- Out In Schools
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One Life to Blossom
Alexandrina André, is a first-generation American from Queens, New York. Being first-generation enamored her in a world of diverse cultural backgrounds and that created a desire in her to tell those stories. Her films focus on culture and the marginalized. She obtained a degree in Film Production and has written and directed two shorts Flora and Reversed. Her films have been showcased in film festivals such as Cinequest Film Festival and Pan-African Film Festival. Her feature documentary One Life to Blossom follows the life of black transwoman Blossom C. Brown as she undergoes her dream of getting face feminization surgery.
Angelica Perez Anzures
Mena Brea: A Techno Dysmorphic Tale
Angelica is a Mexican filmmaker based in Vancouver, Canada. Mena Brea: A Techno-Dysmorphic Tale is Angelica’s first time directing professionally. She currently works as a Cinematographer. She started her career as an actor in a theater company where she found her passion in filmmaking. Telling stories through the lens have been a dream come true for Angelica. As a Cinematographer she has collaborated on many films and her favorite part is to be able to translate emotions and discourses into images. Angelica biggest interests are in science and the psychology of human behavior. She is now writing and ready to get more projects happening.
Sinvergüenzilla in First Kiss
Anita Abbasi is a writer-director based in Tkarón:to (Toronto). Hailing from two disparate immigrant backgrounds — Pakistan & El Salvador — Anita’s work explores diasporic identity, our desire to be loved and Western popular culture. She has produced and directed three short films with co-director, Martin Baena: The Talent Scout (2015), French Poutine (2016) and Mariah ¡qué baile! (2017). Her latest short, Sinvergüenzilla in ‘First Kiss’ (2021) premiered at Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in May 2021. In 2020/21, she was mentored by actor, author and playwright, Carmen Aguirre, for rewrites on her first feature film, Saturday Fuego Diablo, currently in development.
Effy Adar is a Black self taught multidisciplinary artist, DJ, organizer and curator based in Amiskwaciwaskahikan on Treaty 6 territory. She is the co-creator of Night Comfort and deejays under EFFY IN THE SKY. Effy also styles and directs music videos and photo shoots. She has worked in theatre as an actor, sound and video designer. She uses dance, art and education for community building, healing, and celebration. She loves making art, teaching workshops, and working on grassroots projects. Effy believes in creating the world we want to live in by finding imaginative ways to learn, connect, express, and contribute.
Faraz Arif Ansari
Faraz Arif Ansari is an international award winning non-binary, queer, independent filmmaker. Their film, Sisak, India’s First Silent LGBTQ Love Story is the First Indian film to win 60 international awards. Their most recent film Sheer Qorma, which deals with intersectionalities of sexuality, gender identities, faith and love, has become the first ever Indian film to win FRAMELINE, the biggest queer film festival in the world, qualifying for BAFTA. When not working behind the camera, Faraz leads cinema and theatre sessions for underprivileged children across slums of Mumbai, and conducts free acting workshops for Indian transgender and queer communities.
Giovanni Adams is an actor, writer and director. His solo play Love Is A Dirty Word premiered in Los Angeles and received an NAACP Theatre Award as well as LA Stage Alliance Ovation and LA Drama Critics Circle awards recognition. He wrote and starred in a short film adaptation of the play called 2 Black Boys, which premiered at Outfest Film Festival. He teaches workshops on personal essay writing and storytelling at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He was born in Jackson, Miss. and received his BA from Yale University.
Os Últimos Românticos do Mundo (The Last Romantics of the World)
Henrique Arruda works in Scriptwriting, Directing, Art Direction, Production and Editing in Film. Author of three independent short films, his works have been shown in over 150 screens all over the world and have won over 40 awards. He is the founder of the Filmes de Marte brand, through which he develops his own films and projects in other areas linked to the audiovisual, like film courses, comic books and music videos.
Joseph A. Adesunloye
Joseph A. Adesunloye is an award winning British-Nigerian writer/director. He was nominated for the BFI IWC Schaffhausen Filmmakers Bursary Award at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in 2016. In 2017 Joseph was longlisted ‘Best Debut Screenwriter’ at BIFA. Joseph’s second feature FACES premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in 2018, where it was nominated for ‘Best International Feature’, the film stars Terry Pheto from Oscar winning Tsotsi. Joseph’s third feature Breaking Mirrors starring Yann Gael (1899, Sakho et Mangane) & James Smith (The Favourite, The Thick of It) is in post. Joseph currently has several TV projects in development.
Putri Sarah Amelia
Jemari Yang Menari di Atas Luka-Luka (Golden Frames In The Closet)
Putri Sarah Amelia is a lecturer and film director based in South Tangerang, Indonesia. She studied film directing at Jakarta Institute of Art (IKJ) and finished her master’s degree in Urban Arts and Cultural Industries IKJ.
She began her career as an editor or assistant director in short films, feature-length films, and TV Commercials with many production houses. Although she is now a full-time lecturer, she continues to direct music videos and short films.
In 2020, her latest short film, Golden Frames in the Closet was officially selected and screened at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2020 in Asia International & Japan program. The film competed at Bali International Short Film Festival – Minikino Film Week 6 and won National Jury Competition Award 2020. The film also competed at Festival Film Indonesia 2020 and won Best Short Film Award 2020.
The Uninhabitable Ones
Anderson Bardot (Brazil, 1988) is a poet and film director who has a Bachelor in Cinema and Audio Visual from the Federal University of Espirito Santo. He debuted The Uninhabitable Ones at 49th International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2020, his first short film in his professional career.
The Binding of Itzik
Anika Benkov is a nonbinary filmmaker and storyteller who writes about the kinks in our lives and in ourselves, loneliness, and growing pains at all ages. They are an alumnus of the New York Stage and Film Filmmaker’s workshop and their short film, The Binding of Itzik has received several awards at festivals around the world, including the Film Movement award for Best Narrative Film at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. They are currently a TV concentrate in the Columbia University School of the Arts Film MFA program.
Cora Bissett is a director, actor and writer based in Glasgow. She has been Associate
Director at the National Theatre of Scotland since 2014, where she has explored a passion
for shows rooted in real life Scottish stories. Her productions with NTS include the hit political Musical Glasgow Girls, (With Theatre Royal Stratford East/ Richard Jordan Productions) Rites (With Yusra Warsama/ Contact Theatre Manchester), the multi award winning Adam (by Frances Poet) and the near -future trilogy Interference.
Cora also creates work independently, having started up her company Pachamama in 2009
and launched her first production Roadkill,created with writer Stef Smith, at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe which won nine major awards including an Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Speech. It toured to Glasgow, Paris, Chicago and New York, winning an Olivier Award for Outstanding Production. Cora has a passion for experimenting with new forms of music-theatre, as seen in the Arches collaborative project she directed Whatever gets you through the Night featuring a wealth of Scotland’s most eclectic and original song writing talent, GRIT-The Martyn Bennett Story (written by Kieran Hurley) celebrating Scotland’s iconic folk/dance maverick (Winning ‘Event of The Year’ at the Scottish Trad Awards) and Peter Arnott’s electrifying Janis Joplin -Full Tilt.
Cora’s most recent music theatre project was her own autobiographical story. She wrote and
performed in the raucous gig theatre production What Girls Are Made of (Traverse
Theatre/Raw Material) and toured it Internationally picking up a Herald Angel.
Mylo is a short film director and cinematographer committed to telling empowering stories centered around the underrepresented. As of early 2021, after 5 years of freelancing and working with multiple high-profile production companies, Mylo has obtained his LLC and is the managing member of his own production company MyloB Productions, focusing on storylines that feature BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other largely marginalized communities. Turning attention to issues that desperately need to be addressed in society and that are often overlooked or forgotten.
Taking from his own personal experiences, Mylo is committed to capturing incredibly powerful and compelling moments that are emotionally fulfilling and moments that generate and inspire fresh meaningful concepts and ideas that shape and develop the audience’s perspective.
