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

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is online & in-person from AUG 11 – 21, 2022

11 DAYS, 97 FILMS FROM 20+ COUNTRIES

JUST ANNOUNCED: MOTORBIKE/SUPERDYKE EXHIBIT

Tickets start at just $5 at www.queerfilmfestival.ca  #VQFF2022

FREE EVENTS!

VANCOUVER – Out On Screen is excited to bring back the Opening Gala of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), presented by RBC, on Thursday, Aug. 11. The Opening Gala film The Empress of Vancouver, an ode to local drag icon Oliv Howe by local filmmaker Dave Rodden-Shortt, is screening at the Vancouver Playhouse and will be followed by a fabulous queer royalty-themed Opening Night Party at šxwƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Plaza (Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza). 

The 11-day festival, with the theme “Make It Yours,” will feature 97 films from more than 20 countries, along with post-screening Q-and-A’s with filmmakers, local performing artists, and industry and community workshops. 

Purchase all-access festival passes, digital-only passes, or individual tickets at queerfilmfestival.ca. Browse the full program online or in the PDF of the print Festival guide. 

“Out On Screen is finally returning to the big screen with its first in-person celebrations in years. We’ve all been working so hard on it, and it’s finally happening. I cannot wait for you to relish with film and party goers, while exploring all of the local and international films, programs, and workshops we carefully brought together for the 34th annual film festival,” says executive director Brandon Yan.

In keeping with the “Make It Yours” theme, the festival has also added the MOTORBIKE/SUPERDYKE exhibit, Aug. 16-20, co-presented by Sum Gallery, comprised of VQFF alumni artists. The opening party is Saturday, Aug. 13 at  Sum Gallery.

“We have artists Cheryl Hamilton and lisa g showcasing a collaborative multimedia installation about coming out and navigating through queer stereotypes,” says Yan. “The exhibit will include illustrations, prints, an animated film and zines, which was the medium inspiration for this year’s festival guide.”

Festival goers can expect a jam-packed opening weekend at VIFF Centre with workshops like Queer Collective: VQFF Programmers Talk (Aug. 13), which explores how participation and interconnectivity in queer film and arts practices can create a more inclusive arts community. The panel is free with a $5 VQFF membership. 

Our film offerings include:

Making his directorial debut, J.E. Tiglao has created the first Filipinx narrative feature with an intersex main character. The groundbreaking drama Metamorphosis tells the story of 15 year-old Adam who finds out he is intersex after getting his first period. The in-person screening on Aug. 14 is open exclusively to self-identified QTBIPOC with special consideration to Filipinx people, and is followed by a conversation with festival programmer jas calcitas and members of Vancouver Pinoy Pride Society. 

Obsidian: Black Queer Cinema, Aug. 14 at VIFF Centre and online, returns with a collection of shorts guest curated by Mahlet Cuff titled AS I AM. AS I AM explores the joys and challenges of navigating the unique experience of being Black and queer and will be followed by a pre-recorded Q-and-A with Mahlet Cuff, Ayo Tsalithaba, and Dr. Kwame McKenzie. 

The Youth Gala film, Being Thunder, Aug. 16 at The Cinematheque and online is an intimate documentary following Sherenté Harris, a Two Spirit teenager as s/he comes of age. This film was a four-year collaboration between director Stéphanie Lamorré, Sherenté, and their family. It is a story of colonial resistance, Two Spirit leadership, and the power of young people.

Local documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows, Aug. 19 at The York Theatre and online, follows the journeys of Kayden, Jag, and Amar, as they navigate disparate experiences surfacing their queer identities within conservative South Asian families. A Q&A with the cast and crew follows.

All Boys Aren’t Blue, Aug. 19 at The York Theatre, is based on George M. Johnson’s critically acclaimed memoir of the same title. Reflecting Johnson’s experiences as Black masc and non-binary, the film explores themes of Black queerness, queer identity assumptions, cultural normativity, and HIV/ AIDS in the Black community. This screening features an interdisciplinary program with live poetry performance. 

