Attending the opening night of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival for the first time at the Glasgow Film Theatre, there was a buzz about the evening. As well as screening seven films that focus on queer or transgender identity they have clearly made a point to improve their accessibility, with a brief note from the access and engagements officer at the beginning of the night. Subtitles on all films and silent spaces for those that require the escape, making the festival pleasant for all, for this is just the opening night.
The seven shorts were interesting, but the key focus was the last of the seven to be screened, Visible, which was followed by a Q&A with director Campbell X. Visible is an interesting documentary about the history and archives of QPoC (Queer people of colour), focusing on how these archives have been suppressed or are non-existent, how you have to really dig to find out this history. It was a documentary well shot, with an interesting mix of talking heads discussing the prevalent issue.
However, although key focus there were other interesting shorts screened on the night. Round One centred around a female football player, who had recently come out at an event, bringing along her girlfriend as her plus one, with her reflection on the night. 10 Places to Visit in Sao Paolo had a more romantic touch, as we follow two photographers, as one is travelling through to take shots of the classic tourist areas, and the blossoming of their relationship.
Blooming Night appears to be set in China, as a boy goes in search of someone that took his eye, eventually finding her in a dancing club. Crashing Waves is set in Hackney, certainly London, and is a beautifully-shot dance film, which is suggestive in how urban violence can actually portray a fondness for one another. Stunningly choreographed. With Medulla Oblongata, Abraham Naim, aka the drag queen Medulla Oblongata, relates a harrowing story of escaping persecution for being gay in the Maldives. There You Are is about trans-identity and a family struggling to come to terms with Jessica being Jason, with rather wonderful moments between the characters.
An intriguing list of films, with a Q&A after, my only criticism was on the time slot, if they are concerned with access. It was almost 10:45pm before the Q&A kicked off, which meant I had to miss that part, but otherwise felt the night left food for thought.