Nicol Ruiz Benavides
Nicol Ruiz Benavides was born in 1988 in the town of Lautaro in southern Chile. She spent five years studying film at the Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile. In 2016, she made her first full-length feature film Forgotten Roads. In 2019, she directed seven of ten episodes of the TV series Los Carcamales, which was made for the production company Kuarzo. Ruiz Benavides is currently working on her second feature film When the Rain Does Not Touch Me.
Ralf Bou Chaya
Reviens Mon Amour (Come Back My Love)
Ralf is a queer Lebanese director and screenwriter, he started his film journey with Surrounded by Sea his bachelor’s graduation film for ALBA, Beirut in 2017. Then he moved to Paris and got a master’s degree in screenwriting and directing in 2019. After his studies, he wrote and directed an independent short film Come Back My Love, currently on its film festival journey. His latest stop was in New York for an intensive one-year program at Stone Street Studios, where his final year project, currently in post-production, The Cheesy Life of Francis, was picked between 25 other pitches to go into production. Today, a fresh graduate with a storm of ideas, he aspires to be part of the new wave of Arab filmmakers.
God's Daughter Dances
Born in 1991, Byun studied Film and Eastern Philosophy at University. With his short films Horn (2014) and The Chicken of Wuzuh (2015) he was invited to play Busan International Film Festival and won the Grand Prix from the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. Another one of his films, Hands and Wings (2019) was selected to play Slamdance and the Brussels Short Film Festival.
Are You Still Watching?
Alex Cardy is an award-winning cinematographer. Her previous work has screened at Venice International Film Festival, MIFF, Outfest and MQFF amongst others. She is one of the founders of Sissy Screens and is passionate about nuanced queer characters and their stories.
Cian O Connor
The West Kerry Cowboy
Cian O Connor is a filmmaker from Dingle, Co, Kerry. The Kerryman newspaper has described Cian’s work as “stories from the West of Ireland, with echoes of the past and lessons for the present.” He has won awards from Fresh Film Festival, Junior Galway Film Fleadh and Charlie Chaplin Comedy Festival. Cian’s films have also been screened at Galway Film Fleadh, Fastnet Film Festival and Dingle International Film Festival. Cian strives to tell unique stories and rural tales with a distinctive visual flair.
Vuleta Al Sol (Birthday Boy)
Judith Corro – Panamanian cultural manager, storyteller, communicator and passionate multi-tasker. Graduated in Writing and Psychology from Loyola University New Orleans, with a special interest in scriptwriting and gender issues. She currently works as Communications Chief in the NGO sector, and has created several published projects focusing on gender, identity, and community. Birthday Boy is her first cinematographic work (and hopefully not her last) as both scriptwriter and director.
Are You Still Watching?
Kitty Chrystal is a non-binary artist, illustrator and animator based in Naarm (Melbourne). With a focus on figurative drawing, rendered in a combination of ink and digital media, their work explores themes of sexuality, body image and gender euphoria. They seek to celebrate the authenticity of queer existence through art.
Another Beautiful Creature
MAHX CAPACITY (they/them) is a fat femme power bottom and taurean pleasure prince. They are a founder and the current Creative Director of AORTA films. Hailing from a background in experimental performance, Mahx is interested in wielding queer porn as a tool for destabilizing pleasure, fierce vulnerability, and complex humanity. Their shorts and feature films have been screened at festivals all over the globe, winning Best International Short Film at the Hacker Porn Film Festival (Rome, 2018) for Full, and Best Film at the Vienna Porn Film Festival and the Hacker Porn Film Festival for feature (W/HOLE) (2019). Mahx is a gender fluid, non-binary, white, able-bodied, fat, femme, maker/director/performer. They are a maximalist through and through, and they feel gleeful about getting to make porn as part of such a deeply brilliant community.
Mahx has performed in films by Four Chambers and AORTA films. They have been featured as a speaker/panelist/educator by STRAND Bookstore, Consider This, Brooklyn College, First Person Plural Salon, Posture Magazine, the Hacker Porn Film Festival, Tristan Taormino’s Sex Out Loud and Tina Horne’s “Why are People Into That?” podcasts. You can find them in Brooklyn, daydreaming about the mouthfeel of skyscrapers, deepening their BDSM practice, and contemplating what strangers look like when they come. [Photo credit: Maria Baranova]
I Want You
THE CØVEN is a vogue collective comprised of three professional, queer artists from across the country. Ralph Escamillan (FakeKnot), Ross Wirtanen (RiaToss Productions) and Kevin Fraser (Immigrant Lessons) are all highly distinguished and versatile dancers / choreographers within their hometowns of Vancouver, BC and Toronto, ON. With an innate passion for LGBTQ2IA+ arts and culture, the “unholy trinity” strive to cultivate the growing Canadian vogue and ballroom scene by hosting community dance classes, workshops and balls.Their macabre sense of theatre, editorial fashion and gender-bending style are woven into entertaining and educational live performances that elevate the expressive, underground dance style of Vogue.
Thirza Jean Cutland
Thirza Jean Cuthand was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1978, and grew up in Saskatoon. Since 1995 she has been making short experimental narrative videos and films about sexuality, madness, Queer identity and love, and Indigeneity, which have screened in festivals internationally, including the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Mix Brasil Festival of Sexual Diversity in Sao Paolo, ImagineNATIVE in Toronto, Ann Arbour Film Festival, Images in Toronto, Berlinale in Berlin, and Oberhausen International Short Film Festival. Her work has also exhibited at galleries including the Remai in Saskatoon, The National Gallery in Ottawa, and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
They completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Film and Video at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2005, and her Masters of Arts in Media Production at X University in 2015. In 1999 she was an artist in residence at Videopool and Urban Shaman in Winnipeg, where she completed Through The Looking Glass. In 2012 she was an artist in residence at Villa K. Magdalena in Hamburg, Germany, where she completed Boi Oh Boi. In 2015 they were commissioned by ImagineNATIVE to make 2 Spirit Introductory Special $19.99. She was also commissioned to make Thirza Cuthand Is An Indian Within The Meaning Of The Indian Act by VIMAF and Queer Arts Festival in 2017. In 2018 they were commissioned to make the video Reclamation by Cinema Politica in the Documentary Futurism Next 150 project. In the summer of 2016 she began working on a 2D video game called A Bipolar Journey based on her experience learning and dealing with her bipolar disorder. It showed at ImagineNATIVE and was finished in 2020. She has also written three feature screenplays and has performed at Live At The End Of The Century in Vancouver, Queer City Cinema’s Performatorium in Regina, and 7a*11d in Toronto. In 2017 she won the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award. She is a Whitney Biennial 2019 artist. She is a non-binary Butch boy who uses She/They pronouns. They are of Plains Cree and Scots descent, a member of Little Pine First Nation, and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.
Washington Calegari holds a BA in Journalism from University of São Paulo (2004) and a postgraduate degree in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths, University of London (2012-2013).
He has been working at TV Globo São Paulo since 2006. He is one of the directors of the special Falas de Orgulho (Speeches of Pride) and screenwriter of several TV shows.
As an independent filmmaker, he produced and directed the documentaries Sertão Oficina (2004), Mind The Gap (2013), Do Lado Dillah (2018) – which won awards at film festivals in Brazil and the United States and is available on Globoplay – and the fiction short films Beat 97 (2020) and What’s Beyond The Abyss (2021).
Das Muss Man Erst Mal Aussprechen Können (Some Things Are Hard To Say)
Benjamin Deboosere (°1984) studied screenwriting at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, and mastered in film directing at the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound in Brussels. Deboosere’s work as a director and/or writer has played at various international film festivals as Tallinn Black Nights (BNFF), Rotterdam (IFFR), Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Message to man, Africadoc Bénin, Mecal Pro Barcelona, Brussels Art Film Festival, Achtung Berlin among others. Deboosere’s first fiction short Of Not Such Great Importance won the Kryzstof Szot Award at the Lublin Film Festival 2019 (PL), the Jury and Audience Award at Ongezien Kort 2020 (BE), and Best Short Film Award at Working Title Film Festival 2020 (IT).
