Saturday August 13, 2016

8th Annual Toronto International Queer West Film Festival

queer west film festival theme august 13, 2016

Saturday August 13, 2016 – 7 Shorts & Feature Film

Tonight’s Theme: Role models – Inspiring people and places

Restricted – No one under 18 admitted. ID Required.

Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue. Street Map. Doors 6:30 pm Show 7 pm to 9.45 pm, 15 minute intermission each day. The theatre is fully wheelchair accessible.

General Admission $10 each evening August 12, 13 and 14th. 3 day pass $25.

Film Introduction and Welcome Speech:  At 7: 15 PM  before curtain up at 7 PM.  There will be an Introduction (Elevator Speech) to all films screening tonight,   given by a Queer West Board Member. Q & A Time permitting. You will received a Program Guide as you enter the theatre.

Program Guide 2016

A simple eight page program guide, in an unusual style by graphic designer Jacob Aspler ( in Montreal Q.C VIEW IT HERE


Toronto Premier – Female Masculinity Appreciation Society (Documentary) – Directed by Jackie Nunns and Angie West, London England 11:53 Minutes

lesbian arm wrestlers in the ukFilm Synopsis: This light-hearted documentary follows Angie and Jackie, a lesbian couple, a lesbian couple in their 50s who try their hand at making a film for the first time. With only their film-watching experience, the book Short Films by Nathan Parker and the British Film Institute’s one-day workshop Absolute Beginners to guide them, they throw themselves into the adventure and when things go wrong, events lead them to a most unexpected outcome.” and need to leave “The Female Masculinity Appreciation Society is a sort of gentlemen’s club for queer women and those who love them. Follow Cookie and Foxy Ven in their quest to reach the arm- wrestling finals, discover the reason behind Rubyyy’s ginger moustache and judge for yourself the standards in Dapper wear. The event is held twice a year at Bar Wotever, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, London, England.

Trailer – Female Masculinity Appreciation Society

Canadian Premier – My Refugee Story (LGBT Syrian Documentary – English subtitles)  – Directed by Mohamed Nour and Eldin Metwally, Beirut, Lebanon 16:26 Minutes

Co-Presented by the Syria Film Festival (SYFF)

1 More Cup founder and CEO Mohamed Nour1 More Cup founder and CEO Mohamed Nour offers a strong foundation in both theoretical, technical expertise along with diverse experience in both the public and private sectors, doing business in between Beirut and Cairo. He spent Five years studying computer science at University of District Columbia. Director of promotional videos and documentaries for clients such as Red Bull, the Nile Project, KAFA (“enough violence and exploitation”, a Lebanese-based NGO), & UNICEF.

Film Synopsis: LGBTIQ youth living in Lebanon, sharing their stories about their lives and the trip to Lebanon that they had to take and why they had to take it. Produced by 1morecup & Mosaic. Beaten, burned, bombed and humiliated. These are just a few of the faces of LGBT Syrians fleeing the brutal civil war that has plagued the country for the past five years. Although Lebanon is often perceived as more tolerant than most countries in the region, like in Syria the Lebanese Penal Code considers ‘homosexual acts’ illegal. The country’s lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) community is growing in prominence but the issue is still a taboo. The refugees in this film are so fearful for their lives, even here in Lebanon,  their faces are not shown. In simply words life is hell in Syria and life is hell in Lebanon, for many of these now homeless queer youth, who nobody wants.

Trailer – My Refugee Story (LGBT Syrian Documentary) English subtitles

Canadian Premier – Alzheimer’s: A love story – A student documentary directed by Gabe Schimmel and Monica Petruzzelli, Los Angeles, California 16:24 Minutes.

photo of filmmakers Gabe Schimmel and Monica Petruzzelli,(L. to R. SchimmelPetruzzelli) The documentary was made at Chapman University, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts as part of the Community Voices Program. Filmmaker Monica Petruzzelli loves telling stories – whether it be through documentaries, newscasts or the songs she writes. She is a senior Broadcast Journalism and Documentary Production major at Dodge and she aspires to save the world, one story at a time. Her latest documentary “Alzheimer’s: A Love Story” has garnered attention from some of the best in the biz during it’s film festival run.  Ian G. (Gabe) Schimmel  has always loved movies. As kid wandering around his parent’s film sets, he always wondered how it all came together. In his freshman year at Chapman, Gabe found the answer- editing. Since then he’s never stopped pursuing his passion- he’s currently completing his degree in film production with an emphasis in editing at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media arts, and is slated to graduate in early 2017. Gabe is passionate about animation’s burgeoning role in film and television, and is interested in making films with socially and environmentally conscious messages.

