SQIFF 2019 – Full Programme Announced!

The full programme has been announced for the fifth annual Scottish Queer International Film Festival! 

From 2 to 6 October, venues across Glasgow will host a packed programme of the best in independent film made for and by LGBTQIA+ people.

Highlights at SQIFF 2019 include:

  • The Opening Night Shorts event, celebrating SQIFF’s fifth birthday in style with international stories of queers coming together, sharing love, and fighting hard for our rights.

  • The Latinx Legends strand, which foregrounds individuals central to Latin American queer art and activism in a series of exceptional documentaries. From the story of larger-than-life actress, cabaret performer, activist, sex worker and one of Brazil’s best-known trans personalities Luana Muniz – aka The Queen of Lapa– to Cassandro The Exotico!, a well-known lucha libre wrestler known for his extravagant gayness and equally spectacular wrestling moves. Shot on 16mm over the course of 5 years, Marie Losier’s film follows a champion coming to terms with his increasingly ailing body and looking at a life spent carving flamboyant queer space within conservative cultural traditions.

  • As part of their season “The Art of the Black Visual Album” We Are Parable partner with SQIFF to present a special screening of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer visual album. Set in a dystopian nightmare, Jane 57821 (Monae) is subjected to having her memories removed or “cleaned,” ones that mainly involve her relationship with Zen (Tessa Thompson). After the special closing night screening, join us for a listening party featuring Dirty Computer in its entirety, with additional music from artists who have inspired Monae. This screening is part of the BFI Musicals nationwide season.

  • A look at the thriving ballroom culture of contemporary Europe, in partnership with Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) for Black History Month. In Fabulous, international legend Lasseindra Ninja returns to her home of Guyana to introduce voguing to its LGBTQ community. Father Figure follows Guilliano, founding father of The Kiki House of Angels, and his friends as they share experiences of homophobia and racism in the Netherlands. The screening is curated and hosted by artist and researcher Claricia Parinussa, co-founder and organiser of Vogue Scotland.

  • The You Gotta Have Faith strand of features, shorts and discussion looking at queerness and religion from a 21st century standpoint. From a selection of short films reflecting queer Islamic life introduced by LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity Hidayah to a discussion on personal faith between award-winning trans playwright Jo Clifford, LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity Imaan, and Rev. Jane Clarke from Glasgow’s LGBT+ Metropolitan Community Churches. Plus SQIFF team up with Glasgow’s cult cinema heroes Pity Party Film Club for a rare showing of Walt Davis’ 1970s lesbian sexploitation opus Evil Come, Evil Go. Sister Sarah Jane (Cleo O’Hara) is hellbent on ridding the world of evil, sex-obsessed men. Taking to the streets of Los Angeles, she quickly befriends a gullible young woman and the two embark on a mad, sex-filled killing spree. Prior to the film, two of Glasgow’s most outrageous drag artists, SHREK 666 and Puke, will be teaming up for a thrilling performance exploring religion in their own irreverent way.

  • Sexxxy Beasts and Wheelchairs – a night of queer porn made by and about Deaf and Disabled people. With work by DIY queer filmmaker and activist, Loree Erickson (who will be in attendance), and self-described “bad ass, fat ass, Jew, dyke amputee,” Nomy Lamm, plus films by Morty Diamond, Nikki Silver, and Pandora Blake with Deaf and Disabled performers taking control of their own narratives. Featuring everyday ableism crossed with seductive images of disability; pervy, polyamorous BDSM; sexy nurse roleplay; even sexxxier wheelchairs; and fat-bodied, amputee eroticism.

  • The return of the always-popular Queer Scotland Shorts, a hand-picked round-up of the most exciting new films from our homegrown talent.  Gender roles in ballet, a queer reimagining of a working men’s club, sending naked pics via dating apps, Chinese mythology and human binaries, trans masculinity, BSL poetry, LGBT people in the asylum system, and more are explored in 2019’s line-up. The winner of Best Scottish Short will take home a cash prize sponsored by Gender Studies at University of Stirling in memory of SQIFF co-founder Kat Lindner.

