#TransMCR Film Festival

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In the cold and dark month of January come along, pull up a comfy sofa and enjoy a full programme of diverse short and feature length films showing a range of trans and non-binary themes and experiences at #TransMCR Film Festival on Saturday 14th January. The programme of short films curated by us will be confirmed soon but we are excited to say the feature length film will be 2016 documentary Real Boy (check out the trailer below).

As always at #TransMCR there will be refreshments, workshops, legal and healthcare advice surgeries, community cafe space and a range of beauty and holistic therapies. Find out more about the other activities happening that day by clicking here.

#TransMCRSave the date, click on the event page that you are coming, share with friends and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

Queer Media Festival 2016

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Thank You to everyone who made Queer Media Festival 2016 at Manchester’s combined arts centre HOME so amazing.

It was truly a wonderful day and reading the comments on the feedback forms people have left the festival feeling it has been fun, eye-opening, thought provoking, amazing, enlightening, friendly, inclusive, interesting, informative, engaging, inspiring, life changing and life affirming to be amongst like minded queers.   

Fantastic job from everyone involved and a big thank you to everyone who came along for making our event such a special success! Favourite quote: “It was much more in-depth and inspirational than I thought it could be”. So we look forward to seeing you all at next year’s festival!!!

“Be proud…whatever it is be proud, because everyone is someone!” Jose Xtravaganza

#QueerMedia16

 

Run For Jewel’s

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The existence of queer spaces has long been vital for the LGBTQ community for a myriad of reasons–sanctuary, celebration, and education to name but a few. Their importance was highlighted for many of us after this past summer’s shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

la-et-mn-jewels-catch-one-outfest-documentary-20160606-snap

JEWEL’S CATCH ONE focuses on one such space and celebrates not only the importance it had for the black queer community it served in Los Angeles, nor just the celebrities who would stop by when in town like Sharon Stone and Etta James, nor the 4 decades of gay history during the club’s life-span. The film goes beyond the venue to celebrate the legendary innovation and philanthropy of Jewel Thais-Williams, owner of the club.

jewel-thais-williams-383x600

Queer Media is proud to present this inspiring and entertaining documentary as part of its 2016 festival line-up. The film will be screened as part of Nov. 5th’s daytime schedule. Tickets are available here: Festival Daytime Program

If you’ve enjoyed films like PARIS IS BURNING and SMALL TOWN GAY BAR, then  JEWEL’S CATCH ONE directed by C. Fitz is for you.

A worthy and necessary slice of history that should be a natural choice for LGBT festsVariety

A lot of loving and living that C. Fitz has managed to pack into one documentary, but it’s done brilliantlyAfterEllen

The Queer Media Festival 2016 takes place at HOME in Manchester on November 5th.

Full Line-Up For Part 1 of the Festival Announced

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Queer Media Festival 2016 is comprised of 3 separate, exciting parts.

Starting on October 31st, there is the MobDoc Workshop (advance tickets available here: MobDoc. Spaces are very limited for this opportunity, so it is highly recommended that you book now. All entrants will have their project screened on November 5th at HOME.

On November 5th, the day is split into two jam-packed halves. The evening event commences at 5PM with the film STRIKE A POSE  and culminates in a joyous after-party. Tickets are available here: Strike a Pose

As for the first half of November 5th, we are thrilled to now list the full list of fantastic speakers and screenings. N.B. Participants will be given a wristband to dip in and out of any session.

