Wicked Queer

On The Radar

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Looking Past 2016

Dear friends,

It’s been a rough year. Don’t lose heart.

From HB2 in North Carolina to the massacre at Pulse in Orlando, 2016 has been hard on us. This year is the deadliest on record for trans people, and the results of the election bring new uncertainty to our community.

Many of us, already exhausted by the events of the past year, now wonder if our future holds more years like it. Crisis hotlines for LGBT people have been inundated since Election Day. We share your weariness and heartbreak and grief.

It seems every year we, on the Wicked Queer steering committee, are asked anew, “Why do we still need a queer film festival?”

We need queer film now because it nourishes us.

When we see ourselves on the screen, it affirms that our lives matter and our stories are worth telling. When we hold spaces where we can laugh and cry and talk together, we know that none of us are in this alone. When we watch films as a community, we can confront our most dire challenges and dream of our most hopeful futures as one.

As queer film programmers, we are a part of an international network of curators who bring our stories to LGBT communities in all corners of the world.

We know people who arrange festivals in foreign embassies for protection. Who covertly screen short films on the subway between stops. Who travel on fake papers so their government won’t know where they are. We know people who smuggled queer films past the Iron Curtain to provide a lifeline to LGBT communities in the eastern bloc.

These people are our peers and our friends and our heroes. We admire their decades of abiding bravery.

We are deeply grateful that we live in a country where our freedoms of expression and assembly are valued and protected. Should this freedom ever be jeopardized, for us or for any vulnerable community, we will not be silent.

We write today in a spirit of welcome and resolve. We are heartened by the love of each other and our allies.  We take comfort in the knowledge that those who would harm us and others represent neither the best nor the majority of America.

Join us at our screenings. You’ll be moved, tickled, provoked, held in suspense, turned on, and opened to new perspectives, in an inclusive and vibrant community of film-lovers.

We don’t know what the future holds, but we are all in this together, and we are not going anywhere.

Forever in love and solidarity, we’ll see you at the movies.

The Wicked Queer Staff

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2016 Audience Award Winners!

Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival is proud to announce this year’s audience award winning films! These are the films that you all voted on for Best Narrative and Documentary Feature and Best Short!

theohugo

The Audience Award for Best Narrative goes to Jacques Martineau and Olivier Ducastel’s stunning contemporary queer drama PARIS 05:59: THEO AND HUGO.

major

The Audience Award for Best Documentary goes to Annalise Ophelian’s powerful exploration of the life of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy MAJOR!

boardwalk

And the Audience Award for Best Short Film goes to BOARDWALK, directed by Etamar Kadusheviz, which screened as part of our International Shorts Program.

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2016 Jury Award Winners!

Wicked Queer: The Boston LGBT Film Festival is happy to announce the winning films from our jury! A special thanks to our jury members for participating in this year’s festival!

The jury statement is as follows:

spanight

The Narrative Jury awarded Best Narrative to “SPA NIGHT” written and directed by Andrew Ahn. The jury valued how this film shed light on the quiet and isolated experience of the main character David Cho’s self-discovery in Los Angeles’ Korean immigrant community. Ahn deftly reveals the present-day challenges of navigating traditional Korean American family, church, and educational values. As the only child of an immigrant family whose family business, a restaurant, does not succeed, the main character surreptitiously takes on a part-time position at a Korean Spa, an integral component of urban Korean American culture. Watching the character’s evolution and discovery of self, gave the film a depth and emotion that was notable amongst the many great films nominated. One nuance particularly appreciated was the portrayal of the main character’s skill in navigating the intercultural interdependence of contemporary Los Angeles. “SPA NIGHT” is an award-worthy film that presents an LGBT story that we don’t see often enough.

arianna

In a field of many strong film entrants, the jury awarded an Honorable Mention to Italian entrant “ARIANNA,” co-written and directed by Carlo Lavagna, on the strength of the film’s rarely-seen content. The superb acting by Ondina Quadri as the titular character and spellbinding script by Lavagna, Barzine, and Salsa allowed the audience to understand the painful struggle of self-awareness elevating this film above and beyond the standard “coming of age” narrative.

major

For best documentary, our jury selected “MAJOR!,” directed by Annalise Ophelian. “MAJOR!” is a film biography of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a longtime transgender activist, a participant in the Stonewall Rebellion, and the leader of the Transgender Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project, which advocates for and provides resources to incarcerated transgender women of color. Ophelian’s film paints a nuanced portrait of a complex figure who doesn’t conform to any one simple identity, and it gives voice to a wide range of transgender people who often have no chance to tell their own stories. It is a vivid, thoughtful, and moving film.

yvonne

Our jury also gives a special mention to “FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER,” a fascinating exploration of an important but under-appreciated avant-garde artist and the times and artistic circles in which she has lived.

 

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Meet The 2016 Jury!

The 2016 film festival jury is made up of filmmakers, curators, and festival programmers. Thanks to all of them for participating in this year’s festival!

Festival Jury Bios:

Narrative:

Isabel Sandoval.

Isabel is a New York-based Filipino filmmaker. She has produced, written and directed two full-length features, including the Filipino-language Señorita (2011), which premiered in competition at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and was nominated for Best Picture by the Young Critics Circle of the Philippines. Señorita also won her the Emerging Director Award at the 2012 Asian-American International Film Festival.

Her second feature film, Apparition (2012), was widely acclaimed in its Philippine theatrical release and won a number of international awards, including the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NetPAC) Award at the 2012 Hawaii International Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the 2013 Deauville Asian Film Festival in France. Variety Magazine touts Apparition as an “outstanding sophomore feature…[an] intelligently scripted and deeply moving mood piece.” Apparition had a week-long theatrical run at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2013.

