The Vancouver Queer Film Festival is one of the city’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ2 film and art.
For the second year in a row, the festival will be highlighting the work of Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous artists with projecting brilliance: A two-spirit showcase.
Xtra spoke to program director and projecting brilliance curator Justin Ducharme about what audiences can expect to see during this year’s showcase.
Xtra: What is projecting brilliance: A two-spirit showcase?
Ducharme: With projecting brilliance, I really wanted it to be this umbrella of different types of film and art that celebrates all the brilliance that Two-Spirit Indigenous queer artists hold within themselves.
We are incorporating multi-disciplinary elements from literary, music and performance because there are really excellent Two-Spirit queer people who are expanding beyond genre, beyond medium and are doing really great things.
Xtra: What can audiences expect to see this year?
Ducharme: There’s not one thing that ties all of projecting brilliance together — they’re all incredibly different and that’s one of my favourite things about it.
Our shorts program, all our relations: explorations of indigiqueer kinship, showcases a mix of documentary and narrative film that allows audiences to explore the nuance of human and non-human relationships on screen.
An evening of queer indigenous performance is a meeting of cinema and performance and features two different selections: Anthony Hudson’s Looking For Tiger Lily and Beric Manywounds’ Descent – The Twins – Metamorphosis.
This year we will also have a pop-up gallery during the festival, running, running trees go by…, in collaboration with artist Zachery Longboy. This free gallery is a collection of projected video, films, paintings and drawings that Longboy has made.
Xtra: Why is it so important to showcase Two-Spirit and Indigenous queer art?
Ducharme: I think that representation goes a long way. Had I seen something like this when I was a young Indigenous person in this country, I probably would have felt differently about myself. I’ve been trying to find myself far too long in stories that were not mine or in characters that never looked like me.
I want these new generations of Two-Spirit Indigenous queer folk to see these different forms of existing and creating, and know that this is possible and that this exists. It’s essentially a gift to my younger self — never underestimate the effect of seeing yourself positively represented on screen.
Xtra: What do you hope audiences take away from this year’s programming?
Ducharme: I hope that queer Indigenous folk, their friends and their family see all of this and enjoy it. And I hope that folks who aren’t seeing themselves represented come and celebrate these works. This work is there to start a dialogue, so even if you think that it might not be for you, I welcome you to come and give it a try.