QWFF_audience_choice_award_2016-2Film Synopsis: Alzheimer’s is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that accounts for roughly 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. It is caused by the death or malfunction of nerve cells in the brain, and results in eventual deterioration of memory, behavior, and basic bodily functions. Those diagnosed with the disease live an average of 8 years after their symptoms first become noticeable. Every day a man named Michael (Horvich) a Chicago Poet) comes and visits for a couple hours at Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Skokie, Illinois.  No one can say for sure if Gregory (Maire) 67 a retired architect , knows who Michael is or why he comes every day, but it seems he does. From Michael’s point of view it’s only natural that he do so – after all, Michael has loved Greg since the day they met 41 years ago. Gregory died peacefully on October 4, 2015, on the other side of life as we know it, seven months after this documentary was  completed.

Trailer – Alzheimer’s: A love story

Canadian Premier – In the Mood for Love  (Documentary, English Subtitles) – Directed by Sandeep Kr. Singh and Aakriti Kohli, New Delhi, Indian 28:31 Minutes.

india filmmakers Aakriti Kohli & Sandeep SinghThe film’s directors, Sandeep and Aakriti are alumni of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.  They are trained in film and television production, and have worked together on varied video, animation and design projects. Sandeep (R.) is an independent filmmaker and works in collaboration with NGOs and institutions, and has taught photography and filmmaking. Aakriti (L.) is an alumni of Delhi School of Economics and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She is a research scholar and assistant professor at the University of Delhi and teaches journalism, media and culture studies.

QWFF_best_documentary_2016-04Film Synopsis: A Heart-Warming Documentary. That’ll Make You Realise How ‘Ordinary’ Queer Love Is.  In December 2013, the Supreme Court of India, put aside an earlier verdict by the High Court, and re-criminalized homosexuality and consensual relationships between same-sex partners. The film made  after that decision,  is a story of people who have lived and loved, and explores queer love and relationships, togetherness, love, sexuality and illegality in India. It documents stories of individuals from New Delhi, who turn an inward gaze and reflect on themselves, the community and the movement. Foregrounding their lives and work, the film explores their negotiations with everyday realities. There’s  a criticism voiced in the film, when cast member Shabnam Shaikh says, “The LGBT community fighting, at the forefront, belongs to a particular class, speaks a certain language, and has a presence in the media but you will not find any representation of rural India.” Her point is emphasized doubly because it’s made in Hindi.

Trailer – In the Mood for Love  (Documentary) English Subtitles

Intermission – 15 minutes

Toronto Premier – I love her, a 2013 Ukrainian independent short film directed by Darya Perelay.  3:31 Minutes

photo of Darya Perelay a Ukraine filmmakerDarya Perelay – Born and raised in Ukraine, Darya Perelay is professionally trained in music education in Ukraine and independent filmmaking in Barcelona Spain.  She holds a Certificate from afilm International Film Workshops, located in Sitges, Barcelona, which she received upon completing a one-year Filmmaking Workshop. “Although there are many films that have tackled this subject before, this one is truly special because I wanted to stress that it is also a problem in an emerging new democracy of Ukraine. Although my film does not have any political agenda whatsoever, I wanted to point out that there needs to be awareness about this social issue in Ukraine if Ukraine is to succeed on its path toward a democracy and everything that it stands for. ” Darya Said.

Film Synopsis: This story is about a musician, Natalie (Played by Natalie Ivanchuk) , who moves to Kiev, Ukraine and tries her luck at becoming famous. And here she finds not only a great opportunity for her career, but also a new love with another girl, Anna (Played by Clare Durant). They two are very different: one poor, the other one is rich, one of them writes music and sings, the other one cannot hear or speak… They are united by love for each other, but their own fears stand in the way of their happiness. They both go through doubts and pain. When they finally find courage in their hearts, it seems like it’s too late… But does true love have time limits?

Trailer – I love Her.

