From 18 to 30 April 2023

Now in its fourth yr, Queer East will return to cinema screens throughout the capital and across the UK in 2023 with one other thrilling line-up which mixes up to date characteristic movie and documentary with retrospective screenings, quick movies, artists’ transferring picture works, a VR cinematic expertise and dance productions that discover a various vary of topical LGBTQ+ points. By way of an unimaginable programme of cinema and efficiency artwork the pageant will push boundaries and problem expectations and labels generally related to queer communities. Queer East’s very important programme is certain to impress, encourage and have interaction.

Consisting of a fundamental pageant which is able to take from 18 to 30 April 2023 throughout eight venues in London, and a nationwide tour deliberate from September to November throughout ten cities, Queer East 2023 options 50 movies incorporating work from 17 international locations throughout East and Southeast Asia and past.

New additions to this yr’s pageant embrace Focus Korea which consists of 15 titles spanning from the Nineteen Sixties to the current and reveal a surprisingly vibrant custom of queer filmmaking throughout the many years in Korea, regardless of the nation’s conservative social angle to LGBTQ+ rights. Collaborations with visitors filmmakers worldwide have led to expanded Shorts and Artists’ Transferring Picture Programmes which provide extra in-depth explorations within the present queer panorama of East and Southeast Asia. Many movies on this yr’s programme share the widespread themes of queer and gender efficiency, from cross-dressing to gender-reversed casting, these works spotlight playful and fluid queerness, showcasing the ways in which gender and sexuality have been seen and interpreted by filmmakers in numerous Asian cultural contexts. Not stopping with movie, this yr’s pageant is working in partnership with main London dance venue The Place to welcome two worldwide dance productions, Robin Numanong’s Cyborg DNA and Choy Ka Fai’s Yishun is Burning. These distinctive efficiency works spotlight the themes of queer efficiency that are central to this yr’s programme, providing an alternate method of navigating intersections between expertise, digital artwork, bodily motion, and queer identities.

I Love You, Beksman

Queer East 2023 begins on 18 April at BFI Southbank with an Opening Evening Gala UK Premiere screening of hilarious high-camp comedy I Love You, Beksman (Philippines, 2022). From director Percival Intalan (Dementia, 2014; Born Lovely, 2019) the movie follows glamorous make-up artist and clothier Dali, who’s assumed by his mates, colleagues, and queer household to be homosexual. However when Dali falls for magnificence pageant queen Angel, he is pressured to lastly come out as straight… the issue is, no person believes him, not even Angel. Full of music and laughter, I Love You, Beksman is a joyous and uplifting exploration of identification full of enjoyable performances from its ensemble solid, and with a captivating and earnest lead in award-winning younger actor Christian Bables. This UK Premiere screening follows its Worldwide Premiere on the current Worldwide Movie Competition Rotterdam.

Ending the pageant at Barbican Cinema on 30 April, this yr’s Closing Gala is the UK Premiere of House Floor (South Korea, 2022), a poignant documentary about Korea’s first lesbian bar, Lesbos. Since 1976 when women-only cafe Chanel was closed down after a baseless police raid, town’s lesbian group had been left with nowhere to name their very own… till Lesbos opened its doorways in 1996. Charting the bar’s historical past by way of the expertise of bar-owner Myong-woo, this touching movie chronicles occasions of wrestle but additionally finds hope as Myong-woo reunites the group from Chanel, and Lesbos is found by a brand new technology of younger ladies. House Floor is an affecting portrait of a girl decided to offer refuge for her metropolis’s ever-expanding queer group, and is a crucial piece of latest Korean LGBTQ+ filmmaking. 

