Out On Screen (OOS), presenters of the Vancouver Queer Film and Video festival, has received an additional $15,000 of donated funding from Vancity and the Vancouver Foundation for their Out In Schools project.
Out In Schools, which started as a pilot project last year, takes queer films to high schools across BC’s lower mainland. The extra money will help Out On Screen work in conjunction with gay straight alliances in schools in an effort to reduce isolation and increase the safety of learning environments for queer students and to introduce students to films made about and by queer youth.
“Can you imagine if they had that when we were in school?” says Out On Screen executive director, Drew Dennis. “The thought is just so far from our imaginations. It’s great for queer youth to see positive images of themselves, but it’s really intended for all youth. It’s a way to foster acceptance and diversity.”
As well, the $8,000 grant OOS received last year from The Canada Council for the Arts to start the program has been renewed. That brings total funding for Out In Schools to $23,000 for this year.
“We did about five or six screenings last year in schools,” says Dennis. “We’re hoping to more than double that this year. We already have about 10 schools that have expressed some interest.”