For ticket information and the complete in-person and online festival schedule, please visit www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

For interview requests and additional images, contact Michael Ianni at michael@praid.ca

Social media platforms:

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest

Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest 

#VQFF2022

– 30 –

Media Contact

Michael Ianni | Festival Publicist | michael@praid.ca | 604.345.7689

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 

MEDIA RELEASE

July 12, 2022

2022 LINEUP FOR VANCOUVER QUEER FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCED

FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAMME GUIDE RELEASED

ALONGSIDE MORE THAN 90 FILMS

FESTIVAL PASSES AND TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW AT WWW.QUEERFILMFESTIVAL.CA

DOWNLOAD MEDIA IMAGES

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE

VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) released today its complete lineup for the 11-day online and in-person film festival taking place August 11–21, which includes the best in queer film from local and international artists. 97 films from 20 countries are featured at this 34th Festival presented by RBC, along with in-person celebrations featuring local performing artists, post-screening Q&As with filmmakers, and industry and community workshops. Purchase all-access Festival Passes, online-only Digital Passes, or individual tickets at queerfilmfestival.ca. Browse the full programme online or in the PDF of the print Festival guide. 

“In the early days of Out On Screen, the act of 2SLGBTQIA+ people unapologetically taking up physical space and putting our films on the big screen was revolutionary. This year’s theme “Make It Yours” is not just an echo of the DIY spirit this Festival was founded upon, but also a roar for our collective future. Our shared experiences and collective dreams are returning to our screens—big and small—again in this year’s wonderful program. I hope you find something you need in these beautiful films.” – Executive Director, Brandon Yan.

The Festival’s Opening Gala screening is the local premiere of Dave Rodden-Shortt’s feature documentary The Empress of Vancouver, an ode to local drag icon Oliv Howe, crowned the 10th Empress of the Vancouver Dogwood Monarchist Society in 1981. In the 80s, Oliv’s punk rock energy, gender-bending performances and DIY glam aesthetic spoke to a political and artistic shift in Vancouver’s drag community. This proudly local documentary brings to light queer artistic legacies and histories that have previously been unseen. This film will be available exclusively in person on opening night, with a fabulous queer royalty-themed Opening Night Party to follow the screening.

Our local shorts program The Coast Is Queer returns for its 25th anniversary year, available in person and online. Also returning are shorts programs: Obidian: Black Queer Cinema, subtitled AS I AM, and Two Spirit and Indigiqueer Cinema, which has been expanded into two shorts programs this year, A Brave and Tender Lineage and Sovereign Bodies.

This Festival proudly presents the Canadian premiere of French film Besties (Les Meilleures), a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama about two young women from opposing groups in suburban Paris navigating womanhood and queer identity. Other prominent feature film programs include local documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows on navigating queer identity in South Asian families; ground-breaking Filipinx drama Metamorphosis on intersex identity; the delightfully absurdist, queer body-swap comedy Homebody; our Youth Gala film Being Thunder about a Two Spirit teen of the Narragansett tribe; Afrofuturist sci-fi musical Neptune Frost; and Lebanese documentary Sirens about the first and only all-women Middle Eastern thrash metal band.

VQFF’s closing feature is Dramarama, a heartfelt comedy and instant classic about a group of graduating theatre kids in 1994 spending one last slumber party together where tensions and true identities come to light. This in-person only screening is the perfect theatre-going experience to close out the Festival.

In addition to in-person and video-on-demand screenings, VQFF will be hosting its first in-person celebrations in three years, the Opening Night Party and The Coast is Queer 25th Anniversary Celebration, and three workshops on queer arts practice and community-building: Queer Collective: VQFF Programers Talk; We’re Here We’re Queer, Let’s Activate!; and Out In Schools: Beyond SOGI.

For ticketing details, including pricing, and the complete Festival lineup, along with screening dates and times, please visit www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

For interview requests and additional images, please contact Michael Ianni at michael@praid.ca

For more information, please visit the following platforms:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest 

#VQFF2022

– 30 –

Media Contact

Michael Ianni | Festival Publicist | michael@praid.ca | 604.345.7689

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 

The Vancouver Men’s Chorus (VMC) is a registered charity non-profit, and the first gay chorus in Canada started in the 1980s. Recently, I sat down (virtually) with representatives from the Board of Directors, Jenson Kerr (he/him) and Humphrey Tam (he/him), to discuss the importance of queer arts and the 2021 Vancouver Queer Film Festival programme. 

The programming team paired VMC with Workhorse Queen. The documentary spotlights the story of Ed Popil, better known as drag persona Mrs.Kasha Davis, after competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race. For Mrs. Kasha Davis and many other artists, performing is more than just a way to express their creativity. There is healing in the arts, whether you’re part of the audience or putting on the show. 

Alexis: You have a show airing now, Singing Can Be a Drag. What can audiences expect? 

Jenson: Usually, during our annual fundraiser, we put on a live show. Drag shows are lip-synced. Our twist is that we’re singing. The performances include everything from classic pop hits to old-school ballads. But this year, we had to transition to digital. So it allowed us to switch gears, and each queen created a music video.

