Seattle Queer Film Festival 2022 [Hybrid]
Please note: This page lists only programs that are screening in person at NWFF. There are many other venues for SQFF 2022, including SIFF Cinema Egyptian, The Beacon, MoPOP, and BIGGEST OF ALL, the Internet! Read all about them on the festival’s official website.
Individual In-Person Tickets to SQFF 2022 events at NWFF:
$13 General Admission
$7 NWFF Member
$275 Hybrid VIP Pass
$200 Hybrid Pass
$199 Virtual Pass – Household
$150 Virtual Pass – Individual
$50 Virtual Pass – Accessible
NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.
NWFF is adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. Read more about their policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.
The following programs take place at NWFF; visit SQFF's festival homepage for the full program!
5pm | Sleep With Me [In-Person Only]
(Samantha Lee, Philippines, 2022, 60 min) Pacific Northwest premiere!
Harry (Janine Gutierrez), a wheelchair user who works as a nighttime radio DJ, meets Luna (Lovi Poe), who has a rare condition that only lets her fall asleep in the daytime. But it’s not all glitter and roses as Harry gives love advice she doesn’t know how to follow, and Luna finds herself feeling grumpy and aloof as she learns how to stop keeping everyone at a distance. As the two connect, they have to figure out how to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from falling in love. Samantha Lee, an alumni director of SQFF (Billie and Emma), won the Audience Award for Favorite Feature at the Seattle Queer Film Festival in 2018, Sleep With Me is her latest heart-warming project. Trailer >
6:45pm | High School [In-Person Only]
(Clea DuVall, US, 2022, 80 min [ep. 1–3]) Sponsored by c89.5!
Tegan and Sara’s hit memoir of the same name is brought to life in the exciting new series High School produced by Amazon Freevee and written and directed by actress turned filmmaker Clea DuVall (Happiest Season). We will screen the first three episodes of this coming of age drama all about teenage angst and sisterly love and conflicts.
Starring Tik Tok sensations, real life sisters, Railey and Seazynn Gilliland, portraying the famous twin singers in this fictionalized adaptation. Featuring fantastic music from The Smashing Pumpkins, Violent Femmes, and Green Day, High School is set in 1990’s grunge culture which later saw these stars come to fame and queer identity in the landscape of the Canadian prairies. Trailer >
8:30pm | Out in the Ring [Hybrid]
(Ry Levey, Canada, 2022, 105 min) PNW premiere! Sponsored by Seattle Gay News; virtual viewing available in WA only.
Does wrestling seem gay to you? That’s because it is. Out in the Ring documents the careers of several queer professional wrestlers, whose experiences in and out of the ring were both vulnerable and tragic. For their fans, however, these wrestlers provided key representations that reinforced the concept of their queer identities. Through exemplifying how the wrestlers navigated the complicated dynamics of performance and personhood, Out in the Ring provides a crucial look at gender and sexuality within professional sports. Trailer >
12:15pm | Thank You for Being a Friend [Hybrid]
(six short films, 95 min TRT)
The Golden Girls had it right all along, friendship really is the most important thing! Queer friendships are the backbone of our chosen families, through thick and thin and lows and highs, our friendships are always with us laughing all the way.
2:30pm | A Run for More [Hybrid]
(Ray Whitehouse, US, 2022, 82 min) WA state premiere! Sponsored by Alaska Airlines
Charismatic political campaigner and activist Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe is a transgender woman living in Texas who just wants to make a difference in her community. When she runs for city council she encounters resistance she never expected. With a supportive husband, dedicated campaign workers, friends, and family, Frankie explores her relationship to community and civic engagement. A moving and powerful documentary, A Run for More takes us on the campaign trail with Frankie. Whether or not she wins, Frankie is committed to improving her community. Trailer >
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
5pm | Finding Her Beat [Hybrid] Featuring a live taiko performance!
(Dawn Mikkelson & Keri Pickett, US, 2022, 88 min) PNW premiere!
Big Drums, Big Dreams! Despite widespread female participation, Japanese Taiko drumming has traditionally been a male art form. Taiko remains very much a male centered performance art today. Drum master Jennifer Weir (Executive Director, TaikoArts Midwest) has a dream to change all of this; what if the world’s best female and nonbinary Taiko drummers from North America and Japan (including Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Kaoly Asanao, Chieko Kojima, and Megan Chao-Smith) came together for a two week cultural exchange culminating in an electrifying one night show? Finding Her Beat follows Weir through the inspiring process of manifesting this dream. Listen as these artists smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms. Trailer >
8pm | The Love (El Houb) + Nidhal (نِضال) [Hybrid]
(Shariff Nasr, The Netherlands, 2022, 102 min) PNW premiere!
