Vancouver Queer Film Festival announces 2021 program

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      Out On Screen has just announced the program for the 33rd annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival, which takes place virtually this year from August 12 to 22.

      The festival will be presented in a video-on-demand (VOD) format, with a few small in-person events, and will feature six spotlight programs, eight special presentations, sixteen feature films, seven short-film programs, and several workshops and industry panels.

      The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Longing’, with several films touching on social and political issues affecting queer, trans, and Two-Spirit people everywhere. The program is curated by artistic director Anoushka Ratnarajah and festival programmer Nya Lewis.

      “One of the greatest challenges facing the work of VQFF and the filmmakers we love is the rise of discriminatory ideologies and policies wielded against our communities around the world," says Ratnarajah in a press release, "and the toll that violence takes on our spirits. Artists are responding to crisis in the best ways they know how: by sharing our stories, and speaking their truths.”

      Highlights of the festival include: 

           * Well Rounded, a local documentary directed by Shana Myara which brings fat queers to the front, with interviews from artists to health professionals.

           *  Fabulous, a documentary directed by Audrey-Jean Baptiste that follows a professional dancer who returns to her home country of French Guiana to teach the beauty of vogue to her own queer community.

           * Unapologetic, which follows the lives of two young Black activists and their fight for racial equity amid the worldwide reckoning with police brutality. 

           * Cured, which chronicles a group of dedicated activists who went to battle with the American Psychiatric Association.

           * No Straight Lines, in which director Vivian Kleiman showcases some of the queer comic artists who paved the way for future generations of writers and illustrators.

           * Obsidian, a shorts program featuring a diverse collection of films highlighting the beauty and complexity of the African experience.

      The full 2021 Vancouver Queer Film Festival program is available here