Vancouver, January 15, 2024Out On Screen, a leading organization dedicated to 2SLGBTQIA+ media arts and education, regretfully announces the departure of Brandon Yan from his role as Executive Director, effective March 27, 2024.

Yan has been an instrumental part of the Out On Screen team since 2015, contributing his leadership and passion for 2SLGBTQIA+ representation and education. As the sole Program Coordinator and later Education Director, Yan grew the Out In Schools program into a powerhouse, reaching over 20,000 youth annually at its peak. Under his leadership, Out In Schools also collaborated with the BC Ministry of Education to implement new policies and procedures supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ youth in every BC school district.

As Executive Director since mid-2020, Yan led the organization through unprecedented challenges with a focus on building staff capacity, financial sustainability, and continued program delivery in hybrid online and in-person formats. He leaves the organization having successfully re-launched in-person programs in 2023 with the best-attended Vancouver Queer Film Festival in the last decade and led the update to Out On Screen’s next strategic plan. Yan’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment is reflected in the transformative growth of Out On Screen’s programs and internal operations. Yan said,

While I am sad to bid farewell to this incredible community, I am also filled with hope and excitement for the future of Out On Screen. The organization is in excellent hands, and I have full confidence that it will continue to grow and make a positive difference in the lives of queer, trans, and Two Spirit peoples.

The Board of Directors expresses its gratitude for Brandon’s dedication and contributions to Out On Screen. Board Chair Chris Hallamore said,

Brandon’s leadership of Out On Screen through the COVID-19 pandemic, shifts in political discourse on 2SLGBTQIA+ expression and education, and our ever-changing community’s needs has been defined by his care for people, his warm leadership style, and his strategic focus. We are grateful for his service to this organization and are excited to see where his career takes him next.

The Board will commence a search for a new Executive Director to build on Out On Screen’s successes and lead the organization into its next chapter. Information will be made available on our careers page.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
media@outonscreen.com

About Out On Screen

Out On Screen is a charitable organization that illuminates, celebrates, and transforms 2SLGBTQIA+ lives through film, education, and dialogue. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival celebrates and promotes authentic authorship and representation that uplifts, empowers, and furthers the liberty, culture, and justice of 2SLGBTQIA+ people. The award-winning Out In Schools program brings age-appropriate queer cinema into school classrooms and communities across BC 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 2SLGBTQIA+ people are respected, valued, and protected across all our intersections of identity. www.outonscreen.com 

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF
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VANCOUVER, August 21, 2023The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) is pleased to announce the 2023 Award recipients. $52,500 CAD in prizes will be distributed to 2SLGBTQIA+ filmmakers, with the highest accolades bestowed upon RBC Narrative Change Award winner director Sharon “Rocky” Roggio’s 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE (USA), who will receive a cash prize of $5,000 CAD and the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award: Best British Columbia Short winner director Lauren Marsden’s TABANCA, who will take home a cash prize of $2,500 CAD courtesy of the Directors Guild of Canada, BC plus a $15,000 CAD camera package from Keslow Camera.

“I am deeply moved by and immensely grateful for the support of the VQFF audiences. We saw more attendees this year than in pre-pandemic times. Thank you, Vancouver, for coming out and embracing our storytellers; your presence and warm reception had a profound impact on their Festival experience,” said Charlie Hidalgo, Artistic Director, Out On Screen. “We took a stand and committed to only showcasing stories made by our community, and the difference was felt by all who attended. This 2023 edition of VQFF has been the most extraordinary and rewarding experience of my curatorial career.”

“I am truly humbled and profoundly honoured to be the first recipient of the RBC Narrative Change Award. Thank you Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Out On Screen and RBC, for establishing this incredible award that uplifts the power of storytelling and its ability to reshape the very fabric of our society. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for this recognition to the jury who saw the power and potential in 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE. I am proud to be a part of a community that believes in the ability of storytelling to bridge gaps, foster empathy, and ignite meaningful dialogue,” said Sharon “Rocky” Roggio director of 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE.