Karim, a successful Moroccan-Dutch businessman, is so caught up in his panic about coming out to his traditional Muslim parents that he barricades himself in their closet (literally). As he feverishly revisits his childhood memories, negotiates a budding romance with a new Ghanaian boyfriend, and wages a long-delayed battle royale to uproot his family’s conservative attitudes, he must also face his community’s biases (as well as his own) that have brought him to the brink. Fluctuating from humorous to more serious, El Houb is a dark comedy loosely based on the experiences and theater work of Fahd Larhzaoui (the actor playing Karim) and starring Lubna Azabal as Karim’s conservative but still loving mother.
(Bassem Ben Brahim, Tunisia, 2022, 10 min)
A young gay Tunisian immigrates to the Netherlands after creating his own radio show to defend marginalized queer people in his conservative country.
noon | For the Love of Friends + Erin McGrady [Hybrid]
(Cara Consilvio, US, 2021, 98 min) PNW premiere!
This emotionally-charged documentary blends stage performance with stock footage to highlight the remarkable life and work of AIDS activist Brent Nicholson Earle. At the height of the epidemic, Earle refused to watch his friends suffer due to government inaction and public ignorance about the disease. His audacious response in 1986 was to embark on a 10,000-mile run around the perimeter of the United States to draw attention to the plight of AIDS patients, all while overcoming public backlash, a homophobic media blackout, his own health challenges, and an inconvenient lack of any long-distance training. Earle and his co-conspirators perfectly balance tragedy and comedy in revisiting this wild, inspirational, important, and unjustly obscure episode from American LGBTQ+ history. Trailer >
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, DISCUSSION OF HOMOPHOBIC/TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
(Faith Briggs & Tim Kemple, US, 2022, 9 min)
The story of a photographer and writer who works with her wife Caroline Whatley, to create and celebrate safe spaces for others in the queer community. Together, in spite of all they are up against as queer women in the South, they turn their attention toward the joy they receive from traveling and creating community.
2:15pm | Nelly & Nadine [Hybrid]
(Magnus Gertten, Sweden, Belgium & Norway, 2022, 92 min, in English, French & Swedish with English subtitles) PNW premiere!
An epic love story unfolds in this riveting documentary about the Belgian opera singer Nelly Mousset-Vosand and her life-long partner Nadine Hwang, who met and fell in love on Christmas Eve in the Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944. Despite being separated during the last months of WWII, Nelly and Nadine managed to reunite and spend the rest of their life together in Venezuela. Their love story, which was kept a secret from their families, is rediscovered by Nelly’s grandchild Sylvie, who opens the never before seen personal archives and brings forward their story. The diary, photographs, Super 8 footage, and audio recordings of resistance members reveal harrowing memories of the camp, Nelly’s relationship with Nadine, and their life after the war.
Winner of the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, Nelly & Nadine is a beautiful, powerful story of enduring love. Trailer >
4:30pm | Mars One (Marte Um) [Hybrid]
(Gabriel Martins, Brazil, 2022, 115 min, in Portuguese with English subtitles)
The Martins are a family of dreamers living in Brazil during the time following the inauguration of Bolsonaro, a far-right president. Each family member is dealing with their own dreams for a better future. The eldest daughter Eunice is falling in love with a woman and figuring out how to move in with her. Tércia, the mother, is struggling to break the curse that she believes has occurred. Wellington, the father, just wants to provide for his family and have his only son Deivinho become a soccer star. And Deivinho is secretly planning his future trip to Mars. Mars One is a tender love story and family drama that premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival and is the winner of the 2022 Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Intergenerational Feature at OUTFEST Los Angeles, and now Brazil’s choice for their Academy Award entry. Trailer >
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
5:30pm | The Sixth Reel [Hybrid]
(Carl Andress & Charles Busch, US, 2022, 94 min) PNW premiere!
