Deadline for applications is January 13, 2023. 

Vancouver – December 13, 2022

Out On Screen is proud to announce the inaugural Programming Disruptor Fellowship, a game-changing training and mentorship initiative for emerging BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ film curators.  Led by Out On Screen’s new Artistic Director, Charlie Hidalgo, this Fellowship aims to be a catalyst for transformative change in the Canadian film industry, shepherding new talent into a field that is in critical need of diversification, in order to further the dignity, liberty, and justice of BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ identities. 

Through the fellowship, three emerging film programmers who identify as BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ will receive $10,000 and the opportunity to be an integral part of the curation of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2023. Compensation is based on an hourly wage of $24.08/hour + 4% vacation and wellness and networking funds. Selected Fellows will be credited as Festival Programmers, and by the end of the program will have acquired a practical toolkit and a robust ethical framework that will enable them to approach their curatorial practice in a restorative and impactful way, centreing accountability, integrity and community care. 

“Film festival programmers are uniquely positioned to transform worldviews,” said Charlie Hidalgo. “The choices that curators make define whose voices are heard, whose narratives are seen, and what communities are celebrated. Historically, the pool of film programmers have been predominantly male-dominated, cisgender, straight, white, and middle-class, so stories that don’t feel ‘mainstream’ get pushed to the margins. This Fellowship will empower BIPOC 2SLGBTQIA+ curators to give a platform to the voices that are questioning systems of oppression and reshaping our culture.”

Applications are open until January 13. The call is open to programmers across Canada. Applicants must be available to attend virtual masterclasses, workshops and programming meetings, from February to July, and will be expected to attend the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in person, from August 10-20, 2023. Applications will be accepted though the Out On Screen web portal. For additional information, please click here.

Submissions to the 35th Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (August 10-20, 2023) are NOW OPEN!

Each August, WE SHOWCASE 11 days of outstanding cinema, live performances, community-building events, and great parties, all in the environment of beautiful mountain and ocean views.

WE PAY screening fees for all selected work. WE SEEK content in all genres, specifically stories that center on 2SLGBTQIA+ protagonists, overturn stereotypes, push boundaries, strive for change, arouse and tantalize, and above all, highlight the tremendous diversity of queer, trans, and Two Spirit people, artists, and communities.

Along with the arrival of Artistic Director, Charlie Hidalgo, also NEW THIS YEAR:

THE NARRATIVE CHANGE AWARD

This cash prize will be determined by a jury, and will honor a storyteller who uses the power of cultural strategy to overturn outdated narratives, inspire change, and expand the audience’s perception of 2SLGBTQIA+ identities in their work. 

EPISODIC CONTENT WELCOME!

Episodic content created for television or web is now also welcomed. 

Single episodes and full series can be submitted, but the content must not have aired yet or be available for free online.

ENTRY FEES

In order to ensure that all submissions are evaluated and that all programmers are paid a living wage, we have started charging an entry fee. However, we do offer waivers to BIPOC artists and other underrepresented identities and regions.  If cost is a barrier, please email us to submissions@outonscreen.com. The VQFF Programming team can’t wait to watch your work!

Gold members of FilmFreeway get a 25% discount on all fees.

SUBMISSIONS PAGE

Spotlights shine a little extra light on films and programs we think you should check out!


TWO SPIRIT SPOTLIGHT

All that I know, I was given



The Two Spirit-directed films in this spotlight highlight the beauty and complexities of storytelling from the binary-defying perspectives of preserving and carrying ancestral teachings, histories, and cultural memory. Acknowledging intergenerational methods of sharing central to Indigenous ways of knowing, these stories share the impactful work of bridge-builders, healers, and leaders forging ties between elders and youth, and planting the seeds for generations to come.




Films in this spotlight:
Will Flowers?
Weckuwapasihtit (Those Yet to Come)

Queer Outta Canada

sponsor by:


Canadian queer cinema is ever-growing and sharing an in depth reflection of diverse, honest and relatable filmmaking. Through and through, these artists have showcased that they can tell an emotionally resonating story in whichever genre they choose. Each of these picks is a hard hitting and wonderful film that you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from. Queer Canadian films are stronger than ever, and with these filmmakers as representatives for what’s to come, there are sure to be a lot more wonderful stories waiting to come out


Films in this spotlight:
Fresh Meat
Dandelion Green
Métis Femme Bodies

Divergent

Queerness lends itself to experimentation by nature. The films in this spotlight embrace the infinitely diverse nature of experimental filmmaking through their fluid, malleable, undefinable states. Queer lives are their own experimental process, and this leads us to be drawn to non-linear modes of expression, and the experiential, the non-narrative, and alternative ways of interpreting the world. Experimental film is an opportunity to share the deeply personal and true, and bypass pre-tread narrative conventions entirely. We are constantly inventing new ways of being and doing. This is a space of bold ideas and resistance


