Seattle Queer Film Festival 2023 [Hybrid]
Virtual: Oct. 22–29
Please note: This page lists only programs that are screening in person at NWFF. There are many other venues for SQFF 2023, including Broadway Performance Hall, Ark Lodge Cinemas, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Queer/Bar, and the Internet! Read all about them on the festival’s official website.
Individual In-Person Tickets to SQFF 2023 events at NWFF:
General Admission | $13–30 Sliding Scale
Youth (21 and under) | $5
Unable to pay for tickets? SQFF’s got you covered
$275 Hybrid VIP Pass
$200 Hybrid Pass
$150 Virtual Pass – Household
$125 Virtual Pass – Individual
$150 In-Person Pass – Individual
$75 In-Person Pass – First Weekend
$75 In-Person Pass – Second Weekend
$50 Hybrid Pass – Accessibility (artists, seniors, students, and low income community members)
(Passes are discounted for SQFF members!)
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!
(Clare Cooney, US, 2023, 80 min) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, IMPLIED VIOLENCE
In this clever and contemporary reimagining of an ’80s slasher film, DEPARTING SENIORS takes horror tropes we know and love and turns them on their head. After being mercilessly bullied, a gay Mexican-American high schooler begins to develop strange psychic abilities, which he uses to help track down a sadistic serial killer picking off his classmates. It’s a little bit of SCREAM with some THE FURY thrown in for extra juice. But this isn’t just some basic slasher rip-off. DEPARTING SENIORS knows and understands its audience, never takes the easy way out, and delivers performances and set pieces you won’t soon forget.
Amir Moini; 2023; USA; 12 Min.
A young man staying in a remote cabin is about to learn that dating app hookups don’t always have a happy ending.
CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, BLOOD
MEMORIES OF THE MOON
Antoine Dricot; 2023; Belgium; 24 min.
Every 21 years the moon appears in the sky for one night full of mystery and surprises. Élodie just has to survive to see the sun again.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
Gus Reed; 2022; USA; 17 min.
Anson and his grief-stricken boyfriend visit a desert resort where nothing is as it seems.
CW: BLOOD, OTHER- DISCUSSION OF CHILD DEATH
Maria Hatzakou; 2021; Greece; 22 min.
Sisterly bonds are tested in this supernatural thriller.
CW: BLOOD, IMPLIED VIOLENCE, VULGAR LANGUAGE
Arlen Aguayo Stewart; 2023; Canada; 7:10 min
Have a laugh and freak out with this funny, horror-adjacent film centering on the Chilean queer diaspora where displacement, survivor’s guilt, and religious surveillance collide.
THE BLACKNESS [LA NEGRURA]
José Joaquín Gutiérrez Pérez; 2023; Mexico;11 min
A haunting, wordless tale in a stark setting where old and young come together. Would desire dare you to take a walk into La Negrura?
CW: NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
(Michael V. Smith, Canada, 2022, 77 min) CW: DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
THE FLOATING MAN is an intimate self-portrait by self-described sissy and writer, Michael V. Smith. This unique blend of documentary, road trip, and public performance art examines Smith’s provocative art and lifetime of untrue stories about his body. A Featured project includes Smith on a road trip through British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, searching for famed Canadian singer Joni Mitchell, all the while dressed as Peanut the Clown. The question here being, What does a particular body tell us about the world?
(Madeleine Lim, US, 2022, 64 min)
The origins of Black Power, AIDS activism, Afro- and Indigenous futurisms, and marriage equality all shared a driving force: Jewelle Gomez. In Jewelle: A Just Vision, award-winning filmmaker Madeleine Lim shows the life of the quiet yet persistent activist and writer. Gomez is an Ioway and Wampanoag, African American, and Cape Verdean femme lesbian, a constant creator, and a founder of renowned organizations. Her prophetic 1991 novel, The Gilda Stories, shaped Black speculative fiction, from 1850s slavery through 2050s climate catastrophe. Her plays reclaim queer Black ancestors, including James Baldwin in Waiting for Giovanni (2011). Her poems in Still Water (2022) elucidate Native American life. Jewelle: A Just Vision anchors Gomez’s struggles where the revolutions of our time converge.