Charles Busch understands classic Hollywood better than anyone. If you’re a fan of Psycho Beach Party or Die, Mommie, Die (SQFF 2003), you know what we’re talking about. Here, he is just one in a group of desperate people (including Margaret Cho and Tim Daly) trying to cash in on the sale of an unearthed horror film. It’s all the camp and comedy you’ve come to expect from Busch, but with a dash of unexpected poignancy about aging and legacy. We just don’t get enough queer caper flicks, and this one’s a doozy! Trailer >
6pm | International Affairs [Hybrid]
(six films, 96 min TRT)
What does is it mean to be queer around the world? These stories of secret love, homecomings, traveling hookups, and fighting for what’s right explore how we stay true to ourselves, wherever we are on earth. Also, BEARS.
8pm | Before I Change My Mind [In-Person Only]
(Trevor Anderson, Canada, 2022, 89 min) US premiere!
It’s 1987 and Robin (played by non-binary actor Vaughan Murrae) is an American transplant at a high school in Canada. The other students wonder if Robin is a boy or a girl, but Robin is just Robin, a kid who desperately wants to fit in doing everything they can in order to be liked. And forging a friendship with the school bully creates a whole new set of problems. Between rehearsing for the school musical, having new crushes, forming unlikely alliances, and experiencing family drama, Robin must make some pretty hard decisions about what they will ultimately do to fit in. This unique coming of age story from SQFF alumni filmmaker Trevor Anderson (Docking, Jesse Jams) won the Boccalino d’Oro (Golden Jug) Award 2022 at the Locarno Film Festival along with Best Acting performance for Vaughan Murrae. Trailer >
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE
The Last Human Person On Earth
(Ryan Michael Hoskins, US, 2022, 13 min)
Eric and Henry are two 12-year-olds pretending to be the mad scientist and robot survivors of the end of the world. As the two grow closer during their time together, Eric begins to wonder if their relationship might be turning into something more than friendship.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE
5pm | Jeannette + Holding Moses [Hybrid]
(Maris Curran, US, 2022, 78 min, in English & Spanish with English subtitles)
As a survivor of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, Jeannette’s life has been marked by violence, trauma, loss, and grief. A queer single mother to a teenage boy, a fitness instructor, and bodybuilder, Jeannette’s perseverance is not despite or because of the unthinkable event she endured, but because of the choices she made following it: to continue to forge ahead with strength, courage, and love.
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF HOMOPHOBIC/TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
(Rivkah Beth Medow & Jen Rainin, US, 2022, 17 min)
Rhythm, grief, time and joy come together in this story of non-binary, queer mother Randi Rader’s path to connecting with her disabled son.
7:15pm | Rebirth: QTBIPOC Shorts [Hybrid]
(five short films, 86 min TRT)
We are more than our queer identities. Watch as these characters ponder, question, and stumble through changing relationships with self, body, and others. Meetup at Footprint Wine Tap before the program! (RSVP here) Curated by Naya Simone
5:15pm | Donna + Unidad [In-Person Only]
(Jay Bedwani, UK, 2022, 75 min) PNW premiere!
Donna is an intimate and candid portrait of transgender rights activist, artist, and storyteller, Donna Personna. Born into a minister’s family in previously rural San Jose, Donna has lived in the Bay Area for decades, but only began performing in drag in her sixties. Now in her seventies, the film follows Donna through her daily life; from co-writing a play about the people she knew from the Compton Cafeteria riots, to being honored by the city for her activism. Her work as a playwright and her local connections inspire her to travel for an overdue reunion with her estranged siblings. Directed and filmed by Jay Bedwani, Donna proves that it is never too late in life to be magnificent. Trailer >
Unidad: Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos
(Gregorio Davila, US, 2022, 38 min)
Unidad tells the story of Los Angeles’ Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU) as former participants talk about their political and social group within the Latine community that formed in 1981 and was a safe haven for many. Alumni director of SQFF Gregorio Davila (Nancy from Eastside Clover, Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism) brings us this important slice of queer history.
6:30pm | Faith Over Fear [Hybrid]
(eight short films, 94 min TRT)
Films that bridge the gap between various religions and the queer community, and show us why that gap never needed to exist in the first place. Curated by Bin Userkaf
8:15pm | Maybe Someday [Hybrid]
(Michelle Ehlen, US, 2022, 91 min) PNW premiere! Come to a Sapphic Soirée before the film at Wildrose at 6pm (RSVP here)
Michelle Ehlen (writer, director, and star of Maybe Someday) comes back to SQFF (Heterosexual Jill, S&M Sally) with a drama about love, friendship, and finding yourself after a breakup. Jay is moving to LA after separating from her wife. Along the way she stops to visit her high school best friend Jess, who she used to be secretly in love with, and ends up staying for a while to sort her life out. As she settles in to her new life, she meets Tommy, an amateur standup comedian who becomes her new gay best friend as they bond over comedy and life’s hard knocks. Ehlen brings a hopeful and entertaining story about self-realization and getting through the hard times, reminding us that we really do get by with a little help from our chosen family! Trailer >
Winner of Best Feature Jury Award and Audience Award at Long Beach QFilm Festival!