Meet top industry professionals from BBC, Channel 4 and Gay Star News, VR specialist from Giznode, the Executive Director of UK Black Pride, executive award-winning theatre creators, the artists behind the @Gaybar project and more! Whether you’re just starting out in your career or are looking to make more Queer Media contacts, everyone is very welcome at QueerMedia16. queermedia.org.uk

12PM Welcome by QueerMedia16 Director Jamie Starboisky

12.15PM – 1.45PM
Young Programmers Shorts Selection (the QueerMedia16 young programmers introduce their hand-picked selection of the best LGBTQ+ short films)

Big Time Doodle Diary
S.T.A.R.
Breathe
Little Doll
Passing

2PM – 3.35PM FILM: Jewel’s Catch One (a fascinating documentary about the incredible Jewel Thais-Williams, who broke down racial and cultural barriers while running the oldest Black-owned gay disco in America)

2PM – 2.50PM Live Performance Panel + Q&A. (All panel discussions will take place in the Event Space, Level 2, HOME)
Intro by Sarah Perks (Artistic Director: Visual Art HOME Manchester)
Cheryl Martin (MEN Award-winning theatre director and writer)
Shannon Yee (Award-winning playwright and producer creating work reflecting her life as an immigrant, ethnic minority, queer artist with a disability)
Kate O’Donnell (Legendary Manchester trans performer)

3PM – 3.50PM Future Stories + Q&A
Intro by Tris Reid-Smith (Founder, Gay Star News)
Tim Edwards (VR Specialist & Innovation Director at Giznode)
Zorian Clayton (Transgender Film Programmer for BFI Flare)
Abigail Ward (DJ and co-founder of the online Manchester District Music Archive)

4PM- 4.45PM MobDoc film screenings (Screenings of the 60-second mobile documentaries created during QueerMedia16’s MobDoc workshop. The winner of the first-ever Nelson Sullivan Micro Short Award for best film will be announced. For more info on how to get involved in MobDoc visit skiddle.com/e/12843769)

4PM – 4.50PM Film and Broadcasters Panel + Q&A
Intro by Lady Phyll (Co-founder and Executive Director UK Black Pride)
Jonni Learoyd (Channel 4 HR Project Leader and Co-Chair of Channel 4 Pride)
Rachelle Constant (Head of BFI Vision Award-winning Constant Productions)
Aziz Rashid (Head of BBC North West)

Got your tickets yet? http://homemcr.org/event/queer-media-conference/

 

REVIEW – Queer Story Showcase – ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’

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DSC_0068Manchester Metropolitan University’s Humanities in Public Festival continued its frank discussion about sex last week with an event that explored the worlds of ‘chemsex’ and ‘slamming’ parties. The event, hosted and organised by Queer Media Festival director Jamie Starboisky, was entitled ‘Queer Story Showcase: Let’s talk about sex’.

The evening began with a series of short films that address such issues as male prostitution, sex and disability and, in Wham, Bam, Mr Pam, the challenges of being a successful female film maker in the male dominated world of gay pornography.

Adam Lowe premiered his latest writing 'Slam Poem'

Adam Lowe performed his latest writing ‘Slam Poem’

The audience were then treated to a reading by Manchester poet Adam Lowe before being given access to the world of so-called slamming parties with a screening of William Fairman and Max Gogarty’s feature-length documentary Chemsex. Chemically fueled sex parties, which sometimes last for days, are a trend with which a number of gay men are becoming involved, particularly in London and other major cities. With new cases of HIV on the rise, these parties, many of which are organised online through apps such as Grindr, are a potential cause for alarm amongst sexual health professionals.

The film in unflinching in its depiction of these issues, as it follows slamming party enthusiasts, such as Andrew, Miguel, Enrique and Simon, through a series of drug-fuelled encounters, psychotic episodes and comedowns. To these men, sex and drug-taking have become synonymous and particularly troubling are their stories of deliberately becoming infected with the HIV virus. Once they become ‘pos’, the men no longer have to worry about the risk and are thus able to have sex with men who are already HIV positive. As Andrew says of HIV, “It comes with the territory.”

David Stuart from 56 Dean Street

Q&A with David Stuart from 56 Dean Street

In the film, David Stuart, Substance lead at London sexual health clinic, 56 Dean Street, works with some of the men involved with chemsex, attempting to find the reasons behind their risk-taking behaviour. In many cases, David believes, the reasons behind slamming parties are complicated and can lie in the sense of isolation and low self-worth that a gay man often experiences in his childhood and teenage years. As one slamming party enthusiast says, “For days you get to feel that you’re worth something.”

