Reelout, Kington’s Queer Film Festival, wants to whisk you away figuratively this year. Starting on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, the festival will feature stories from 19 different countries and diasporas worldwide.
The festival spans 12 days, with 22 different programs offering over 60 films.
The theme of this year is “International Points of View”, with submissions speaking about the intersections that exist between cultural identity and sexual and gender identities, and not just from other countries but Canadians and their diasporas.
“The intention for our 23rd year is to showcase what it means to be LGBTQ2SIA+ from people who are culturally diverse from the queer representation we are accustomed to seeing on our screens,” Matt Salton, Executive Director, Reelout Arts Project Inc., said.
Salton shared that the 19 countries represented this year are stories from African, South Asian, and Indo-Caribbean diasporas as well as films/filmmakers from the M’iq Maq (Wildhood), Squamish (The O Show), and Plains Cree (She Whispers). The festival also hosts its first film from Estonia (the melodrama-Firebird), one of two feature films. There’s also a special shorts program saluting the brave filmmakers of Brazil called Bravo Brazil.
In addition, there’s also a return to family-friendly programming, including the body-switching comedy Homebody and the shorts program The Darling Buds of May.
Due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the community, the team at ReelOut decided to do an entirely virtual festival.
“Nobody is happy with it (virtual), but everyone is safer for it,” Salton added.
Salton also spoke about the remarkable support from the Kingston community.
“Almost every one of our 22 Cinematic Adventures (programs) has a community organization attached to it who believe in what we’re doing,” he said.
The festival is designed to be enjoyed by everyone who supports and enjoys independent film and wants to expand their compassion, knowledge and empathy.
“It’s a big beautiful world, and we very rarely get the opportunity to witness such unique perspectives. Our audiences get that, and our sponsors get that; our funders reward us for it. And we project that love right back to the community,” Salton said.
Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative