Winnipeg’s Reel Pride is back this year with new community alliances and events alongside finely- crafted tales of love, human rights and GLBT* lives.
Reel Pride is kicking off with a pre- festival teaser at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Oct. 7. Audiences will be treated to films like Forbidden Love, a gem of Canadian lesbian history chronicling stories of women who sought same-sex love in socially unacceptable times. The Matthew Shepard Story will show, too.
From Oct. 14 to 19, the Gas Station Arts Centre will serve as a central hub for the festival’s many showings.
Eric Plamondon, who does marketing for Reel Pride, said the fest is excited to open with film 52 Tuesdays, which is centred on a teenage girl dealing with her mother’s gender transition to a trans man.
“It fits in the next wave of human rights,” he said. Now that mainstream society has picked up on trans rights, Reel Pride is hoping the cutting-edge trans films it has shown for years will keep the momentum rolling.
Reel Pride is bringing in Trevor Boris, star of Video on Trial.
Big-name films like Love is Strange, the story of an older gay couple in Manhattan, will also screen.
The short film competition will be back, as will the beer tent acting as B-reel venue, seeing thematic programs like a selection of short films that “run the gamut of the [queer] alphabet,” said Plamondon.
A partnership with l’Alliance Française will offer audiences short and long subtitled features from prominent French filmmakers, such as François Ozon, whose films are known for their unconstrained depictions of human sexuality.
After-parties at The Good Will and Fame Nightclub are also on the program. And to end the festival on a hilarious note, Reel Pride is bringing in Trevor Boris, the star of Video on Trial, to perform at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Local comedian Al Rae will host and, Winnipeg comedian Chantel Marostica will perform one of her last shows in the city before she moves to Toronto.
Tickets are $10 per show, or a four-show pass for $30. For $60, attendees can see it all, including access to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Plamondon added that, “if somebody self-identifies as having lesser means, we will accept whatever they can afford.”
Accessibility includes unisex washrooms and wheelchair access at the Gas Station Arts Centre.
Visit reelpride.org for more details, or find a program downtown.
REEL PRIDE HIT LIST
Boy Meets Girl A heartbreaking and entertaining romantic trans comedy
By Larkin Schmiedl
Watch this movie. Funny and engaging, Boy Meets Girl sees 21-year-old Ricky and her best friend Robbie in small town Kentucky, where they grew up.
Sexual tensions play out alongside the tensions of trans life in this film that reveals small-town relationships as nuanced rather than stereotyped. Played by trans woman Michelle Hendley, the story centres on Ricky’s romantic life and the complex web of relationships she negotiates.
Rich flashbacks of the past are by turns heartbreaking and entertaining. This story is not about Ricky’s transition, but her whole life, and by virtue of that, an entire town.
Her gender history is revealed early on as she develops a relationship with her first lesbian object of affection, Francesca, who is engaged to be married to a local marine.
The situations Ricky faces display her incredible inner strength, built up over a lifetime of experience. She defends herself when necessary with matter-of-fact fierce wit. The behaviours she faces and the emotions she feels will be recognizable to most trans people. Confident and wise, she is held by the town around her.
This 99-minute film from director Eric Shaeffer will leave you connected in its sweet depth.
– Larkin Schmiedl is a freelance journalist living and working in Vancouver, B.C. ￼
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