Alexis: I look forward to streaming the show. This year the VQFF also had to go digital, but we switched to video-on-demand so audiences can watch films anytime during the Festival. Have you partnered with us in the past, as both organizations have a long history of serving the queer community in Vancouver?

Humphrey: I don’t think we have been an official community partner.

Alexis: Well, I’m excited to have created this relationship between us that will hopefully last for years to come. Which leads me to my next question, why is a collaboration between queer organizations important?

Jenson: There’s still prejudice that we all have to fight. I know for myself, and I’m a theatre artist by trade, any chance I have to coordinate and collaborate with other queer artists is usually one of the most fulfilling relationships in the arts because of the shared experiences. You instantly connect on a deeper level.

Alexis: You have similar values and approaches to life that arise from being queer in a society that isn’t always accepting. Working together means that you can show up as your whole authentic self. 

Humphrey: I think by having these community partnerships, we can promote our history and let people know that there are others like them. 

Alexis: There’s an eclectic selection of content at the Festival that promotes our community. I’m sure that all 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals and allies are likely to find a film that resonates. Have you attended the Festival before, and if so, what has been your experience?

Jenson: I’ve only been one time but, I was amazed that it existed. I originally come from a small town, so it still blows my mind to have access to things like this. 

Alexis: Because the Festival is streaming online, folks from all over BC, even those living in small towns, have access to queer film. We aim to continue with a hybrid model of the Festival moving forward so people from small towns can watch! 

Jenson: The Festival makes me appreciate what I took for granted, so I’ll be going more in the future. 

Humphrey: I have been a few years, and my experience has always been positive. The first year I attended, I was shocked by the number of queer films, producers, and directors. I always thought that it’s a very niche market, and it’s not. I didn’t realize there was so much queer content out there. 

Alexis: Yeah, I was also shocked by all the queer films I had never heard of because, in mainstream media, there isn’t much representation. During the Festival on August 14, there is a talk from our Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, where she speaks about the history of queer film and how queer people on screen have evolved from villains to everyday people in media. What makes 2SLGBTQIA+ representation important for you?

Humphrey: For me, it’s visibility. Growing up, the only gay person I saw in film had to pretend to be married to a woman to get his family’s approval. But it gave me someone I could identify with; visibility validates our existence. 

Alexis: In many cases, people don’t know that not being straight or cis is an option until they see it. That’s why films that tell honest and authentic queer stories are important. Our theme for the 2021 Festival is longing. So my question for both of you is, what have you been longing for?

Humphrey: I’m notoriously not a hugger. I prefer my personal space. But, my God, I want to hug everyone I see now. I’ve been longing to run up to my friends and give them a big hug and face-to-face connection, and I’m like the biggest hermit there is.

Jenson: Looping back to who we are, I think many of us are longing for when we can sing together. There’s something about singing together that’s very healing. As a singer, I’m longing for the first note of harmony. 

Alexis: Yeah. And I’m sure the audience also longs to listen in a concert hall because it’s an entirely different experience online. I long to experience queer joy, grief and ordinariness together in a theatre.
Vancouver Men’s Chorus annual fundraiser Singing Can Be a Drag: Digital Divas is airing until August 31. You can find out more about VMC and how to become a member on their website, Facebook and watch performances on Youtube.

The media we engage in shapes our culture and perception of the world around us. Despite an increase in positive representation of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community primarily due to commercial interest, queer folks are still underrepresented in the media. As an audience, we are subjected to queer baiting (the practice of hinting at or mimicking queerness without genuine representation), or queer coded characters who are far-too-often cis and/or white, without broader, authentic representation. The pervasiveness of heteronormativity and cisnormativity on and behind the screen reinforces and exacerbates harmful misconceptions. Authentic visibility however, validates and empowers sexual and gender minorities. 

The work done by the award-winning Out In Schools program empowers the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, particularly young people, through visibility and positive representation on screen. Film is a powerful educational tool that teaches us that we have the power to shape our stories. Out In Schools Program Coordinator Danny Laybbet (he/they) says, “by interacting with queer film, they get to see themselves reflected. They get to see possibilities for what they can be.” Program Coordinator, Avery Shannon (they/them), acknowledges that, students today know far more about queer issues than youth in previous generations. Thus, the team strives to meet the audience where they are. Working with Out In Schools since 2014, Education Director Gavin Somers (they/them) has firsthand experience of the impact having conversations about queer issues earlier on has for youth. After presenting to an engaged high school, a group of youth spoke to Gavin to say they attended an Out In Schools presentation a few years previous and, as a result, the youth knew queer lexicon and even spoke up to share their own stories. Reaching youth early and often is key to the program’s success. “You don’t have to do that unlearning [later in life],” says Gavin, when asked about what difference reaching younger audiences makes. “Because you’re provided access to tools and representation early on.”