Combustion Spontanée (Spontaneous Combustion)
A former screenwriting student at La Fémis film school in Paris, Pierre-Jean Delvolvé’s cinematic influences range from Tobe Hooper to Jean Eustache, from Eric Rohmer to George Miller. He dreams of making a film where all of these obsessions could be blended together. Director of two shorts films, he never stops testing his transgressive and sentimental love of cinema.
Sergio De Leon
The Hummingbird's Intention
The hummingbird’s intention is Sergio de León’s debut feature as director. He graduated from the Film School of Uruguay in 1998, and for the last twenty years he has worked as assistant director in films such as El empleado y el patrón (Employee and employer) by Manolo Nieto (2019), Las vacaciones de Hilda (Hilda’s holidays) by Agustín Banchero (2018), El motoarrebatador (The snatch thief) by Agustín Toscano (2017), Las toninas van al este (Dolphins travel east) by Verónica Perrotta and Gonzalo Delgado (2016), Los enemigos del dolor(Pain enemies) by Arauco Hernández (2013), Mr. Kaplan and Mal día para pescar (Bad day to go fishing) by Álvaro Brechner (2012 and 2008), 14 Days in the Paradise by Bill Marks (2006), En la puta vida (In this tricky life) by Beatriz Flores Silva (2000), among others.
Emmalie El Fadli
From A to Q
Emmalie was born in Cambridge, England but soon left for France, where she lived for 6 years. After that she moved to Colorado, USA where she lived until she was 17. Writing and editing has always been her passions, but it wasn’t until she made her first film The Date that she found her love for directing too. She now has 3 short films under her belt and is currently writing her fourth.
Activist & Archivist
Rebel Dykes (Q&A)
Artist, activist, archivist, and icon. Karen Fisch, often known as Fisch, is one of the stars of the newly released kick-arse punk film Rebel Dykes. In the 1980s she jointly ran the famous sex positive club Chain Reaction, lived at Greenham Common, rode with all-lesbian biker gang The Black Widows and was heavily involved London activism against Section 28.
The film motivated Fisch to write and perform the award nominated one woman show Rebel Dyke Live, which follows the history of LGBTQ+ Pride through her lens as a mainstream outsider.
She now performs in drag as King Frankie Sinatra, hosting and producing London’s largest drag king night, Kings of Clubs, at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, since 2017.
She finds joy, hope and inspiration in working with that community, especially the wonderfully talented and highly politically aware queer, trans and non-binary people of colour.
Taking the Waters
Belfast-born Kathryn Ferguson is an award-winning Director, and Film Research Fellow, whose work has screened globally on platforms such BBC, Nowness, UN Women and i-D, and at film festivals worldwide. Kathryn’s film Taking the Waters is currently on the international festival circuit, having premiered in the UK at Sheffield Doc Fest in June 2018 and in Europe at Clermont Ferrand in February 2019. The film was nominated for Best Irish Short Documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh and Best Cinematography at Underwire Festival. In 2021 Kathryn worked with Passion Pictures on a new documentary short Space to Be for The Guardian’s highly acclaimed documentary film series. After ten years of working on short form work, demonstrating a commitment to documentary-based work centred on identity, gender politics and community, Kathryn is currently working on Nothing Compares, her first feature documentary film which is due for release in 2022. The film is being produced by Kathryn’s production company Tara Films, in association with Field Of Vision, BFI Doc Society, Screen Ireland, and Northern Ireland Screen.
Maria Forsythe is a cinematographer and editor based in Austin, Texas. She studied filmmaking at The University of Texas at Austin, after which her career took her everywhere from teaching middle school film to editing YouTube videos for Apple. Now a full time freelancer, she edits narrative films, shoots marketing content across the country, and DP’s films here in Austin. Her storytelling focuses on the unique experiences of the individual; the stories that all too often do not get told.
Zoë Friberg (she/they) is a Vancouver and Minneapolis based director also specializing in assistant directing, production design, and colour grading. She was raised by artists and continues to pursue all things creative. In 2021, she received a Film Production diploma from InFocus Film School where she was also voted by her peers for the Team Spirit Award. Last year, she had the pleasure to be included in Vancouver Queer Film Festival for doing camera and sound on a fellow student’s featured short doc Fluid. She’s currently working on projects through FP53 Media, a Vancouver based video production start-up.
It Was The Dog Who Saved My Life
Adam Golub is an Israeli-American documentarian, media artist and videographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his Masters from the Columbia School of Journalism in 2013 and was a fellow at the UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art in 2014. His feature documentary Your Mother’s Comfort (2020) premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest and won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, Los Angeles and honorable mention at Newfest, New York. His film Skin (2017) won Outstanding Documentary Short at Art of Brooklyn and Best Short at Newfest, New York. His short film I Was Here First premiered at DOC NYC.
Alexandra Geller is a filmmaker interested in stories of displacement—both in mind and body. Her films have earned the Marcia Robbins Women in Film Award; the Caucus Foundation Grant for Writers and Directors; the Virgin Unite Social Impact Award; the Massachusetts Endowment for Humanities Media Grant; and the Emerson Outstanding Achievement Award. Her coming-of-age shorts have screened at festivals across North America including Indy Shorts, Cinequest Film Festival, Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival, and Inside Out Toronto, among others.
Prior to filmmaking, she created interactive media for clients including National Geographic, WNYC New York Public Radio, Nike, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The World Bank, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Raised in Minneapolis, MN, she earned her BA from Middlebury College, and her MFA in Film and Media Art from Emerson College.
Funeral - A Long Shot
Kerri Garrett is a Black queer interdisciplinary artist from Columbus, Ohio, based out of Atlanta, Georgia. A Clark Atlanta University alumnus, she intertwines the art forms of dance, film, and fashion to create compelling narratives about the black experience. From stage to screen, Kerri can be seen on multiple platforms showcasing her acting abilities. Some of her theatrical credits include: Sorry About That (written by Nina Lee, Zae Jordan, and Javier Williams), 360 Degrees of Blackness (directed by Melissa Alexander), Salt City: An Afro-futuristic Choreopoem (directed by Aku Kadogo), and Hand’s Up (directed by Keith Bolden).
A trained dancer, Kerri has studied at Theatre Street Dance Academy (under the direction of China White), Spelman Dance Theatre (under the direction of T Lang), and Staib Dance (under the direction of George Staib). She has worked with numerous choreographers such as Micaela Taylor, Kathleen Wessel, Victor Rojas, and Dacia James. Kerri’s choreography credits include For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enuf and God’s Trombones (directed by Eric J. Little) at Clark Atlanta University. Recently, she was University of West Georgia’s Guest Artist and choreographed Songs for a New World (directed by Jonathan Kitt) for their fall musical. In addition, Kerri is also a published model. Her work can be found in the pages of Vanity Fair UK, Shuba Magazine, Nude Magazine, and more. In 2020, Kerri received Fulton County’s Virtual Arts Initiative Grant for her project, Longshot: Atlanta. She executive produced, directed, styled and co-choreographed the five-part dance visual series. Currently, Kerri is developing numerous projects with her production company and artist collective, House of Productions.
Lorena Gordon is an award-winning writer/director. Hailing from Queens, New York. Lorena began her journey working as a production assistant on sets at the age of eighteen with directors such as: Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and Ben Stiller.
The stories Lorena feels most passionate about telling are about the human condition and the complicated facets of life. Lorena feels it’s her responsibility to give a voice to the voiceless, as someone who is Latinx and Queer. Lorena has directed, written and produced short films including Times Like These and At Last. Her short films have been picked up for distribution. Most recently, Lorena wrote and directed the short film At Last, starring Zack Gottsagen and George Lopez. At Last has played Oscar Qualifying festivals: Hollyshorts, Cleveland International Film Festival, and Indy Fest. She has garnered awards for Best Director and Best Short Film throughout their festival run.