Films in this spotlight:
HOW TO RAISE A BLACK BOY
동충하초 (Winter Insect, Summer Flower)
Poppets
my body is a place, just like any other

Make it Ours

The films in this spotlight highlight the strength and power of finding our communities. There is a place for us. Watch as we explore spaces and moments of safety, love, and compassion, whether we are inviting new people into our lives, creating spaces for joy, gathering and reflection, chosen family and community is central to queer connection and futurity! This collection of short films perfectly showcase the essence of togetherness, and after everything that has happened in the past year, these artists have brought comforting stories that instill and maintain hope for us to find our community as we look forward.


Films in this spotlight:
Little Sky
Class Transitions
EGÚNGÚN (MASQUERADE)
Death & Bowling

Queering Place

Subtitle for This Block

In solidarity with global queer liberation, this spotlight examines contested spaces forqueer people. In regions where governments
repress the rights of queer communities, strengthening the relationship between sexual politics and the state, people with non-conforming genders and sexual orientations have historically been punished for transgressing social norms. The disparities faced by Black and Brown people during the global pandemic in both North American and non-western LGBTQIA communities are cause for dire concern. The Queering Place spotlight centers audacious filmmaking that dares to make visible the compounded effect of homophobia, colonialism and displacement.

Films in this spotlight:
Prayers for Sweet Waters

MEDIA RELEASE

May 30, 2022

Vancouver Queer Film Festival Reveals Creative Theme: ‘Make It Yours’

Presented by RBC, the 34th Annual Film Festival Returns with More In-Person and Online Screenings

August 11– 21, 2022

VANCOUVER – Out On Screen is bringing back the highly anticipated Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) for its 34th edition. The festival will run August 11-21 this year online and in person with a creative theme of “Make It Yours” inviting audiences to return to the political grassroots. The Festival expands a provincewide video-on-demand selection with 2-3 theatre screenings per-day in Vancouver. The Festival is also pleased to announce its continued partnership with its Presenting Sponsor RBC Royal Bank. Passes are on sale now at www.queerfilmfestival.ca with full programming and tickets for the VQFF 2022 available in July. 

The crowd favourite is celebrating its 34th year more fabulous than ever with more impactful films that raise awareness about the struggles, joys, and journeys of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Inspired by this year’s submissions, VQFF’s programming aesthetic and curatorial vision will draw upon the fearless and fierce politics, visual style, and grassroots creativity of queer subcultures and the ‘zines that kept the communities informed and connected. Thematically, this year’s Festival shares stories told from an autobiographical perspective, leaning further into the trend of experiential and experimental filmmaking, community building, and self actualization through artistic expression. 

Commenting on this year’s theme, Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah said: “‘Make It Yours’ is an invitation into empathy and a reminder of the tools and powers that are accessible to us in the fight for our personal and collective freedom. Moving through and living within a colossal shift in our global queer communities, filmmakers are reflecting upon what brought us here and what kind of new worlds we can build. After the disorienting experience of the last two years, we turn to art once again for solace, cheer, reflection, and inspiration. The films emerging from this time are filled with hope and unrelenting determination.”

“We approached planning this year’s Festival with community care in mind. While we are very excited to finally support our local theatres and gather in person after two almost entirely online Festivals, we know we’re not out of the woods yet. We hope everyone will find an option that works for them this year. And as always, we continue to appreciate the support of our communities, supporters, and sponsors. In particular, the support of RBC, our presenting sponsor for 2022,” adds Out On Screen Executive Director Brandon Yan.

“At RBC, we strongly believe in our role to help communities prosper and it is this guiding purpose that draws our involvement to organizations that truly make a difference” says Martin Thibodeau, Regional President, British Columbia, of RBC Royal Bank. “That is why we are proud to once again sponsor the 34th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival. We have seen the important impact this festival has had, as it continuously sheds light on stories that inspire us to help amplify and celebrate the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ people across the province and around the world. We are thrilled to continue our ongoing relationship with Out On Screen and are truly grateful to serve these communities!”

“An update that we are not so excited about sharing with you is that Anoushka Ratnarajah, Out On Screen’s Artistic Director since 2017, will be leaving us in June this year,” said Executive Director Brandon Yan. “We would like to thank Anoushka for the remarkable job that she did curating our Festival and working to support independent 2SLGBTQIA+ filmmakers locally and internationally. Under her leadership, Out On Screen’s forward-thinking, values-based artistic programming has pushed boundaries and kept VQFF ranked as one of the top three best film festivals in Vancouver. We are grateful for getting the chance to work with her and see her creativity unfold, and we cannot wait to see what she does next.”

