As always, The Coast is Queer gives us a variety of gems. Here are my faves:
Boner Fashion Show and 19th Birthday, by The Ryan and Amy Show. Two hilariously raunchy little shorts; one about a very unusual fashion show, the other about some aggressively gay-friendly parents.
Kiss and Tell, directed by Jackie Hoffart. A bunch of lovely little vignettes related to kissing, all tied to Vancouver streets. Beautifully shot, beautifully narrated, and definitely among my favourite shorts of the night.
The Out-Laws, by Shannon Kohli, a fun little slice-of life about a male couple and their extended family. Not a whole lot to say, except that one half of the couple is bisexual, and his gay brother-in-law (I think) is kind of an ass about it. This is apparently the pilot for a web series, and if it keeps up the bi visibility angle I’ll definitely check it out.
Family Is Like Skin is a documentary on lesbian life in Cambodia, directed by Paula Stromberg with the full participation of the local women. Some of the issues they face are very familiar—isolation, ignorance, familial rejection, forced marriages—but a lot of the political and cultural background is completely different. For one, Buddhism (the country’s official and majority religion) does not condemn homosexuality, nor is there any law against it. However, the government forbids public assemblies of any kind, so Pride parades are not possible. Right now the focus is just to build communities, break down barriers between women living in isolated towns, and promote honesty (and patience) with family members. Marriage equality is apparently not on their radar.
Same Boat, by David C Jones. It’s a surreal little piece where a musical lesbian couple shakes up the comfortable life of a bed-and-breakfast-owning husband and wife. I’m not a big fan of musical, but damn if this didn’t work! The songs were catchy, and the juxtapositon of musical lesbians with non-musical straight folks was hilarious. We’re all on the same boat, maybe heading for different shores…
Dissonance, by Anna Ngo: a beautiful animated short showing what happens when a trans boy tries to use the “wrong” bathroom.
The Right To Be Heard, by Krista Martin. A welcome and necessary documentary about the state of trans rights in Canada, with particular focus on federal politics (very timely, with the upcoming elections). Featuring interviews with several trans people, as well as NDP MLAs Mable Elmore and Spencer Chandra Herbert we hear about Bill C-279, and about problems trans people may face during their transition, if their gender presentation doesn’t match their official ID, which may lead them to being unable to vote.
Boy Meets Boy. A creepy, disturbing little flick about dating and vampires, where nothing is quite what it seems…
The Future Perfect, by Nick Citton, is a trippy tale of love, fatalism and time travel. In a weird dystopia where corporations compete to create favourable timelines, our protagonist is a time agent tasked with killing a child in the past and must struggle with the ethics of his job. Also starring Zachary Quinto as the disembodied voice of Mission Control, who falls / will fall / must fall in love with the agent.