Scottish Queer International Film Festival reveals full 2019 programme
- Deborah Chu
- 28 August 2019
The festival's fifth edition spotlights Latinx pioneers, ballroom culture and a special screening of Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer
The Scottish Queer International Film Festival has announced the line-up for its fifth edition, which will return to venues across Glasgow from 2 to 6 October. This annual celebration of queer independent cinema features screenings, workshops and discussions around films made for and by LGBTQIA+ people.
SQIFF will kick off with its Opening Night Shorts event, bringing together tales of love, community and activism from around the world. This year, however, the festival will also provide a regional focus with its Latinx Legends strand, which will feature a series of documentaries that highlight the exceptional figures at the forefront of queer art and activism in Latin America, from actress and activist Luana Muniz to lucha libre wrestler Cassandro the Exotico.
Closer to home, screenings of Fabulous and Father Figure will examine the thriving ballroom culture in contemporary Europe, while the strand You've Gotta Have Faith will look at queerness and religion in the 21st century with a series of features, shorts and discussions. Highlights from this strand include a rare screening of the 1970s lesbian sexploitation film Evil Come, Evil Go in partnership with Glasgow cult cinema organisers Pity Party Film Club; a selection of short films that explore facets of queer Islamic life; and a discussion on personal faith between award-winning trans playwright Jo Clifford, the LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity Imaan and Rev Jane Clarke from Glasgow's LGBT+ Metropolitan Community Churches.
Milestones in LGBTQ+ history will also be celebrated, including the 30th anniversary of the first collection of Scottish lesbian and gay literature, And Thus Will I Freely Sing. The event, titled We Were Always Crazy, Freely Singing Queers, will bring together contributing writers from the original collection as well as across subsequent generations for readings and discussions, including Sigrid Nielson, the co-founder of Scotland's first LGBT bookshop; Jane Carnall; April Hill; and the co-editor of the new Scottish queer anthology We Were Always Here, Ryan Vance. The 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots will also be marked with a special screening of the documentary Before Stonewall, which details the history of homosexuality in America in the run-up to the birth of the modern LGBT rights movement.
Other special events and screenings to take place include the premiere of Scottish filmmaker Nicola O'Reilly's debut feature Trans Youth: Respecting and Understanding Difference, which highlights the voices of trans youth through experimental forms; a lunchtime sing-along to Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast; SQIFF's inaugural film pitching session, which will see one winner receive £500 and mentorship to help bring their idea to the silver screen; the return of Queer Scotland Shorts; an evening of queer porn made by and for Dear and Disabled people, titled Sexxxy Beasts and Wheelchairs; and SQIFF's new club night WERX, proudly open to all.
The festival will then close with a special screening of Janelle Monáe's acclaimed visual album Dirty Computer, followed by a listening party of the album in its entirety, as well as works by artists who inspired Monáe. Tickets to all events are priced on a sliding scale from free to £8, with audience members being asked to choose for themselves what to pay, depending on their individual circumstances. All films will be screened with captions, with BSL interpretation and audio description available at certain events.
Helen Wright, SQIFF's 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 sing-along and a Closing Night screening of Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer. We really hope everyone, queer people and allies, will feel welcome to come along and feel part of the Festival.'
SQIFF, various venues: Glasgow, Wed 2–Sun 6 October, sqiff.org.