TABANCA director Lauren Marsden commented, “It is a great honour to receive the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award and join the incredible list of past awardees. I am deeply proud of everyone on the TABANCA team who helped bring this story of self-love and queer Caribbean joy to life. Here’s to many more!”

$30,000 CAD in cash and prizes will be distributed amongst the winners for this year’s People’s Choice Awards. The 2023 winners are:

Canadian Feature
THIS PLACE dir. V.T. Nayani 
Includes a $5,000 CAD cash prize from the Canada Media Fund (CMF) 

Canadian Short
SCARING WOMEN AT NIGHT dir. Karimah Zakia Issa
Includes a $20,000 CAD camera package from Panavision 

International Feature
1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE (USA) dir. Sharon “Rocky” Roggio
Includes a $2,500 CAD cash prize from Out On Screen 

International Short
FOREIGN UNCLE (China/USA) dir. Sining Xiang
Includes a $2,500 CAD cash prize from Out On Screen 

The 2023 jurors for the RBC Narrative Change Award were 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 Mukerjee. 

Jury’s statement: 

The RBC Narrative Change Award goes to 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE, for its ability to excavate and deliver deep cultural revelations in a way that’s both educational and entertaining. 1946 is a film that the jury believes will help transform the worldviews of others, as it did them, and encourage necessary exploration and inquiry by all who watch it.”

The 2023 jurors for the Gerry Brunet Memorial Award: Best British Columbia Short were filmmakers V.T. Nayani (THIS PLACE), Gabe Gabriel (RUNS IN THE FAMILY), and Twiggy Pucci Garçon (MnM).   

Jury’s statement: 

The Gerry Brunet Memorial Award: Best British Columbia Short goes to TABANCA, a film that artfully explores the numbing ache of loneliness. Not the kind one feels when missing a single person but rather the kind that pulls one’s heart towards home — home as in community, culture, and self. Though universal, this is a quintessentially queer experience embodied here by a lead actor who communicates pain and hope in equal but subtle measure, and captured simply and beautifully through thoughtful direction and cinematography.”

Out In Schools is excited to add three films that screened at the VQFF to our Film Catalogue: Pete (USA) dir. Bret Parker, Twin Sparks (USA) dir. Ollie Yao, Heather Yun and MnM (USA) dir. Twiggy Pucci Garçon. These films will be screened online by educators, and in person with Out In Schools facilitators reaching approximately 10,000 youth over the course of the 2023-2024 school year.

This year, VQFF’s lineup exclusively showcased films by 2SLGBTQIA+ storytellers. Throughout the Festival, audiences attended in-person and virtual screenings and were captivated by 92 films from 27 countries, including 24 feature films and 10 World Premieres. In the festival, first, the Opening Presentation: Stronger Together, showcased six short films; the Centrepiece Presentation featured the Canadian Premiere of Sharon “Rocky” Roggio’s astonishing documentary 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE (USA) and Ian Gabriel’s RUNS IN THE FAMILY (South Africa) closed the Festival. 

The 2023 Festival programme was curated by VQFF Artistic Director Charlie Hidalgo; Festival Programmers Sarah-Tai Black and Rico Johnson-Sinclair; 2023 VQFF Programming Disruptor Fellowship recipients Jasmine “Audder” Monton, Romi Kim, and Eva Grant; Guest Programmer Simone Ling. 

Festival images and press materials can be downloaded here

The VQFF would also like to thank its generous partners for their support, including lead partner RBC Royal Bank, premiere partners Canada Media Fund, Rogers, Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada and Telefilm Canada, signature partner Twin Sails Brewing, screening partners UBCP/ACTRA, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Herschel Supply Company and the Canadian Media Producers Association, festival funders Canada Council For the Arts, Government of Canada, City of Vancouver, Creative BC, The Province of British Columbia and British Columbia Arts Council, cultural partner SFU Woodward’s, exclusive technical partner 24 Frames Digital Films, transportation partner Modo, exclusive media partner CBC Vancouver, advertising partner Western Media Group and festival supporters bed, Vancouver Civic Theatres, MT+Co, IATSE Local 891, Gayvan.com, James Goodman, Black Screen Office and ACFC West, Local 2020 Unifor. 