Isabel has a MBA from the New York University Stern School of Business and has a background in CPG brand management.

 

Michele Oshima.

Michèle Oshima consults to cultivate fertile connections among creatives globally so that breakthroughs emerge. After ten years in international business, Oshima coordinated Women’s Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for seven years. During the next eight years she served as the Director of Student and Artist- in-Residence (AiR) Programs at MIT’s Office of the Arts, connecting innovative artists from across the globe with students, inventors, and researchers. Working with Michel Gondry and Noam Chomsky on “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” was a highlight of that experience. Oshima has traveled extensively and fostered relationships with emerging and established artists throughout the world including Cary Fukunaga, Zanele Muholi, Abderrahmane Sissako, and Elizabeth Streb. She is also a veteran trumpeter, who was honored to play with the Super Rail Band at Mali’s national party in Bamako in celebration of Malick Sidibé’s win of the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion. Currently, you can hear her play with The Mood Swings Orchestra, an all female swing band.

 

Shane Engstrom.

Shane Engstrom is entering his 9th year as the Director/Co-Director of Out Film CT, the producer of Connecticut’s two LGBT film festivals: the Connecticut LGBT Film Festival (celebrating its 29th year in June 2016) and the EROS Film Festival (celebrating its 18th year in November 2016). When he’s not programming film festivals, he works in banking administration for Webster Bank. For more information, visit www.OutFilmCT.org

 

Documentary.

 

David Pendleton.

As the Programmer of the Harvard Film Archive, David Pendleton curates many of (and oversees all of) the screenings that make up the Archive’s ongoing cinematheque programming for the public. He has organized retrospectives of such filmmakers as Alfred Hitchcock, Ulrike Ottinger and Warren Sonbert and has taught courses on 20th century film history and the representation of masculinity in contemporary cinema. He is also the programmer of this year’s Flaherty Seminar. Since receiving a Ph.D in critical studies at UCLA’s School of Film and Television (with a dissertation on exoticism and homoeroticism in the films of Murnau, Eisenstein and Pasolini), he has published reviews, interviews and scholarly articles on topics including film theory, contemporary documentary and gay porn.

 

Jeremy Fox.

Jeremy C. Fox is a staff reporter for the Boston Globe, covering K-12 education. He contributed reporting to the Globe’s coverage of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, for which the newspaper won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting. Fox was a co-founder of the pop-culture website Pajiba, a previous staff writer for the Watertown Tab, and co-author with Andrew Elder of the 2013 book “Boston’s Orange Line.” His writing has appeared in Bay Windows, the Bay State Banner, the Boston Phoenix, Film Threat, the Gay and Lesbian Review, and other publications.

 

William Stover.

William Stover is an independent curator based in NYC. From 2002 to 2010 Stover was the Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he reinvigorated the contemporary department with an innovative program of exhibitions, events, and acquisitions including the commissioning of the performance, My Boston, from Zhang Huan to celebrate the acquisition of his work and to establish the presence of performance art at the MFA. He introduced the work of Cerith Wyn Evans to new audiences through his first museum show in the United States, and invited Jim Lambie to create an installation inspired by the architecture of the MFA.

Since returning to New York, Stover has curated a number of exhibitions including Carlos Dávila Rinaldi: Only Essence Remains, Museum of the Americas, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Alpine Desire, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; Ellen Harvey and Jason Middlebrook: The Natural Order of Things, DODGEgallery, New York; Sites of Memory: Architecture and Remembering, Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York; Clothes make the man? Childs Gallery, Boston. Stover currently curates a significant private collection of contemporary art in New York.

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2016 Films in Competition

Here are the films that are in competition for Best Narrative and Best Documentary, Feature.


NARRATIVE:

ARIANNA. Dir. Carlo Lavagna. Italy 2015, 84 min. Italian with English subtitles.

DEPARTURE. Dir. Dir. Andrew Steggall. United Kingdom 2015, 109 min.

FIRST GIRL I LOVED. Dir. Kerem Sanga. USA 2016, 91 min.

HUNKY DORY. Dir. Michael Curtis Johnson. USA 2016, 98 min

I PROMISE YOU ANARCHY (Te prometo anarquía). Dir. Julio Hernandez Cordon. Mexico 2015, 88 min. Spanish with English subtitles.

SPA NIGHT.  Dir. Andrew Ahn. USA 2016, 93 min. English and Korean with English Subtitles.

SUMMERTIME (La Belle saison) Dir. Catherine Corsini. France 2015, 105 min. French with English subtitles.

VIVA. Dir. Paddy Breathnach. Ireland, Cuba 2015, 100 min. Spanish with English subtitles.


 

DOCUMENTARY:

CLAMBAKE. Dir. Andrea Meyerson. USA 2015, 95 min

DESERT MIGRATION. Dir. Daniel Cardone. USA 2015, 80 min

FEELINGS ARE FACTS: THE LIFE OF YVONNE RAINER. Dir. Jack Walsh. USA 2015, 86 min

FURSONAS. Dir. Dominic Rodriguez. USA 2016, 81 min.

LET ME JUST BE. Dir. Matvey Troshinkin. Russian Federation 2015, 75 min. Russian with English subtitles.

MAJOR! Dir. Annalise Ophelian. USA 2015, 91 min.

REEL IN THE CLOSET Dir. Stu Maddox. USA 2015, 82 min

WOMEN HE’S UNDRESSED. Dir. Gillian Armstrong. Australia 2015, 100 min