We get it, you’re busy, and figuring out what to see at a film festival can be overwhelming. But it’s time for the 31st annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF), Western Canada’s largest queer arts event and, tbh, you need to check out this year’s films.
To help narrow down your options, here are some of the festival’s best films to check out based on your mood.
I want Big Dyke Energy — with a twist
Oh babe, listen 👏 to 👏 me 👏. If you’re looking for a psychological thriller with a splash of feminist revenge, then Lizzie is for you. Starring Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, the film is a reimagining of the story of Lizzie Borden, the main suspect in the axe murders of her father and stepmother in Massachusetts in 1892. Come for the drama, stay for the BDE.
Sis, give me pageant, give me representation, give me glamour 💫
Here’s a documentary about a bunch of stunners from down under. Black Divaz gives you a peek behind the scenes of the inaugural Miss First Nation pageant, featuring queer Indigenous Australians. Root for real-life queens and celebrate resilience with a dash of glitter.
I low-key want some daddy rom-com 👀👬
The gay gods heard your request and gifted you An Almost Ordinary Summer. It’s a romantic comedy about two families spending their holidays together. Cute. But then the silver-fox dad from one family and the sensitive, bear-dad from the other reveal they’re engaged! Cuter. Oh, and you are very welcome 💁
I wanna be horrified
First, I have concerns. Second, QVFF has a shorts program called Queer Fear that tackles everything from possibly turning into a monster after a hook-up, to battling supernatural beings during a bike ride. You better be committed to horror because sis, you will be shook.
*whispers* I want choir music, take me to church
Well, hallelu to you, my friend! Gay Chorus Deep South is a documentary that follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as they embark on a tour of America’s Deep South. Their journey is meant to raise awareness of discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ2 people, which increased after the 2016 US election. If you want to feel uplifted while having a good cry, this is definitely the film for you. Plus, it features some stunning choral performances that will make you sing to the heavens. (Well, until this bishop smells you. 👼)
I’m a smart queen, school me 📝
It’s time to ~truly~ pause and hear more about the intersex members of our communities. No Box for Me: An Intersex Story follows two young people on their quest to challenge norms, reclaim their bodies and celebrate their identities.
I want to celebrate powerful queer history ✊
Learn more about Toronto’s Black queer community and its decades of activism — from raising awareness during the AIDS crisis to protesting police brutality — in Our Dance of Revolution. It reveals the beauty of friendship, the power in celebrating cultures and the opportunities that can be reached through collaboration.
I’m in the mood for country music and drag queens 💄🤠
I hear you, friend. Sometimes, we really crave wild things — and that’s what The Gospel of Eureka is for. It’s set in the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s the site of the great Passion Play, a religious Christian performance that re-enacts Christ’s life before he was crucified. It’s also a place of political activism on both sides of the spectrum — including a fight over trans people’s right to access public washrooms. It’s filled with religious play, drag queens and country music. And if that’s your holy trinity, you need to see this movie. 💃
I want to escape Vancouver for two hours
I get that (coughs, the rain does that to people). Immerse yourself in the mystique of 1980s Saigon in Song Lang. It’s a film about a debt collector who works for a loan shark. One day, he is tasked to collect money from a folk opera troupe, but instead meets the young star from the production who says no to his intimidation tactic. For when you want money, but get love instead. 💸