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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 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF
Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest
#VQFF2023

August 8, 2023

We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of Jayme Andrews (King Fisher), a pillar of the local drag and Indigiqueer communities. Our hearts are with their loved ones and community. If you have the means, we encourage you to donate to their memorial fund on GoFundMe.

Jayme features in the short experimental film  ‘E.S.S. Scenes’ directed by Romi Kim, which is part of The Coast Is Queer local shorts program screening on August 17. Jayme was scheduled to perform as King Fisher at this event, and their name and image may still appear on some promotional materials.

In dialogue with our artists and community, we have decided to carry on with the scheduled screening of ‘E.S.S. Studios’, which celebrates and honours our local drag scene and Eastside Studios’ former space, The Warehouse.

Our priority is to hold space for our community to grieve and honour Jayme’s extraordinary life in whichever way each person feels is best for them. We encourage you to approach this program with care for yourself and others you may share space with at the in-person screening. Active listeners will be on-site to support those who need it. 

We have added a free ticket option for community members who wish to attend the August 17 screening or watch ‘E.S.S. Studios’ as part of The Coast Is Queer online (available August 18, 6:30PM to August 21, 6:30PM). If you have already purchased tickets to this screening and no longer wish to attend, please contact boxoffice@outonscreen.com for a full refund. 

Our hearts go out to everybody impacted by this devastating news. Please take care of yourselves and each other.

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

Instagram: www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF
Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest
#VQFF2023

Unveils More than 90 Films From 27 Countries

VANCOUVER, July 12, 2023The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) has announced the complete lineup for its 35th anniversary. From August 10-20, audiences can catch 92 films from 27 countries, with 24 features, 68 shorts, 10 World Premieres, 10 North American/International Premieres and 31 Canadian Premieres among the selections. In addition to in-person and BC province-wide digital screenings, the Festival will feature performances by 2SLGBTQIA+ local artists, post-screening Q&As with filmmakers, industry workshops, and encore screenings of the festival favourites on August 20. 

This year, VQFF’s lineup exclusively showcases films by 2SLGBTQIA+ storytellers. “Our programming team used authentic and positive representation as our north star,” said Charlie Hidalgo, Artistic Director, Out On Screen. “The media we consume shapes the cultural narrative about our communities and profoundly influences our emotional, political, and social landscapes. We embraced stories celebrating our freedom, joy and expansiveness, and are proud to present an empowering lineup that is a testament to the extraordinary visions of 2SLGBTQIA+ creators.”

VQFF is pleased to announce its continued partnership with Lead Partner RBC Royal Bank. “At RBC, we are proud supporters of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and are thrilled to sponsor the Vancouver Queer Film Festival once again,” says Martin Thibodeau, Regional President, British Columbia, RBC Royal Bank. “Through spotlighting stories that celebrate and champion diverse voices, we have seen and felt the impact it has within our local communities.” With the support of RBC Royal Bank, this year VQFF is launching the Narrative Change Award, with a $5,000 CAD cash prize that will honour 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.

Embracing the essence of solidarity within the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, in a festival first, VQFF’s Opening Presentation: Stronger Together will feature six remarkable short films celebrating the community’s rich and multifaceted experiences. Comprised of five Canadian Premieres and the winner of Sundance’s 2023 Best Short Film Award, the program includes director Doug TomposDOTTING THE “I” (USA), which sees ​​a modern-day Cyrano and a mid-life cynic embark on a profound exploration of lost love; Sundance Best Short Film Award winner THRIVING: A DISSOCIATED REVERIE (Canada), a comedy inspired by the lived experience of Black, non-binary, disabled artist and former sex worker Kitoko Mai; and Grace Godvin’s AC UNIT (USA), in which a Jewish queer man attempts to help their stylish trans femme friend install an air conditioner. 