(Jennifer Markowitz, Canada, 2023, 79 min) CW: DISCUSSION OF SELF HARM, DISCUSSION OF BULLYING, MISGENDERING
Nestled in the woods of Alberta, Canada, sits camp fYrefly, a summer camp for LGBTQIA2S+ teens, set away from the fierce political battle currently being waged against queer expression and gender identity. SUMMER QAMP follows a group of campers from their home life to the freedom of settling into an all-queer youth summer camp. From the outset, this film is filled with the excitement and nervousness that comes with being in an all-queer space for the first time, creating community, and finding mentors in the queer counselors. This heartwarming documentary shows the camp as a much-needed respite for the queer youth community, a place to let your guard down and be freely yourself.
Plays with TRANSENDERS
(Diane Russo Cheng, US, 2023, 10 min)
An intimate look into Skate Like A Girl, a nonprofit skateboarding organization, through the eyes of Alexa, a trans woman skateboarder and mentor in Seattle. Trailer >
(Nate Dushku, US, 2023, 90 min) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, NUDITY, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DEPICTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
In this smart and erotic psychological thriller from alumni filmmaker Nate Dushku, we follow bird watcher Kristian Brooks as he invades a nude queer campground in New Hampshire, manipulating others to serve his dark fetish while blurring the line between protagonist and antagonist. For fans of Stranger By the Lake, BIRDER captivates and challenges its audience, bringing into conversation questions of consent and overt sexuality. Actor Michael Emery gives a complex and enigmatic lead performance that is equal parts sexy and terrifying, and the naturalistic setting and minimalistic filmmaking style only further serve this sophisticated and wildly adventurous narrative.
(Aram Kwon, South Korea, 2022, 78 min, in Korean with English subtitles) CW: DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE
“Brother” Myung-woo has been running Lesbos, South Korea’s first Lesbian bar, since 1996. And while this queer haven is definitely paradise, it’s certainly no island. Aram Kwon’s sensitive and hilarious documentary ruminates on memory and space, tracing the evolution of lesbian and queer spaces in South Korea from the 1970s to today. You’ll fall in love with the firecracker of a protagonist Myung-woo as Kwon centers their irreplaceable impact as well as the very present threats to queer survival posed by COVID, transphobic violence, and homophobic government policy. While HOME GROUND starts with a Korean lesbian bar, it transcends time and place to demonstrate the vital need for commonality shared by all lesbian, gender non-conforming, transgender, and queer people everywhere.
…with teen panel after the screening!
THE LAST GAY IN INDIANA
Olivia Fouser; 2021; USA; 14 min
Set in a future where Mike Pence has won the Presidency on the promise to Make America Straight Again, he has succeeded in converting everyone in the United States to being straight; all, except one.
CW: HOMOPHOBIC LANGUAGE, OTHER, CONVERSION CAMP, ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY
PIECE BY PIECE
Reza Rasouli; 2023; Austria; 8 min; German with English subtitles
A tender look at a conversation between two friends who learn how to become more open..
MY LIFE AT THE BEGINNING
Ana Puentes Margarito, 2023, Spain, 15 min Spanish
A touching time in the life of a young trans child with their family in Madrid, Spain.
Julia Berkey; 2023; USA; 13 min
Local to Seattle, Berkey captures the story of a different type of outcast: three friends against the world of hormonal heterosexual teenagers and the teachers that care more about statistics than they do students.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE
Michael Dean Wilkins; 2022; USA; 9min
As Bruno comes of age, he must figure out the best way to tell his Latino father that he has a boyfriend.
ZEKE’S MAGIC PLANT SHOP
Lucas Marchi & Keaton Hanna; 2023; USA;4 min
In this delightful animated world of wizards and plants, love dares to conquer a magic spell gone wrong!
TO ALL THAT WE ARE
Kristian Cahatol, 2023, Canada, 5 min
Soft, dreamy colors blend with music and dance sequences to celebrate non-binary youth, first loves, andqueer self-love.
Maudie Schmidt, Jaxson Power; 2023; USA; 19 min
Carly tries to survive the first day of high school with her trusted dolls by her side. The life-sized imagined versions of them guide her and show Carly what she’s been missing all this time right under her nose.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, OTHER, BULLYING
Kamee Abrahamian; 2022; Canada; 8 min. in Armenian and English, with English subtitles
In the midst of mounting pressure to join an anti-regime uprising, Badaskhan discovers coded messages from their ancestors through a mysterious plant growing in their safe house.
