Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) is Vancouver’s second largest film festival and the largest queer arts event in Western Canada. Presented virtually by Out On Screen this summer from Thursday, August 12 to Sunday, August 22, 2021. Passes and tickets are on sale now, at queerfilmfestival.ca with the 2021 VQFF Program making its debut tomorrow July 14th.
Celebrating 33 years of illuminating and advancing queer lives through film, education and dialogue, VQFF will be presented in a video-on-demand (VOD) format online, with limited in-person events. The Festival will follow the guidance of Public Health in order to offer audiences a COVID-safe viewing experience of the best independent queer cinema, along with workshops, artist Q&As, panels, and a few fun surprises.
Curated by Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah and Festival Programmer Nya Lewis, the theme of this year’s Festival is ‘Longing’.
“We have all been experiencing a collective longing in a very new and intense way for the past year, but many of our communities, currently and historically, are deeply familiar with longing,” says Ratnarajah. “Whether we are yearning for love, recognition, respect, dignity, representation or justice, there might not be a more “queer” feeling than longing. Our programming this year beautifully and inventively explores the ways in which we are driven by collective and individual desires to know and be known, to fight and to heal, and to break down and rebuild.”
Supported by RBC, this year’s Festival opens August 12 with most films available for the whole eleven day duration, and all content available to stream across British Columbia.
“RBC in British Columbia is so proud to present the 33rd annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival,” says Martin Thibodeau, Regional President, British Columbia – RBC Royal Bank. “This year’s theme, ‘Longing,’ feels especially relevant and moving during a year that has kept so many of us isolated from our loved ones and communities. The power of film and storytelling proved all the more important during the pandemic, and we are delighted to join VQFF for another year of celebrating, advancing, and illuminating queer lives as we witness them on screen.”
VQFF will once again screen films from B.C.-based emerging and established filmmakers in the annual Coast is Queer short film program. Local filmmakers also shine in an additional short film program, It’s Only The End of the World, featuring cinematic explorations of apocalypse, survival, and hope.
Stories of movement building, art as activism, and the fight for justice for queer communities will also fill your screens this August. The rabble-rousing documentary Rebel Dykes, set in 1980s post-punk London, follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common Peace Camp and went on to become artists, performers, musicians, and activists. In Caer (Caught), an innovative blend of documentary and fiction, two trans Latina sex workers in Queens, New York, fight transphobic violence and persecution from the police.
Love stories are also in the line-up, including two Chilean dramas: Nicol Ruiz Benavides’ La Nave Del Olvido (Forgotten Roads) and Omar Zúñiga’s Los Fuertes (The Strong Ones).
“It’s vital we continue to support queer arts, artists, and filmmakers,” adds Out On Screen Executive Director Brandon Yan. “Our storytellers are vital to a just recovery, and I hope you can join us to witness their works online and safely in-person.”
Festival Passes priced at $175 & $145, plus tickets ranging in price from $5 to $21 (+ membership fee) as well as $2 Festival Youth Memberships and $5 Adult Memberships are available online at queerfilmfestival.ca now.