The Opening Presentation also includes director Twiggy Pucci Garçon’s documentary short MNM (USA), which follows two chosen siblings making their runway ballroom debut; Joanne Mony Park’s GROCERY LIST (USA) sees issues big and small surface when a queer couple just wants to go grocery shopping; and director Abel Rubinstein’s MARS (United Kingdom), a frank, fearless, and funny love song to trans youth created by award-winning music artist, Yungblud. Following the films, the Vancouver Playhouse will host the first party of the festival with DJs, performers, a dance floor and more – which will be FREE to attend with tickets to the Opening Presentation screening.  

VQFF is thrilled to announce that this year’s Closing Presentation will be the British Columbia Premiere of director Ian Gabriel’s RUNS IN THE FAMILY (South Africa). A love letter to trans and drag communities, it follows a father, Varun, and his son River, a trans drag performer, as they attempt a road trip across South Africa to break River’s estranged mother out of rehab. The film is a real-life family collaboration by Ian Gabriel and his son Gabe, who wrote and stars in the film. The Closing Night Party will be hosted at the Vancouver Playhouse post-screening, FREE to those with tickets to the Closing Presentation.

“We are honoured and thrilled to have been invited to close VQFF this year. RUNS IN THE FAMILY is, first and foremost, a gift of hope, love, family support, and self-celebration for the queers, so closing a proudly queer festival far across the globe from where this story originates means the world to us. It proves that our family, our community, our reach is expansive, and we hope for our quirky, heartfelt father-trans son drag road trip story to wrap its arms around everyone who sees any part of themselves in it,” says Gabe Gabriel, writer/star, RUNS IN THE FAMILY

The 2023 Centrepiece Presentation will be the Canadian Premiere of director Sharon “Rocky” Roggio’s astonishing documentary 1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE (USA), which won the 2022 Audience Award at DOC NYC and quickly became the most-viewed film in the festival’s history. With new revelations that cast significant doubt on any biblical basis for queer and trans prejudice, Roggio’s fascinating film traces the origins of the Christian anti-gay movement back to 1946, when a dangerous mistranslation resulted in the first appearance of the word “homosexual” in the Bible. 

Notable titles in the features lineup include the British Columbia Premieres of the crowd-pleasing BIG BOYS (USA), director Corey Sherman‘s witty and warm-hearted coming-of-age tale; director Trevor Anderson’s joy-filled BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND (Canada) that follows a nonbinary newcomer at school who forms an unexpected friendship with the school bully; director Olivier Peyon’s beautiful film LIE WITH ME (ARRÊTE AVEC TES MENSONGES) (France) that captures central themes of love and enduring heartache, IT’S ONLY LIFE AFTER ALL (USA), director Alexandria Bombach’s documentary on pioneering queer icons and tireless political activists, the Indigo Girls, and Cláudia Varejão’s stunning WOLF AND DOG (LOBO E CÃO) (Portugal/France) which skillfully converts intolerance into a nurturing sense of community spirit.

Other festival feature highlights include the British Columbia Premiere of Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s striking debut 20,000 SPECIES OF BEES (Spain), set throughout one pivotal summer, as an eight-year-old transgender girl explores her identity alongside the women of her family in the Basque Country. The International Premieres of THE MATTACHINE FAMILY (USA), director Andrew Vallentine’s look at the complexities of queer parenthood starring Nico Tortorella, Juan Pablo Di Pace and Emily Hampshire; and THREE HEADED BEAST (USA), directed by Fernando Andrés and Tyler Rugh, a rare window into the life of a bisexual couple in an open relationship as they navigate how to include a third. The Canadian Premiere of CLASHING DIFFERENCES (Germany), directed by Merle Grimme, is a punchy, darkly funny, and caustically subversive film that looks candidly at issues including tokenism and colourism.