  • We Were Always Crazy, Freely Singing Queers – a special event marking the 30th anniversary of the first collection of Scottish lesbian and gay literature, And Thus Will I Freely Sing, bringing together queer writers from the original collection and across later generations for readings and chat. Join author, activist, and co-founder of Scotland’s original LGBT bookshop, Lavender Menace, Sigrid Nielsen; writer and activist, Jane Carnall, and writer and poet, April Hill in an informal discussion chaired by writer and co-editor of new Scottish queer anthology We Were Always Here, Ryan Vance. In partnership with Queer Words Project Scotland and Category Is Books.

  • SQIFF’s first ever film pitching session supported by Glasgow’s queer-friendly erotic boutique, Luke+Jack. We invite filmmakers to enter the Unicorns’ Den and pitch their short film project on the theme of Queer Desire. The winner – adjudicated by our panel of top Unicorns alongside an audience vote – will receive £500 and mentorship from the SQIFF team to bring into being the winning film idea, which will be screened at SQIFF 2020.

  • A special screening of Before Stonewall in association with Stonewall Scotland, marking 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, an event often considered the birth of the modern LGBT Rights Movement. Revealing and often humorous, Before Stonewall exposes the fascinating decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America, from 1920s Harlem through to World War II and the witch hunt trials of the McCarthy era.

  • A Sunday lunchtime sing-a-long screening of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, in association with LGBT Health and Wellbeing’s Rainbow Families Project, which runs events and support for LGBTQ families in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

  • Glasgow Women’s Library hosting a VR & Interactive Exhibition, showcasing stories from around the world told using the latest technology and innovative techniques. Experience the lives of trans people in Japan through the nostalgic style of early gaming, share eight LGBTQI+ individuals in Australia’s intimate memories of their mother’s kitchens via an interactive documentary, observe a mother and son discuss homophobia in Russia in 360 degree video, and lots more.

  • A range of free workshops hosted by leading creative professionals – from Chilean director, journalist, visual artist, and teacher, Joanna Reposi Garibaldi giving a personal insight into documentary filmmaking to Seamus Stewart-Skinner delivering a Sound Department 101 for beginners, combining a brief history of sound in cinema with hands on teaching of how sound is captured on set.

SQIFF 2019 is funded by Screen Scotland with additional sponsorship from Tuk Tuk Indian Restaurants and Drygate Brewery. Tickets for all events are on sale now, priced on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale of £0-£8 based on individual circumstances. Audience members choose what they are able to pay – we don’t ask for any proof of circumstances, we just ask that they are honest. In order to make the Festival further accessible to more people, all films will be screened with English language captions for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing access with BSL interpretation and audio description available at select events. Festival access information is available at sqiff.org/accessibility.

Helen Wright, Festival Co-ordinator, said:

“We are really happy to be celebrating the 5th birthday of SQIFF! This year, we are thinking about how we can focus on LGBTQIA+ communities coming together and working together to tackle oppression whilst also foregrounding the voices that most need to be heard right now. The result is a real emphasis on community and collectivity with some important highlights including a strand on religion with a shorts screening co-created with LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity, Hidayah; several events for Black History Month looking at the unique experiences of queer people of colour in collaboration with Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) and artist and researcher, Claricia Parinussa; our Latinx Legends strand with documentaries about incredible Latin American activists such as Chilean performance artist, Pedro Lemebel, and trans sex worker, Luana Muniz. There is so much more in the programme from a virtual reality and interactive exhibition at Glasgow Women’s Library to filmmaking workshops giving people the chance to get involved, a Beauty and the Beast Singalong, and a Closing Night screening of Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer. We really hope everyone, queer people and allies, will feel welcome to come along and feel part of the Festival.”

Screen Scotland’s Sean Greenhorn said: “SQIFF has built an incredible reputation over the last four years of providing a platform for underrepresented groups to showcase the cinema they want to see through groundbreaking programming, events and community outreach, creating a festival with a dedicated core audience. This year’s fifth edition builds on this fantastic work and, through cinema, explores conversations and topics that might not otherwise be had.”

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