8 Must-See Canadian-Directed LBGTQ+ Films
Happy Pride! This month we’re celebrating some summery St. John’s pride, and what better way to do it than with some incredible new (ish) LBGTQ+ Canadian films?
Here's our SJIWFF-approved list!
Interested in marching with the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival for St. John’s Pride? Join us on July 16th!
Rebels on Pointe
Is ballet just for women of a certain body type? New York City’s Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo says NOPE! Bobbi Jo Hart’s film Rebels on Pointe is about the talented drag ballerinas making ballet for everyone again. Armed with humour and some slick dance moves, the Trockaderos have earned themselves a following all around the world. Who says you can’t ballet?
Rebels on Pointe premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and has been winning awards ever since. We figure Bobbi Jo Hart is a force to keep an eye on.
Picture This is Jari Osborne’s riveting documentary that poses a difficult question: what does it mean to be disabled and desirable?
Andrew Gurza is a “queer cripple” (self-described) who aims to make sex and disability a part of public discourse. Most of this documentary follows Gurza’s difficulties with changing the perception that gay men must be fit and able-bodied -- never mind the fact that society seems to prefer to think of people with disabilities as being asexual.
This film has been getting tons of attention. It premiered at the Inside Out Festival in Toronto in May.
Below Her Mouth
Here’s the one live-action film in our list of LBGTQ+ Canadian films to come out in the past little while -- Below Her Mouth, by April Mullen. Jasmine is a fashion editor living with her (male) fiance. On a night out in the city with her friend, she meets Dallas, a roofer. Dallas pursues Jasmine with a confidence that intrigues Jasmine, and eventually they both succumb to a steamy affair that forces them to reevaluate their lives.
Warning: this is indeed a steamy film!
The Amina Profile
One of the most recent LBGTQ+ films we've screened (with massive success) was Sophie Desraspe's The Amina Profile, a documentary/thriller that blew our audience away.
A Canadian woman begins an online affair with Amina, a woman in Syria. As the Arab Spring heats up, Amina begins a blog of her life that is both political and personal: A Gay Girl in Damascus. When Amina disappears after months of online activism, her girlfriend, Sandra Bagaria, back in Montreal, begins frantically to search for her. That search unearths much more truth than she was expecting.
The March Sweater
The March Sweater is a documentary series directed by Cory Ashworth meant to draw awareness to Vancouver’s LGBTQ seniors. Each episode focuses on a prominent LGBTQ senior in the community, as well as their straight allies. The result is some emotionally-charged and poignant wisdom on love, life, and growing older!
If you’re curious about the title, The March Sweater is a “grey crewneck sweatshirt developed to raise funds and awareness for the LGBTQ community. Each sweatshirt aligns its wearer with the LGBTQ community, signifying their allegiance to supporting equality, diversity and LGBTQ rights.”
Have a sneak peek below!
This is Everything
Are you familiar with the young YouTube star, Gregory Gorgeous? Gregory was a former national championship diver turned YouTube personality, where he became famous for his make-up tutorials and his fun online presence. This documentary by Barbara Kopple follows Gregory’s story of transitioning from male to female -- to Gigi Gorgeous, a stunning model and public personality.
But the film is much more than just Gigi’s story; Kopple follows Gigi and her family as they struggle with their acceptance of Gigi’s transition. You’re guaranteed to fall in love with Gigi yourself when watching this!
Do I Have Boobs Now?
Courtney Demone, a trans activist from Victoria, BC, launched a controversial and viral campaign titled #DoIHaveBoobsNow back in 2015. She posted topless photos of her transition on social media, and sparked a global discussion about censorship policies and the sexualization of female bodies.
This film from Milena Salazar and Joella Cabalu delivers a stirring account of what it’s like to be a visible trans activist and queer feminist.
The Migrant Mixtape
This short film from Eli Jean Tahchi tells the stories of Arab LGBT asylum seekers and their experiences, via cassette-tape recordings sent from the individuals themselves. In most cases, the Arab LGBT individuals are hoping to flee persecution or violence in their home countries.
Although it’s only 22 minutes long, The Migrant Mixtape is engaging and visually beautiful. JUST Check out the teaser trailer!