The intergenerational film project Troublemakers returns to the big screen for its seventh year. Reel Youth, Out On Screen and LOVE Intersections will present five new films by youth filmmakers documenting the lives of local lesbian, gay, queer, trans and nonbinary community members who inspire through art and advocacy. Preceding Troublemakers, the award-winning Out In Schools program, will present an abridged version of their Beyond Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) presentation. Exploring the importance and impact of positive 2SLGBTQIA+ representation, the presentation will showcase two new films in the Out In Schools film catalogue.

Curated Shorts Programs will include a melody of episodic pilots in Fresh Starts; a return of the homegrown talent showcase The Coast is Queer; a spine-tingling journey of seductive and thrilling tales in Midnight Foreplay; and Slay 4 Me, which explores the ballroom and drag communities, featuring live performances and a talk on queer performance practices following the films. The full list of Shorts Programs can be found here

The 2023 Festival programme was curated by VQFF Artistic Director Charlie Hidalgo; Festival Programmers Sarah-Tai Black and Rico Johnson-Sinclair; 2023 VQFF Programming Disruptor Fellowship recipients Eva Grant, Jasmine “Audder” Monton, and Romi Kim, made possible through the generous support of Telefilm Canada, Warner Bros Discovery Access Canada and The British Columbia Arts Council; and Guest Programmer Simone Ling.

For ticketing details, including sliding scale pricing beginning at just $5, the complete Festival lineup, screening dates and times, please visit www.queerfilmfestival.ca.

Festival images and the full Festival programme can be downloaded here

The VQFF would also like to thank its generous partners for their support, including lead partner RBC Royal Bank, premiere partners Canada Media Fund, Rogers, Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada and Telefilm Canada, signature partner Twin Sails Brewing, screening partners UBCP/ACTRA, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Herschel Supply Company and the Canadian Media Producers Association, festival funders Canada Council For the Arts, Government of Canada, City of Vancouver, Creative BC, The Province of British Columbia and British Columbia Arts Council, cultural partner SFU Woodward’s, exclusive technical partner 24 Frames Digital Films, transportation partner Modo, exclusive media partner CBC Vancouver, advertising partner Western Media Group and festival supporters bed, Vancouver Civic Theatres, MT+Co, IATSE Local 891, Gayvan.com, James Goodman, Black Screen Office and ACFC West, Local 2020 Unifor. 

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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 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/queerfilmfest
Facebook: www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF
Twitter: www.twitter.com/queerfilmfest
#VQFF2023

VQFF’s new training and mentorship program for BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ film programmers welcome the 2023 cohort.

VANCOUVER – Out On Screen and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival are delighted to announce that Eva Grant, Romi Kim, and Jasmine Monton are the inaugural recipients of the VQFF Programming Disruptor Fellowship, a new training and mentorship program for emerging BIPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+ film programmers. 

Led by Out On Screen’s new Artistic Director, Charlie Hidalgo (he/him), the Disruptor Fellowship program seeks to catalyze transformative change in the Canadian film industry and shepherd new talent into a field in critical need of diversification.

“The talent and vision of this group are astounding,” says Artistic Director Charlie Hidalgo. “Each brings a unique lens and robust creative practice to the program, ranging from film, performance, music, cultural programming, and community development. I couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with this brilliant team in the curation of the 35th anniversary of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.”

The 2023 Disruptor Fellows were selected from a pool of 54 applicants. Each Fellow will receive at least $10,000 throughout the fellowship which will run from February to August. Spanning five phases, the Fellowship program combines masterclasses, workshops, and hands-on experience. Speakers will include Emmy, Peabody, and Critics Choice Award-nominated film producer Alex Schmider (Changing the Game, DISCLOSURE, Framing Agnes) and renowned LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD

“This program is designed to provide participants with a practical toolkit and robust ethical framework that will enable them to approach their curatorial practice in a restorative and impactful way, centering accountability, integrity, and community care,” added Hidalgo. “Over the coming years, we hope the graduates of this program become a force of transformative change in the Canadian film industry.”

The Fellowship program will culminate in the 35th annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival, an 11-day festival taking place in-person and online August 10-20, 2023. The Disruptor Fellows will be credited as Festival Programmers for their contributions in curating films and events for VQFF.

