Nat Lall on Queer Sci-Fi and returning to live events

One of SQIFF’s new Curators, Nat Lall, talks to us about Queer SciFi, the potentials of live Q&As, and SQIFF’s intersectional approach. 

This video includes captions and audio description. A text version can be found below.

Could you introduce yourself and your role at SQIFF? 

I’m Nat Lall, my pronouns are they/she. I’m a curator at SQIFF, which involves me working alongside another curator, and we both programmed seven screenings each. There’s also a programmer, and the three of us work together as a team.

What are you especially proud of in this year’s program?

What I’m really proud of the whole team for doing in this year’s program is actually making the event accessible, and it’s actually diverse. We are thinking intersectionality, and there’s evidence of that. Just seeing, for example, the brochure all finished up with all of the different access symbols at the bottom. It feels comforting that you can just get up and leave the cinema when you need to stretch or whatever, and that’s been written into the brochure. 

What are you most excited for in this year’s festival?

I’m most excited about the Q&As. I’m doing Q&As for two of my screenings, one is the GA(Y)MERS screening, and the other is a screening of the film Adam. I tried for both screenings to not just invite the filmmakers, but people from around the UK who are involved in not just queer art, but queer activism or queer communities.

I’m looking forward to that, because to an extent, the filmmakers had the chance to say their bit, since they’re showing their film. But often the people who that affects don’t get a chance to speak on the topics. I’m hoping I can bring that opportunity to the festival. Also, it’s just a lot of people that I like and would like to catch up with! 

Several of the screenings, you’ve programmed center around Sci-Fi. What do you think is special about Queer Sci-Fi?

I think there’s a few things I think are special about Queer Sci-Fi. One thing is that a lot of science and history I’m very skeptical of anyway. Most of science is Sci-Fi to me anyway, so I don’t see it as something that’s so unusual. But I like playing up to it, and to the tropes. For example, in D.E.B.S., like really trashy costumes and pretty unbelievable special effects and playing around with CGI and graphics. I like that you can experiment with your body and your surroundings.

How does it feel to program in-person events again? 

Programing in-person events is quite nerve wracking right now, if I’m completely honest. But on the whole, I’m really looking forward to it, and even though it’s tricky, and we have to be strict with numbers and hygiene, I’m  looking forward to seeing people in person and going to the cinema.

Featured image: From Adam, screening with a Q&A with local trans men and trans masculine activists based in Scotland on Sunday 10th October. 

SQIFF 2021 takes place 6th-10th October 2021, with selected online screenings from 2nd-10th October. Click here to see all the events in the programme.