“I am very grateful for all the opportunities to learn and grow while I have been working here at Out On Screen,” said Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah. “I have been honoured to work alongside some of the most passionate, empathetic, and thoughtful people in our beautiful queer community because of this job. There are many joyful memories of this work I will carry with me. I truly believe in the importance of the work we have done together, and I am hopeful for the future of the organization.” 

“Although we are sad to see Anoushka go, we are also excited to announce Festival Programmer Nya Lewis as the incoming Interim Artistic Director,” said Executive Director Brandon Yan. “Nya has been an important part of the Out On Screen team since 2020. Her dedication and passion in engaging QTBIPOC filmmakers and artists reassure us of the success she will bring to her new role. Additionally, Nya is an independent curator whose hybrid practice reflects the diversity of intersectional, intergenerational, global indigenous, Queer critical discourse and its many forms of expression. We are looking forward to witnessing Nya’s fantastic work as Out On Screen seeks out its next Artistic Director.” 

For more information, please visit the following platforms:

Instagram:       www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest 

Facebook:       www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF 

Twitter:            www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest (#VQFF2022)

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 

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 89,000+ employees who leverage their imaginations and insights to bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank and one of the largest in the world, based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 27 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.

-30-

Michael Ianni

Festival Publicist 

michael@praid.ca

604.345.7689

Friday 20 November is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a collective day of commemoration on which we memorialize the transgender (trans) people who have been murdered and lost to anti-trans violence and bigotry. Trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith began TDoR to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who was murdered in 1998 and whose murder remains unsolved today. Anti-trans violence continues to disproportionately affect trans Black, Indigenous, and trans women/femmes of colour, many of whom are also sex workers.Our analysis and advocacy for trans rights must continue to deepen its intersectional approach, given that race, class, and histories of colonialism are deeply entrenched in the ways that trans women experience oppression.

The focus of the day is to honour the memories of those violently taken. It is also a prominent reminder of the broader sys(and cis)temic failures to protect, uplift, and advance trans lives and rights both locally and around the world; every life lost and every act of violence gone unsolved/ unresolved are reminders of this. Indeed, we have seen a staggering increase in public “debate” about transgender women and the legitimacy of their womanhood. This discourse, if we can call it that, only seeks to legitimize the violence, harm, and exclusion that trans people, and trans women specifically, experience. There is no public good created from the subjugation of trans rights and trans liberation. 

Vancouver Trans Day of Remembrance will be hosting a march and memorial this Friday from 6:30pm to 9:00pm starting at Jim Deva Plaza. There will also be a live stream. If you plan to attend, please review Provincial health orders and suggestions to stay safe. More details are available on their website.

Brandon Yan,

Executive Director, Out On Screen

(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.

The 2019 Annual Report for the Vancouver Out On Screen Film and Video Society.

VQFF is pleased to announce two upcoming community partnerships:

Join us for Black History Month with VIFF for a screening of the acclaimed Kenyan Film, Rafiki
Monday February 4 at 6:30pm at Vancity Theatre 

About: Bursting with the colorful street style & music of Nairobi’s vibrant youth culture, Rafiki is a tender love story between two young women in a country that still criminalizes homosexuality. Kena and Ziki have long been told that “good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives” – but they yearn for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls encourage each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, Kena and Ziki must choose between happiness and safety.

Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, Rafiki won a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation.

Featuring remarkable performances by newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, Rafiki is a hip tale of first love “reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee” (Screen Daily) that’s “impossible not to celebrate” (Variety).

Get tickets here

Join us for Dance House’s production of Blood on the Dance Floor
Wednesday February 6 to Saturday February 9 at 8pm at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

About: A descendant of the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia, choreographer/performer Jacob Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998. In search of answers, he reached out to his ancestors. Through a powerful blend of theatre, image, text and choreography, Boehme pays homage to their ceremonies whilst dissecting the politics of gay, Blak and poz identities.

Created with ILBIJERRI, one of Australia’s leading theatre companies creating innovative works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, Blood on the Dance Floor weaves together generational history with personal memoir. From a “gay elder” grieving young men lost to disease and despair, to the current culture of hookups and casual sex, deeper moments sketched between Jacob and his father underscore the legacy of racism, homophobia, and shame that permeates both personal and cultural histories.

Grounded in Aboriginal dance and storytelling, Blood on the Dance Floor incorporates activism, autobiography, and performance into an incendiary work of raw and radical emotion.

VQFF community members can get a 10% discount on tickets for a limited time until Feb 1st by using the code ONSCREEN.

Get tickets here