FLORES DEL OTRO PATIO
Jorge Cadena; 2022; Switzerland; 15 min. Spanish, with English subtitles
In northern Colombia, a group of queer activists use extravagant performative actions to denounce the disastrous exploitation enacted through the country’s largest coal mine.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, IMPLIED VIOLENCE
Daniel McIntyre; 2023; Canada; 7 min.
Commerce presents a first hand account of the psychic damage done by the recent spate of tech industry layoffs. Through a combination of artificial intelligence and handheld 16mm film, Commerce questions the ways in which we give authority to systems and CEOs.
CW: NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, VULGAR LANGUAGE
THIS ONE IS FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Miguel Melo; 2022; USA; 17 min.
When a young artist sets out to make a portrait of Doña Vicky, they get a lesson in the importance of community and home.
GENITAL REVEAL PARTY
Hogan Seidel; 2022; USA; 7 min.
An exploration of the gender binary, violence, climate disaster, and the second coming of Christ. A 3D spectacle for the whole family! (Note: if you have red/blue 3D glasses, that will make the viewing all the more fun!)
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE
BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL
Achiro P. Olwoch; 2023; USA; 17 min.
Defying censorship, three LGBTQ+ playwrights from Kenya and Uganda navigate acceptance and resistance as their plays are staged at the Criminal Queerness Festival in NYC.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, IMPLIED VIOLENCE
EVAN EVER AFTER
Ariel Mahler & Radha Mehta; USA; 2022; 15 min.
Evan Bialosuknia broke barriers as Florida’s first transgender homecoming queen. Now, she has to stand up for her rights in the face of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bills.
CW: DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE, VULGAR LANGUAGE
3pm | Teen Panel w/ Teen Tix & NFFTY
We’re partnering with our friends at NFFTY and Teen Tix for an informative panel for teens, featuring an assortment of teen filmmakers and industry professionals. The goal of the panel is to offer avenues for teens to see their projects developed, local resources that can help them do just that, while building the kind of community one needs to pull a piece of art together.
This is a 45-minute panel that begins precisely at 3pm.
(V.T. Nayani; 2022; Canada; 86 min.; in English, French, Mohawk, Persian, and Tamil with English subtitles) CW: DISCUSSION OF ALCOHOLISM
A coming-of-adulthood drama about two women falling in love for the first time. THIS PLACE is the story of Malai (Priya Guns), who is a Tamil math major at the University of Toronto, and Kawenniióhstha (Devery Jacobs, Reservation Dogs), who is half-Iranian, half-Mohawk and has just moved to Toronto with aspirations of being a poet. Raised by her single mother, Kawenniióhstha never knew her dad and struggles to make contact with him in their new shared city. Malai tries to reconcile with her alcoholic father as he battles terminal cancer, while navigating her older brother’s refusal to do the same. The two women, through their newly discovered intimate relationship, must commit to their love, and new opportunities, in this poignant and contemporary take on first love.
Brit Fryer & Noah Schamus; USA; 2022; 15 min
Personal interviews blend with dramatized recreations to explore the complicated relationships between queer community and providers of gender affirming care.
HONEY & MILK
Lisa “Dash” Donato; USA; 2023; 14 min
Grayson and Alice spend one final weekend together dismantling their domestic life as Grayson embarks on a journey of gender expansion.
CW: NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, VULGAR LANGUAGE
Ileana Lam; USA; 2023; 2 min
This stream of consciousness animated short explores emotions before and after top surgery.
AGENTS OF CHANGE, PROJECT: POLYMER
Jett Garrison; 2023; USA; 15 min.
A spy caper starring an all queer and trans cast with an environmentally conscious message.
PASSION OF X
Camille Ora-Nicole Elston; USA; 2023; 18 min
A visual poetry anthology highlighting the joy, freedom, and expanded understanding of being a trans, nonbinary, or genderqueer person of color.
Davis Alexander James & Mx.Roti; USA; 2022; 5 min.
An intimate look at the complexity of one Black trans person’s gender expression from the social cornerstone of the neighborhood barbershop to the privacy of the bedroom.
CW: DRUGS/DRUG USE
Fiori van Rijswijk; USA; 2022; 14 min
30-something-year-old Quinn expects his transition and second foray into puberty to be nothing short of euphoric, but in a world where his anxieties and emotional baggage talk back to him, he realizes the road to becoming a self-made man comes with its own set of self-made problems.
CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, NEEDLES, HOMOPHOBIC SLURS
HOW TO CARRY WATER
Sasha Wortzel; USA; 2022; 15 min
This punk rock fairytale doubles as a portrait of Shoog McDaniel, a fat, queer, and disabled photographer working in and around northern Florida’s vast network of freshwater springs, the state’s source of precious drinking water. Bringing Shoog’s photography to life, the film immerses audiences in a world of fat beauty and liberation, one in which marginalized bodies, including bodies of water, are sacred.
FRUITBOWL PODCAST PRESENTS: MOVIE MUSICALS MADE ME GAY
with performance by Miss Monday Mourning and screening of CABARET (all for one ticket price)
(David Quantic, US, 2023, 60 min) (not incl. Cabaret)
“For many of us who grew up gay in rural places in the pre-internet age, movie musicals often served as a kind of rainbow colored bat-signal inviting us to magical worlds where people would burst out into song and implied or explicit examples of queerness were often embraced and even celebrated.
“This year, for his 50th birthday, SQFF veteran filmmaker and podcaster Dave Quantic (himself a native of small-town Kansas) created an original event for his close friends titled Movie Musicals Made Me Gay: a presentation of clips from different movies he has watched countless times throughout his life, accompanied by personal reflections about how the films helped him come of age and, eventually, come out.
“Now, Dave brings this unique live event to SQFF for its first-ever public presentation, featuring clips from The Wizard of Oz, Xanadu, Hair, A Chorus Line, and many more. Plus, a live performance by Seattle drag sensation Miss Monday Mourning, followed by a special presentation of Bob Fosse’s legendary CABARET! Don’t miss this unique, one of a kind event!”
(Zaida Carmona; Spain; 2023; 89 min; in Spanish with English subtitles) CW: NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
30-year-old Zaida’s breakup kicks her into action to move back to the city. It’s all about finding her way, falling in and out of love as she goes from relationship to relationship, ex-girlfriend to ex-girlfriend, in this messy take on modern love inspired by the director’s friend circle and the filmmaker Éric Rohmer. With an electropop soundtrack, GIRLFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS is a lesbian sitcom with a touch of drama that takes place in the beds, bathrooms, and clubs of Barcelona!
(Goran Stolevski; North Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Kosovo; 2023; 107 min; in Macedonian, Romany, and Albanian with English subtitles) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, GRAPHIC VIOLENCE, NUDITY, BLOOD, DRUGS/DRUG USE, DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE
From acclaimed filmmaker Goran Stolevski (You Won’t Be Alone, Of an Age) comes a story exploring the universal truths of family, both the ones we’re born into and the ones we find for ourselves. Dita and Toni, her gay friend, have created a safe haven for a queer family of “misfit toys.” When Dita’s girlfriend passes away she is forced to raise her two daughters alone, much to her reluctance. Winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival, HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS, is a visceral story shot in vérité style that shows a chosen family fighting to stay together despite the odds.
(Tunde Skovran; 2023; Romania; 103 min.; in English, Tswana, and Xhosa with English subtitles) CW: DISCUSSION OF NON-CONSENSUAL SURGERY, RELIGIOUS HATE SPEECH
Sharon-Rose Khumalo, a South African beauty queen, learns to deal with gender dysphoria after finding out she is intersex with the guidance of somebody just like her; Dimakatso Sebidi, a masculine-presenting intersex activist whose own path is both parallel and divergent. WHO I AM NOT offers a personal and intimate exploration of truth, faith, belonging, and vibrant joy, presenting an intimate look at the struggle of living in a male-female world when you are born in-between. This film is one of the few documentaries giving a voice to the long-ignored and mostly silent two percent of the world’s population: the intersex community.
Crushes on classmates, earthquakes and COVID-interrupting hookups, and trying to love while straining against the expectations of parents and the state, oh my! Get messy with these eight queer, Asian stories. Curated by Hannah Baek.
CONFUSION OF THE AFTERNOON [午後的迷茫]
Yung-Chieh Lee; 2023; Taiwan; 3 min.
A boy’s imagination transforms the innocent touches and gazes of an afternoon playing poker into a sublime fantasy.
Emily May Jampel; 2022; USA; 9 min.
Two Asian-American teens serendipitously connect in the bathroom of a Chinese restaurant while having dinner with their families.
