Queer Media Festival 2017 – Full speaker schedule – Sat 18th Nov – HOME, Manchester

BAME, bisexual, gay, lesbian, LGBTQ, Manchester, media, queer, transgender

After last year’s sell-out event, Queer Media Festival returns for the festival’s fourth year, to commemorate fifty years since homosexuality was partially decriminalised, by celebrating the amazing range of LGBTQ stories in all forms of media. During the day hear from inspiring guest speakers who are creating LGBTQ stories using the new digital platforms of virtual reality, gaming or mobile filmmaking. Meet storytellers in legacy media like theatre making, performance, playwriting, and poetry. Enjoy a creative mix of engaging talks, performances, and workshops aiming to refresh the way that LGBTQ voices are heard.

Explore the queer rainbow of diverse stories and discover how to tell your story!

Queer Media Festival is a one day event on Saturday 18th November at HOME, Manchester’s £25 million combined arts centre with tickets starting from £10. Click here to buy tickets.

We are proud to announce our full schedule of guest speakers for 2017:

John McGrath, our keynote speaker, is the Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival.  Appointed to the role in 2015, John was previously Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales which he launched in 2009 achieving an international reputation for large-scale site-specific work, digital innovation, international collaboration and extraordinary community involvement. John has worked as a theatre director in New York, London and was Artistic Director of Contact Theatre in Manchester from 1999 to 2008. Awards include the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Cultural Leadership Award (2005) and an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University (2015).

Erinma Ochu is Creative Director of Squirrel Nation, which she co-founded and runs with Designer and partner, Caroline Ward. They design immersive concepts, often blurring fact and fiction to speculate on how we might live in the future: from a pop up urban farm, farmlab, to The Purring Chamber, which encourages folk to explore our relationship with cats and other species we’ve loved, lived with and lost. Recently Erinma was a Jerwood Fellow with Manchester International Festival, attached to Yael Bartana’s What If Women Ruled the World.

Her foray into queer mediamaking began with an interest in amateur photography, saving up £1 a week to buy a £13 camera only to accidentally take pictures of her left ear. Expelled from sixth form, Erinma has been breaking rules and pushing boundaries ever since. Originally she trained as a neuroscientist before turning to broadcast and digital media as development executive for London based creative agency, B3 Media. Erinma is a Lecturer in Science Communication and Future Media at Salford University. She is indy curator for Sheffield Doc/Fest and volunteers for The Proud Trust.

Deirdre Mulcahy

After a successful career as a BBC Camerawoman, Deirdre has spent the last 11 years training BBC journalists. She has trained on a variety of cameras and edit systems and has recently developed a training programme to deliver these craft skills using a mobile phone. Her workshop will enable Queer Media Festival delegates to shoot professional looking interviews with quality sound and give the foundations of how to build up your story visually

 

James Kavanagh

Dublin native, James Kavanagh, is Ireland’s Snapchat King. Not only is James a social media aficionado, he also runs Currabinny, a food brand and catering service, with his partner William. James uses his social media platforms to spread awareness on LGBTQ issues and erase the stigma surrounding it from society in his distinctive witty style.

 

 

Lucy Dusgate produces and leads the digital art programme for The Lowry and the outdoor Quays Culture public realm art programme at Salford Quays. This includes new commissions and presentations across the galleries, theatres and public spaces in the building and outdoors. Local, national and international artists are invited to perform, exhibit and respond within the spaces of The Lowry. Artists have always used technology in their practice, and we see the inclusion of digital as an acknowledgement of some of the best quality art being integrated into the artistic vision at The Lowry.

Ella Otomewo is a queer performance poet from Birmingham, living in the North West. Most recently, Ella was part of a small team of poets who wrote and performed in Young Identity’s sold out performances of Hatch at Contact Theatre. Ella was also a member of the Manchester International Festival’s Creative50 team, and was commissioned to create poetry in response to pieces at the festival. She facilitates creative writing workshops and has performed at numerous spoken word events up and down the country. Ella’s work is feminist, personal, and candid.

Click here to buy tickets.

Adam Zane, Artistic Director of Hope Theatre Company

For the past two years Adam was dramaturg and director of Gypsy Queen, working with writer/performer Rob Ward on his new play. Gypsy Queen has since toured to Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster, Liverpool, Brighton Fringe, Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival, Kings Head Theatre, London, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester and received 5 Star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe. Adam’s new play Jock Night premiered as a short play (the first of a trilogy of Jock Nights). The play deals with a number of LGBT+ issues including PrEP, chem-sex and the search for love and friendship in a world of sex and drugs. Jock Nights Part 2 and 3 will be performed as ‘a theatrical soap opera’ before touring as a full-length play in 2018.

Tim Brunsden is a film and video maker creating films with a focus on community and outsider culture.  He is an Associate Artist with Duckie and lead on digital output for Homotopia Festival in Liverpool.  He is also Co-Director of Re-Dock, working alongside artists and film-makers Sam Meech, Hwa Young Jung and Neil Winterburn.  Re-Dock is a Community Interest Company that combines our interest in digital media, participatory mapping and storytelling in research-led arts practice that engages with communities.

 

Richard Franke is founder and director of Magic Notion, developers of ‘Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker’ the YouTube sensation arcade dating simulator. Richard worked in the games industry for over 20 years on award winning titles such as The Burnout franchise, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, and Tearaway before creating independent studio Magic Notion. He stars as his drag alter-ego Kitty Powers in Magic Notion’s first title, as well as its upcoming follow up ‘Kitty Powers’ Love Life’ as well as doing live appearances at events around the world. Kitty Powers spreads a message of love, acceptance, diversity and gender fluidity.

The Nightbus is a drag terrorist; Europe’s Premier Bearded Muslim Drag Queen with a busload (geddit lol!) to say on oppression, hatred and marginalisation that will shake your core beliefs. After touring Europe and the US, a successful run in Edinburgh and Arts Council commissions for Manchester International Festival, this vehicular beacon of awfulness knows no limits. More sensitive passengers are requested to take several seats, strap the fuck in and enjoy the ride.

 

Jacob Engelberg is a Film Programmer based in Brighton, England where he runs the queer film strand Eyes Wide Open Cinema. Jacob has an academic background in Film Studies and Queer Theory; his masters degree in Sexual Dissidence looked at the representation of bisexuality in the films of Gregg Araki. Taking a ride with Jacob through his talk on cinema’s invocations of bisexuality, from well-known Hollywood neo-noir thrillers to underground queer filmmaking to the extremities of European art cinema, let’s take a moment to consider representations of bisexual desire on screen.

Kate O’Donnell is a transgender performer, activist, theatre and cabaret maker. She is the Artistic Director of Trans Creative a newly formed trans theatre company who aim to be trans led and trans positive.  Kate’s work is autobiographical, entertaining and political showing pride and strength in being transgender and includes; the award-winning Big Girl’s Blouse and several well received cabaret performances; Hayley and Me, A Short History of My Tits and No Pride. Kate is currently touring her critically acclaimed one woman show You’ve Changed following its preview at the Edinburgh festival. This year Trans Creative initiated and curated Manchester’s first trans arts festival and was part of the Manchester lnternational Festival opening event ‘What is The City but the People?’. Currently working on a project to trans up Manchester, working to make the city, its buildings and its people more trans friendly.

Queer Media Festival – Saturday 18th November 2017
HOME, Manchester – 11am to 5.30pm
The festival will have gender neutral toilets and be BSL interpreted
BOOK NOW: Click here to buy tickets!

 

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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.

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.