The worldwide phenomenon of Korean Wave showcases the nation’s hyper energetic and vibrant popular culture and movie productions, however discussions on its queer filmmaking nonetheless stay below the radar. Korea has an extended historical past of queer filmmaking that goes method past the current growth of Boy’s Love dramas. This yr’s ‘Focus Korea‘ strand seeks to focus on South Korea and supply audiences an opportunity to see a snapshot of the nation’s numerous queer storytelling and the present queer panorama by way of varied kinds together with fiction, documentary and even VR movie. That includes a mixture of new and retrospective titles, the programme takes us again to the 60s for a screening of legendary South Korean director Shin Sang-ok’s A Man and a Gisaeng (Dir. Shin Sang-ok, Shim Wu-soeb, South Korea, 1969), which sees a younger man who loses his job for being ‘unmanly’ determine to decorate as a girl and work as a gisaeng (a girl from the decrease lessons skilled to be a courtesan); Music Kyung-shik’s daring drama Sa Bangji (South Korea, 1988), screening in a surprising 4K restoration, follows the tragic, violent and sexual lifetime of a hermaphrodite raised in a monastery and their journey into the world; a surprisingly nuanced illustration of queer characters involves the fore in 90s horror Memento Mori (Kim Tae-yong, Min Kyu-dong, South Korea, 1999), by which a schoolgirl finds a secret diary and discovers two of her mates are engaged in a forbidden affair. When one of many women turns up lifeless the tranquil college is remodeled right into a morbid place of terror; an early work from South Korea’s interval drama specialist Lee Joon-ik (Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet, 2016; The Guide of Fish, 2021) King and the Clown (South Korea, 2005) sees two travelling jesters grow to be ensnared in an online of harmful want; director Kim Kyung-mook’s poetic and classy Stateless Issues (South Korea, 2011) examines the precarious existence of two ‘stateless’ younger males, one a defector from North Korea and the opposite a Chinese language immigrant; director Kim Bo-ra earned quite a few pageant plaudits, together with at Berlin and Busan, for her warmly nostalgic coming-of-age debut characteristic Home of Hummingbird (South Korea, 2018) by which Eun-hee (Park Ji-hu, now starring in Netflix’s All of Us Are Lifeless) finds her world modifications when a brand new, free-spirited tutor arrives on the college; Byun Sung-bin graduates from award-winning shorts to his characteristic movie debut with compelling household drama Peafowl (South Korea, 2022), the story of a transgender dancer who’s pressured to return to her rural hometown after the loss of life of her father. Closing Gala House Floor (Dir. Kwon Aram, South Korea, 2022) may even play as a part of the strand. Additionally included inside Focus Korea is 5.25m2 (South Korea, 2022), a haunting cinematic VR expertise, offered in collaboration with BFI Expanded, which imprisons viewers in a solitary confinement cell – Stateless Issues director Kim Kyung-mook’s jail after he was sentenced to 18 months for objecting to Korea’s necessary army service and popping out as queer. 

Memento Mori

Queer East’s options line-up expands out of South Korea, encompassing narrative movies, documentary and retrospective screenings, representing a rare breadth of queer filmmaking that spans 60 years and eight international locations. Let Me Hear it Barefoot (Japan, 2021) from director Kudo Riho (Orphans’ Blues, 2018) arrives within the UK after a formidable pageant run and tells the story of Naomi, a pupil dropout, who befriends the happy-go-lucky Maki. As they start to precise their rising intimacy by way of tough playfighting, their actions purchase a hurtful depth that threatens to overwhelm their relationship. A relationship additionally comes below pressure in Jun Robles Lana’s (Ten Little Mistresses, 2023), About Us However Not About Us (The Philippines, 2022), a tense and claustrophobic thriller by which literature pupil Lance meets his college professor Eric for dinner. However as disturbing revelations in regards to the previous start to emerge, the encounter evolves right into a vicious battle of wills. What Occurred to the Wolf? (Myanmar, 2022), is directed by Na Gyi (Mi, 2019), who fled the nation after a warrant was issued for his arrest for collaborating within the civil disobedience motion following the 2021 coup d’état. The movie brings collectively two hospital sufferers with totally different outlooks on society, who kind a robust bond. Unhealthy Girls of China (China, 2022) is a uncooked and frank documentary that explores the lives and needs of three generations of Chinese language ladies from filmmaker and activist He Xiaopei’s, who takes the viewers on a journey from the Twenties by way of to the 2020s, documenting the experiences and needs of three generations of Chinese language ladies, as they arrive to phrases with political and social change; whereas Lotus Sports activities Membership (Cambodia / Netherlands, 2022) is an inspiring coming-of-age documentary in regards to the relationship between a younger transgender footballer and his coach, and is directed by Vanna Hem and Italian filmmaker Tommaso Colognese, whose manufacturing division credit embrace main Hollywood movies Inception, Hugo and Skyfall. Heading again 60 years, The Love Eterne (Hong Kong, 1963) is a luxurious opera movie, by which maiden Chu Ying-Tai disguises herself as a boy with the intention to attend college. There she meets the dashing Liang Shan-Po, with whom she falls passionately in love. The Director Li Han-Hsiang additionally directed classics Diau Charn (1958) and The Kingdom and the Magnificence (1959), and received the Golden Horse for Finest Director for The Love Eterne in 1963. Additionally screening is Tsai Ming-Liang’s debut characteristic Rebels of the Neon God (Taiwan, 1992), a masterful exploration of city alienation and sexual malaise, extensively considered probably the greatest Taiwanese movies of all time. Rebels of the Neon God captures a transformative second within the metropolis’s historical past, because the decaying structure of the nationalist period provides solution to technological modernisation, online game arcades, and glossy new purchasing malls. Foregrounding themes of queer want, the movie launched cinemagoers to Tsai’s signature minimalist type.

