Our guide to the 2011 Vancouver Queer Film Festival

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With the 23rd Annual Vancouver Queer Film Festival set to get underway on August 11, 2011, its time to start planning!

With so many films and parties over the Festival’s eleven days, it’s simply not possible to take in everything. Here is the list of films and parties we’re not going miss this year:

Thursday, 11 August 2011: Opening gala & party

Te Faro

To Faro @ 7pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Mel is a loner-type tomboy who lives with her elderly father and older brother in a rural German town. Well into her twenties, Mel is urged by her brother to start dating. Desperate to keep up appearances with her family, Mel pays her co-worker Miguel to play the part of her boyfriend at family dinners. The lies continue when beautiful teenage Jenny mistakes Mel for a boy and develops an interest in her. To get closer to Jenny, Mel must maintain her persona as an 18-year-old guy. The balance between lies and the new love infatuation threatens to topple at any minute. Trouble soon follows Mel and her deceptions, but along with trouble comes self-discovery and her first real queer crush.

Prelude Opening Gala Party @ 9pm
Five Sixty, 560 Seymour Street
Let’s get this party started!  The opening gala party is always a great way to start the Festival!

View all the shows on August 11th

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Night WatchThe Night Watch @ 7pm
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
What happens when you miss the first half of a film and don’t know why the characters turned out the way they do? So ponders this film’s narrator, Kay. “It’s like a riddle you have to solve,” she muses. And so begins The Night Watch, a restless and fragmented tale of intersecting lives and love—based on the bestselling Sarah Waters novel and produced by the BBC—that follows several wayward Londoners back in time from a post–World War II city to the Blitz bombings.

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister @ 9:30pm
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
This period romance set in 19th century Yorkshire is based on the remarkable real-life coded diaries of Anne Lister, a socialite, landowner and industrialist who pursued the “fairer sex” as single-mindedly as she did scholarly learning, pistol shooting, coal mining and other masculine endeavours.

Flygirl Presents: Girls on Film @ 10pm
Canvas Lounge, 99 Powell Street
This is a perfect ending to a perfect day of Friday’s women’s movies.  The party features DJ Miss M.

View all the shows on August 12th

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Call Me Salma @ 5pmCodependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Rio Theatre
In this unflinching, beautifully shot documentary we follow Salma, a 16-year-old hijra (transwoman) as she ekes out a living performing, pestering and begging in the slums and markets of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

I Am @ 7pm
Director in Attendance
Rio Theatre
Whether you are reading a book or watching a film, a first-person narrator brings greater focus on the feelings and perceptions of a story. Without question, at the crux of Sonali Gulati’s film is her ability to personally connect with her interviewees, thus dissolving the barrier between the camera and subject. The result is an uncommonly intimate documentary about coming out in India.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same @ 9pm – Presented by GayVancouver.Net
Rio Theatre
Follow the adventures of three lesbian space aliens on the planet Earth, and the story of the romance between Jane, a shy greeting card store employee, and Zoinx, the woman Jane does not realize is from outer-space. Meanwhile, two government agents, or ‘Men In Black, ‘ are closely tracking Jane and the aliens while harboring their own secrets.

Sunday, 14 August 2010

Lost in the CrowdLost in the Crowd @ 5pm
Discussion to Follow Film
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Homelessness is an undeniable crisis in Vancouver, as in other major urban centres internationally. But how do issues of homelessness impact queer communities? Lost in the Crowd follows a group of queer and transgender youth living on the streets of New York City. Shot over six years, this documentary reveals a world that few care to see.

Director’s Spotlight: Bruce LaBruce @ 7pm
Director in Attendance
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Provocateur, smut purveyor, transgressor, genius, this is Bruce LaBruce. The Advocate for Fagdom is a newly released documentary in which John Waters, Harmony Korine, Gus Van Sant and others deliver their impressions and confessions, painting a fascinating portrait of the remarkable career of Bruce LaBruce.  Discussion with Bruce LaBruce follows.

Director’s Spotlight: Bruce LaBruce @ 9:30pm
Director in Attendance
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
LaBruce returns for a second showing, this time with his Hustler White, a satiric noir sex comedy about gay hustlers and their customers in Santa Monica, California. The film’s controversial amputee sex scene continues to be widely discussed amongst cinephiles and queer theorists.  Discussion with the director follows.

View all the shows on August 14th

Monday, 15 August 2010


Life & Death of a Porno Gang @ 7pm
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
A young artist named Marko, gathers a ragtag troupe of pansexual performance artists and hits the road with them to tour a heady sex show. Both trouble and passionate fans follow them, and before long each character is engulfed in a world more clandestine and dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

August @ 9:30pm – Presented by GayVancouver.Net
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Is there anything more tempting and troublesome than “ex sex”? Israeli-American writer/director Eldar Rapaport unflinchingly probes this question in his new romantic drama.

