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 

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