The Yukon Queer Film Alliance are hosting the third annual film festival OUT North this
weekend at The Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse. The eclectic festival delivers a variety of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender-related films.
“The first OUT North was in 2012,” says festival co-producer Debbie Thomas. “We take it a tiny bit at a time and try to grow in one direction or another each year.”
This year they are reaching out to Whitehorse youth, bringing in a film that deals with teens coming out as gay in high school.
“(The Yukon Queer Film Alliance) is partnering with BYTE and the Boys and Girls Club of Yukon on a Sunday matinée screening of G.B.F., which is a satirical take on the hottest new high school accessory — a gay best friend,” Thomas says.
The festival opens on Friday with the comedy Heterosexual Jill, andLos Angeles-based writer/director/producer Michelle Ehlen will be in attendance.
“Michelle is going to be pretty busy while she’s here,” Thomas says. “At lunchtime on Friday (March 14) she’s going to be at the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre talking about what it’s like to work in film, and on Saturday she’ll be over at YFS’s (Yukon Film Society) space, offering an informal workshop on writing.”
Some other notable films featured in the festival include Vic and Flow Saw a Bear, Bruno and Earlene Go to Vegas, and theepic love story Reaching For the Moon.
“(Reaching For the Moon) is based on the real life relationship between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares, creator of Rio de Janeiro’s Flamengo Park,” Thomas says.
There will also be four short films in the line-up, and Thomas says selecting the films is not always an easy task.
“(The Yukon Queer Film Alliance’s) directors all spent hours this winter checking out programs from queer festivals around the world and watching film trailers,” Thomas says. “Once the board had narrowed down their choices we approached distributors for full-length screeners and whittled the list down further.
“The toughest thing about producing OUT North is that we can’t show all of the films we’d like to. There are so many quality, independent films out there that we could easily program a weeklong festival. But the population base just isn’t here to support that.”
Whitehorse resident David Whiteside is co-producing the festival with Thomas this year. He says that although Whitehorse is small, there is a great attitude towards the LGBT community.
“My partner and I find Whitehorse to be a very accepting city,” he says. “We have felt included and a part of the community since our arrival.
For more information about the festival, go to www.QueerYukon.comor visit Queer Yukon’s Facebook page.
OUT North takes place at The Old Fire Hall in Whitehorse from March 14-16.