Throughout his fourteen-year career as a director, writer and producer, Mateo Guez has taken the same fearless approach to his art that he applies to life outside of his work. His first feature film, Off World, shot on location in the vast urban slum of Manila’s Smokey Mountain, is an intimate portrait of both the place and the people who inhabit it. His second feature film, Together Alone, is a psychological “huit clos,” a meditation on the fine line between love, lust and companionship for friends in a love triangle.
Throughout his career as a director, writer, producer editor, photographer and film instructor, Mateo Guez has taken the same fearless approach to his art that he applies to life outside of his work. His first feature film, Off World, shot on location in the vast urban slum of Manila’s Smokey Mountain, is an intimate portrait of both the place and the people who inhabit it. His second feature film, Together Alone, is a psychological “huit clos,” a meditation on the fine line between love, lust and companionship for friends in a love triangle.
Olivia Margarita Gastaldo
To You My Love
Olivia Margarita Gastaldo is a mixed Mexican American Cinematographer and Director working in commercial and narrative film. Olivia started their career in gaming and is currently working with 100 Thieves as a Senior Producer + Cinematographer. In their work, Olivia is committed to uplifting the voices of their community. They are dedicated to supporting the work of BIPOC, LGBTQ+ creatives, and aim to uplift the Latin American voice in cinema. Olivia has created for brands like Chipotle, LG, HyperX, AMD, and Rocket Mortgage. They have worked with production companies such as FREENJOY on Beyonce’s Black Is King.
Taking the Waters
Anna Hart is a Belfast-born multimedia journalist specialising in social commentary and international culture. She regularly reports for titles including The New York Times, The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal, and presents the podcast The Art Of Getting Lost.
Geena Marie Hernandez
Pine Mountain Overnight
Geena Marie Hernandez is a filmmaker born and raised surrounded by the palm trees and beaches of vibrant South Florida. She loves to tell colorful and fantastical female-driven stories that mix humanity with hilarity and push the boundaries of genre. By day, she’s currently working in the production office for the TV show Atlanta and by night, she’s in post-production for her latest short film Chicks, as a recipient of the 2021 WAVE Grant made possible by multi Sundance-winning studio Wavelength Productions.
Natalie Jasmine Harris
Natalie Jasmine Harris is an African-American queer filmmaker currently based in New York City. Her creative work often exists within the coming-of-age genre, which she views as an essential tool to re-imagine liberation for young girls, the Black community, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Natalie received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in May 2020, where she graduated with Honors and received her department’s award for Excellence in Community Service. She is a 2020 recipient of the Directors Guild of America’s Student Film Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, The Black Film Space 2020 Black Filmmaker Fund, and Outfest’s 2021 Emerging Director Award. Passionate about the intersections between filmmaking and social justice, Natalie has also created a plethora of documentaries alongside the presidential campaigns for both Biden/Harris and Elizabeth Warren. No matter the genre of film she creates, Natalie hopes to create work that celebrates joy and the beauty of Black girlhood.
Weil Ich Leo Bin (I Am Leo)
Tanja Hurrle was born in 1998 in the south of Germany. They directed their first short film at the age of eight. In high school they began presenting their films at youth film festivals and won numerous awards.
From 2017 to 2021, they studied Motion Pictures at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt with a personal focus on screenwriting and directing as well as working with children and young people. Tanja Hurrle’s first student short film Fisch-Bowle (“A Fish in a Punch Bowl”) won the German Youth Film Award 2019 and screened at international film festivals, including the Brest European Short Film Festival, the FEST – New Directors/New Films Festival and the Bogotá Short Film Festival.
Their second film Bandsalat (“The Purple Child”) premiered at the LUCAS Film Festival, Germany’s oldest film festival for a young audience, screened at Sehsüchte International Student Film Festival and was presented as part of Hessen Talents at the Berlinale 2021.
Tanja Hurrle successfully graduated in 2021 with the short film Weil ich Leo bin (I am Leo) which has its premiere at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
Can You Bring It
Tom Hurwitz, ASC is one of America’s most honored documentary cinematographers. Winner of two Emmy Awards, the Sundance and Jerusalem Film Festival Awards for Best Cinematography, Hurwitz has photographed films that have won 4 academy awards and several more nominations (most recently for Dancemaker and Killing in the Name). His features and television programs have won literally dozens of awards, Emmy, Dupont, Peabody, Directors Guild and film festival awards for Best Documentary, over the last 25 years — most recently were Emmy Awards for Best Documentary Specials for the PBS show Jerome Robbins and the PBS series Franklin, and Sundance Awards for Queen of Versailles, and Love Free or Die, on all of which Hurwitz directed the photography. His recent film, Nothing Left Unsaid: Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt, was shown at Sundance and on HBO.
Other award-winning films and programs that he has photographed include: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Harlan County USA, Wild Man Blues, My Generation, Down and Out in America, The Turandot Project, Liberty, Dolley, Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, for PBS; and I Have a Dream, for ABC; and Killing in the Name, and Questioning Faith for HBO. In addition, films that he has directed have won the Cine Golden Eagle (for Bombs will Make the Rainbow Break) and have been shown in festivals around the world. He is also a founding member of the faculty of The MFA Program in the Social Documentary, at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, the Jungian analyst Margaret Klenck. He has three grown children and five grandchildren.
The Only Beautiful Thing
Elizabeth Irwin is a Brookyln-based playwright who is excited to be part of this festival with her first short film.
Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim is a filmmaker, screenwriter and a script consultant. She’s a co-founder at Hashtag Media House, a media communications company in Nigeria focused on producing socially conscious content and effectively telling the brand stories of SMEs and other organizations.
She understands the power that storytellers have and is committed to using that power to create increased representation for sexual minorities in Nigeria. Uyaiedu loves books, cats and poetry. She is a self-acclaimed master of board games and an unashamed jollof rice addict.
After studying anthropology and a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking, Audrey Jean-Baptiste has been working for ten years as assistant director for television and cinema. In parallel, she directs self-produced films, trains herself in screenwriting and participates in several writing residencies. She made her first documentary, Fabulous, produced by Six Onze Films. She is currently preparing the film Les Cœurs battants produced by Les Films Grand Huit.
Stories from Land Back Camp
Shawn is a Two Spirit Anishinaabe originally from Couchiching. They are a world traveler, photographer and co-founder of Land Back Camp. They are the recipient of numerous leadership awards for their community work.
Anna Kuperberg has been a photographer in San Francisco for 28 years. Her background in fine art and photojournalism bring a visually driven approach to storytelling in film. She met Carla Jean Johnson in 1998 and they got married in 2004 at City Hall and again in 2008. This is her first film.
Arlen is a transgender man, and multidisciplinary film and media professional. Currently based in New York City, Arlen’s work and art focuses on social justice, mobilization, and empathy building. While a majority of his time has been spent in the commercial and non-profit sector, he is thrilled to be diving into the world of narrative filmmaking with his writing and directing debut film, Another Shot.
Director & Cinematographer
Ash Kreis is a trans filmmaker from Colorado Springs. She’s the director and cinematographer for The Fandom and has been in the film industry for 13 years. Her previous works include Being Evel, The Frame, and Creep Behind the Camera. After coming out as transgender, she lost her job as a director of photography. This is her first feature film since her transition and is now an independent filmmaker and YouTuber.
The Space Around You
Rainer’s passion for cinema was born at an early age, religiously watching Spielberg and Hitchock films with his sister from the age of 5. At 13 he spent his first savings from his part-time furniture restoration job on a TV and VHS player and by the time VHS tapes were obsolete, the walls of his bedroom were lined to the ceiling with over 400 treasured films.
