Sunday, June 11, 2017

QWOCFF: Beloved Community

“Beloved Community” (shorts program)👏
Queer Women of Color Film Festival
Friday, June 9, 7:30pm, Brava! Theatre

Frameline isn’t the only LGBTQ film festival in town this month! QWOCMAP, the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, is holding its 13th annual festival this weekend at the Brava Theater. Opening night was a collection of 12 short films across a range of subjects and styles. These films are very much worth seeing if you get the opportunity. (Note: all of the films were presented with full subtitles.)

Home by Jed Rodriguez, 2016. The filmmaker, a young queer/trans Latinx, connects with his Guatemalan grandmother as they prepare enchiladas together. The connection with his abuela is beautiful and affirming, with love shining through in both directions.

La Entrevista by Bersath Verdugo, 2017, in Spanish with subtitles. A “luminous trans Latina warrior woman” speaks her truth in a powerful interview. She packs a lot of punch into about 6 minutes!

Supa Gallo Pinto by Alma Herrera-Pazmino, 2016. This short is a bit of light-hearted fluff, providing a comedic view of “buoyant passion” lifting spirits when things look a little bleak.

Un Buen Día by Raquel N. López & Roberta Lee, 2016. A “daredevil queer Latina” is on a mission, to land a new job among other objectives, but takes time for a promising connection with someone she meets along the way.

Bữa Ăn Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese Speaking Dinner) by Jaq Victor, 2017. What started as a monthly potluck to have an opportunity to practice speaking Vietnamese has turned into a safe haven for LGBTQ people, including some who travel hundreds of miles to share the sense of community. When the filmmaker’s mother comes along to dinner, she acts as a surrogate mother, helping to heal the wound many of us carry if our families of origin are not so beautifully accepting, with unconditional love for all. The mother showed up for the screening, and was every bit as charming in person as on screen.

ṣadāqa (صداقة) by Neelu Bhuman, 2016. The title is Arabic for “friendship.” This one, unfortunately, I had a difficult time following. The screen splits into three sections, some with sped-up images, making it difficult to track. The program guide says, “The immense strength of friendship among Asian women transcends borders.”

Call to Prayer by Sarah O’Neal & Tia Jackson, 2016. A young Muslim woman and her Christian friend spend some time on the beach exploring their faith.

Bi/Black/BodyPositive/Bliss by Misia Denéa, 2017, is a powerful exploration of overcoming your own internalized phobias and savoring your identity as a plus-sized queer of African/Indigenous ancestry, no matter what the outside world tells you.

Bolt Cutters by Tijanna O. Eaton, 2016. An unhoused heroin addict finds her way to abundance with a little help from the hardware store. Trigger warning: contains a scene of cooking (simulated) heroin for intravenous injection.

climb by The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins, 2017. A queer Black woman riffs on what it means to be “crazy,” reclaiming and reframing the pathology thrust upon her by a world that doesn’t understand her. This delightfully funny short was my favorite of the program, although it had some tough competition.

A Love Letter to Queer Black Womyn by Bree McDaniel, 2016, is a meditation on trauma and healing, a bit of what you might wish someone had been able to tell you when you were younger. Beautiful and well done.

Azúcar by Luna Merbruja, 2017, brings together snippets of queer and trans people of color savoring the sweetness of intimacy.

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