View all the shows on August 15th

Tuesday, 16 August 2010

Forever's Going to Start TonightForever’s Going to Start Tonight @ 5pm
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Weaving interviews with archival footage and photos, director Michelle Lawler recreates a mesmerizing tale of drag queen diva Vicki Marlane’s various incarnations, as Marlane rises to the top in the gay heyday clubs of 1970s San Francisco and then finds her home venue at Aunt Charlie’s Lounge, where she continues to perform to this day.

Jamie Travis Retrospective @ 7pm
Director in Attendance
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Parallel Lives is Vancouver’s first retrospective of Travis’ two film trilogies— Patterns and Saddest Children in the World—which are richly detailed, full of colour and symbolism, populated by enigmatic characters that evoke laughter and melancholy, and show hidden sexual desires and the consequences of an ninhibited imagination.

Vancouver Visionaries @ 9:30pm
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
Celebrate a sampling of some of the leaders in queer short filmmaking in Vancouver from the late 1970s (pre-AIDS) to present day.

View all the shows on August 16th

Wednesday, 17 August 2010

Trans-GenerationalTrans-Generational @ 7pm
Vancity Theatre
Three generations of trans or gender-variant people share their unique struggles and successes. Personal acceptance and happiness set the program’s tone, making Trans-Generational a warm counterbalance to a lengthy list of more critical trans narratives that have been made.

Orchids: My Intersex Adventure @ 9:30pm
Cinemark Tinseltown
Come along on this trail-blazing road trip documentary across Australia. With sisters Phoebe and Bonnie behind the wheel, this journey not only covers thousands of kilometres but a self-discovery of intersex bodies, identities and relationships.

View all the shows on August 17th

Thursday, 18 August 2010: Centrepiece gala & party

Grown Up Movie StarGrown Up Movie Star @ 7pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Set on the wintery shores of Newfoundland, this domestic drama moved audiences with its enthralling and desperate coming-of-age storyline.

Centerpiece Gala Party @ 9pm
The Helm, 1180 Howe Street
A new venue for a VQFF party, The Helm hosts the Centerpiece Gala Party.  Admission is free with your Festival membership before 10pm.

View all the shows on August 18th

Friday, 19 August 2010

Madame XMadame X @ 7pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Adam, a misfit “lady boy,” is kidnapped by a homophobic militant political party. After a narrow escape, Adam is taken in by a troupe of tari lenggok dancers. It is under their tutelage that Adam becomes the glamorous (though often melodramatic) superhero Madame X.

Going Down in LA-LA Land @ 9:30pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Based on the novel by Andy Zeffer, Going Down in LA-LA Land is a no-holds-barred look at Hollywood. Adam, a baby-faced New Yorker, moves to Los Angeles to—you guessed it—try to break into acting.

View all the shows on August 19th

Saturday, 20 August 2010

Porn StartPorn Start @ 5pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Local writer/actor/director Mark Kenneth Woods (Deb and Sisi, Designer Gays) is back. In his new mockumentary he draws on a cast of Vancouverite talent, including Michael Venus, Ryan Steele, Rachelle Lachland, Rob Easton, Warren Frey, Dickey Doo and more.

Kink Crusaders @ 6:30pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
For thirty years, they’ve come from around the world for one thing … leather! Director Michael Skiff brings his camera and passionate eye to the 30th Annual Mr. Leather Contest – the world’s oldest leather/fetish competition.

The Coast is Queer @ 9:30pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Can you say eclectic? How about queer-clectic? While the term queer-clectic may not be found in the dictionary, it perfectly describes this year’s local short film program. Come see our own versions of heartache and hope, sex and slapstick, poetry and just the right amount of quirky Vancouver humour.

View all the shows on August 20th

Sunday, 21 August 2010: Closing Gala & Party

Different From Whom?Different From Whom? (Diverso da Chi?) @ 7pm
Empire Granville 7 Cinemas
Director Umberto Riccioni Carteni’s comedic film debut is set in an unnamed Northern Italian city—with vistas that mirror Venetian suburbs—that is in desperate need of political change. Political strategists from the opposing party know that it is time to push a left-leaning candidate forward, and handsome gay-rights campaigner Piero Bonutti is pressed into the mayoral race.

Closing Gala Party @ 9pm
Celebrities Night Club, 1022 Davie Street
DJs Extra Feeling and Taffi Louis team up with Joan-E and Raye Sunshine in this slow dance themed farewell.

View all the shows on August 21st


Individual advance screening tickets and ticket packs are available online or at Little Sisters (1238 Davie Street). Tickets may also be purchased, based on availability, at the theatre where the film is screening. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to the first screening of the day.  Payment at the venue box offices is by cash only. For all the ticketing details visit the Vancouver Queer Film Festival website.

Movie Venues

Festival movies will be screened at the following venues:

  1. Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas, 3rd Floor, 88 West Pender Street
  2. Empire Granville 7 Cinemas, 3rd Floor, 855 Georgia Street
  3. Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street
  4. Rio Theatre, 1660 East Broadway
  5. Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 1400 Johnston Street Granville Island

Festival Updates

We do the best to ensure the accuracy of our guide.  Changes to film screenings or added screenings will be announced on the Vancouver Queer Film Festival website.

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