Hiroki Iwasa; 2021; Japan; 14 min.; in Japanese with English subtitles
A hookup becomes anything but ordinary when an earthquake hits.
CW: NUDITY, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
Bianca Catbagan; 2023; Philippines; 7 min.; in English, French, and Tagalog with English subtitles
Speaking through a building intercom, Miké unexpectedly connects with a stranger.
WILL YOU LOOK AT ME [当我望向你的时候]
Shuli Huang; 2022; China; 20 min.; in Mandarin with English subtitles
A long-overdue conversation with the filmmaker’s mother plunges the pair into a quest for acceptance and love.
CW: CONVERSATION BETWEEN MOTHER AND SON REGARDING HIS SEXUALITY MAY BE UPSETTING TO SOME VIEWERS
Rraine Hanson; 2022; USA; 12 min.; in English and Mandarin with English subtitles
A childhood memory unleashes an experimental meditation on gender queerness and the blurred lines between influence, desire, and obsession.
FUTURE FLOWERS [未来的花朵]
Hao Zhou; 2022; China; 10 min.; in Mandarin with English subtitles
A queer woman and queer man in a sham marriage ambivalently follow a propagandistic program that nudges them toward a single goal.
Popo Fan; 2023; Germany; 14 min.; in English, German, and Mandarin with English subtitles
Philosophy student Ping’s plan to have a socially distanced hookup mid-pandemic is derailed by a particular book.
CW: DRUGS/DRUG USE, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DEPICTION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE, NUDITY
(Sacha Polak; 2023; Netherlands; 102 min) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, NUDITY, DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE, EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
The scars on Franky’s body are a constant reminder of the question she has no answer to: who set the pub fire that burned her as she slept 15 years ago? Amidst her quest for revenge, she falls for Florence, a suicidal patient at the hospital Franky nurses at. Through their relationship, Franky discovers her sexuality and runs away from home to escape her unaccepting family. SILVER HAZE is an intimate drama about confronting traumas of the past, finding chosen family, and learning to let go of anger in order to love again. Vicky Knight gives a powerhouse performance as Franky, providing the emotional anchor of this complex character study that won the Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Christopher Cunetto; 2022; United States; 15 minutes
A sub must decide what to do when their dom unexpectedly reinterprets the rules of their game.
FIRE AT THE LAKE
Pierre Menahem; 2022; France; French with English subtitles; 15 minutes
After finding his elderly mother unconscious, Felix seeks solace in the form of an online hookup.
Maissa Lihedheb; 2022; Germany; German with English subtitles; 18 minutes
A casual hook up takes an unexpected turn in this meditation on race, politics, and history.
CHRISTOPHER AT SEA
Tom C J Brown; 2022; France; 20 minutes
Christopher is a lonely passenger on a cargo ship until he has a chance encounter with a fellow passenger.
Julien Cadieux; 2021; Canada; 7 minutes
Cloaked in the anonymity of the moon, two men hook up in the dunes of an Acadian beach.
Chris Coats; 2022; US; 12 minutes
Lukas Gage (White Lotus) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Love, Simon) play drifters that have a chance meeting, forever altering their lives.
CW: NON-EXPLICIT AND EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
(Silvia Del Carmen Castaños & Estefanía Contreras; 2023; USA; 77 min.; in English and Spanish with English subtitles) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
This charming, intimate documentary focuses on two close friends in Laredo, Texas, experiencing the joys and angst of their late adolescence. They face added pressures stemming from racism, transphobia and immigration issues as they come of age in an uncertain situation. Despite the heavy political issues discussed, this film somehow remains both joyous and whimsical. More than anything, it’s about the power of friendships and community, as these two young people meet their hardships head-on with the support of each other and their delightful queer circle of friends.
HUMMINGBIRDS is a disarmingly sweet slice of life, offering a unique perspective and a lot of laughter.
(Cinder Chou; 2022; USA; 82 min.) CW: NUDITY, IMPLIED VIOLENCE
An art heist caper comedy becomes an action rom com in this delightful first feature from Cinder Chou. Juniper, an insecure martial artist, must find out the origins of a painting after two thieves try to steal it from her. When she meets Penny, another fighter, they become involved in the mystery, and they connect over what they’ve both been hiding inside. Juniper finds that, in order to become the person she wants to be, she has to unlearn what she’s been taught, unearth forgotten heroines, and ultimately reshape her perspective. Enjoy this delightful dramedy.