Rebels of the Neon God

Exploring the queer expertise in all its myriad kinds, Queer East presents a very numerous number of thematically linked quick movies throughout 5 groupings.

In Between Seasons – Programmed and offered in partnership with CinemAsia Film Festival, Amsterdam
Spring, summer time, autumn and winter: every new season marks a starting, an act of trans-formation, signalling the everchanging fluidity of nature. On this programme, whether or not trapped in psychological minds or bodily our bodies, every protagonist discovers a solution to escape from actuality, and embark on a private journey of discovering the previous or envisioning the longer term. These movies centre on the theme of metamorphosis, piecing collectively a multifaceted recollection of queer recollections and futures.

  • Titles: Boy Queen (Dir. Sai Nyi Min Htut, Myanmar, Germany, 2021); Seance of the Previous (Dir. Adelaide Sherry, Singapore, 2022); Truthless (Dir. Zhao Badou, China, 2021); Memori Dia (Dir. Asarela Orchidia Dewi, Indonesia, Germany, 2022); Tank Fairy (Dir. Erich Rettstadt, Taiwan, US, 2022);

All About My Mom
A set of quick movies that discover the nuances of the mom determine inside LGBTQ+ households. With uncooked feelings and tenderness, these movies examine the complicated emotional terrain of those intergenerational relationships. From a mourning mom’s try and rediscover her son, to a queer filmmaker turning the digicam in the direction of his household, the tales provide a glimpse into the struggles, triumphs and enduring love that form the intricate bonds between moms and their queer youngsters.

  • Titles: Will You Have a look at Me (Dir. Huang Shuli, China, 2022), Pores and skin Can Breathe (Dir. Chheangkea, US, Cambodia, 2022), Fictions (Dir, Alice Charlie Liu, Canada, 2022), Rising Solar (Dir. Cheng Ya-chih, Taiwan, 2018), Fishbowl (Dir. Jacqueline Chan, US, 2021), A Good Mom (Dir. Lee Yu-jin, South Korea, 2022)

A Sort of Queer Utopia – Programmed and offered in partnership with Sine Display screen
A set of quick documentaries celebrating the facility of queer performances in numerous kinds, by way of which atypical identities are expressed and embraced. These movies discover the queer celebration scene in Chengdu, provide a portrait of 25-year-old drag artist Leo, inform the story of two gender non-conforming singers from the indigenous Paiwan group, and observe the ups and downs of Nanjing’s first-ever LGBTQ+ choir. On this programme, the lenses of the filmmakers break free from dominant social gazes, exploring dwell performances as websites of liberation and collective empowerment, a queer utopia present in each other.  

  • Titles: Strangers in Paradise (Dir. Huang Yihong, China, 2022), Adju (Dir. Elvis A-Liang Lu, Taiwan, 2021), Leo & Nymphia (Dir. Pan Hsin-An, Taiwan, 2021), The Choir of our Type (Dir. Xu Zai, Wang Sisi, China, 2021)

First Instances
Bear in mind these first occasions in your life? This heart-warming assortment of coming-of-age dramas captures these soon-to-be-lost moments in queer youth, from the joy of first encounters and first kisses, to the ache of first breakups and the braveness of first coming-outs. Set amid East and Southeast Asian cultures, these tales provide a refreshing perspective on the complexities and nuances of particular person queer lives, whereas highlighting our shared experiences throughout borders, inviting us all to dwell younger as soon as once more.

  • Titles: The Voice (Dir. Maral Ayurzana, Mongolia, 2022), Swimming within the Darkish (Dir. Chen Pin-Ru, Taiwan, 2022), I get so unhappy typically (Dir. Trishtan Perez, Philippines, 2021), Rooted (Dir. Wu Yi-Wei, Taiwan, 2022), We Had been By no means Actually Strangers (Dir. Patrick Pangan, Philippines, 2022)

Queer Korea: A Mixtape – Programmed by Dongyun Lee.
A set of recent queer Korean shorts that mix genres from horror to motion to comedy. In early South Korean cinema, LGBTQ+ characters have been typically victimised and portrayed as being caught in violent and self-destructive patterns. Nonetheless, on this programme, the movies draw on acquainted themes however provide various twists. The characters are empowered to regulate their destinies by embracing their queer identities. Shedding gentle on the flexibility of queer storytelling by way of unconventional cinematic kinds, the movies on this assortment are merciless, mild, and downright grotesque, multi functional depraved mixtape.