Asked about his reasons for screening the film, Jamie told Humanity Hallows, “Chemsex is a very powerful documentary and it’s important that the LGBTQ community are included in discussions about sex.”

Jamie Starboisky introduced the films.

Jamie Starboisky introduced the films.

Regarding the subject of the film, he added, “Chemsex is not just about gay men who want to be promiscuous. It’s deeper than that and, by showing this film, we can help people develop a deeper understanding.”

The event also included a Q&A session chaired by Maurice Nagington from the University of Manchester. The panel was comprised of David Stuart, along with Staff Nurse from Manchester’s REACH clinic Rebecca Evans, Manchester Met Senior Lecturer in Philosophy Dr Phil Hutchinson and Senior Lecturer in Criminology Dr Rob Ralphs. Issues addressed in the session included the importance of education and the risk of making the gay community feel stigmatised.

Audience response to the film was positive, one audience member describing Chemsex as “brave and honest.” There was also general agreement that the reasons behind participation in chemsex parties ran deep, one man commenting that with the recent legalisation of gay marriage, “We should feel happy and we should feel connected and, on paper, we are.”

For more information about upcoming events in the SEX strand, see the Humanities in Public webpage.

Review by Jacqueline Grima. Photography: Rachael Burns

The Reach Clinic is a free and confidential service for people in Manchester who use drugs during sex and need support or advice. Open every Wednesday 3.30pm to 6pm. Walk in or make an appointment. Tel: 0161 276 5204. Email: reach@cmft.nhs.uk

Queer Story Showcase – We Are Family

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Reel In The ClosetQueer Story Showcase will be at the LGBT Foundation on Sunday 28th February 2016 to mark LGBT History Month with a special event themed ‘We Are Family’ celebrating the family we have and the family we choose – our friends. Starting the event with six marvellous short films exploring the afternoon’s theme followed by a screening of documentary Reel In The Closet. In the feature film by Stu Maddox we discover markable footage made by LGBT people of their hidden private lives from the 1930s to the 1980s found lost in archives or rediscovered on old cinefilms found at flea markets.

The event will include a performance by poet, playwright and singer Cheryl Martin, and the director of the film Stu Maddox himself is flying in from San Francisco to answer your questions and maybe help you discover that lost film footage in your closet.

People are invited to join this exciting film afternoon featuring many queer stories, have conversations, relax and during the networking break make connections with filmmakers. February’s theme is ‘We Are Family’ inspired by the 1979 hit disco classic from Sister Sledge as we celebrate the fact that a family can come in many forms.

This Queer Film Network tour is supported by the BFI Film Audience Network via Film Hubs in Wales, South West & West Midlands, North West Central and London.

Doors open at 12.45pm and the event starts at 1pm.

Get tickets: https://queerfamily.eventbrite.co.uk

Queer Story Showcase – Political Pride

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Celebrate Manchester Pride at our screening of four international LGBT short films themed around Political Pride screening on Saturday 29th August at 3.45pm. The films include a documentary about eleven year old Melvin who lives in the Netherlands and has come out to his parents; a dramatisation of a gay couple living in the Middle East facing execution; story of a black gay kid coming out on the eve of Obama’s election; and two friends in India drawing parallels between Gandhi’s work attending marches and a gay pride march. Entry is free so join us at our Queer Story Showcase at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School by All Saints Park at 3.45pm. Follow us on Twitter @QueerStoryUK and click on this link to join the event page on Facebook.

Our film screening is part of Political Pride, organised by the Joyce Layland LGBT Centre, LGBT Youth North West, Manchester Metropolitan University and People’s History Museum who have joined forces to programme a weekend of alternative events to take Pride back to its roots.