(Zeno Graton; 2023; Belgium/France; 83 min.; in French with English subtitles)
Inside a youth correctional facility in Belgium, pensive teenager Joe is both excited about his upcoming release and apprehensive about what awaits him. But his thoughts of freedom are derailed by the arrival of William in the next cell. Their spark is instantaneous, but tightly constrained by their circumstances. The two are soon stealing secret moments to seize frantic affection. As Joe’s release approaches, he begins to wonder whether liberty will come at too high a cost. The film’s French title, Le Paradis, nails the irony. The two leads, Khalil Gharbia (the ingénue in 2022’s Peter Von Kant) and Julien de Saint Jean (who also features in LIE WITH ME at this year’s festival), deliver terrific, smoldering tension.
Join Warner Bros. Discovery for an in-depth conversation on breaking into the TV industry through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion. Grace Moss, VP Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and global head of Pipeline Programs, will give a comprehensive overview of WBD’s suite of pipeline programs and efforts to amplify underrepresented voices. This promises to be an informative dialogue on creating pathways for emerging content creators.
(Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson, 2022, USA, 92 min.) CW: DISCUSSION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE, DEPICTION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE, OTHER HISTORICAL FOOTAGE OF RACISM AND VIOLENCE
Going to Mars is not just a documentary, it’s a journey that takes us through the life and mindscape of legendary poet Nikki Giovanni. Nikki’s voice guides us across time and space, through dreams and memories of her life spanning decades of American history. Going to Mars reimagines her most iconic work with lyrical collages of archival footage, home movies, interviews and footage from the present day. Always keeping hold of possibility, Nikki urges us to dream of a better future where equity and justice reign, where Black women lead. She calls us to action with an unforgettable mantra: We’re going to Mars.
(Ali Grant; 2023; Canada; 47 min.) CW: DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
57-year-old self-identified butch lesbian Sarah has some tough decisions to make after she tests positive for the BRCA gene, a mutation that predisposes her to breast cancer. Deciding on a preventative double mastectomy, she embarks on a journey to explore her identity by looking back at her complicated relationship to Judaism, her family history, partnerships, friendships, and parenthood.
Talking with her long-term partner Tamara and their friends at a dinner party in their home, Sarah asks questions about how they feel about their breasts and their identities. It’s not always a simple answer and each one has a unique response. Sarah finds that she has to decide what’s right for her and discovers interesting new ways to look at her body. Not Quite That is a sensitive and intimate portrait of the choices we must make to live in the world as ourselves.
GREETINGS FROM WASHINGTON, D.C.
Lucy Winer; 1981; USA; 29 min.
On October 14, 1979, thousands of people converged onto Washington, D.C. for the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Director Lucy Winer (Silent Pioneers) and her crew celebrates the community of diverse queer activists from across the country who came together to take a unified stand for our rights. This new restoration shows how far our community has come and how far we still have to go.
TONY & DENISE: CINEMATIC MEMOIR OF DENISE D’ANNE
Brian J Favorite; 2022; USA; 27 min.
Denise D’Anne started life in a Brooklyn Orphanage, joined the army, transitioned in the late 1960s, and became a prominent labor and gender activist throughout the 1970s. In this “cinematic-memoir-love-letter” to Denise, director Brian J Favorite (The Queendom of Tonga) brings her autobiography Going the Distance: The Life of Denise D’Anne to life using animation and archival photos.
CW: DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
SURVIVING VOICES – AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT PANEL MAKERS
Jörg Fockele; 2023; USA: 25 min.
In the midst of the 1980s AIDS crisis, the community poured its grief and pain into the creation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Now consisting of 50,000 panels, the quilt is a monument to our ability to find strength through love. Surviving Voices captures the personal and political history of the quilt through stories of both the keepers of the quilt and the survivors who have made their own panels.
(Daishi Matsunaga; 2022; Japan; 120 min. Japanese, with English subtitles) CW: EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS
Confident, out, magazine editor Kosuke (Ryohei Suzuki) can’t help but flirt with his new personal trainer, the sparkling Ryuta (Hao Miyazawa). Their obvious attraction quickly deepens into a vulnerable and intimate bond that will redefine each of their notions of love, for oneself, one’s partner, and one’s family. A character drama crackling with Suzuki and Miyazawa’s on-screen chemistry, Egoist is both achingly sad and beautifully lively. Its naturalist style imbues lightness and humor into the deepest of investigations into autonomy, dependency, and loyalty. Making waves in Asia for its authentic and intimate depictions of sex between men, Egoist is a must-see standout of this year’s festival circuit.
