Wednesday 5th December sees the return of Scottish Queer International Film Festival, Scotland’s largest celebration of queer cinema. Now in its fifth year, there have been a number of exciting developments introduced to the way SQIFF operates in order to make it more accessible to its diverse audience. SQIFF events are taking place all over the country – here are a selection of the most talked about films being screened in Glasgow during the four day event:
VISIBLE, SQIFF Opening Night Shorts’ headlining film is a compelling, boundary-pushing exploration of the experiences of LGBT+ people of colour. Shining a spotlight on racism within the queer community, this is an important textural analysis of how it feels to be a minority within a group of minorities.
A film highlighted as a personal favourite by SQIFF programmer Helen Wright, Pulse is at face value, a queer body-swap movie. David Monks directs and stars in the vibrant story of Olly, a gay disabled teenager who transfers his consciousness into an able-bodied female in his class. An raw, honest examination of gender identity and disability, LGBT+ coming-of-age films have rarely been so perceptive.
A Girl At My Door
July Jung’s 2014 drama A Girl at My Door is a film with a frustrating production history. An uncomfortable look at homophobia and the ostracisation of LGBT+ individuals in South Korea, it initially proved to be contentious with its country’s classification boards but after a global push found commercial and critical success, receiving exceptional acclaim during its run at Cannes Film Festival.
The Wizard of Oz (An Asexual Reading)
Asexuality continues to be undermined in both queer and straight communities; SQIFF hopes to change this with its focus on the examining art through the asexual eye. CCA invites audiences to discuss the various LGBT+ interpretations literary theorists and writers have made of the 1939 film, with particular focus being given to watching the film through an asexual lens. A reading of excerpts from the Asexual Visibility and Education Network will also take place during the event.
One of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year, Rafiki is a lesbian romance told from the perspective of two Kenyan women hailing from very different political backgrounds. Initially banned in its home country, the film enjoyed success at this year’s BFI festival. The luminous portrayal of first love makes its way to Glasgow this year to close SQIFF with a bang.
Archie Grant interviewed SQIFF head programmer Helen Wright about her own picks for this year’s programme, the festival’s greatest achievements so far and its aspirations for future years:
Tickets for events taking place throughout Scottish Queer International Film Festival can be found on the festival’s website – prices operate on a sliding-scale, ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis.
By Maisie McGregor