Tag Archives: The Coast is Queer

Nicole Alivojvodic Reviews The Coast Is Queer On Now For Vancouver Queer Film Festival

21 Aug

VQFF-Vert-Colour-300px-e1523331631308The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), the largest queer arts event in Western Canada, is back on and celebrating its 30th anniversary this year! More than just film, the festival hosts performances, workshops, panel discussions, parties and more, facilitating a unique community space for 11 days each August. This past Friday night the York theatre was packed with people eagerly anticipating the festival favourite The Coast is Queer.

This made-in-Vancouver short film program has been showcasing alluring animation, provoking dramas, wonderfully peculiar experimental films, and uplifting documentaries since 2000. This year, 11 diverse films ranging between 1 and 14 minutes long were shown to a captivated audience. As a first time VQFF goer I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by how different each film was from the next. There were serious, dramatic, satirical, sweet and downright hilarious films, which shown back to back gives you a bit of emotional whiplash, but the overall effect left the audience giddy as we funneled out of the theatre to vote for our favourites. To top it off the directors of each film were in the audience as well which gave the local program a personal touch!

The VQFF is on until August 25th. For more information or to get festival tickets, visit Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic

Tiva Quinn Reviews The Coast Is Queer

31 Aug
BackgroundThe Vancouver Queer Film Festival happened this month and I had the opportunity to taken in one of the shows. I’ve been to The Coast is Queer a couple of times over the years, and thought this was the strongest grouping of local queer short films ever – a thought I heard echoed by some of the other people leaving the theatre.

As usual, there was a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and a mix of films focused on lesbian, gay, or trans main characters. It seemed to me this year had more of a unified tone, though, in that nearly every story was upbeat, even the short documentary about gay suicide rates and the fictional piece with a harrowing locker room harassment scene ended on positive notes.

My personal favorites were the opening and closing pieces.

Caw, the first film, is actually the only dark piece in the series, but it features excellent acting and production values that make the darkness work. Two high school girls are drawn to one another – they’re both misfits used to being mocked by the popular crowd, but one of them is different from the other girls in more than just her cynical attitude.

The closing film, Violet and June, is the queer version of a classic boy-meets-girl story. In this case it’s “girl falls for her best friend, best friend is dating an especially obnoxious boy, best friend comes to her senses and they live happily ever after.” Predictable and maybe even a bit cliche? Sure. But the tale is handled in a light-hearted way and a fun visual style that got lots of laughs from the crowd.

Two other pieces were especially memorable for me. Carla and Hayfa, a short doc that picks up 10 years after a difficult coming-out for a young lesbian with immigrant parents. At this point, Carla and her mother are happy to talk about how much they’ve grown to understand, respect and love one another over the years. Limina is a fictional tale centred around a ridiculously cute trans girl whose mission in life is finding secret ways to cheer up some of the depressed adults in her neighborhood. Almost everyone in Alexandra’s world accepts or admires her as she is – even the Priest who feels a need to grumble seems more than slightly charmed by her.

It might be difficult to catch these particular short films in another showing – but it’s definitely worth going over to Vancouver Queer Film Festival for the names of some very talented local directors to keep an eye one.

By Contributing Writer Tiva Quinn

Vancouver Queer Film Festival August 13 – 23

7 Aug

VancouverQueerFilmThe Vancouver Queer Film Festival kicks off on August 13th and runs until August 23rd at various theatres around Vancouver. This film festival showcases over 70 films from 21 countries with themes ranging from transgender trailblazers to spectacular queer con artists. There will be two films showing in East Vancouver at the Rio Theatre on Friday, August 14th namely:

The Coast is Queer 6:30 pm

Is a series of grassroots shorts which offer a tantalizing view of BC’s queer film pie including Polarity, Soak and The Future Perfect. There will also be sneak peak of the The Out-Laws an inaugural episode of a coming web series.

Grandma 9:30 pm

Lily Tomlin fans can rejoice as she’s clearly having a ball in Grandma. This film is a rousing, exhilarating joyride that brings limitless energy and a decidedly un-Hollywood approach to storytelling about three generations of women. Here, the carefree feminist plot reveals itself early when Elle’s granddaughter Sage shows up on her doorstep seeking $600 for an abortion. Neither of them has the money so they set out on a road trip (in Grandma’s own 1955 Dodge Royal) to get it without involving Sage’s mom, Judy. Their journey sparks new life in Elle, a self-described misanthrope who’s been grieving the loss of her long-term love. You will also see supporting performances by Laverne Cox, Judy Greer, and Sam Elliott. This is touted as a sharply funny and warm film and you only get once chance to see it.

To check out the full line of films playing during Vancouver Queen Film Festival, check out the Schedule online. Tickets are also available in advance online.

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