Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Calgary’s gay and lesbian film fest turns 10

Fairy Tales X promises parties and porn


Chances are that most of the 10th birthday celebrations you once attended were of the Saturday afternoon variety. They probably involved cake, ice cream and other goodies.

Rest assured, there’s a different kind of fun to be had at the 10th birthday of Fairy Tales, Calgary’s annual International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. From May 24 to Jun 5, Fairy Tales X will celebrate with parties, celebs and even a little porn.

This year the festival will deliver 10 days of the best of gay and lesbian cinema from Canada around the world, including films from South Korea, Iceland, South Africa, France and Israel. The festival will also showcase established and burgeoning Canadian talent and Alberta filmmakers

“You can expect to see a variety of shorts, feature-length narrative films and short and feature-length documentaries that are brand new to the festival scene,” says Fairy Tales Festival programming director, Matt Salton. Some old favourites will also be brought back for a new generation of festival-goers, he adds.

And for those who are curious about this year’s theme, the ‘X’ in Fairy Tales X appears to have a second, sexy meaning, apart from denoting the festival’s 10th season.

“Besides xylophones and x-rays the next thing that comes to mind is X-rated,” says Salton. “Besides there aren’t enough queer movies out there to fill a whole 10 days based on xylophones and x-rays… yet. So yeah, we decided to explore the nature of pornographic or at least sexually graphic material on film and whether or not that is the last frontier for queer filmmakers to make an undeniable queer stamp on their work.”

Over the past 10 years, Fairy Tales has provided the gay and lesbian community of Calgary — and Alberta — with the opportunity to see films that speak about their collective and individual experiences as gays and lesbians. It has grown from a two-day film festival to a 10-day film festival and is now the second largest in Calgary.

Gordon Sombrowski, president of the Fairytales Presentation Society, says as Fairy Tales has grown, it has been able to show a larger selection of diverse films. The biggest change has been the addition of panel discussions, geared towards filmmakers as artists and the film-goer as film aficionado.

“The panel discussions… are curated with the idea of meeting a specific curatorial objective that engages the intellectual and aesthetic side of film making and film viewing,” says Sombrowski. “Each year we seek to further explore the world of queer Canadian film and discover more about it.”

He says he sees the festival expanding beyond film in the future.

“I also hope that we will see a festival that is in the forefront of engaging artists and helping and challenging them to create art, which we will then assist them in disseminating throughout the world by way of collaboration with other festivals.”

The Fairy Tales 10th Birthday Bash kicks off at 7 pm on Sat, May 24 at the Auburn Saloon and will feature musical performances, slide shows and a silent auction.

Other events you won’t want to miss are Brunch with Charlie David & Thea Gil at the Siding Café/Art Central, Sat May 21, and the It’s a Wrap Party at the Jupiter room on Jun 5.