  • Titles: Ice (Dir. Lee Seongpwook, South Korea, 2019), Cicada (Dir. Yoon Dae-woen, South Korea, 2021), Butch Up! (Dir. Lee Yu-jin, South Korea, 2022), Don’t fret (Dir. Kim Tae-yong, South Korea, 2022), How Do I Kill That B? – (Web optimization Ji-hwan, South Korea, 2022)

For the primary time Queer East presents two dwell performances at The Place by main Asian creators and performers: Robin Numanong’s Cyborg DNA and Choy Ka Fai’s Yishun is Burning.

Shamanism meets voguing in choreographer Choy Ka Fai’s scintillating adaptation of Singaporean ritual dance. On this transcendental multimedia solo (with visitors, dwell and on movie) the extraordinary Norwegian-Thai dancer Solar Phitthaya Phaefuang, aka Aurora Solar, shifts between states of ecstasy, trance and drag. Yishun Is Burning is a part of the CosmicWander Collection, an on-going mission exploring shamanic dance tradition in Asia. Impressed by the Singaporean phenomenon of reverencing deities of their wrestle towards evil, this UK premiere arrives thirty-plus years after the long-lasting documentary movie Paris Is Burning. Crossing and blurring boundaries of gender, race and faith, it’s each a liberating and celebratory try and manifest a supernatural dance expertise and a daring signpost within the seek for spirituality by way of motion. That includes the galvanising music of the Singaporean-Malay band NADA (Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari) and Chinese language drummer Cheryl Ong. 

Cyborg DNA is a hypnotic and hypersensitive futuristic efficiency set up mixing digital artwork, synthesised music and up to date dance. A boundary-breaking collaboration between dance artist and artistic producer Robin Nimanong, digital artist Luxnautilus and a small however selection solid (together with musician Clara Cozzolino), this new cross-disciplinary work was impressed partially by Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto. Her influential 1985 essay explores how language evolves, and envisions a future that embraces the complexity of the physique and expertise. Nimanong and firm likewise envision a time of transhumanism and transformation, when the give attention to race, gender and ethnicity shifts into new parameters that promote contemporary planes of understanding.  Nominated for the DNA NEXT! Incentive Award 2022, Cyborg DNA is an open invitation to return see, style and succumb to a spot of infinite chance. 

Queer East’s Artists’ Transferring Picture Programmes current two boundary-pushing shows that includes cutting-edge experimental works which confront, problem and subvert.

Alien Physique, Human Desires (Programmed by April Lin) is a collection of cinematic investigations that centre the physique as a potent website of hybridity, rejecting false divisions of man/girl, human/animal/alien, and self/different to assemble their very own embodied and multifaceted methods of being. Artists on this programme purposefully make use of queering as a way to misinterpret, re-appropriate, and puncture the methods of energy projected onto the physique. In these works by queer Southeast and East Asian filmmakers, we meet a speculative actuality the place human physique components are bought in meals vans and witness a dance-fight between a lion dancer and a up to date dancer. Bodyhacking, ritualising, and ceremonialising is used to knead cosmologies, folding information in upon themselves.

  • Titles: to boyhood, i by no means knew him (Dir. Trâm Anh Nguyễn, Vietnam & Canada, 2022), Eager for the Solar to Set Upwards (Dir. Jao San Pedro, Philippines, 2022), Native beast (Dir. Aileen Ye, Netherlands, 2022), Illness of Manifestation (Dir. Tzu An Wu, Taiwan, 2011), Yummy Physique Truck (Dir. Noam Youngrak Son, Netherlands, 2021), BXBY (Dir. Soojin Chang, UK, 2022), Backyard Amidst the Flame (Natasha Tontey, Indonesia, 2022)

Wayward Fruits (Programmed by Bart Seng Wen Lengthy) presents a collection of quick movies and artist transferring pictures that work intimately and unapologetically with and thru stereotypical components of racialised East and South East Asian media, resulting in lubricious slippages and surprising relationships between the filmmakers and the motifs they consort with. It is like chancing upon a seedy late-night cinema corridor solely to seek out the movies they present to be uncanny subversions of the standard classics, the place even the cliché perverse finds itself perverted additional extra.

  • Titles:  Dikit (Dir. Gabriela Serrano, 2021), out on this planet (Dir. Bart Seng Wen Lengthy, 2022), Boy-Style (Dir. Michio Okabe, 1973), I shudder with pleasure that finally the time has come (Dir. Mari Terashima, 2022), Attractive Sushi (Dir. Calleen Koh, 2021), Tremendous Taboo (Dir. Su Hui Yu, 2017)

Queer East Competition 2023 takes place 18 – 30 April throughout venues in London

Venues: BFI Southbank, Barbican Centre, Prince Charles Cinema, Genesis Cinema, Backyard Cinema, Bertha DocHouse, Wealthy Combine and The Place.

For additional info, please go to Queer East Official Website

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