(Florent Gouëlou; 2022; France; 103 min.; in French with English subtitles) CW: IMPLIED VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF TRANSPHOBIC VIOLENCE
Two worlds collide in this romantic drama about a wildly charismatic Parisian drag queen and a sensitive, soft-spoken visual artist looking for subjects to photograph. Baptiste first meets Cookie Kunty at a public health site where he and his girlfriend frequently volunteer, and is immediately struck by her sparkling beauty and stage presence. Three Nights a Week blends queer joy and queer melancholy to portray a series of love stories between the two main characters, and between each of them and their respective crafts. The result is a captivating, visually striking film about artistic inspiration, an artist’s deep connection and commitment to their art practice, and the delicate, vulnerable moments that define the early stages of intimacy.
(Corey Sherman; 2023; USA; 90 min.)
We all remember the first time we had feelings for someone we thought made us different, or weird—the circumstances, the emotions, the everything. BIG BOYS is all about that moment, the time and place you felt your world explode into new and frightening possibilities. Isaac Krasner gives a breakout performance as Jamie, a ‘big boy’ who, while on a camping trip with his cocky brother (Taj Cross), cousin (Dora Madison), and her new boyfriend (David Johnson III), discovers he might just have feelings for someone of the same sex—and that is the older manly boyfriend of his cousin that he admires. The Audience Choice winner at Outfest, Big Boys is as warm as it is hysterical, as honest as it is astute, and one of the most enjoyable queer films in recent memory. Prepare to laugh, squirm, and relive your most cringey moments of self-discovery!
(Rose Troche; 1994; USA; 84 min)
In celebration of our presentation of the inaugural Queer Luminary Award to Guinevere Turner, we’re screening the iconic queer romantic comedy, Go Fish, one of the most important and influential queer films of the past (almost) thirty years.
After leaving behind her girlfriend to attend college in Chicago, young lesbian Max West (Guinevere Turner) is introduced to Ely (V.S. Brodie), a slightly older woman with quirky habits. While Max and Ely quickly develop an attraction to each another, a poorly timed phone call from Max’s long-distance girlfriend, Kate, brings things to an abrupt halt. Meanwhile Max’s roommate, Kia (T. Wendy McMillan), helps her girlfriend, Evy (Migdalia Melendez), cope with some tough times at home. You don’t want to miss this stone cold queer classic!
(Erica Tremblay; 2023; USA; 90 min.) CW: VULGAR LANGUAGE, NUDITY, IMPLIED VIOLENCE, BLOOD, NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DISCUSSION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE, DISCUSSION OF RACIAL VIOLENCE
Hard-working queer Jax (Lily Gladstone, Reservation Dogs, Killers of the Flower Moon) takes care of her teenage niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma. When Jax’s sister goes missing, she goes in search of answers, hitting many roadblocks from local law enforcement and their disinterest in finding her.As she tries to protect Roki from the truth, she helps her prepare to dance at the powwow, but instead all hell breaks loose and the two end up on the run. As the mystery unfolds, Jax fights for custody of Roki and faces the difficult realities of a broken colonized system that is not on Jax’s side.
With a direction from award-winning Erica Tremblay (In the Turn, SQFF 2014) of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation, Fancy Dance is an unforgettably gripping psychological drama that explores a failed justice system and the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
(Lasse Hallström; 2022; Sweden; 120 min)
Hilma af Klint is thought of as one of the first abstract artists of the Western world, even though many people have never heard of her and only in the recent past has her work been shown at the Tate Modern in London and Guggenheim in New York. Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, My Life as a Dog) has dived into af Klint’s extraordinary life and work, portraying her (via real-life mother and daughter Lena Olin and Tora Hallström) as a focused artist and mystic who chose to hide her work for two decades after her death, predicting that only audiences of the future would be ready to experience it. A biopic with heart, Hilma portrays an artist obsessed with her craft and a lesbian with a collective of female friends who practiced mysticism and worked closely with Hilma to create her incredible visions as well as their own.