Let your creativity shine at Queer Film Festival workshops
David C. Jones is a Vancouver-based filmmaker, arts lover, actor, comedian, educator, and one of the biggest fans of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival on the planet. The 2019 edition of the Queer Film Festival – heretofore known at #VQFF2019 – kicked off on August 15, and Jones is previewing #VQFF2019 films and events in a series of articles for YVR Screen Scene. Part one appeared earlier this week; part two – about the festival’s popular workshops – follows below. –Ed.
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is unique in the world of international film festivals for a number of reasons, and how it supports local filmmakers is a big one.
First off, VQFF doesn’t charge submission fees to filmmakers who submit their films for consideration, whereas most festivals do.
Secondly, if a submitted film is selected for programming, VQFF actually pays its filmmakers a fee. This is common for the larger festivals, but the smaller festivals count on independent filmmakers just being happy with the promise of “exposure” – and as the joke goes, “You can die from exposure.”
And finally, every year, the festival offers a number of fantastic filmmaking, art-making, and social justice workshops taught by artists and experts, and these workshops are all free to attend.
VQFF’s commitment to local filmmakers is also evident in its short film programs, like the wildly popular The Coast is Clear, and as I mentioned in my first column, you do not have to be queer to attend anything at the festival – including the workshops and panels, of which there are six on offer this year:
Queering The CBC
Saturday August 17 at 11am, SFU Goldcorp World Arts Centre
This will be a panel discussion for content creators to find out what the mandate of the CBC is in regards to LGBTQ2+ programming and what sort of things get projects green lit or accepted.
Collaborative Documentary Filmmaking with Love Intersections
Saturday August 17 at 1pm, SFU Goldcorp World Arts Centre
Jen Sungshine and David Ng have made a name for themselves with their highly regarded Love Intersections project, their collaboration with Reel Youth, and their Trouble Makers film series. They’ve experienced the highs and lows of documentary filmmaking, and in this workshop, they’ll share what’s worked (and what hasn’t worked) for them. Whether the documentary subject is shy and distrusting or a raging narcissist, Sungshine and Ng will share strategies to uphold artistic integrity and creativity. (Read Sabrina Furminger’s Courier article about Sungshine and Ng’s #VQFF2019 film, Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny, here).
Youth Drag Workshop
Saturday August 17 at 5pm, SFU Goldcorp World Arts Centre
Youth are invited to explore the world of drag in a workshop taught by Ralph Escamillan. Ralph and local drag queens will help participants nail the perfect look, lip synch with panache, and practice the five basic vogue elements. The first 20 participants will also receive free tickets to the Youth Gala and Coming into Our Own: Youth Short Films screening.
QTBIPOC Futures with Kalik
Sunday August 18 at 11am, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
QTBIPOC stands for Queer, Trans and Bi People of Colour, and this workshop about QTBIPOC in sci-fi is led by lee williams boudakian and Kamee Abrahamian from Kalik, an interdisciplinary film and media collective. lee and Kamee will open a dialogue about the world of science fiction film and storytelling, and in particular the future of QTBIPOC characters and how QTBIPOC creators can get more involved and create opportunities.
Queer Film Curation
Sunday August 18 at 1pm, SFU Goldcorp World Arts Centre
What exactly goes into programming an international queer film festival? VQFF presents a conversation with Festival Artistic Director Anoushka Ratnarajah and Festival Programmer Justin Ducharme in which they’ll discuss how they curate the city’s second-largest film festival and the trends and challenges they’re seeing on the international film festival circuit.
Welcome to Clown Town: A Drag Workshop
Friday August 23 at 4pm, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Portland diva Carla Rossi and her human avatar Anthony Hudson will help participants explore all the varieties, flavours and houses of clown culture across the vast array of genders and sexualities. This workshop offers a fascinating insight into this dizzying and hilarious form of creative expression – one that’s existed for centuries.
Find a full listing of #VQFF2019 workshops at http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca.
Pictured above: Anoushka Ratnarajah. Contributed photo