Image+Nation, a local LGBT film festival, will run from November 26 to December 6. There are 22 feature films, 8 documentaries and over 70 short films spanning 11 days. Katharine Setzer, the programming director, tries to bring the best independent films seen across the world to the festival screen.
“The first LGBT film from Lithuania, The Summer of Angalié, is phenomenally beautiful and a must-see film,” Setzer says.
While You Weren’t Looking is a lesbian directed and produced film from South Africa. “There are only so many queer films made in the world in a given year, so that’s the pool you draw from,” explains Setzer about the selection process of films. She attends festivals in Berlin, San Francisco and Toronto. As well, her team receives over 100 submissions, which she also selects from. “It’s being aware of what’s being produced and being in contact with distributors that carry queer films,” she adds.
Queerment Québec is the annual local short program. There will be two full programs and they will be screened at Never Apart, a not-for-profit artist-run locale in Mile-Ex. Image+Nation has a record number of shorts with around 70 short films being screened during the festival. Setzer is a fan of short films and is pleased with this year’s program of shorts. A new partner of the festival is the Museum of Fine Arts where some of the films will be screened.
Here is an overview of five films you need to check out:
A Sinner in Mecca
United States – Dir. Parvez Sharma
Documentary filmmaker Parvez Sharma documents his journey on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which all Muslims are required to fulfill once in their life. However as a homosexual man, his journey is a dangerous one. In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is punishable by death and filming at holy sites is forbidden. His pilgrimage is interweaved with a trip to India in memory of his mother and footage of his marriage with his long-time partner.
Saturday December 5: Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe at 3:00 p.m.
Kiss Me Kill Me
United States – Dir. Casper Andreas
After Dusty (Van Hansis) blacks out after an attempted robbery at a liquor store, his boyfriend (Queer as Folk’s Gale Harold) is found dead and he is considered the prime suspect. In order to find out who killed his lover, he has go through the mystery of West Hollywood. Casper Andreas delivers a film that is part drama, thriller and comedy. It is the closing film, which will guarantee laughs.
Sunday December 6: Museum of Fine Arts at 7:00 p.m.
Le Profil Amina (The Amina Profile)
Canada – Dir. Sophie Deraspe
A documentary of Amina Arraf, a Syrian-American revolutionary, launched a blog titled “A Gay Girl in Damascus” while having an online affair with Sandra Bagaria, a well-informed Montreal professional. When Amina is abducted in broad daylight in downtown Damascus during the Syrian uprisings, an international movement is sparked to save her from torture, rape or death. Directed by Sophie Deraspe, it involves American intelligence agencies, top-tier global media and a host of activists and sympathizers.
Sunday December 6: Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe at 5:00 p.m
Stories of our Lives
Kenya – Dir. Chuchu
Stories of our Lives is a collection of short stories based on LGBT stories from Kenya where homophobia is a major concern. Made by the NEXT Collective, a Kenyan multidisciplinary collective, the film is shot in black and white. From a lost love to fearing for your life to unrequited love or a one-night stand, the stories portray the voices of the queer people who have to deal with various issues due to homophobia.
Saturday November 28: Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe at 3:15 p.m
The Summer of Sangalié
Lithuania – Dir. Alanté Kavaïté
Shy 17-year-old Sangailé (Julija Steponaityte) dreams of flight but is held back by her secret fear of heights. She meets perky and free-spirited Auste (Aiste Dirziute) at an aeronautical show. They start a summer romance where fear and doubt are cast aside as they give into temptation, physical infatuation and the emotions of joy of desire. The film won the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at the 2015 Sundance Festival. Alanté Kavaïté paints a tender discovery of first love.
Saturday December 5: Pavillon Judith-Jasmin Annexe at 9:15 p.m.
$12.75 for individual adult ticket
$9.50 (student & senior)
$13+ for special events
$120 for Cinephile pass (10 tickets)
Image+Nation is running until December 6th.