The OUTeast Queer Film Festival celebrates its sophomore year June 20 to 23 in Halifax.
Festival organizers Krista Davis, Jenna Dufton and Andria Wilson are tickled pink with their stellar lineup of short and feature-length films and art exhibitions. This year’s festival also gives a nod to Halifax’s queer history.
Canadian artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay‘s exhibition I Have Come to Ask You to Tell Me Everything You Know About the Night opens the festival in The Khyber’s Turret room, the site of one of Halifax’s first gay bars.
“We want to create a giant queer film experience that you can’t just get watching a film on your big flat-screen at home,” Davis says. “Benny’s exhibition is kind of a metaphor for this.”
Davis says the entire exhibit floor will be covered in sparkles to coat the shoes of attendees and eventually create a trail of glitter from The Khyber to Neptune Studios, for the opening gala screening of Jeffrey Schwarz’s I Am Divine June 20.
“The idea is that the glitter is so copious when the audiences enter to watch the video they can’t help but step on it,” Davis says. “And when they leave, in a metaphorically rich gesture, they take the queer history of the space beyond the walls, out into the streets, almost infinitely.”
The Neptune Theatre lobby will also host screenings of Vivek Shraya’s What I Love About Being Queer. Shraya will attend – and he wants to know what Halifax folks love about being queer.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Young, OUTeast’s filmmaker-in-residence, will present her thesis film, Scarlines, as part of the shorts program on June 23. Young will also discuss her latest project, about trans healthcare.
“I’m currently working on a film that documents the accessibility of trans-related healthcare and surgeries on a local and national level,” Young says. “The majority of my work focuses on contemporary queer themes and issues, and right now, I am interested in accessible funding for sexual reassignment surgery, as it is not currently covered by [Nova Scotia Health Insurance].”
After the town’s been trampled with glitter and dozens of films have been shared, OUTeast Film Festival organizers will cap the weekend with the closing gala feature, GBF, a film by Darren Stein (director of Jawbreaker).
Festival organizers then want theatregoers to revisit their teenage years and take part in the Big Gay Prom on June 22.
“It’s the prom you never had,” Davis says.
For the full schedule, go to outeastfilmfest.com.