Queer to stay
Rebecca Monks chats to the organiser of a new ﬁ lm festival celebrating the best of LGBTI cinema
T his September, Scotland’s i rst inclusive celebration of queer cinema launches in Glasgow, with a programme featuring more than 30 events over four days, including UK premieres, parties and workshops. The Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF), takes place over the month’s i nal weekend, with events at CCA, Glasgow Women’s Library, Drygate Brewery, the University of Glasgow and many other venues.
The festival aims to get people ‘watching, talking about and making more queer i lms’, and organisers have been working closely with the artistic and LGBTI communities in Scotland in order to create an event that is accessible and inclusive for everyone. Speaking on the aims of the festival, programmer Helen Wright said: ‘our focus on accessibility comes from being an LGBTI and queer organisation, and therefore being focused on challenging inequalities that exist for people in accessing the arts.’ The programme offers ‘a diverse look at LGBTI people’s lives’, with a selection of i lms offering a range of different experiences and perspectives from within the community. ‘We’re showing a really lovely, funny, and insightful i lm about older lesbian women in Spain and France telling their life stories and relating what it’s like to be an older LGBTI person,’ says Wright. ‘After the i lm, we’ll have a discussion led by a group of around 50 LGBTI people in Glasgow, a demographic which is sometimes ignored in queer culture. We’ve also got a strong programme featuring i lms by and about trans people, which will hopefully allow trans audiences
12 THE LIST 3 Sep–5 Nov 2015
to feel included and welcome.’
Programme highlights include the UK premiere of Dyke Hard, described as a ‘lo-i , high-camp battle of the bands romp’, international features such as Frangipani, which tells the story of a love triangle in Sri Lanka, and Dakan, an exploration of forbidden love in Guinea, as well as big-screen showings of classic i lms from the likes of Monika Treut, Pier Paolo Pasolini, John Waters and Pedro Almodóvar. There are also free workshops, including one on TransActing performance, scriptwriting for ages 25 and under, and radical i lmmaking. Festival-goers can also attend open discussions on everything from feminist porn to queer i lm in the 21st century, as well as taking in a number of parties from Dive, Polyester and LUYD.
Though the i lms and events are largely LGBTI- based, the programme’s i lms are not all ‘explicitly queer’ according to Wright, citing movies such as Johnny Guitar, Ghost in the Shell and Malei cent. ‘These are i lms which are not necessarily explicitly queer but people have done queer readings of them, so we thought it would be exciting for audiences to watch them in a queer context,’ she explains. ‘We aim to create a really fun and friendly environment, which will make people feel part of SQIFF and create the opportunity to meet people and make connections whilst watching loads of amazing i lms and taking part in workshops and discussions.’
Various venues, Glasgow, Thu 24–Sun 27 Sep, sqiff.org
• Unlock the keys to your city, as a selection of buildings open their doors for you to snoop around. Doors Open Days take place across Glasgow from Monday 14–Sunday 20 September, and Edinburgh on Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 September.
• The Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run is taking place in Glasgow on Sunday 4 October. If you prefer to watch from home, it’s also broadcast live on BBC Two. • Lighthouse Late, curated by The List, takes place in Glasgow on Friday 9 October. Featured artists are FOUND, Apache Darling, Supermoon and the Spook School.
• Hallowe’en and Samhain (the Celtic i re festival marking winter’s arrival) both take place on Saturday 31 October. See list.co.uk for spooky events near you, and to take part in Samhain, contact the Beltane Fire Society which is hosting open meetings.
• Edinburgh’s Christmas ofi cially kicks off on Friday 20 November. 2015’s full programme will be announced on Tuesday 22 September, but it has already been revealed that last year’s hit show Stick Man is returning from Friday 20 November–Tuesday 29 December. • Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens hosts three nights of outdoor i lm screenings in September: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Friday 4); Mamma Mia! (Saturday 5) and Back to the Future (Sunday 6).
• Scotland’s national day comes around again on Monday 30 November, with a wide range of events taking place in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. To celebrate, entry to many attractions is free, including Edinburgh Castle.
• Tickets to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay street party are already on sale with a full programme of events being announced in early October. y