5 Local Shorts To Watch at Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Image from Everything’s Great!

By Rachel Rosenberg

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), Western Canada’s largest queer arts event, takes over downtown cinemas from August 15-25th. The festival always prioritizes local film and performers, and I’ve put together a round-up of suggested titles.

Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny (Love Intersections)

Image from Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny

This documentary focuses on local drag artist Maiden China (Kendell Yan) and her drag family, The House of Rice, as they attempt to create space for their proud Chinese identities within drag culture. Being the children of a diasporic group can involve tightrope walking between different worlds, and Love Intersections expresses it through Maiden China and the stories of other local Chinese artists.

Yellow Peril: Queer Destiny is paired with Father Figure as part of the” Queer And…” showcase, showing at Vancity Theatre on Tuesday, August 20 at 7:00 pm.  Love Intersections, which is a collaborative filmmaking group, is also speaking at SFU Goldcorp World Arts Centre on Saturday 17 August 2019 at 1:00 pm.

Below I’ve chosen some titles from The Coast is Queer, VQFF’s regular local short film showcase. These and more are going to be at the York Theatre on Thursday, August 22 at 7:00 pm.

A Typical Fairytale (Annette Reilly)

A king and queen have an idyllic life and seem to be heading towards an easy, typical happily ever after. That is, until their child unexpectedly challenges their concepts of personal identity. This film is a well-constructed fable with a lovely, well-acted story that is matched with perfect costumes and set design.

Everything’s Great! (Linnea Ritland)

Image from Everything’s Great!

Adorable, whimsical Charlie can’t seem to catch a break when dealing with cute girls or irresponsible parents. Jessica McLeod has great comic timing, and I’d love a longer version of this, something where we really get to know Charlie and her weird family. If you enjoy this, Ritland also has Amateur Dramatics in Coming Into Out Own: Youth Shorts.

Brunch Queen (Sean Horlor & Steve J. Adams)

Image from Brunch Queen

Another one where I’d love a longer film — give us a full length documentary that explores the relationship between Patrice Savoie and Bryan Searle, owners of the now-closed Elbow Room Cafe. Well-known for its sardonic, campy vibe and celebrity clientele, the notorious breakfast spot was popular enough that a musical was created in 2017 about Savoie and Searle’s life together. A vibrant, funny look at the complexities of a long-term relationship (over forty years!) between two very different people, this is a moving homage to two strong, brilliant pillars of the LGBTQ2+ community.

Voicemail (Raymund Santos)

Image from Voicemail

This short focuses on the complicated relationship between two exes, closeted Joel (Aziz Azrael) and rejected Clem (Justin Anthony). The two men haven’t seen each other since university, but when Joel visits Vancouver for a conference, he reaches out. What follows is a sad, thoughtful reunion that stirs up thoughts of sexuality and self- acceptance.

Ô Criatura: Navigating (dis)location (Andréa Monteiro)

I really loved this short interview with a young Latinx woman, Vitoria Monteiro. It touches on issues of identity, heritage and belonging. Vitoria is Latinx and born in Brazil but grew up in Victoria and is “white-passing”. Now living in East Van, she explores how the threads of her identities connect and clash.

Tickets to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival are available now as passes, packs, or singles. Visit VQFF site for the full festival program, and explore their showcases, galas, workshops and more.


Rachel Rosenberg is a writer and library technician who is a proud member of the LGBTQ2+ community. She writes for Book Riot and can be found on Twitter @LibraryRachelR

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