Political PridePolitical Pride, which takes place on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August, immediately following the Manchester Pride parade, will include workshops, film screenings, discussions and performances, alongside a series of family-friendly activities. All events will be cost-free and inclusive, and will take place in several accessible locations on and around the Oxford Road Corridor in Manchester.

The weekend will provide a platform for participants to explore the politics of Pride, and to identify and explore some of the most important issues for the LGBT+ community today. Political Pride will provide an accessible and alternative space to the pub and club scene of Canal Street, in order to open up the Pride celebrations to a more diverse representation of LGBT+ people in the North-West.

All activities are free and below is the list of films that will be screened at Queer Story Showcase. Check out the Political Pride website for information on the other activities.

DIRECTIONS: Queer Story Showcase will take place in Lecture Theatre 1, on the ground floor of the Business School (number 4 on this map). The building is fully accessible, and we’ll make sure that the way to the lecture theatre is fully signposted.

JamieCHANGE
Dir: Melissa Osborne, Jeff McCutcheon, USA, 2011, 23 min
A gay African-American teenager grapples with his young identity on the night Obama was elected president, and Proposition 8 – the voter initiative to eliminate same-sex marriage in California – passed.

 

 

BECAUSE…Because (Kyunki)
Dir: Avinash Matta, India, 2014, 10 mins
Hindi with English subtitles

When you start believing, you don’t have to be answerable. ‘Kyunki’ is a short journey of a non-believer towards his realisation of faith in queer rights.

 

ABAN + KHORSHID
Dir: Darwin Serink, USA, 2014, 15 min
Persian, English subtitles
In 2005, the world saw a photo of two young Iranian men being executed for being gay. That image inspired this film about the two men in the hours before their execution.

If you only had a few hours to live, what would you share with the one you love?

 

Straight With You Daan Bol - Niet Op Meisjes - Still2 Straight With You
Dir: Daan Bol, Producer: Randy Vermeulen, Netherlands, 2013, 19 min

Straight With You is a documentary about eleven-year-old Melvin, who has a secret: he is not into girls. Although his family knows, he’s afraid to tell his schoolmates, as he thinks they might start bullying him. What should he do when the coolest girl in his class sends him a love letter?

Please share, tweet, post and invite your friends to what will be an inspiring and incredible journey through film showcasing queer stories and click on this link to join the event page on Facebook..

@QueerStoryUK

North Arts Sector Trust and Foundations Event

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As director of the the Queer Media Festival my aim of the day was to understand why Trusts and Foundations fund the arts and how this could ultimately help support next year’s Queer Media Festival in screening more films, and curating more in-conversations and performances.

BALTIC arts centre

What made this event particularly successful was the amount of structured debate and conversation between participants. The day was opened by an introduction and welcome by Adam Lopardo from Community Foundation followed by a brief presentation by Sarah Maxfield of Arts Council who explained: How organisations need to diversify their income streams in order to become resilient. In times of austerity and reduced public funding, competition for funds is high, so arts organisations need to know how to ensure their applications are successful.

Debate began with a panel chaired by Phylida Shaw. The panel included:

Rob Williamson | Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Penny Wilkinson | Northern Rock Foundation

Vivien Stapley | Sir James Knott Trust

Each panellist gave an introduction to why they fund culture. Culture may not be the main priority of a Trust or Foundation, but grant givers are humans, and they understand the social benefits that culture can have on areas of deprivation.

“You’re not going to solve the problem but you are part of the solution”

The top 3 things that we learned from this section:

  1. Do include information about the non-arts benefits of arts and culture projects
  2. Do include evidence like YouTube clips, images and case studies
  3. Think about your legal structure, grant givers sometimes insist you are a “registered charity” but, “If your organisation’s objectives are exclusively charitable and income is over £5k, you’re legally an (unregistered) charity”

The second panel of the day:

Clare Wilkinson | Garfield Weston

Dorothee Irving | Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Garfield Weston is the largest family run trust in the UK, with all trustees being a descendent of Garfield Weston himself. The Trust is now actively encouraging applications from the North of England, after a significant decline. There are just two people judging every application.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation gives £6m annually to the Arts. Dorothee gave the group an exclusive overview of the new structure of the Foundation, which now focuses on 6 tiers:

  • Widening participation
  • Education and learning through arts
  • Evidence base and information sharing
  • Youth organisations (not necessarily arts)
  • Migration
  • Ideas fund (open to individuals)

This section allowed the audience to question some of the assumptions of trust fundraising, with some myths brought to light:

  • Arts organisations do not necessarily need a good track record of previously funded projects.
  • They do not need a former relationship with the Trust or Foundation.
  • Knowing someone on the inside does not increase chances of success.
  • Trusts and Foundations do not take into consideration Arts Council funding.
  • Each application is considered independently and judged on a case by case basis.

Attendees were invited to take part in a one-to-one advice session with one of the representatives of a Trust and Foundation. Meanwhile, drop-in discussions were held on the following topics:

  • Using who we know and what we know
  • Success stories
  • How we use our boards to support fundraising.

Some of the key issues that arose were:

  • There is an increased need for core funding, however trusts and foundations tend to favour time limited and measurable projects.
  • A need for feedback from unsuccessful grants
  • How do we articulate where the money will be spent if it is for core funding?
  • Boards need to understand the importance of the role of a fundraiser.
  • Arts organisations need ambassadors

The main lessons I learned from the day were:

  • Do not be afraid of rejection, and to try again.
  • Trusts and Foundations need arts organisations to fulfil their objectives.
  • Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for advice.

Overall the day taught me to be brave, and to understand that grant givers are only human. Ultimately I learned that you need to translate what your event or organisation aims to achieve into emotional and physical outcomes for your participants that Trusts and Foundations can understand and match up with their own objectives. Jamie Starboisky

Held at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Community Foundation on Tuesday 28th April 2015, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland #Northartsfunding

Queer Media Festival Goes to BFI Flare

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Every year in March those working in the creative field of film head to London for the BFI’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film festival: Flare. It is an event we regularly look forward to with the fantastic stories told on screen and the inter-generational creative energy from the LGBT and filmmaking community. Last year we were lucky enough to attend just four weeks after the ending of the first ever Queer Media Festival, which included in-conversations, short film screenings and performances held at MediaCityUK, Salford.

BFI Flare Mike and JamieFresh from February’s finale of the Queer Media Festival’s second year, this year held at the Contact theatre, Manchester, we headed down to London’s South Bank to join our friends, make new contacts and most importantly watch films at Flare. Last year the name Flare was adopted instead of the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival after it was felt the old name was not representative and inclusive enough of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT).

We Are UKFlare has thoughtfully created a wonderful delegate area for people in the industry, press and filmmakers. Featuring a café area, reception desks for attendees, and a viewing area to watch films, it is the perfect place to join in the many talks and round table events held daily. We were honoured to be invited to speak about the Queer Media Festival on the We Are UK panel, the first weekend of Flare, alongside other festival organisers from across the country including Liverpool Pride, Eyes Wide Shut from Brighton, Scottish Queer International Film Festival, London’s Fringe! Film Fest, BFI Flare and the Iris Prize from Cardiff.

This year Flare’s online platform Cinando was a new and welcome addition to the delegate experience, that negated the need to sit through and watch all the films we wanted at the delegate’s viewing gallery. We were now free to enjoy the many networking events, talks, see films not listed on Cinando featuring filmmaker Q&A, and then watch the short films at home as the platform remained available for a few weeks after Flare ended.

BFI Flare 4

All the films at Flare are divided into three streams; Hearts, Bodies, Minds and Cinando featured not just the majority of these but also featured a special Industry Selection of short films only for delegates to view online. We watched the vast array of films that were available online, and it is fantastic to see so many amazing short films being made especially documentaries. It was a shame more short documentary films were not screened for the public to see, as this would have helped us programme them into our next festival based on the audience reaction to them.

