Cinema fans in Vancouver are already gearing up for the big Vancouver International Film Festival this September, which showcases hundreds of films from more than 80 countries. But if you need your film fix a little earlier, there is another option.
The Vancouver Queer Film Festival runs from Aug. 16-Aug. 26, screening the very best in independent queer cinema: 75 films from 16 countries over 10 days at the city’s top theatres. More than 14,000 people attend every year, making it the second largest film festival in the city.
Movie lovers hungry for powerful filmmaking, original characters and independent points of view need look no further. Here are five picks from the festival:
- The Invisible Men: This documentary follows Louie, a Palestinian who moves to Tel Aviv, Israel’s most queer-friendly city. But being an illegal immigrant poses huge challenges. Louie has no passport, no address, no bank accounts and no family – effectively becoming an invisible man. Wednesday, Aug. 22, 7 p.m. at Vancity Theatre
- The Falls: Two young Mormon men on mission discover a love that forces them to choose between religious devotion and desire. This compelling coming of age story should resonate with anyone struggling to live under community and societal expectations. Sunday, Aug. 19, 7 p.m. at Empire Granville 7
- Montreal Girl: From veteran Canadian filmmaker Jeanne Crepeau, this film explores what happens when a fiercely independent, middle-aged woman is evicted from the Montreal apartment she has called home for 25 years. The backdrop of rising rents and gentrification should resonate strongly with Vancouver’s Westenders. Monday, Aug. 20, 7 p.m. at Cineplex International Village
- Romeos: Lukas is a 19-year-old trans man who has just moved to Cologne, Germany, after being raised in a small town – as a girl. The movie explores his struggle to navigate the challenges of day-to-day life, from passing as straight among a group of macho new friends to pursuing romance. Thursday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m. at Empire Granville 7. Thursday, Aug. 23, 7 p.m. at Cineplex International Village
- Nate & Margaret: A 19-year-old gay film student develops an unlikely friendship with a 52-year-old amateur stand-up comedian. Nate and Margaret spend their days in diners and thrift stores – until Nate gets his first boyfriend, putting their friendship to the test. Saturday, Aug. 18, 7 p.m. at Cineplex International Village.
Any other must-see films at the Vancouver Queer Film Fest? Let us know below.