Out In Schools presentations start with the opening question, “how would your story change the world?” before sharing films that showcase authentic queer representation. For many kids, it is the first time seeing themselves on screen. The presentation is structured to be relatable and geared to the audience, such as not showing films with too much jargon or complicated plots. Films selected for each presentation are age and grade appropriate, to enhance relatability and understanding. The team also factors in who is presenting. For example, if all facilitators are cis, they will showcase trans stories because the facilitators themselves will have an opportunity to share their own experiences alongside the films. Out In Schools also presents at corporate offices where the conversation is based around supporting adults as they unlearn misconceptions about the 2SLGBTQIA+ community perpetuated by the media and learn to step into allyship both in the office and in their wider communities. 

As a youth, I never had a chance to see an Out In School presentation. Instead, a man spoke at my school about conversion therapy. As a queer teen, this interaction reinforced shame, which is why the work done by Out In Schools is integral for transforming lives by showing that queerness is worth celebrating. In addition, the power of visibility allows students to see that they are not alone. The films reaffirm that their presence in the world matters; they matter.  Even more important, presenters and films show the power of exploring queer joy as contagious and transformative mediums. Danny shares that “more recently I’ve been really loving the celebration rather than tolerance aspect of life. We’re past the point of just needing to accept. Well, like, yeah, you need to accept trans people. But also that being trans is good.Each of us can carve a space for ourselves and shape our world. 

Discussions about 2SLGBTQIA+ issues are now a part of the BC curriculum however, the Out In Schools program is unique by showcasing films that uplift the lived queer experience. Out In Schools presentations are a continuously flowing conversation, where questions and discussions lead to films, and films spark new questions and audience engagements. These experiences  are empowering for youth, educators, and employees, and they move participants to action. The goal is that they continue to have conversations and promote safer, more inclusive spaces after Out In Schools departs. Allies develop empathy and learn how to use their visibility and power to conduct deliberate allyship. Meanwhile, queer folks gain a sense of belonging to a community. The films that are especially meaningful for Out In School’s staff are Meet the Transgender NCAA Swimmer from Harvard (Schuyler Bailar), Kapaemahu, Wendy’s Story aka The Healer, and Ur Aska.

Book a presentation with Out In Schools and empower queer folks in your community. For an extensive list of educational resources, access the Out In Schools website.


On August 15, during the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, we are collaborating with Out In Schools to deliver a presentation so attendees can witness the work done by the program firsthand. The Out In Schools team will share short films, present content, and engage viewers in a discussion about queer representation in media and allyship. Register for the presentation today and check out the rest of the Festival programme online!

Join us on October 15th at 7pm for our next VQFF Watch Party. We’ll be gathering together virtually to enjoy ‘The Half of It’. Register for your FREE ticket here.

About the film

When smart but cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for Paul, a goofball jock, she doesn’t expect to become his friend — or fall for his crush, Aster. It’s the queer rom-com spin on Cyrano de Bergerac you never knew you needed!

Directed by Alice Wu (Saving Face, 2005), this sweetly sincere comedy perfectly captures the budding realization of a first time queer crush, and how it feels to be an outsider in a small town. The Half Of It is sure to charm you– and we all need something sweet to lift our spirits right now.

This film is youth rated.

To join our Watch Party simply sign in to your Netflix account and play the film from the link we’ll provide you with on Thursday October 15th by 6:30pm. We’re using the newly created ‘Netflix Party’ Google Chrome extension that allows users to synchronize viewing with friends and chat while watching together. You will need to use the Google Chrome browser.  Follow our step by step guide here.

Please join us after the screening on Instagram live (@queerfilmfest) where, inspired by The Half Of It, we will be sharing some stories of queer love in the time of quarantine, and the ways in which our connections and intimacy have become more creative. Interested in sharing your story? Email nya@outonscreen for more info!

Join us for the fourth ‘All Our Stories’ event on December 3rd!

‘All Our Stories’ is an opportunity for youth to connect, and explore queer film and literature with Out In Schools and Vancouver Public Library. This year we’re hosting the event in collaboration with VPL’s Britannia branch at the Canucks Family Education Centre from 4PM-6.30PM.

The event is free and all content is youth-rated. Attendees will also be provided with snacks and drinks.