Over the last 15 years Rainer has filmed, edited, directed and produced thousands of hours of content, from television shows, TV commercials, short films and music videos. His work has aired in more the 150 countries across the world and has screened at Hollyshorts Film Festival and Melbourne Lift-Off Film Festival. Recently his efforts as cinematographer, director and executive producer earned him two Silver ACS Awards for season 1 and 2 of a documentary series for SBS Australia.
Out of the Dark: AKeem
Redglass co-founder Sarah Klein is an award-winning producer and director. Her early credits include the HBO documentary, Hard as Nails and the Arte film, The Good Mother. Redglass Pictures was formed in 2006 and since then, Klein has co-directed and produced many notable projects, including History of Memory for HP, and a series of short films for Ken Burns’ Cancer: The Emperor of Maladies, which won a DuPont Award. Among the many hats she wears at Redglass, Klein leads creative development and production. She has had the honor of interviewing: The Obamas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Kerry, Michael Chabon, Warren Buffett, and JJ Abrams, to name a few.
Sophie de Kergommeaux
Sophie de Kergommeaux (pronounced de-kur-go-mo) is a 21-year-old filmmaker from Kelowna, BC. Purple was originally created as a final project for a Queer Film class at the University of Victoria, where she currently attends for Writing and Film Studies. The short film was entirely created within one week and shot in her dorm room alone or near the UVIC campus with the help of her younger brother Nicolas de Kergommeaux. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival will be the first film festival to feature her work.
No Straight Lines
Vivian Kleiman is a documentary filmmaker whose work is noted for its cultural and stylistic diversity. From the poignant to the quirky, her films always approach their subject with emotional resonance and filmic rigor while tackling challenging subjects and filmic approaches. A longtime collaborator with the acclaimed experimental documentary filmmaker Marlon Riggs, she served as additional cinematographer for his landmark work Tongues Untied, and supervised the posthumous completion of his final film, Black Is…Black Ain’t. The films garnered the George Foster Peabody Award, Organization of American Historians’ Eric Barnouw Award, and the International Documentary Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award. In addition, she was nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement. A mentor to many, she served as Executive Producer of the Academy Award-nominated animated short film Last Day of Freedom (Hibbert-Jones/Talisman), Maquilapolis (de la Torre/Funari), Strong! (Wyman), and First Person Plural (Borshay), among others. An educator as well, she served as adjunct faculty at Stanford University’s Graduate Program in Documentary Film & Video Production for nine years. With a grant from the Ford Foundation, she launched Tongues Untied@30, a 2019 year-long global celebration of the 30th anniversary, from Berkeley to Boston, from Rio to London and Mumbai.
Louise Lockwood is a multi-award winning documentary maker with 20 years’ experience. A Fine Art graduate of the Glasgow School of Art the subjects of her documentaries are diverse yet united by a distinct, creative vision.
Over the last 20 years Louise’s work has been transmitted on network channels in the UK and the USA, covering topics as diverse as Quantum Physics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Cancer, Political and Social History and many Film, Theatre, Art and Architecture subjects.
Louise was nominated for a Bafta and won a Grierson, RTS, RTS Scotland & Scottish BAFTA for her acclaimed documentary in 2009, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives which follows the lead singer of US rock band Eels, Mark Oliver Everett, on his journey of discovery to learn about his father, Hugh Everett III, the quantum mechanic who developed the ground breaking theory of Parallel Universes.
Louise also won multiple awards for her intimate two-part documentary Fair Isle: Living on the Edge which captured the life of the 60 residents on Britain’s most remote inhabited island over a significant year in 2015.
Can You Bring It
Rosalynde LeBlanc has spent over twenty-years in dance as a performer and choreographer. She holds a BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University. She is now an Associate Professor and current Chair of the Dance Program at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Prior to her academic career, Rosalynde was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (1993-1999), Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1999-2002), and the Liz Gerring Dance Company (2003-2006). In addition to performing the work of various independent choreographers, Rosalynde has also danced in various opera productions, including productions with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera and for the 250th Mozart Celebration in Salzburg, Austria. She has had her writing published in the leading international dance periodicals, Dance Magazine and Ballettanz, and her choreography has been presented in venues around the country. She continues her work with Bill T. Jones in the preservation of his legacy and pedagogy, directing the Educational Partnership between the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and LMU’s Dance Program. In 2020, Rosalynde was inducted as an honorary member into the Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu.
Christopher T McGill
Is It Me
Over the past seven years Christopher has worked as a freelance filmmaker working on commissioned short drama films and documentaries ranging from hard-hitting stories about asylum seekers to queer underground nightlife.
Enock Carvalho and Matheus Farias
Enock Carvalho and Matheus Farias are filmmakers, screenwriters and producers. Enock is graduated in Communications and Journalism, while Matheus is graduated in Radio & Television and post-graduated in Cinema Studies at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. They directed Unliveable (2020), The King Crab (2019) and Room for Rent (2016), screened in more than 120 festivals around the world, such as Sundance, BFI Flare, Dublin IFF, Glasgow Short IFF, Frameline, FEST – New Directors, New Films, Atlanta Film Festival and much more.
Noor and Layla
Fawzia Mirza is a queer, Muslim Canadian-American-Pakistani-Indian, She and They writer and director. She has made short films and web series. The first feature she co-wrote/produced and stars in, Signature Move, world premiered at SXSW, screened over 150 film festivals around the world, won over 14 awards including the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. She wrote on the CBS’ one hour TV drama The Red Line, executive produced by Ava Duvernay and Greg Berlanti. She directed the queer, Muslim romcom The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night which world premieres Fall 2021. And she goes into production August 2021 on Group Text, a short she wrote/will direct, produced by Powderkeg and Paul Feig. Her feature screenplay inspired by her one person show Me, My Mom & Sharmila has been supported by the TIFF Writers Studio and Filmmaker Lab, Canada Council for the Arts and SFFILM; inshallah she enters into production on this feature directorial debut Spring 2022 in Canada and Karachi. Noor and Layla was executive produced by Sonia Hosko, Shant Joshi, Sonya Passi and Chani Nicholas and produced in association with CBC, Fae Pictures and her wife, Andria Wilson Mirza and their Baby Daal Productíons.
Gloria Mercer is a filmmaker from Vancouver, which is located on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her award-winning short films have screened at international festivals worldwide. She is an alumni of the Simon Fraser University Film Program, and recently completed the Women in the Director’s Chair Career Advancement Module program.
Gloria and her partner Aidan are now in pre-production for their newest short film Smoke Eater, which was one of only three projects selected for funding for the Harold Greenberg Fund Shorts to Features program 2021.
Gloria seeks to expand upon representations of women by creating stories that interrogate gender and foreground complicated female characters. Her work examines themes of loneliness, self-discovery, and relationships between women. She is passionate about featuring more women in front of and behind the camera, and fostering new talent in the BC film industry.
Lo Efímero (The Ephemeral)
Born and raise in Madrid, he is an actor, director and producer from Spain. Fulbright Scholar for the Arts (1999-2001), he has studied in the most prestigious schools in NYC and Madrid. (New York Film Academy, HB Studio, Susan Batson Studio). He has been the writer, director and producer of four short films, three of them nominated to the Goya Academy Awards as Best Short Film of the Year.
Notable films include:
Lemon Juice – 2010
The Garden of Early Delights – 2014
The boy who wanted to fly – 2018
The Ephemeral – 2020
Kevin McLellan is Duck Hunting with the Grammarian. His film, Dick (2020) appeared in the 2021 Tag! Queer Shorts Festival and will show at the 2021 Berlin Short Film Festival and the 2021 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. He co-produced, co-directed, and co-wrote Exordium (2019) with Laura Knott which showed at the Cadence: Video Poetry Festival, Festival Fotogenia, Helios Sun Poetry Festival, Festival Angaelica, and the 9th International Video Poetry Festival. Kevin is also the author of: Ornitheology (2019 Massachusetts Book Awards recipient); Tributary; Hemispheres (resides in the special collections in the Poetry Center at the University of Arizona and the University of Buffalo library); [box] (resides in the Blue Star Collection at Harvard University, the Tutt Library at Colorado College, the special collections at MIT, and the History Project); and Round Trip. He won the 2015 Third Coast Poetry Prize and Gival Press’ 2016 Oscar Wilde Award, and his writing appears in numerous literary journals. Kevin lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Malique Lee Moore
Keeping it Real
A Brooklyn-born multimedia artist, based in Paris and New York, his practice utilizes performance, photography, video and installation to question the roles of race, gender, sexuality, class and religion.
