Full Line-Up For Part 1 of the Festival Announced

LGBT, queer, Uncategorized

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/

 

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

BAME, bisexual, black, gay, homosexual, lesbian, LGBT, media, queer, Uncategorized

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 Media Festival Goes to BFI Flare

bisexual, gay, lesbian, LGBT, media, queer, transgender, Uncategorized

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.