enable authenticity both above-the-line and below-the-line.

In addition to guests from this year’s film selections, the Opening Night party at Vancouver Playhouse will feature performances from Toddy, Mermaid and Milan Garçon with music by DJ Softieshan. The party is FREE to attend with tickets to the Opening Night Presentation: Stronger Together. The Closing Night party at Vancouver Playhouse will also feature a stellar lineup of performances from Continental Breakfast, Kara Juku and Genesis, with music by DJ Bella. Entry to the party is also FREE with tickets to the Closing Presentation screening of RUNS IN THE FAMILY.

Short programmes that will feature special drag performances following the screenings include; Midnight Foreplay with a performance by Maiden China, The Coast is Queer with a performance by Mx. Bukuru, and Slay 4 Me, which will see live performances by Bongganisa and Juan Alcuitas-Imperial. The screening of the feature documentary QUEENDOM (France) will also treat its audience to a special drag performance by Vixen Von Flex!

Special guests attending the 2023 Vancouver Queer Film Festival by film:

1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE (USA)
Sharon “Rocky” Roggio (Director)
Jena Serbu (Producer)

A QUEER’S GUIDE TO SPIRITUAL LIVING (Canada)
Ari Conrad Birch (Director/Co-Writer)
Michal Heuston (Director/Co-Writer)

AC UNIT (USA)
Grace Godvin (Director)
Drew Anderson (Actor/Co-Writer)
Hilton Dresden (Actor/Co-Writer)

AND THEY WERE LOVED (USA)
Malik Julien (Director)

APARTMENT 605 (USA)
Bianca Catbagan (Director)

BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND (Canada)
Trevor Anderson (Director/Co-Writer)

BITTERSWEET BECOMING (Canada)
Polina Teif (Director)
Karla Rae James (Documentary Protagonist, Co-Writer)
D. Morrison (Composer, Sound Recordist)

DOTTING THE “I” (USA)
Doug Tompos (Director/Writer)

E.S.S. SCENES (Canada)
Romi Kim (Director)

EGGHEAD & TWINKIE (USA)
Sarah Kambe Holland (Director/Writer)

GEN (UK)
Vivian Barton (Director/Producer)

GORDITX (USA)
Malik Ever (Director)

GROCERY LIST (USA)
Joanne Mony Park (Director/Writer)

HOOK UP (Canada)
Coby Friesen (Director)
Kathleen Gallagher (Producer)

I LOVE YOU MORE (Kosovo/Albania)
Erblin Nushi (Director/Writer)
Don Shala (Actor, Producer)
MnM (USA)
Twiggy Pucci Garçon (Director)
Mermaid Garçon (Documentary Protagonist)
Milan Garçon (Documentary Protagonist)

MOONCAKE (USA)
Rraine Hanson (Director/Co-Writer)

ONE BABY, PLEASE! (Canada)
Polly Pierce (Director)
Adrian Neblett (Producer, Actor)

POLYWOOD (USA)
Alessio Mineo (Director)

PSYCHO BABY (USA)
Charlotte Kennett (Director/Writer)
Savannah Summers (Actor)
Nikki Javadi (Producer)

RETURN TO OMBABIKA (Canada)
Ma-Nee Chacaby (Director)

RUNS IN THE FAMILY (South Africa)
Gabe Gabriel (Actor/Writer)

STAY (Canada)
King Louie Palomo (Director)

TABANCA (Canada)
Lauren Marsden (Director/Writer)

TERROR/FORMING (Canada)
Rylan Friday (Director/Writer)

THE MATTACHINE FAMILY (USA)
Andy Vallentine (Director/Co-Writer)

THE WALL (USA)
Valeska Miller (Director/Writer)

THIS PLACE (Canada)
V.T. Nayani (Director/Co-Writer)

THREE TIDY TIGERS TIED A TIE TIGHTER (Brazil)
Gustavo Vinagre (Director/Writer)

THRIVING: A DISSOCIATED REVERIE (Canada)
Kitoko Mai (Actor/Writer/Producer)

TWIN SPARKS (USA)
Ollie Yao (Director)

YAHA WAHA (UK)
Sarah Li (Director)

Festival images and press materials can be downloaded here.

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Media Contact
Laura Steen
Route 504 PR
laura@route504pr.com

About Out On Screen
Out On Screen is a charitable organization that illuminates, celebrates, and advances queer lives through film, education, and dialogue. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival creates a dynamic platform for queer cinema that reflects a diversity of experiences while connecting and strengthening our communities. The award-winning Out In Schools program brings age-appropriate queer cinema into school classrooms to combat homophobia, transphobia, and bullying, and to provide the language and tools for inclusion. Out On Screen is proud to be among the leaders in Canada working to create an equitable society where sexual and gender diversity are embraced. www.outonscreen.com

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#VQFF2023

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