The Coast is Queer: A Little Elbow Room is rich with history and love


A documentary with a hint of a romantic comedy, A Little Elbow Room is rich in history and love.

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A documentary with a hint of a romantic comedy, Mavreen David’s A Little Elbow Room tells both the rich history and the love story behind the famous Vancouver insult-comedy restaurant, Elbow Room Cafe.  The film screens as part of The Coast is Queer at the 2013 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. 

A documentary with a hint of a romantic comedy, A Little Elbow Room is rich in history and love.

A documentary with a hint of a romantic comedy, A Little Elbow Room is rich in history and love.

We asked Mavreen about A Little Elbow Room and what inspires her as a filmmaker:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a non-profit health charity warrior by day, and closet creative by night.  My wife and I live in East Van in our old house with our rescue puppy Nellie. I have always loved the camera, but have recently learned how to shoot moving images and have totally fallen in love with it.

Tell us about A Little Elbow Room.

It is the rich history and love story behind famous Vancouver insult-comedy Elbow Room Cafe. From movie stars to hookers, this place has seen it all!

Who were your early film-making mentors or inspirations?

I have never been a big movie buff, but have always been a fan of the format. I would say that I am most inspired and impressed by the up and coming female directors. I think Sarah Polley is a genius in any genre.

What inspired you to make this film?

I lived in the building above the Elbow Room Cafe and became a regular. I knew there was a story to be told there, aside from the hilarious and notorious verbal abuse that the owners dish out. Here is a couple who has been together for almost four decades, has lived through so much history and I so badly wanted to know how they got to where they are today.

What challenges did you face while making this film?

I was a student, learning how to shoot and record sound and make a film all at once. I spent around four hours shooting and then a week in an editing bay trying to learn how to cut a film as well. It was a bit of a gong show that surprisingly came together in the end!

What’s been the coolest experience so far with the film?

The coolest and most surprising experience that came of this film project was the friendship my wife and I have forged with the subjects in my documentary, Patrick and Bryan. Different generations, different social circles, yet we’ve have formed a wonderful little bond.

Are you a film festival newbie or have you had another film(s) at the Festival?

Being included in the Vancouver Queer Film Festival is a complete thrill. As a first time filmmaker, I would never have expected for this little film to be seen by anybody other than my friends and family!

What are you most excited to do and/or see at this year’s Queer Film Fest?

I cannot wait to take Patrick & Bryan to the screening of my film, to watch them watch themselves and to celebrate their story together!

The Coast is Queer

Plays as part of the 2013 Vancouver Queer Film Festival on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 9pm at the Rio Theatre.  Visit for more information.  GayVancouver.Net is once again proud to sponsor The Coast is Queer Award recognizing a distinguished film from this year’s program.

A Little Elbow Room

Find out more at

Mark Robins on Google+

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