Mily Mumford (they/them) is an immersive theatre creator/playwright, filmmaker, screenwriter, and queer multimedia artist based on unceded Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territory (“Vancouver”). Recent work includes The Cinephiles (producer/performer/projection artist) a film/drag queer multimedia series, and the short films (writer/director) GEMINI (Cannes Short Film Corner, London Sci-Fi Festival plus 13 additional international festivals); Operation Gingham (Winner of Best Film at Vancouver Quarantine Performance Project, 2020) and Marsha’s Knitting Club (2021 Finalist, Vancouver Run and Gun Challenge). They are a Playwright’s Theatre Centre Associate for 2021-2024 with their play in development It Lives in My Bedroom.
In addition to creative work, Mumford is currently completing their MSc. at Simon Fraser University in Interactive Art and Technology where they research virtual reality based mental health support for long term space travel.
Nicola Mai is a sociologist, an ethnographer and a filmmaker. His films and academic writing focus on the experiences and representations of migrants working in the sex industry. Drawing on the experiences and understandings of agency and exploitation of migrant sex workers, he challenges prevailing humanitarian representations conflating migrant sex work with trafficking through collaborative ethnographic films and academic publications.
Shana Myara is an award-winning writer. She is a curator, recovered festival director and community arts programmer who has cultivated arts and dialogue for social change for over 20 years. Well Rounded is her first feature length film.
Out of the Dark: AKeem
Tom Mason is the co-founder of Redglass, and in addition to co-directing and producing films with Klein, also serves as the principal of photography and post production. Mason’s cinematic approach to shorts comes from his deep roots in film and still photography, which he studied at Syracuse University. After receiving an Alexia Grant, Mason spent a year documenting the world of Russian adoption agencies. Some of the projects he has co-directed at Redglass include George Saunders: On Story and Ken Burns: On Story with the Atlantic, and How To Win An Election for The New York Times. In addition to his work at Redglass, Mason is also an adjunct professor of digital storytelling at Columbia University’s School of Journalism.
Zé Kielwagen Marcos Serafim, Steevens Siméon
Zé Kielwagen (Brazil), Marcos Serafim (Brazil) and Steevens Siméon (Haiti) are visual artists with separate trajectories. They started collaborating in video projects during the 2017 edition of the Ghetto Biennale of Haiti, when they worked together to create Gede Vizyon.
Ashley O’Shay is a DP and documentarian based in Chicago, IL, whose work focuses on illuminating marginalized voices. She has produced work for national brands, including Lifetime, Ford Motor Company, Boost Mobile, KQED, and Dr. Martens. Most recently, she filmed the final episode of Dr. Martens’ Tough As You series, starring the band Phony Ppl, accruing over 65K views on social and web. In 2019, she co-produced the Chicago episode of KQED’ award-winning series If Cities Could Dance, which became one of their most viewed episodes to date. Her work also appeared in the critically-acclaimed Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. Although she has crafted many short films, Unapologetic is her first venture into the feature world, and she could not be more excited to help portray this powerful narrative.
Stories from land back camp
Erik O’Neill is a film-maker and Director of Photography from Kitchener, Ontario. He is a settler of Irish and German descent on the haldimand tract. While primarily a commercial Director of Photography, Erik loves to work on documentary films and series.
Most recently working on CBC’s Cottagers and Indians as well as APTN’s Going Native. Stories from Land Back Camp is Erik’s documentary directorial debut.
Friend of Sophie
Alden Peters is a queer filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. He directed the short film Femme, which took the world by storm at over 40 film festivals worldwide, picking up multiple Best Comedy awards along the way. Femme has been the most-watched short film on queer streaming service Revry for the last two years. It’s currently being adapted to series. Alden also directed and produced the feature-length documentary Coming Out, which won multiple grand jury and audience awards at film festivals around the world before landing a distribution deal with Wolfe Releasing. Alden loves movies with aliens and/or robots.
Silver and Gold
Jack is an Essex-born filmmaker who has been creating short films and video content since his early teenage year. After graduating in Film and Television at the University of the Arts London, Jack continues to write, direct and edit his own narratives short films and has recent work creating music videos for clients.
Marina is a young brazilian photographer who completed her 1 year program at Vancouver Film School last August. She’s fascinated with the beauty of daily life and wants to help shine a light on the stories of those who have been left out of the spotlight for too long.
Nic is filmmaker born in a place known as Vancouver. Their work thus far would seem focused on quiet examinations at the intersections of queerness, intimacy, and the human tactility of cinema. It has been watched by strangers at such festivals as the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, the New Mexico Feminist Border Arts Festival, Boston Wicked Queer Film Festival, and Inside Out. Alongside filmmaking, Nic facilitates media technology access, in part through the NVDPL StoryLab.
Are You Still Watching?
Tali Polichtuk is a writer and film programmer. Her work has been published widely and she serves as the Editor of Sissy Screens. Are You Still Watching? is her directorial and screenwriting debut inspired by her love of slash fiction, queer cinema and Sarah Paulson.
Meesh QX is a queer, interdsiciplinary artist based out of BC. Their work spans film, stop-motion animation, 2D and 3D materials, and writing. Across these varied mediums, a uniting theme in Meesh’s work is an exploration of identity including aspects of gender, race, and intergenerational ties. Meesh holds a diploma of fine arts from North Island College and has a prior background in biomedical science. This dual background in science and art is something Meesh often brings to their learning and their approach to creativity inquiry. Recently their work has been featured in the Comox Valley Art Gallery’s online and in-gallery exhibition “The Space Between Us”, as well as through the Arts Club Theatre LEAP Playwriting Intensive, and as part of Reel Youth Film 2021 Troublemakers program.
Alex Clausen, Ryan A. White
Raw! Uncut! Video!
Alex Clausen is an artist that lives and works in Guerneville, California. Clausen earned a bachelors’ degree in Art and Physics from University of California, Davis, and a graduate degree from the California College of the Arts.
Ryan A. White was born in Big Sur, California. Ryan White is a documentary filmmaker whose award-winning films have screened around the world. Ryan also lectures in the Department of Communication at California State University.
New Flesh for the Old Ceremony
Elizabeth Rakhilkina is a queer filmmaker who brings Russian Renaissance wherever she goes — she has worked in provincial Russia, London, the USA and currently, she is located between NYC and TX. An alumna of New York University and an award-winning director and producer, her Chekhovian screen adaptation short film Sleepy won the Best Female Director award in Moscow Indie Film Festival, and her other shorts have been screened in festivals across the USA, Europe, Africa and Asia. She has been accepted to the Masters of Fine Arts Photomedia program in the University of Washington that starts in Fall of 2021. Elizabeth’s visual work has been exhibited in both in New York in places such as Allouche Gallery and Root Studio, and internationally in galleries like The Holy Art (London) and Jardino (Milan). Elizabeth’s artistic voice is informed by her expatriate experience and marked by her interest in the bizarre, queer, marginal, and paradoxical complications of human existence.
Adrián Silvestre is a filmmaker, screenwriter and editor. Born in 1981 in Valencia, based in Barcelona.
Degree in Audiovisual Communication from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Degree in Film Direction from Escuela de Cine y Audiovisual de Madrid (ECAM), and Master´s Degree in the History of Contemporary Art and Visual Culture from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (MNCARS). He has also completed a specialization in Film and TV Project Development and another in the Curatorship of Film Festivals at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión de San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV), Cuba. He´s been a resident artist at the Real Academia de España en Roma as well as at the Académie de France à Madrid / Casa de Velázquez. In his cinematographic projects, he explores the limits between reality and fiction, staging real people alongside professional performers, taking on artistic practice from the analysis of their life experiences. His films are preceded by a process of close collaboration with communities, generally linked to issues of gender, migration and LGBTI+ groups. They are participative processes, in which dialogue is created, the gender perspective is transversally implemented ant the empowerment of the participants is fostered.
