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August 18, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 33
 
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

 

 



 
Vancouver's 'Out On Screen' gives film fans another reason to cross the border
Vancouver's 'Out On Screen' gives film fans another reason to cross the border
by Lorelei Quenzer - SGN A&E Writer

Out On Screen Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

August 17-27 - evening screenings

Various locations in Vancouver, BC - Tix at www.ticketstonight.ca / $8 (US) per film or $90 (US) festival pass

Are you slapping yourself because you missed Vancouver's Pride events last week? Well, stop it. You could go blind! It's more likely that you just got back from Van City and you can't wait to return. Well, as if you needed an excuse, I've got the perfect reason for you to make your Amtrak reservation right now: Vancouver's "Out On Screen Gay and Lesbian Film Festival" starts August 17 and runs through the 27th!

Movie screenings begin at 5pm almost every night - never earlier, sometimes later - so you can get in plenty of sightseeing after you check in to your hotel. Here's a quirk of Canadian law: because many of the films the festival presents haven't been classified by the BC Film Classification Office, you'll need to purchase a membership to the Out On Screen Film Society. Said membership is only $2. Other than that small, one-time fee, single tickets are $8 (US), and the festival pass is a great deal at about $90 (US). The entire film and party schedule can be found at www.outonscreen.com, as can the addresses for all of the venues.

Since I'm going the first weekend I'll be checking out the opening night film, Yaji and Kita: The Midnight Pilgrims (Thursday, August 17, 7pm, Granville 7 Cinemas, 855 Granville Street). Now, a Gay Samurai road-trip musical may not be everybody's cuppa green tea, but I'm a big fan of the Samurai movie from way back, and I'm prepared for anything. That's good, because there's a Gala party afterwards; if you're going, you'll have to head back over to Davie Street and the Gayer than Gay Celebrities Nightclub (1022 Davie Street, conveniently located near my hotel recommendation, Sandman Suites on Davie - see below). Your Yaji and Kita ticket is your entrée to the par-tay!

I'm a fan of the foreign flicks, so I'll definitely be checking out Queens (Reinas) on Friday, the first full night of the festival. Reinas is the last show of the evening at the Cinemark Tinseltown (88 West Pender Street at Abbott, one of the mainstay theaters for the festival). It's ostensibly about the first Gay marriages to take place in Spain, but it's really about the desires and prejudices of five headstrong mothers. Verónica Forqué (Matador) and Carmen Maura (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) star in this gem from Manuel Gómez Pereira (Boca a boca). Also playing at the Tinseltown on Friday night are Groupe Intervention Vidéo, a collection of women's shorts at 5pm, and 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous, a New Zealand film about coming Out, playing at 7pm.

I may be heading up for opening weekend, but there's no bad time to visit Out On Screen. In fact, many of the films will have two screenings. If I could stay for the whole festival I'd love to check out Gypo (Monday, August 22, 7pm, Centrepiece Film Cinemark Tinseltown), the first Dogme-certified film to come out of the United Kingdom. I missed it at this year's SIFF, and I could kick myself (until I go blind!) that I still won't get to see it in Vancouver. Handpicked writers will vie for an opportunity to have their movies produced at the CineCity Script Read: A Cold Reading for a Hot Summer (Thursday, August 24, 7pm, Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street). Three short and sweet scripts will be cast with professional actors on the night of the event and presented for the live audience! The reading will be so cold it's already giving me shivers. I'd also love to stick around for My Brother Nikhil, the first Indian film to portray an openly Gay relationship and only the second one to deal with the subject of AIDS (Saturday, August 26, 7pm, Vancity Theatre). Whichever movies you see, you should head over to the Honey Lounge at the Lotus Hotel (455 Abbott Street) for what's being touted as the Festival's "gSpot." After-parties happen here every night.

Now I'm sure you laminated the SGN travel recommendations for Vancouver Pride, but here are a few suggestions in case you lost it: If you're planning on an overnight trip - and since the parties at the Honey Lounge go late into the night, you are - I recommend the Sandman Suites on Davie (1160 Davie Street, www.sandmanhotels.com). The hotel's located near lots of Gay hot spots, and it's also one of the film festival's major sponsors. There are lots of cheap eateries near the Sandman and, of course, on the shopper's paradise that is Robson Street (www.robsonstreet.ca). I love going to Ichibankan for sushi after hitting up Chachkas for a few chachkas; both are on the 1000 block of Robson St.

Who knows? You might get a little tired of movies and shopping. It could happen. And since the films don't begin until 5pm, you'll have a lot of time to explore Vancouver. One spot that's always on my to-do list is Chinatown; it's the second largest in North America. Take your partner to dim sum at Floata Seafood Restaurant (180 Keefer Street, 4th floor), then work it off with a walking tour - just follow the Silk Road banners. You'll even be in the right neighborhood for Out On Screen movies at the Tinseltown! Get the Chinatown skinny at www.vancouverchinatown.ca. Another great August attraction is Bard on the Beach, Vancouver's outdoor Shakespeare Festival held every year at Vanier Park (1695 Whyte Avenue, www.bardonthebeach.org). With two venues, four productions and special events like a wine tasting ("Celebrating Red and White," August 19), "A Merry Evening of Opera" (August 21 & 28) and pre- and post-show sessions at "Chatterbox Tuesdays," how can you go wrong? If you're still stumped for things to do, hit www.Gayvan.com for the scoop on who will be where.

While at the Out on Screen festival, I'll be blogging daily. Go to www.sgn.org and access the blog site from the home page.

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