The fifth annual Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) will open on Wednesday 2 October with a shorts programme celebrating the best in LGBTQIA+ community storytelling.
First-time Scottish director, Stuart Thomas Graham’s Adam and the Alphas depicts the camaraderie of gay rugby team, the Glasgow Alphas. Bodies Like Oceans follows self-described queer fat freak and photographer, Shoog McDaniel. I AM! We are Here! presents portraits of Queer, Trans* and Gender Non-Conforming People of Colour in the Bronx, whilst Unspoken sees Queer and Trans Asian Americans writing emotional letters to their families.
We Are Here follows members of the Manchester House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, and Button OUT! is an animated homage to Canadian filmmaker, Kathleen Mullen’s history of protest through her massive button collection. The festival will welcome several of the filmmakers for a post-screening Q&A, and there will be an additional autism-friendly screening of the Opening Night Shorts earlier in the evening.
More SQIFF events
SQIFF Shorts: Queer Islam
Introduced by LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity, Hidayah, Queer Islam is a series of shorts made over several decades following queer Muslim characters as they navigate familial relationships, romantic love, and their careers. A budding filmmaker collaborates with his conservative Muslim father on a film about an iconic Muslim actor. The love between a disabled Muslim father and his queer son is tested when love is pitted against religion.
Two brothers stand by each other in the face of adversity. An Arab American man learns how to love again post-heartbreak. And a rising martial arts star tries to hide her identity from her family and her small American town when under the spotlight. Tickets available here.
SQIFF Shorts: You Gotta Have Faith
The You Gotta Have Faith Shorts will see playwright and author of The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven, Jo Clifford, LGBTQIA+ Muslim charity, Imaan, and Rev. Jane Clarke from Glasgow’s LGBT+ Metropolitan Community Churches take part in a discussion exploring what it means to have faith as a queer person today.
The event includes compelling short films from around the world, including a seemingly pious Hasidic man living a secret double life facing a challenge when his two worlds collide; a chaplain from Cheshire who sets up a helpline for gay farmers and is inundated with calls; and LGBTQIA+ people in Nepal using a Hindu festival as a medium to appear in public. Tickets available here.
"Focusing on community and collectivism"
"We are really happy to be celebrating SQIFF's 5th birthday and continuing to offer an accessible and provocative film festival for Scotland's LGBTQIA+ communities. This year, we'll be focusing on community and collectivism, thinking about how bringing people together and queer activism can create positive change in the world."
Moroni for President
Moroni for President was shot in The Navajo Nation - the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Every four years, the Navajo tribe elects its president, whom is considered to be the most powerful Native American in the country. In the midst of a frenzied electoral campaign, Moroni for President follows Moroni Benally, a Mormon and gay Navajo man with radical ideas, who is angry about lack of social progress in the reservation he grew up in. Tickets available here.
But I'm a Cheerleader
Classic Christian camp comedy, But I'm a Cheerleader, stars Natasha Lyonne as an All-American sweetheart who falls for Clea Duvall's moody butch charms. Tickets available here.
Pity Party Film Club Presents: Evil Come, Evil Go
SQIFF will team up with Glasgow cult movie heroes, Pity Party Film Club for a rare showing of Walt Davis' 1970's lesbian sexploitation opus, Evil Come, Evil Go. Sister Sarah Jane (Cleo O'Hara) is hellbent on ridding the world of evil, sex-obsessed men. Taking to the streets of Los Angeles, she quickly befriends a gullible young woman and the two embark on a mad, sex-filled killing spree. Prior to the film, two of Glasgow's most outrageous drag artists, SHREK 666 and Puke, will be teaming up for a thrilling performance exploring religion in their own irreverent way. Tickets available here.
Helen Wright, Festival Coordinator, said: "We are really happy to be celebrating SQIFF's 5th birthday and continuing to offer an accessible and provocative film festival for Scotland's LGBTQIA+ communities. This year, we'll be focusing on community and collectivism, thinking about how bringing people together and queer activism can create positive change in the world.
"We're really grateful to Screen Scotland and all our partners for their support in creating a vital space for queer people and allies to explore such ideas and experience a wealth of films and art."
Samar Ziadat, SQIFF programmer of the You Gotta Have Faith strand said: "To be devout and queer is a complicated and heavily nuanced existence for many in our community, especially for those whose religion has strong ties to their culture, nationality and/or race. Our religious strand, You’ve Gotta Have Faith, is an international tribute to those who are in the process of reclaiming, redefining or renouncing their religion in the context of their queerness. This strand feels especially pertinent in today’s world, where many societies and cultures would like us to believe that religious devotion/spiritually and queerness are mutually exclusive."
SQIFF 2019 runs from Wednesday 2 to Sunday 6 October and the full festival programme will be announced on Wednesday 28 August. SQIFF is funded by Screen Scotland.
Tickets to all events are priced on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale of £0-£8 based on individual circumstances. Audience members choose what they are able to pay – SQIFF don't ask for any proof of circumstances, they just ask that audience members are honest.
In order to make the Festival further accessible to more people, all films will be screened with English language captions for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing access with BSL interpretation and audio description available at select events.
Festival access information is available at sqiff.org/accessibility.
For tickets, images, and interviews, please contact Ruth Marsh.
More about SQIFF
SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival) was formed with the aim of adding to the exciting and growing amount of queer film stuff happening around Scotland. Since 2015, we have held an annual festival in Glasgow alongside providing year round events across various locations. Our goal is to get people watching, talking about, and making more queer films. We want to screen movies that people might not otherwise get a chance to see and to create inspiring and informative events alongside challenging inequality and barriers to accessing the arts.
To find out more, visit http://www.sqiff.org/.