VQFF Opens August 15

The 31st Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) opens this Thursday, August 15th at the Vancouver Playhouse with the Canadian Premiere of Leon Le’s Song Lang (Vietnam/U.S.A.), Le’s first feature is set in the richly imagined and dilapidated streets of 1990’s Saigon. Song Lang is a tribute to the golden age of c?i l??ng (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera), a queer romance and gangster film that stars Vietnamese popstar, Isaac.

VQFF’s Closing Gala Film is the Canadian Premiere of a positive, feel-good LGBTQ comedy from Italy, An Almost Ordinary Summer (Italy) by Simone Godano. The film pays homage to the entertaining romantic comedies of Nancy Meyers, about two aging patriarchs who bring their two very different families together on vacation to announce their engagement. 

An Almost Ordinary Summer

In between, VQFF welcomes more than 100 films from 27 countries, plus a series of Festival Spotlights including Coming Into Our Own: Youth Spotlight, Queer Kinship, A Higher Power, and projecting brilliance: a two-spirit showcase. 

Curated by Artistic Director, Anoushka Ratnarajah, VQFF is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada.  Presented by Out On Screen, the Festival runs August 15-25, 2019 at various venues throughout the city, for more information and tickets visit queerfilmfestival.ca

Vancouver Queer Film Fest wraps for 2017

Sunday night, the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival came to a close with a Gala party at The Junction following the closing film screening of Handsome Devil at Vancouver Playhouse.

“Our Vancouver Queer Film Festival not only showcased cutting edge queer film, it also gave our audiences all the best feels,” said Executive Director, Stephanie Goodwin. “We laughed. We cried. We got angry. And we loved. We forefronted stories that are underrepresented, yet have the power to transform lives.”

With thousands attending the 70+ films, talks and events spread around the city’s venues over the 11 day festival, there was plenty for the jury and audience to choose from in selecting the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival Awards.

The trio of awards were presented at the Closing Gala to the following films and directors:

Gerry Brunet Memorial Award for Best BC Short ($2500 prize)

Supported by Su Craik and Lisa Heddema and Directors Guild of Canada-BC, the annual juried prize for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s best BC short film was established in 1997 in recognition of Gerry Brunet, a lifelong contributor to the arts and an early board member of Out On Screen.



Winner: Violet & June directed by Linnea Ritland
Honourable Mention: Stay Gold, Man Up directed by Ray McEachern

OUTTVGO People’s Choice Award for Best Feature ($750 prize)

Voted on by patrons of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Winner: Maybe Tomorrow (Baba Bukas) directed by Samantha Lee


OUTTVGO People’s Choice Award for Best Short ($500 prize)

Voted on by patrons of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Winner: Do I Have Boobs Now? directed by Joella Cabalu & Milena Salazar

If you missed the 2017 Vancouver Queer Film Festival work is starting now for the 2018 edition so keep your eyes on the screens for information about next year’s Festival.


Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2015

VQFFLogoFullColourHorizontalNext week, get out and find some great films, on August 13th, Vancouver’s second largest film festival gets underway. The Vancouver Queer Film Festival brings films from around the world for 11 days of movies and events happening all around the city.  In addition to celebrating the best in independent queer cinema the VQFF aims to stimulate conversation and community through through the plethora of performances, panels and workshops.

Now in its 27th year, this year the VQFF shines a spotlight on Canada, Latin America, DIY Gender and Queer youth.  There’s too many films and events to list but some of the highlights of the Festival include Opening Film Eisenstein in Guanajuato from acclaimed directors Peter Greenaway, which is followed by the Opening Gala at Robson Square.  In The Turn is the Youth Gala celebrating sport of roller derby at Woodwards Atrium, while South Korean director July Jung’s A Girl At My Door is the Centrepiece film and Jung also hosts a chance of a lifetime filmmaking workshop.  The Closing Gala, following the film Game Face, is always a great time and wraps up the festival with a bang.

Tickets for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival are now on sale online at queerfilmfestival.ca/tickets or in person at Little Sisters Bookstore, Black Dog Video or at the door (based on availability) 



Judas Kiss : The Movie

Judas Kiss is the story of disillusioned filmmaker Zach Wells’ (played by Charlie David) Judas Kiss Postervisit to his peculiar alma-mater and how the events of this visit will influence his complex past and tumultuous present.
From international award-winning director J.T. Tepnapa & writer Carlo Pedraza, Judas Kiss was featured at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, showing Saturday August 13 and Thursday August 18.
With cast and crew present the audience was treated to the international debut of the film at a special screening/party at the Edgewater Casino, presented by Guy Spy and Homorazzi.com.
The film could be a simple tale of ‘what would you do if’ but the filmmakers have created a much more complex telling of what could have been a mundane story.  While at times a bit confusing, good acting and script keep the film engaging as it takes an unexpectedly sci-fi twist, which is not often found in LGBT aimed films.  The filmmakers have a history with sci-fi as both met while working on the fan-film, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier. The film wasn’t intended to have a sci-fi angle, writer/producer Carlo Pedraza says “…the sci-fi slant evolved during filming and we realized taking this angle could appeal to another genre”.
Evolving from script to screen over five years, Judas Kiss was a long process for the filmmakers as they collaborated on all aspects, from casting to filming.  As they stated a number of ‘discussions of creative difference’ ensued along the way but judging by their rapport, they obviously have a great friendship and respect for each other.  This seems to have passed on to the whole production as the cast and crew present for the Q & A seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Judas Kiss Star with Sean Paul Lockhart aka Brent Corrigan http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.206204509437634.52078.124602867597799&type=1
Jay with Sean Paul Lockhart at Judas Kiss Premier. photo credit: Julius Reque

Among the cast, Sean Paul Lockhart (aka former adult entertainer Brent Corrigan) was the first to join, having worked with Tepnapa on the short film, In The Closet.  Of the script, Sean says “…it intrigued me as I have definitely made some mistakes in the past, that everyone could see, and the idea that I could go back and possibly change the outcome is appealing”.  As much as he’d like to leave that former career in the past, he is well aware that his former personality is helping to sell the film and is willing to work to that goal, appearing at festival screenings to meet and greet the fans.  Based on this work he is well on his way to putting “Brent” behind him and can look forward to a good future as Sean Lockhart, the actor.
Canadian actor, writer, TV personality, Charlie David (Dante’s Cove, Mulligans, Bump) had initially come to the film as a producing partner but like the script so much he wanted to take on the lead role of Zach Wells.  Casting such a well known and respected actor for the lead was a coup for the film but also made casting the second lead, Danny Reyes Jr. more crucial as the chemistry between Zach and Danny was key to the film.
They found their Danny in Vancouver actor Richard Harmon (Caprica) who does a splendid job portraying the cock-sure bravado of the freshman Reyes who’s short film “Judas Kiss” is up for the prestigious Keystone Film Scholarship of which Zach is a judge. Also in the cast, playing Shane Lyons is Belgian actor/singer Timo Descamps and Julia Morizawa, another Star Trek: Hidden Frontier alumni, as Abbey Park.

The full cast, began filming August 2010 on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.  The first screening debuted Judas Kiss at the Phoenix Film Festival April 1, 2011 and since then has screened at numerous film festivals around the United States. Vancouver marks its international debut with FilmOUT Festival in San Diego next and many European fests following.  A North American theatrical release is scheduled for October 25, 2011. For the complete list of upcoming festival screenings visit the Judas Kiss website.