Canadian Premier – Forgetfulness – Directed by Mayur Katariya, Melborne, Australia  7:51 Minutes

photo Mayur Katariya australia filmmakerMayur Katariya – Works as a Business Administration Manager at Monash University in Australia. He is a fully trained counselor and mindfulness trainer. Mayur has shot, edited and directed a few short films, music videos and professional corporate videos. He is currently working on a documentary on the transgender community in India. “Cinema allows us to see the world from other people’s perspective – this medium should only be used to make the World even better.” Mayur Said.

Film Synopsis:  As a senile dementia sufferer drifts in and out of her previous lives, she feels the pain and pleasure of her past and current relationships. Either she has lost touch with the reality or she is closer to the reality than we think. Cast: Marie Werrett as Anita – the lover. Dusty the Dog as Cinnamon. Melissa Addison as Clare, the daughter,  Roger Dray as Ex husband and Cheryl Richards as Jane.  No Trailer available.

Canadian Premier – A Tough Act To Follow (Documentary) Directed by Sampson McCormick from North Carolina USA and co-produced by Emmy Award winning producer Todd Clark 25:15 Minutes

photo north carolina lgbt comedian sampson mccormackSampson McCormick  From Evergreen North Carolina, but now lives in in Oakland California – “My work comes from life as I see it, lived it and through messages that I feel can only be communicated through the stage.  I do it all in love and am sure that you’ll enjoy it–or at least learn something new, and have a few laughs while doing it.”  He said. Sampson is a nationally touring stand up comedian, writer and activist, he’s appeared on MTV, BET, TV One and The OWN Network, and has been named “One of the Funniest LGBT Comics” by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, SWERV Magazine, and the Advocate. He uses his down to earth style of humor to bring light to serious issues such as homophobia, poverty, racism and religion–all the things you don’t talk about in polite company, while splitting the sides of his audiences. Sampson on Facebook

Film Synopsis: “A Tough Act To Follow” is a documentary film that follows some of the experiences of Sampson McCormick, (Sampson), a touring, black, North Carolina LGBT stand-up comic and writer, who navigates the already difficult business, as well as many of the added hurdles and setbacks with lots of humor, a few tears, heartfelt honesty and admirable determination.  Through humor as well as serious inquiry, it focuses on the homophobia, sexism and sometimes racism and other challenges that affect the level of visibility of diversity in comedy houses, television, on stages and opportunities for minority artists in the entertainment business.

Trailer – A Tough Act To Follow

Canadian Premier – Landlords – The Economics of S&M Apartments in Berlin – Directed by Emre Busse and Ceven Knowles, Berlin Germany (English Subtitles) 40:24 Minutes

poster for the film Landlords - The Economics of S&M Apartments in BerlinFilm Synopsis: An experimental documentation behind the culture of Sadism and Masochism (S&M)  apartment rentals in Berlin answering the questions: who owns them, how are they designed/built, to whom and how they are marketed, and how they fit into their niche market within the cities well-known sex tourism trade?  “Homeownership fetish” broke out as an American Dream in the beginning of 1900’s, and its historical variation on today’s social predicaments like globalization, immigration issues and gentrification.  Berlin -the fetish capitol of Europe- creates a new area of criticism in the homosocial environment which can be associated with commodity fetishism, also provided by more than five fetish housing companies.  On one side sits, the material conditions of a fringe non-economy, the artist culture, the many spaces that existed in Berlin after the fall of the wall which led way to having social spaces that developed into alternative and queer social spaces often serving as non-capitalist marketplaces, those led the way to further evolving queer culture in the city.  And on the other side: the mainstream gay culture of Schöneberg Berlin with its bars, shops, cafes, and other marketplaces leads to new ways of thinking in regards to economics.  Fetish has a particular presence in the writings of both Marx and Freud.  The works of Freud suggests that the idea of the fetish involves attributing properties to objects that they do not ‘really’ have and that should correctly be recognized as human, while Marx’s account of fetishism addresses the exchange-value of commodities at the level of the economic relations of production.  With this documentary, Emre Busse and Ceven Knowles  explore the relationship between supply and demand in this niche of the sex community to perhaps understand and think of other new possible applications within the non-commercial gay and queer marketplaces.

Trailer – Landlords: The Economics of S&M Apartments in Berlin (English Subtitles)

Tonight’s Feature Film 40:24 Minutes

The End.