With Prop 8, California’s same-sex marriage ballot measure in the news lately, the timing for Love Exiled from filmmaker’s Roger Chin and Jim VanDeventer couldn’t be better. Chronicling the stories of four same-sex couples from the United States who immigrated to Canada to have their relationships fully recognized, the short plays as part of From Coast to Coast is Queer at the 2010 Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
But while the subject matter probably isn’t surprising given the extensive media coverage Prop 8 has received, what is surprising is that this duo (pictured right) has no connection to what is going on south of the border other than a desire to draw attention to the possibility this could happen anywhere, including Canada.
“If a majority can revoke the rights of a minority, everybody should be concerned,” said Chin. “Even the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms contains the ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ so it can happen here too.”
Chin is quick to point out that indeed it has already happened when between 2000 and 2005 the Province of Alberta defined marriage as that between a man and a woman. “As Martin Luther King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
As a couple in real life, Chin and VanDeventer found the process of creating their first film for the Queer Film Festival together both difficult and rewarding.
“In terms of personality and style, Jim and I complement each other,” said Chin. “It can be difficult at times but we manage to work things out because we are both very creative. So many times we’ll be in a situation and the same quirky random thoughts would cross our minds. It’s like our brains are linked together.”
“Ditto, I was thinking the exact same thing,” confirmed VanDeventer.
Ecstatic with the idea of sharing their film with family and friends at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Chin and VanDeventer also have their eye on other opportunities a little further afield, including interest from the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
“Given that Australia has a constitutional amendment like the US defining marriage to be between “a man and a woman”, we would think that our film would be relevant to their experience,” said VanDeventer.
As for screening their movie in the United States, although they would hope to do so, lack of funding and higher submission fees may mean that those that might benefit from the movie the most might not get to see it. And that would be another injustice.
Saturday, August 21 @ 6:30pm (part of From Coast to Coast is Queer)
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
On November 4th, 2008, three states – California, Florida and Arizona – voted to amend their constitutions, denying and revoking the rights of same-sex couples to marry. With Canadian allies, gay American families rally at a Vancouver demonstration to protest these amendments that persecute the LGBTQ community. Four families share their stories of how they met, their decision to escape to freedom in Canada, their Canadian experience and their dreams of returning to their home country, family and friends.
Visit http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca for more information.