Scottish Queer International Film Festival reveals full 2020 line-up
- Deborah Chu
- 11 September 2020
Sixth annual celebration of LGBTQ+ cinema heads online with a focus on queer sci-fi and Britain's QTIPOC communities
The Scottish Queer International Film Festival has announced details of their sixth edition, which will be running online from Mon 5 to Sun 18 Oct. A total of five thematic strands boasts the biggest and most dynamic programme in SQIFF's history, alongside a line-up of online watch parties, workshops, Q&A sessions and virtual quizzes. And most importantly, all screenings will be pay-what-you-can, making this year's festival a truly accessible feast of cinema for all.
Festivities kick off with an opening night live watch party of Pride & Protest, Blaise Singh's new documentary about QTIPOC communities in Britain today, against the backdrop of the Birmingham protests against same-sex relationship education. Across the two-week-long programme, viewers can delve into the wonderful world of sci-fi in the strand Every Utopia a Dystopia, which features '90s cyberdyke gem Flaming Ears; the true story of queer folk-electronica musician Glenn Copeland in Keyboard Fantasies; a historical review of the representation of queer woman on TV in Queering the Script; and a digital showcase of Afrofuturist films and writings in Many Black Moons Ago, To Go…
The relationship between queer people and our natural world is also explored in Queer Ecology, featuring the documentary Fire and Flood, which foregrounds the LGBTQ+ individuals who lived through the Hurricane Maria and the fires in Santa Rosa, California. The pleasure and politics of water are explored by artist and former sex worker Annie Sprinkle in Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure, and audiences are led into Derek Jarman's garden paradise in The Garden, a chronicle of the desolate expanse surrounding the Dungeness nuclear power station.
Other highlights from the programme include a retrospective on the work of Japanese multi-media artist Shu Lea Cheang, whose experimental video and net art over the past 40 years have explored topics as diverse as a post-AIDS future in the year 2060 in Fluidø, and the adventures of seven sexy replicants in I.K.U., a sort-of sequel to Blade Runner. This year's programme also sees the full-length feature return of Breaking Fast – which first premiered as a short at last year's SQIFF – it explores the relationship between Mo, a Muslim, and the non-Muslim Kal, who offers to break fast with him during the holy month of Ramadan.
Also on the roster is the new documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street follows the star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge Mark Patton as he recounts his experiences on the set of the film that The Advocate had dubbed the 'gayest horror film ever made', and the rampant homophobia of that period. Finally, The Cancer Journals Revisited revisits the memoir of Black lesbian feminist poet, the great Audre Lorde, which sees twenty-seven writers, artists, activists, patients and health care advocates recite her manifesto about illness and survival aloud in a powerful oration for the screen.
As lockdown restrictions ebb and flow across the UK, audiences at home will get the chance to experience some of the best and brightest works in queer cinema in the comfort of their own home. There will, however, also be plenty of opportunities for viewers to come together, including a live workshop on film criticism (Wed 7 Oct), for queer filmmakers of colour (Thu 8 Oct), and a writing workshop on queer speculative fiction with author Katalina Watt (Tue 13 Oct), to name just a few. SQIFF have also teamed up with the National Theatre of Scotland to host a special edition of the NTS' LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club (Sun 11 Oct), and Vogue Scotland will be hosting a virtual club night before the festival finishes off in style with the SQIFF Pub Quiz (Fri 16 Oct), covering everything from camp classics to movie controversies.
Of this year's SQIFF programme, Producer and Programme Coordinator Helen Wright said: 'We are happy and excited to move SQIFF online for 2020. This allows us to still offer LGBTQIA+ audiences in Scotland a chance to experience amazing queer films from around the world and means audiences from across the UK will also be able to join in. As well as the chance to watch heaps of brilliant LGBTQIA+ feature films from across the world, we are offering a number of online watch parties, workshops, and other events to keep our communities connected. We are also working hard to make the online Festival as accessible as possible with various access measures and free tickets and assistance with internet access for people based within Scotland.'