Vancouver Queer Film Festival opens with Pier Kids and spans 60 movies from here and across the globe

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      The Vancouver Queer Film Festival has released a robust lineup spanning movies from as far away as India and Georgia, as it moves to a digital format for its 11-day celebration. The theme? "Still Here."

      The event runs August 13 to 23, with more than 60 films from 10 countries in its 32nd annual offering. The program also includes virtual visits from filmmakers, local directors, and local artists, as well as virtual parties and post-screening Q&As.

      Festival passes and tickets are available here.

      Curated by artistic director Anoushka Ratnarajah, the fest opens with director Elegance Bratton’s Pier Kids, a raw and affecting guerilla-style documentary that follows the life of Black trans woman Crystal LaBeija and other queer and trans youth of colour at the Christopher Street Pier in New York City. Filmmaker Elegance Bratton, himself queer and African-American, will be joining the fest at a virtual Q&A along with producer Chester Algernal Gordon.

      The VQFF will also feature two special presentations of queer women’s history: Ahead of the Curve, a documentary about the history of Curve Magazine, the longest running lesbian publication in history; and Long Time Comin’, Dionne Brand’s 1993 documentary that charts the work of two Black queer Canadian artists--folk/jazz singer-songwriter Faith Nolan and multimedia visual artist Grace Channer. It will be followed by a panel of local Black queer femme activists, scholars, and activists.

      Elsewhere, the Coast is Queer returns, spotlighting the work of emerging and established local queer filmmakers. And international programming spans A Worm In The Heart, a documentary shot in six cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway and capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community facing oppressive laws across Russia, Mongolia, and China, as well as Vietnam's Goodbye Mother, a family dramedy.