He has produced and directed the short film Natalia Nikolaevna (2014) released in the Malaga Film Festival. The Objects of Love (2016) is his first feature film. It was showcased in an extensive tour of international film festivals, winning numerous awards such as the FIPRESCI and the Rizoma Film Award. In 2019, he founded the production company Adrián Silvestre Films, in Barcelona. Sediments, his second feature film, has been premiered at Málaga FF and Thessaloniki Documentary FF, winning the Special Jury Award.
He is currently working on his following feature films. My Emptiness and I (postproduction, produced by Testamento / Promarfi Futuro) and Bongoland (development, produced by Alba Sotorra SL).
Stories from Land Back Camp
Amy is a Two Spirit, Indigiqueer parent, land defender/water protector, community organizer, public speaker, and singer. Amy has won several awards in the fields of Social Justice and Community Leadership and they are one of the co- founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp.
Bennett Singer has been making social-issue documentaries for more than 20 years. In 2003 he co-directed Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, which premiered at Sundance, aired on PBS, and won 22 international awards, including Audience Awards at Outfest, Framline, and NewFest. He received a duPont-Columbia Award for his work on Eyes on the Prize II and co-directed Electoral Dysfunction, a “frightening and enlightening” (NPR) documentary about voting in America.
Itsy Bitsy Spider
A graduate of Capilano University’s Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts degree program, Brodi has garnered a wealth of experience in the physical production setting in Vancouver, performing in roles from Production Coordinator to Production Executive. In 2020 Brodi wrote & directed Itsy Bitsy Spider, part of the Crazy 8s competition in Vancouver, which had its world premiere at the Salem Horror Fest and has since been acquired by CBC Reflections for a Fall 2021 airdate.
Cailleah Scott-Grimes is an award-winning Toronto-based director and illustrator. She holds an MFA in Film Production from York University and a BA in Visual Studies and East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto. From death positivity to struggles with gender identity, Cailleah’s work brings an intimate lens to transgressive topics that are difficult to talk about. Working in both documentary and fiction, her work has been featured on Air Canada, Cinema Politica, and CBC. Between Us is her Master’s thesis film, and it was the winner of this year’s Lindalee Tracey Award, presented at the 2021 Hot Docs film festival.
David & Francisco Salazar
Co-Directors, Writers, Producers
David & Francisco Salazar (Writers/Directors/Producers) are award-winning filmmakers and media creators whose first feature Nowhere, based on the Latinx List screenplay Adrian and Sebastian won the Best Feature Film at the Omovies Film Festival and Best First Film at the Villa del Cine festival in Colombia. The film was also selected to the Woods Hole Film Festival where it was the runner up Jury Award winner and Second Runner Up for the Audience Award and also won the Best in Fest at the Roving Film Festival. It was also selected at OutFest Fusion, OUTshine Film Festival, the Image Out, and Image Nation Film Festival.
The Salazar Brothers have also directed a number of short films including Adrift, Bullied, Reverie, Messenger, and Conciliation. All their films have been showcased at regional film festivals all over the United States.
In addition to their film work, they are the creators of OperaWire.com
Harri Shanahan (they/them) is a filmmaker, artist and animator based in Manchester UK. Harri learned animation independently through experimentation as part of a wider art practice that encompasses video, painting and performance, before gaining an MA in animation in 2019. Harri produces and directs music videos and short artist films and is also a member of alternative band and Feminist art collective ILL, whose debut album was released in 2019.
Boulevard! A Hollywood Story
Jeffrey Schwarz is an Emmy Award-winning producer, director and editor based in Los Angeles. His latest documentary is The Fabulous Allan Carr, which premiered at the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival. Previous work includes the 2015 SXSW premiere Tab Hunter Confidential, the Emmy Award-winning HBO Documentary Films’ Vito, I Am Divine, Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon, and the 2007 AFI Fest Documentary Audience Award winner Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story. He is also a producer of studio EPKs (electronic press kit), Blu-ray and DVD content, and original television programming through his company, Automat Pictures. Hailed as an “EPK samurai” by Variety, he has produced content on major studio releases for directors such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Wes Craven, Rob Reiner, Barry Sonnenfeld, Adam Shankman, Paul Verhoeven, Chris Columbus, and the Coen Brothers.
Jessica Smith is a filmmaker based in Melbourne, Australia. She studied screen production at RMIT in 2009. During this time, Jessica made two short films; the romantic comedy Ask Again Later and the documentary profile Jess McAvoy – The Sailor. Both films screened at the 2010 Melbourne Queer Film Festival. After a stint working in the US on features such as Scream 4 and Jack & Jill, Jessica is now working in Australian television production, most recently on the Netflix original limited series Clickbait and novel adaptation Shantaram for Apple+. Jess’ latest short film, The Test, continues to find success on the film festival circuit, most notably premiering at Outfest Los Angeles in 2020 and screening at the likes of Show Me Shorts, GAZE, Flickerfest, Frameline and St Kilda Film Festival. The Test was also a finalist in My Queer Career at Mardi Gras Film Festival and SIPFest at Gold Coast Film Festival. Jessica is dedicated to increasing visibility and representation by producing engaging and relatable queer stories for Australian & International screens.
Season 1 Director Bio
Lindsay was born and raised in Los Angeles where she still lives and accumulates parking tickets. She has directed and produced content for Grammy-nominated artists, and her background in production design and music videos makes her obsessed with the intersection of light and colour in film. She’s always been drawn to stories with heart and humor, so she was super excited for the chance to join the Chosen Fam fam. When she’s not on set, she’s most likely surfing, petting other peoples’ dogs, and trying to earn random certifications (she recently became an ordained minister for $5 through an online course). Lindsay is a pro member of Free the Work, and represented by Anemone Artists.
Michelle Mary Schaefer
Michelle Mary Schaefer, creator, writer, actor, director who happens to be Deaf. She does not allow her Deafness stop her from following her passions. Instead of waiting for opportunities, she creates them, which the web series, REAL, is born. Schaefer values authentic stories and representation matters. As an actor, Schaefer plays all kinds of roles onstage and onscreen which she has played Hamlet in Hamlet, Sarah in Children of a Lesser God, Billy in Tribes and many more. She values “Human” stories to communicate and connect with the audience. Schaefer has written a TV series, a stage play and a feature film which she hopes to bring those stories alive to you. She is thrilled and honored that REAL is part of the Vancouver Film Festival which she wants to thank everyone for their support. www.michellemaryschaefer.com
Morgan (ze/zim) is a Jewish non-binary writer, photographer and filmmaker born and raised on unceded mi’kmaq territory in Halifax, NS. After earning an Honours BA in Anthropology and Gender Studies from Dalhousie ze moved to Vancouver to pursue filmmaking. Morgan’s films have screened at ViewFinders, OutEast and InsideOut Toronto. Ze is currently writing for PedalStreet and developing zir next project Inch by inch.
Director, Writer, Lead
Natalie Shirinian is a queer award winning director, writer, and actor who has been featured in Vogue, InStyle’s February 2020 Badass Women Issue, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, The NY Times, Interview Magazine, AnOther Magazine, The Coveteur and many more.
Her debut film, Interior Motives (a documentary capturing the connection between fashion and design through conversations with Michelle Lamy, Tommy Hilfiger, Mary McDonald, Maria Cornejo amongst other influencers and icons), screened across the 2019 international film festival circuit winning Best Short Documentary at IFS Los Angeles and Best Short Documentary Berlin Short Film Festival. It was also a featured double screening as part of Neuehouse’s FRIEZE LA 2020 select film programming.
