REVIEW – Queer Story Showcase – ‘I Love the Nightlife’

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

When you are invited to film screenings, it can be with dread as the standard is varying to say the least, however I went to the I Love The Nightlife, Queer Story Showcase at the Digital Performance Lab in Salford and was hugely rewarded. The standard of the films on show was exceptionally high.

The brainchild of Queer Media Festival organiser, Jamie Starboisky, the evening showcased eight short films then broke for networking before showing the wonderful Dressed As A Girl feature.

The eight shorts were a mix of international and home grown talent kicking off with gentle drama, Alaska is a Drag, a gay love story in the unlikely setting of an Alaskan cannery, the hilarious Cruising Electric also deserves a mention, look it up on Youtube, as well as the delightfully bonkers MeTube, a trip into the imagination of a repressed soul.

Documentary film Black Lesbian Handbook

Documentary film Black Lesbian Handbook

Documentaries were well served as well with Black Lesbian Handbook delving into lesbian culture and En Vogue proving that 25 years after Madonna brought it to the masses, vogueing is still alive and well.

 

Elena Browne and Neil Ely in-conversation with Adam Lowe

Elena Browne and Neil Ely in-conversation with Adam Lowe

But it was the Manchester double bill that was truly inspiring. The first piece was Painted by Salford University graduate, Elena Browne. I caught up with Elena before the showing to talk about her delve into Manchester’s drag world.

“Painted is a dragumentary which came from always going down Canal Street” she explains “My friends had an obsession with RuPaul and we binged watched Drag Race so it was natural for it to be my dissertation. The film looks at different types of drag, traditional (Misty Chance), new wave (Cheddar Gorgeous and Anna Phylactic) who have honed their art, and alternative (Danny Beard) who has created a whole online persona.”

The film is beautifully edited and really delves into the personalities of these stalwarts of Manchester’s gay scene. “It took about four weeks of filming and a lot of late nights” she laughs “We had an interesting night at Cruz 101, the Gag Ball which was a leather and fetish night”.

Browne now has an internship at Blakeway North but is definitely a name to look out for in the future.

The second Manchester piece was Mirrors by Neil Ely. This is a subtle piece set in a nightclub toilet focussing on two straight lads who find themselves, for whatever reason, in a gay club. Featuring Shameless star Jody Latham and Skins star Liam Boyle, the tempo and style of this simple film is fantastic.

Ely explained in the subsequent question and answer session “I’d written two scripts before but wanted to take it back to when I was coming out, maybe there is a grey area to sexuality”.

Following the break, it was the turn of London producer, Chris Amos to present Dressed As A Girl, a fascinating and fabulous look at alternative drag artists in London who pioneered the infamous Gay Bingo nights.

Q&A with drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous, writer Dave Haslam, film producer Chris Amos and host Adam Lowe.

Q&A with drag artist Cheddar Gorgeous, writer Dave Haslam, film producer Chris Amos and host Adam Lowe.

Set over a period of ten years, the film by Colin Rothbart delves deeply into the psyche of this group of friends who made an indelible mark on the London scene. We join them at their hedonistic height and follow their stories as they all go their separate ways.

The film is searingly honest in examining what drives our heroes dealing with issues such as living with HIV, substance abuse, damaged upbringings and mental illness, making the viewer fall in love with each person in their own way culminating in a wonderful finale as they regroup for one last bingo night.

I would recommend seeing this film and many of the others, the first opportunity you get and I would definitely keep an eye out for more Queer Media events, watching great quality films in friendly surroundings, what more could you need?

by Chris Park for Canal-St Online

More info on Dressed As A Girl and the other films screening as part of Peccadillo Pictures POUT Tour click here.

Advertisements

Queer Story Showcase – Political Pride

asian, BAME, bisexual, black, gay, homosexual, lesbian, LGBT, media, muslim, queer, transgender, Uncategorized

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