Cropped headshot of Sarah-Tai Black smiling in a colourful button-up.
Photo by Kevin Sarasom.

This year’s Festival programming team will also welcome Sarah-Tai Black (they/them) as Festival and Industry Programmer. Sarah-Tai is a film programmer and arts curator who works to center embodied Black, queer, trans, and crip futurities. They are interested in spaces and moments that inspire immediate, all-encompassing feeling, speak back to conventional ways of seeing and being seen, and experiment with presupposed boundaries of form and narrative.


The 2023 Programming Disruptor Fellows

Cropped headshot of Eva Grant smiling in three-quarter view.
Photo by Berkley Vopnfjord.

Eva Grant (she/her) is a bilingual filmmaker operating at the intersection of queer and BIPOC storytelling, and the founder of Tooth & Nail Pictures.  She is the creator of the dark comedy web series Degrees of Separation, a guest director on Couleurs du Nord, and in pre-production on her short film as an ImagineNATIVE Screenwriting Shorts Fellow. The CMF, IPF, BIPOC TV and Film, ISO, RWSI, BANFF Spark, and AGO have supported her work. Eva is a graduate of Stanford University, where she studied literature and philosophy. Her work is influenced by fantasy, futurism, mythology, death, love, and her mixed St’at’imc Indigenous, South and West Asian, and European heritage.

Headshot of Romi Kim smiling.
Photo by Peter Chu.

김새로미 Romi Kim (they/them), also known as SKIM in drag, is a genderfluid, second-generation Korean lesbian. Kim is an interdisciplinary artist that works in video, performance, installation, and photography. Their work has been exhibited in South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Canada, most recently at SUM Gallery and Polygon Art Gallery in Vancouver. They have performed internationally in South Korea, Vietnam, Berlin, San Francisco and Vancouver (Cultch Theatre, Upintheair Theatre, and Transform Cabaret Festival). SKIM is also a co-producer of the all-drag king and thing show Magic Dykes.

Headshot of Jasmin Monton smiling widely.
Photo by anonymous.

Jasmine Monton (they/she), who also goes by the stage name Audder, is an artist of multiple genres and multiple feelings. They are a self-defined “gate-reaper”, combating industry gatekeeping and growing healthy arts leadership. Jasmine values storytelling that brings dignity, depth, and wonder to the queer community. Once acknowledged at a film festival as “the overly enthusiastic volunteer”, they believe film and media are powerful sources of connection to personal identity and each other. Jasmine’s background is in community outreach, youth mentorship, event coordination, and music. They are co-producer of the Filipino Fridays Podcast.


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 

For further information and interview requests, please contact:
media@outonscreen.com
604-844-1615

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

We are excited to welcome Charlie Hidalgo (he/him) to the Out On Screen team as our new permanent Artistic Director starting September 26, 2022!

Charlie Hidalgo is a Colombian-Canadian film curator, trans media consultant, filmmaker, and a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer Lab. He is committed to combatting the erasure of 2SLGBTQIA+ BIPOC identities in the media by curating and creating stories that question culture and empower queer and trans BIPOC communities. His work has screened at TIFF, SXSW, Slamdance, BFI, VIFF, Inside Out, Outfest, and NewFest Film Festivals. He has programmed for Urbanworld, Slamdance, Cucalorus, Tribeca, Inside Out, Outfest, NewFest, and Athena Film Festivals.

“I’m honoured to join Out On Screen as the Artistic Director. I look forward to collaborating with the team to curate an unforgettable 35th anniversary Vancouver Queer Film Festival, and to expand the dynamic, inclusive, and impactful programming for our communities.” – Charlie Hidalgo, Artistic Director

“I am very excited for Charlie to join our team at this pivotal moment for Out On Screen and for the arts sector in general. More than ever are we in need of strong and uplifting artistic visions, and I know Charlie is up for the task. I hope you’ll welcome him warmly to Vancouver!” – Brandon Yan, Executive Director


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