5pm | Pure Grit [Hybrid]
(Kim Bartley, US, 2021, 88 min) PNW premiere!
Sharmaine Weed lives to race! An award-winning Indigenous bareback horse racer, Weed has taken a year off to care for her sister Charity, who was paralyzed after a traumatic racing injury, and is now going back on the circuit. Surrounded by family, Sharmaine attempts to build a new life with her girlfriend, Savannah, on Wyoming’s Wind River reservation. Unfortunately, peace at home proves fragile and the young lovers are forced to move to the city. When racing season starts, Sharmaine and Savannah hit the road, ready and willing to put it all on the line to make a triumphant return to the race track. Winner of the Best Irish Feature Documentary Award at the Galway Film Festival, this is a gripping documentary about an Indigenous horse racer who is willing and ready to live her dreams. Trailer >
7pm | Chance Encounters [Hybrid]
9pm | Petit Mal + Melting Point [Hybrid]
(Ruth Caudeli, Colombia, 2022, 88 min) PNW premiere! Sponsored by Château Ste. Michelle
Spanish Modern queer love and romance abound in Petit Mal! Martina, Laia, and Anto are part of a passionate, fun-loving throuple. All three are visual artists, finding inspiration within each other, the family they’ve formed, and their backyard barbecues. When Laia must leave for a long-term project, their relationship faces a test, as Martina and Anto deal with shifting dynamics and the reconceptualization of the two’s relationship with each other. Through intense intimate moments that play out like a cycle of emotions, the audience experiences, alongside Martina and Anto, how to adapt within love to make it deep, compassionate, and judgment-free. Directed by SQFF alumni filmmaker Ruth Caudeli (Eva and Candela). Trailer >
CW: NUDITY, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
(Mindy Stricke, Canada, 2022, 5 min)
A thermal camera captures the heat between two lovers, literally, to reveal new ways of seeing pleasure, play, and desire.
CW: NUDITY, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
5pm | Soy Niño [Hybrid]
(Lorena Zilleruelo, Chile, 2022, 62 min, in Spanish with English subtitles) PNW premiere!
“Do you ever forget that you’re trans?” Soy Niño director Lorena Zilleruelo asks of her cousin, a young boy named Bastian. She visits him every year from the ages of 12 to 18, and documents his life navigating adolescence. Throughout the documentary we bear witness to the social and economic obstacles in Bastian’s physical transition process. With each visit she observes how he relates to his family, school life, romantic interests, and the experience of being trans in Chile. Soy Niño shows what any child can achieve with unconditional love. As Bastian himself says, “sometimes I feel as if I’m just like anyone else.” Trailer >
6:45pm | The Venus Effect (Venuseffekten) [Hybrid]
(Anna Emma Haudal, Denmark, 2022, 104 min, in Danish with English subtitles) PNW premiere!
In an idyllic and serene rural community in Denmark, Liv works on the family farm, gardening and making wine. Her carefree life is matched by her spirit, but when chaotic and unique Andrea moves into her uncle’s apple orchard seeking refuge from her stressful city life, Liv finds herself undergoing a crisis of identity. As the two strike up a romantic relationship, Liv comes to learn that there is much more to life than she ever realized, inside and out of her tight-knit community. The Venus Effect is a romantic comedy that underscores the importance of love, lust, and connection. Trailer >
CW: NUDITY, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
9pm | Vulveeta [Hybrid]
(Maria Breaux, US, 2022, 92 min) PNW premiere! Sponsored by Alaska Airlines
Twenty plus years ago the riot grrrl band Vulveeta was on the brink of becoming the next big thing, until lead singer Grrrilda Beausoleil suddenly decided to call it quits. Now, on the eve of her 50th birthday, Grrrilda wants to get the band back together. Grrrilda invites a documentary crew to come along for the ride in an attempt to capture every success, failure, and mood swing. With decades-old drama and their reluctance to use social media, there is only one question: can they pull it together enough to play their big reunion show?
