Join GFF in celebrating the wide spectrum that is sexuality and gender, in our LGBTQ2+ Film Series for 2020. Extra special thanks to our sister fest Reel Pride Film Festival, who have sponsored the screening of Always Amber. The films in this series vary from breathtakingly cinematic to shockingly intimate, and are guaranteed to present important and undertold narratives from various LGBTQ2+ perspectives.
“How much should I change myself, because society doesn’t change fast enough?” Just 17 years old but already wise to the social constructs of gender and behaviour, Amber takes the neutral Swedish pronoun “hen” and their own path. Best friends since elementary school, Amber and Sebastian explored their queerness together, dyed each other’s hair every colour possible and became each other’s safe space. With the first blush of romantic love, however, Sebastian falls for Amber’s girlfriend. The love triangle breaks the trust between the once-inseparable pair, leaving Amber to transition alone. But in place of the tantrums and tearful scenes that define classic teen narratives, Always Amber rewrites the coming-of-age story with the inspiring self-confidence of its protagonist. Following Amber for three years, this intimate observation reveals an understanding of selfhood and an acceptance of difference entirely unique to the “their” generation. – Hot Docs
Keyboard Fantasies: the Beverly Glenn – Copeland Story
dir. Posy Dixon
2019 | United Kingdom | 90 min
Born in 1944 in Philadelphia, Glenn-Copeland was never afraid of breaking barriers. Moving to Canada at 17, the young vocalist was the only Black student in his classical music class at McGill University, and openly lived as a lesbian in the early 1960s before coming out as a trans man. Obsessed with sci-fi and living in near isolation in Huntsville, Ontario, Copeland self-released the electronic album Keyboard Fantasies on cassette in 1986. This collection of curious, visionary folk-electronica tracks went largely unnoticed, until a Japanese rare-record collector reissued it three decades later, bringing it to the ears of raving fans. Finally getting the recognition he deserved, the musical genius found himself catapulted to cult status and embarked on his first international tour at age 74. Featuring refreshingly honest interviews with the generous musician, this time-traveling tale will soothe those souls struggling to find their place in the world.
dir. Isabel Sandoval
2019 | United States / Philippines | 89 min
Olivia (Isabel Sandoval), an undocumented Filipino transwoman, works as a caregiver to Olga (Lynn Cohen), an elderly Russian woman, in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. When Olivia runs out of options to attain legal status in the US, she becomes romantically involved with Alex (Eamon Farren), Olga’s adult grandson, in the pursuit of a marriage-based green card.
dir. Danielle Lessovitz
2019 | United States / France | 94 min
On the steps outside New York City’s dizzying central bus station, Port Authority, a girl named Wye vogues with her siblings. Paul, a young drifter, watches her, transfixed by her beauty. After he seeks her out, an intense love soon blossoms. Wye introduces him to the ballroom community, an underground LGBTQ subculture and to her house, a self-selected chosen family. But when Paul realizes Wye is trans, he is forced to confront his feelings for her and the social forces that seek to rupture their bond.
dir. Madison Thomas
2019 | Canada | 84 min
Ruthless Souls follows Jackalope “Jackie” Cambell, a tough as nails Ojibwe artist born and raised in the strange land of Winnipeg, Manitoba. On the one year anniversary of her partner’s tragic death due to complications from gender affirming surgery, she’s back at work, she only drinks and smokes up “on the regular” instead of a “concerning amount daily.” It’s all gotta go up from here, right? Wrong.
Jackie finds out that her best friend Rooney has dumped her long time partner Tay. The problem? Tay is Jackie’s only other friend. The three have been each other’s pillars of supports since they were kids growing up in Winnipeg’s often turbulent North End. Jackie was so sure that she had just experienced the worst year of her life, but the year unfolding in front of her might just give it’s predecessor a run for it’s money. Jackie must now navigate the fallout of Rooney and Tay’s relationship while also trying to wrangle her own spiraling mind, especially when the ghosts of the past seem to be lingering