Vancouver film-related events address LGBT rights and issues in Florida and Russia

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      In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, two Vancouver-related film events are drawing attention to LGBT rights and issues.

      Tonight (June 17), the Odyssey Nightclub (686 West Hastings) is holding a special edition of Full-Length Feature Fridays which will be a fundraiser for the Orlando shooting victims. The evening will include film screenings and drag performances.

      The Vancouver Queer Film Festival will be presenting a series of short films at 10 p.m.

      The films include Daniel Maggio's "Glory Hole"; Daniel Moshel's "MeTube1: August Sings Carmina Burana", about an operatic flashmob; Dennis Shinners' Brooklyn-set "Barrio Boy", about a Latino barber who falls in love with an Irish customer; and Candy Guinea's "Keep the Cumbia Going", a documentary about an Oakland queer dance party.

      The evening will feature two sets of drag performances (at 11 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.) by Alma Bitches, Ilona, Coco Klein, Raye Sunshine Kebby, Dynasty, Amy Grindhouse, Mina Murcury, Miss Understood, Glitteris, Rose Butch, Katy Hairy, and more.

      All proceeds from cover charges and liquor sales will go to support those affected by the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando on June 12.

      Cover charge is by donation (suggested amount is $5).

      In other Vancouver LGBT film news, a local filmmaker's short documentary about the state of LGBT rights in Russia will premiere at a New York City film festival this weekend.

      While the world media spotlight shone upon the antigay legislation in Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, that attention has since dissipated despite the fact that the legislation still exists.

      However, a local filmmaker is bringing attention back to the issue.

      With footage from Vancouver, Moscow, and Sochi, director Jordan Wade made a film about the Sochi Winter Olympics in Sochi and Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

      The film includes interviews with athletes, academics, and politicians.

      Among them is Vancouver city councillor Tim Stevenson, who headed a Vancouver delegation that met with the International Olympic Committee in Sochi to advocate for an amendment in the Olympic charter that would explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

      “This tragedy serves as a reminder of how pressing this issue is to the current day," Wade said in a statement about the Orlando nightclub shooting. "We couldn't think of a clearer sign to indicate how very pressing this issue is, not only in Russia but in the western world. As Canadian citizens, we hope this film will be an opportunity to bring people together and support respect for human life. We hope films like this can help open conversations and help prevent the loss of lives."

      The film will screen on Sunday (June 19) at the My True Colors Festival in NYC.