If you’re a student, parent, or educator please share this event with your community. Our Out In Schools team are happy to answer any questions you have about All Our Stories, get in touch with us on 604 844 1615.

We’re less than two weeks away from this year’s Fall Gala, the fabulous art auction and cocktail party supporting Out In Schools and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. This year’s fundraising auction will feature works from local artists Jaik Puppyteeth, Christopher Tamas Kovacs, Michela Sorrentino, Ann Goldberg, and David Burdeny – do you have your tickets yet?

The 2018 Fall Gala is presented by TD Bank Group as part of a new three-year sponsorship of Out On Screen. The fundraiser will also feature performances by drag sensations Shay Dior, Maiden China, and Karmella Barr.

“Our Fall Gala represents the best of LGBT2Q+ communities, auctioning art to raise funds so we can showcase the finest in queer film,” says Executive Director Stephanie Goodwin. “It’s a contested time for queer, trans, and two-spirit communities across BC and globally. Art is a key medium for communicating not only the joy and celebration in LGBT2Q+ lives, but also for expressing political commentary.”

Political commentary is centred in many of the works in this year’s art auction, including the brilliantly evocative “In Gay We Trust” by New York-based, Montreal-born Nadine Faraj. The piece is a hallmark of Faraj’s lush, daring watercolour figurative work that reinterprets identity for an age when gender and sexuality is part of a more expansive and colourful spectrum. Alongside Faraj’s work, two smartly sassy comic illustrations by Jaik Puppyteeth, a social satirist with a LGBTQ comical and camp bent to his work, will be featured in addition to key pieces by David Burdeny, Anda Kubis, and Ann Goldberg. Regular contributor Stev’nn Hall, a Hamilton-based artist with a big solo show opening next month in Boston, has also donated a gorgeous waterlily mixed media piece to support the fundraiser to benefit Out In Schools.

“We’re facing unprecedented demand for our programming,” says Gavin Somers, Out In Schools’ Program Coordinator. Out In Schools is booked solid through to December 2018 and is already fielding requests for presentations and tours beyond the Lower Mainland into 2019. “We’re aiming to visit new school districts this year and the money raised at the Fall Gala will help us support those young people.”

Tickets for the November 3 event are just $50, but VIP tickets are available for $100. Premium ticket holders get early access to the venue for an intimate reception and the opportunity to set the opening bid for their choice pieces. Tickets are available online – get yours today!

Our 30th Festival celebrates our communities’ journeys over the past 30 years. For many queer people, 1985 was a significant milestone in our personal and collective political journey, marking the first time President Ronald Reagan publicly acknowledged AIDS. It is during this milestone year that director Yen Tan sets his fifth feature film, assembling an outstanding cast to bring his critically-observed period piece to life.

Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, The Riddler on Gotham) returns to his small Texan hometown to spend the Christmas holidays with his working-class Christian family. His homecoming is marked by a silent anguish with his father (Michael Chiklis), a wounded attachment to his mother (Virginia Madsen), and a broken relationship with his high school best friend (Jamie Chung). Under Tan’s poignant direction, 1985’s characters bring tension and a strained tenderness into each and every scene. Tan’s unique choice to shoot in black-and-white 16mm film further illustrates the atmosphere of uncomfortable intimacy.

Director in Attendance

Director Yen Tan joins us for our Opening Gala on Thursday, August 9 to introduce his film! Audiences will be able to enjoy a Q&A with Tan following an intimate repeat screening on Friday, August 10.

Be sure to join us in the Queen Elizabeth Plaza following the Opening Gala for our Opening Night Party! Inspired by the film, attendees are encouraged to dress in black and white finery.

Out On Screen is turning 30 and you’re invited!

Come celebrate at our 30th birthday party Saturday, June 2. Everyone is invited…it’s a party for us and for you, our community.

Join us in looking back to pay tribute to the last 3 decades of uplifting queer stories at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. We’re getting nostalgic and will be turning back time to dance the night away to hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and enjoy performances inspired by each decade from talented local artists including Shay Dior, Maiden China and Indigenous burlesque troupe Virago Nation.

Thank you for being with us on this queer journey… we’ve gone to the moon and back. We can’t wait to clink glasses, eat some birthday cake, and take off into the next 30 years.

Dressing up in the decade of your choice is highly encouraged!

This event is FREE, but requires RSVP. Get your tickets here on Eventbrite and follow us here on Facebook to stay up today with the latest news.

Your RSVP and registration upon entrance will enter you into a draw to win 1 of 3 6-pack tickets to the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival!