Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Coming Up Queer (2017)

“Coming Up Queer” (shorts program), total runtime 75 min. 💖
Sunday, June 18, 1:30 p.m., Victoria Theatre
1 world première, 2 West Coast premières

Superheroes, dir. Volker Petters, 2017 Germany, 16 min., in German with English subtitles: West Coast première 💖
Jo (pictured, left, the school’s “black dyke”) and Phil (right, a full head shorter than most boys his age) are schoolmates, outcasts, and targets for Samuel, the school bully (and also the son of the princi­pal, of course). They band together, forming an unusual friendship and standing up to both genera­tions of bullies. Excellent writing and excellent perfor­mances by the young actors make this a MUST SEE.

IMDb pageofficial website (in German) • Facebook • Twitter: @LieblingsFilm8

The Women’s Bathroom Project
The Women’s Bathroom Project, dir. Zachary Clarence, 2016 USA, 6 min. 💖
Young Mel’s mother is intent on getting her to act like a proper little girl, but she would rather play with a toy race car than with frilly dolls. She holes up in the women’s bathroom for a moment of respite, and ends up having a brief conversation with a transwoman, significantly changing her perspective. Cute but far from silly, beautifully executed, with fine performances. MUST SEE.

IMDb page • watch on YouTube • watch on vimeo

Imago, dir. Liz Cardenas Franke, 2017 USA, 8 min. West Coast première 💖
Teenager Justin can no longer endure their father’s efforts to make them into a man’s man, but they stand up for themself. Their stand shows admirable maturity and restraint for someone twice their age, setting boundaries without disparaging others, and moving on without burning bridges. This short film is a dramatization of a true story, and should be an inspiration to kids everywhere whose parents resist their gender nonconformity or other-ness of one sort or another. MUST SEE.

IMDb page •  Twitter: @LizzyFranke (director) •

Escaping Agra
Escaping Agra, dir. Pallavi Somusetti, 2016 USA, 24 min. 👏
Naveen Bhat (pictured) was essentially kidnaped by their parents while on a trip to visit family back in India because they didn’t approve of their non-binary gender identity or their sexual orienta­tion. The parents took away their phone, their laptop, and their passport, and made it clear that this was no short-term arrange­ment. Fortunately, Naveen was able to make contact with the outside world and take their parents to court. This docu­men­tary features interviews with Naveen and several of their friends, plus other figures involved in the case, including an amazingly matter-of-fact interview with the judge in India who ruled in Naveen’s favor. Highly recommended.

IMDb pageofficial websiteFacebooktrailer (vimeo) • Twitter: @EscapingAgra

Creating Gender Inclusive Schools
Creating Gender Inclusive Schools, dir. Jonathan Skurnik, 2016 USA, 21 min. World première 👏
The Peralta Elementary School, located in some faraway place called “Oakland”😉, realized that they were seeing more young children with non-traditional gender identities. They instituted a pro-active program to educate teachers, staff, parents, and the kids about the gender spectrum, challenging notions like “Pink is only for girls” and opening up conversations about what it means to be male or female, or to not fit easily in either of those categories. Unsurprisingly, the kids catch on very quickly and take it in stride. The world would be a vastly better place if there were more schools like Peralta Elementary. Highly recommended.

IMDb page • trailer (YouTube) (vimeo) • official website • watch on Kanopy (requires access through your university or public library)

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