BFI Flare 1Of all the feature length documentaries the outstanding ones for us were The Amina Profile, Dressed As A Girl, Save The Tavern and Do I Sound Gay? They all unwrapped the main character featured in the film and explored their story; whether it was Sandra trying to find out the truth about her girlfriend Amina, Jonny Woo nostalgic about his drag past, the former owners of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern reminiscing about the pub’s heyday, or David taking speech classes to sound more masculine.

Watching the characters portrayed it brings home why screening LGBT films is important as for that moment you are drawn into their world, see, hear, feel and understand what it is like for them and for a moment you loose yourself in the silver screen. Viewers may identify with the characters portrayed and it may be helpful to see on screen emotional situations that they have lived through, which gives them great comfort to know that they are not alone in the way they feel, and so no longer isolated and can happily go forward into the world.

What’s in a name? Welcome to Queer Media UK…

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Here’s a YouTube clip of our wonderful logo animated into an advert ready for this year’s event.

We hope you enjoyed our inaugural festival in February where we screened a range of 20 short films and our hosts held six in conversations with LGBT media professionals on our sofa on stage and plans are already underway for the 2015 festival to be bigger and better. The fantastic feedback we received as the festival closed was so encouraging to hear and it was a superb opportunity to see just how creative and dynamic the queer community in the North West really is. Photos for the event are available at our Facebook page.

The next big thing we are looking forward to is attending the BFI Flare – the newly renamed London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival which is on 20 – 30 March and we are really happy to hear that the BFI have launched a new collection of some of their LGBT films on the BFI Player, with features, shorts and exclusive content from the festival, plus a special collection of queer classics and rare treasures from the BFI National Archives.

There is an interesting quote on what the BFI thought about renaming the festival queer in one of their blog posts before the new name was announced; “Queer used to really feel like a slap in the face, a hard, harsh word that was like an assault before the trendies took it as a badge of pride. Sexual politics is a febrile, changing territory and badges tell a story about identity too.”

Their blog post explains after the announcement why queer didn’t make the cut; “Although ‘queer’ is used often as a genre term and it’s something a huge number of our audience and wider LGBT community identify with, it was equally clear from audience feedback that a significant number don’t.”

In the North West we found that there is great heritage to naming LGBT events queer such as the Queer Contact theatre festival, the Queer Up North international festival, the bar Queer,  and the Sheffield Doc/Fest with their Queer Screen film strand.  We wanted an identity that would reach out and appeal to everyone as using queer can be a more inclusive word than simply an acronym and the potential ambiguity of what is queer means it can include not just sexuality and gender but also the questioning and unknown without too ridged a label.

Queer can be percieved as either retro, political or aggressive and after working for a theatre production recently commemorating the Peterloo Massacre it seems appropriate to consider the values that this word has as important in the context of a festival based in Manchester, which has a significant history of fighting for social reform such as the Suffragettes and the Section 28 protests in the 1990s.

To view the Storify story of the journey of our hashtag #QMFUK from our first tweet through to the social media generated during and after the festival click here.

A big thank you to all the film makers and here is a list of all the films we screened:

Last Session and Pretty Policeman by VADA theatre group

Polaroid Girl by April Maxey

Journey To The Centre Of Uranus by Gerard Gudgion

Animated showreel from LGYM

Vinegar to Jam by Ben Walters

The Break by Alexis Mitchell

#LoveAlwaysWins and Homecoming by Mike Buonaiuto

Children 404 by Anonymous

Acceptance by Belford Films

Kit by Bruno Collins and Craig Daniel Adams

Silence by Neil Ely

One Shot by Dietrich Brüggemann

What I Love About Being Queer by Vivek Shraya

(A) Typical Couple by Masa Zia Lenardic

10 Men by Graham Clayton-Chance

Recently In The Woods by Daniel van Westen

I’m Yours by Chase Joynt

Sisyfuss by Navid Sinaki

Cake Tin by Clementine Doll