Parev Mama (Hello Mother), is her narrative film in which she writes, directs, acts and produces, that is based on her life.
Natalie is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and the founder of NES FILMS. Most of her film work can be seen on NES FILMS, and FREE THE WORK.
Patrick Sammon has a mix of experience in filmmaking, broadcast journalism, and LGBTQ political advocacy. Based in Washington, DC, he was Creator and Executive Producer of Codebreaker, a “superb” (The Telegraph) drama-documentary that “artfully explored” (The Mail) the life and legacy of gay British codebreaker Alan Turing. Codebreaker attracted three million viewers worldwide.
The Beauty President
Whitney Skauge is an award-winning filmmaker dedicated to diverse storytelling and representation. Their films act as an extension of social and political activism with hopes of helping audiences understand themselves and the world around them better.
Ethan Folk, Ty Wardwell, and Jamal Phoenix
Ethan Folk, Ty Wardwell, and Jamal Phoenix are Berlin-based artists who have been making porn together since 2018. Their previous collaborations, Brunch on Bikes and The Pizza Topping can be found at the intersection of funny, food and fucking. Discover their work at watch.cutenon.com.
Pilot Director, Co-Writer Bio
Natalie Tsui is a media artist born in Hong Kong, now living and working in Oakland, CA and Brooklyn, NY. Coming from a background as a filmmaker, Tsui appropriates traditional cinematic techniques to bring awareness to the exaptation of photography and motion imaging to propagate Western, heteronormative ideologies. Their work utilizes rhizomatic structures, spatial-temporal displacement, repetition, and performance to unsettle the cinematic gaze, inviting poetic interpretation and critical reflection on visual culture. Tsui received a BA in Film Studies and English from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008 and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2014. Their work has been screened at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Frameline, Museu de Arts Moderna of Rio de Janeiro, Southern Exposure, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They are the recipient of the Fotokem Graduate Student Grant and the Princess Grace Film Honorarium, among others.
A queer woman in her 50s, Nathalie Therriault (she/her) is a Vancouver-based emerging filmmaker. Nathalie began her artistic pursuits at 8 years old as an actor and trained with numerous acting coaches from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Her passion for craft and the examination of truth made for a natural progression to teaching. She has been teaching acting in Vancouver for over nine years and has mentored many talented artists. In the last few years, Nathalie enrolled in film studies at Langara College where she discovered her love of writing and storytelling. She hopes her films give hope and a voice to the outcasts who feel unseen, unheard and unloved. She firmly believes it is never too late to take a chance. The Tailor marks her debut as a writer/director.
Roberto Pérez Toledo
Antes de la Erupción (Before the Eruption)
Roberto Pérez Toledo was born in Lanzarote, Spain. He is a writer and director, known for the films Six points about Emma (2012), The weird friends (2014) and Like foam (2017). He has also written and directed a lot of short films, such as The screamers, awarded at festivals around the world. Roberto Pérez Toledo is an activist in favour of the LGBT and disabled collective, and is followed by hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
Απόδραση από τον εύθραυστο πλανήτη (Escaping the Fragile Planet)
Thanasis Tsimpinis is an award-winning, self-taught film director, with a background in film editing. He currently lives and works in Athens, Greece, where he writes and directs short films and TV commercials for well-known brands. His award-winning films DUST and FAWNS have been screened in various film festivals around the world, hosted in prestigious platforms (Vimeo Staff Pick, Nowness, Yatzer ao) and have been loved by audiences online. His latest film Escaping the fragile planet (2020) was selected for the International Competition of the 43rd Clermont-Ferrand Int. Short Film Festival, as it continues its extensive international journey across the world.
Amanda Ann-Min Wong
The Way We Are
Amanda Ann-Min Wong (she/they) is a Toronto-based film director, writer, sound artist, and musician, whose work explores themes of loss, nostalgia, and memory, as well as finding purpose and community through the arts. Her short films have screened internationally; nominated for awards such as the Golden Sheaf Award at Yorkton, a Best Canadian Short Award at VAFF, and the Iris Prize in Cardiff, Wales. In her free time, Amanda loves rocking out with her all-queer East Asian band, cutsleeve, whose debut EP the parts we could not abandon was released in 2020 to critical acclaim.
Angela Washko is an artist who creates new forums for discussions about feminism in spaces frequently hostile toward women, femmes, and non-binary people. Washko’s practice spans interventions in mainstream media, performance art, installation, digital art, writing, video, and video games. In 2012, Angela Washko founded The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in World of Warcraft, an intervention inside the popular online video game. Washko’s recent project, The Game: The Game, is a critical feminist video game in which professional pick-up artists attempt to seduce the player using their coercive signature techniques sourced from their instructional books and video materials. Her most recent documentary film project, Workhorse Queen, explores the impact of reality television on drag performance culture.
Jung Hye Won
Born in 1993. She majored in creative writing in university while pursuing her career in theaters.
Her plays won several awards as she worked as assistant director and writer at ‘Chaimu’ and ‘HAN’. She went on to study cinema at Korea National University of Arts where she directed LOOKALIKE( )_22YO_KOREANCOLLEGEGIRL.AVI, which attracted attention at various film festivals.
See You Then
Mari Walker is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and editor. Her work has been accepted into over 125 film festivals ranging from Los Angeles to Moscow. She has received 47 awards and 19 nominations for her films. She edited All Your Favorite Shows! which premiered at SXSW in 2015, where it was nominated for Best Animated Short. Recently, she premiered her documentary short The Soul of a Tree at the Ashland Independent Film Festival and shot Swim, a short narrative film she wrote and directed.
Siân A. Williams
Siân A. Williams (they/them) is a documentary filmmaker and audio-visual archivist. Rebel Dykes, their first feature, premiered at BFI Flare and Melbourne Queer Film Festival. It has been described by Vogue as a “visual masterclass in a radical 1980s aesthetic.” They work to preserve queer histories as part of UK national archive projects including at the BFI and British Library.
As a young girl growing up in Iran – where the idea of gender equality is equated with the end of civilizations – Sepideh always struggled to find a means to tell her story. When she arrived in Canada, she was elated with her newfound ability to express herself. She found voices like hers in films, therefore, she knew what she needed to do. Sepideh has directed two short documentaries From…(2020), and Uprooted (2017) and two short dramas Asal (2019) and Dancing in the Afternoon (2018); her short films have been awarded and recognized nationally and internationally.
Juan Herrara Zuluaga
De Reinas y Otros Colores (About Queens And Other Colors)
Juan H. Zuluaga’s interest in filmmaking and the arts started at a very young age. His studies were held in Los Angeles, Colombia, Spain and Guatemala.
About Queens and Other Colors is his first work as a professional. As a film student he directed Intimate Touch, a short film about attraction. His upcoming project is his first animated film; a short story that talks about grief and unconditional love.
Omar was born in Santiago, Chile. As a passionate cinephile with a deep interest in film studies and research, he has been a recipient of both the Film Promotion and Art Promotion Funds from the Government of Chile. In 2014 he received his Master in Fine Arts degree in New York University’s Graduate Film Program, which he attended with scholarships from the Fulbright Program, Chile’s Ministry of Education and Tisch School of the Arts. Living between Santiago and Brooklyn, Omar makes films that have been screened in numerous film festivals worldwide. In 2012 he directed On learning on a friend’s illness, a segment featuring Academy Award® Nominee James Franco and Zach Braff, part of the feature film The Color of Time, that premiered at the Rome Film Festival 2012 and that had a theatrical release in the US in 2014.
His last short film, San Cristóbal, won the Teddy Award at the Berlinale 2015. He is developing a feature version, thanks to the support of a Development Fund given by the Ibermedia Program, among other development initiatives. He is a founding partner of Cinestación, a Santiago-based production company that makes highly creative auteur cinema from Chile and the region, where he writes and directs his works and collaborates with other people’s. He is a serial tea drinker who does not want to join Instagram.