Caribbean short films, Canadian documentary for Spectrum next week

Painting the Spectrum 12, SASOD’s annual film festival continues next Tuesday, June 21, at the Dutch Bottle Café, located at 10 North Road, Bourda in Georgetown, with two short films, Transgender: Back to Jamaica and Antiman.

According to a press release, Transgender: Back to Jamaica records the journey of two transgender friends, Steffan and Romario, both living in the UK, who travel back to Jamaica to reveal their new identities to their families. Despite the potential risks and not knowing how their relatives will react, the friends are determined to be open about who they are.

Meanwhile, Antiman, which is set in Guyana, tells the story of a young boy challenged to prove his masculinity to his father as he pines for a young man in the homophobic Guyanese countryside. Anil, an introverted young boy is pressured by his abusive father, Max, to become a cricketer the way he himself was years before. Although skilled in the game, Anil refuses to play and takes refuge in his love for Dano, an older boy in the village.

20160618AntimanTuesday also marks the launch of the Short Film Challenge for Queer and Trans People of Colour, a collaboration with Caribbean Tales.

The release said the Short Film Challenge is an initiative to promote the cinematic representation of Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) who hail from the Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora. The Short Film Challenge is looking for new films that are 1 to 5 minutes long where at least two of the following positions are held by QTPOC from the Caribbean or Caribbean Diaspora: director, writer, producer, lead actor(s) and/or actress(es). Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Youth Short, Best Fiction and Best Non-Fiction. Low-budget films, films from established and emerging filmmakers and independent films embracing fresh ideas and storytelling are welcomed. These films will be streamed online on CaribbeanTales-TV and there will be a live audience voting for the best film, as well as a panel of judges who will choose films in each category. Both the audience choice and jury selection will then be shown at the Carib-beanTales International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, in September this year.

The documentary Open Secrets – Decriminalisation of Homosexuality will be screened on Thursday, June 23, following remarks by Canadian High Commissioner Pierre Giroux.

The documentary uncovers a lost chapter in Canadian military history: how the armed forces dealt with homosexual behaviour among soldiers during and after World War II, the release said. A group of five veterans, barely adults when they enlisted, break the silence more than 60 years later, to talk about how homosexual behaviour “was even more unmentionable than cancer.” Yet amidst the brutality of war, instances of sexual awakening among soldiers and officers were occurring. Initially, the army overlooked it, but as the war advanced, it began to crack down with military tribunals, threats of imprisonment, discharge and public exposure. After the war, officers accused of homosexuality were discharged. In Canada, reputations and careers were ruined. For the young men who had served their country with valour, this was often too much to bear.

The festival, which offers films twice a week, will run until June 30.

Show time is 6 o’clock each night.

There is no charge for admission, but all films are intended for mature audiences. Persons must be 18 years and over to attend and SASOD reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone who does not have identification.

Drinks and snacks will be on sale and all proceeds go towards SASOD’s LGBT Emergency Shelter and Community Centre Fund.

In addition, SASOD offers free, on-site HIV counselling and testing at the film festival, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – Advancing Partnerships and Communities (APC) – Guyana Project.

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