Watch out for StormMiquel Florez, Festival Director of Translations, in a kick ass role! Trailer >
12:30pm | How to Tell a Secret [Hybrid]
(Anna Rodgers & Shaun Dunne, Ireland, 2022, 92 min) Sponsored by Bristol Myers Squibb
This innovative documentary confronts the “epidemic of silence” that has disrupted HIV/AIDS education and activism in Ireland for decades. The film centers the unique stories of ordinary people who have stood up to prevailing cultures of silence and shame in order to disclose their HIV-status publicly and to those closest to them. Based on a theater show, the stories in this film move between bodies of young men, migrant women, drag artists and activists. Their heartfelt stories are made even more engrossing by the unique way they are told; though effortlessly blended voiceover, staged dramatizations, and archival footage. How to Tell a Secret dispels stereotypes and stigmas, and highlights the incredible power of being able to tell one’s own story the way you want.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE, DISCUSSION OF SELF-HARM
2:45pm | When Men Were Men + Skin Can Breathe [In-Person Only]
(Izzi Rojas & Aidan Dick, US & Ireland, 2021, 96 min) PNW premiere!
Written, directed, and acted by trans/non-binary, first time feature filmmakers Aidan Dick and Izzi Rojas, this tender story of young trans love tugs at the heartstrings and goes beyond conventional coming out narratives to bring us new insights about young trans identity and relationships. Teenage Kieran toggles between the gender binary as a male actor by day and a daughter at home in a rural Irish town. When he falls in love with the new gay boy in town, who doesn’t yet know he is trans, Kieran must make a decision. Trailer >
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, NUDITY, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
Skin Can Breathe
(Chheangkea Ieng, US, 2022, 11 min)
Having to constantly negotiate his identity, a queer Cambodian-American teenager finds home inside the water of his high school pool.
3pm | Black As U R [Hybrid]
(Michael Rice, US, 2022, 87 min) PNW premiere! Sponsored by W Seattle. Q&A moderated by Deaunte Damper
Filmmaker Michael Rice questions why the Black community is divided by homophobia and transphobia. How can we envision a path for healing? This film argues that the historic exclusion of Black queer and trans people from the Black community is an inherited legacy of systemic racism. Observe intimate group conversations as Rice asks the difficult questions and interlaces valuable academic discussion from Dr. Charlene Sinclair. Witness a vision of hope as Black As U R profiles the resilience and beauty of numerous Black trans and queer people. Trailer >
CW: DISCUSSION OF SELF-HARM, DEPICTION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF HOMOPHOBIC/TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE, DEPICTION OF HOMOPHOBIC/TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
5pm | You Can Live Forever [Hybrid]
(Mark Slutsky & Sarah Watts, Canada, 2022, 96 min, in English & French with English subtitles) PNW premiere! Sponsored by BECU
Following the death of her father, Canadian teen Jamie moves in with her Jehovah’s Witness Aunt and her husband. Jamie grapples with her sudden immersion into this deeply rule-bound community, but strikes up a quick and intense friendship with Marike, the daughter of one of the congregation’s elders. Their strong connection shifts into something more, and we follow the pair’s challenges in expressing and accepting their love for each other. As the congregation becomes aware of their relationship, Jamie’s sense of her own desires and self become too strong for her to remain in the community. You Can Live Forever is a coming-of-age story that explores what it means to subvert deeply rooted expectations in an enclosed community. Trailer >
CW: NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
5:30pm | Elephant [Hybrid; virtual viewing in WA only]
(Kamil Krawczycki, Poland, 2022, 105 min, in Polish, with English subtitles) PNW premiere!
Beautifully shot above the Polish countryside, Elephant is the story of 22-year-old Bartek (Jan Hrynkiewicz) who runs a small horse farm. Bartek must become the head of the household when both his father and sister suddenly leave, sending his mother into a breakdown. After the sudden death of a neighbor, Bartek is introduced to the deceased’s estranged son, Dawid (Paweł Tomaszewski), who returns to the village for the funeral. Dawid’s independence and recklessness fascinate Bartek as the two begin to fall in love. As they attempt to hide their romance, they navigate a homophobic rural environment, personal family obligations, and the need to prioritize a future above all else.
7:30pm | (LOL)GBTQ [Hybrid]
(eight short films, 95 min TRT)
We queers can find ourselves in some pretty ridiculous circumstances. Let’s laugh about it! Sponsored by Kontent Partners. Attend in person to see some amazing local queer comedians!