One of the few positives of 2020 is that it has forced film festivals – and the filmmakers hoping to get their work to audiences – to think of new and inclusive ways of working. One of those ways is to go online, which has afforded far more people the opportunity to take part as you no longer need to be in a particular city to take part. This week two major British queer Film Fests open, and both are going to be available online across the UK.
The Iris Prize Festival runs October 6th-11th, while the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) 2020, which usually takes place in Glasow, has just opened and runs through to October 18th. SQIFF’s focus strands include queer sci-fi from across the world in Every Utopia is a Dystopia; a retrospective of work from pioneering digital artist Shu Lea Cheang; an interrogation of queerness and the natural world in Queer Ecologies and trailblazing cinematic voices from South America
Other festival highlights include Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, an autobiographical tale of 80s Hollywood from closeted young actor Mark Patton; a radical look at Britain’s QTIPOC communities and activists in Pride & Protest; a radical re-imagining of Audre Lorde’s classic 1980 memoir The Cancer Journals Revisited and practicing Muslim Mo wooing all-American guy Kal during Ramadan in the heartwarming romantic drama Breaking Fast
Nearly all the films are available to view throughout the fortnight the festival is on. You don’t even need to be in Scotland as you can watch them from anywhere in the UK on a ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis, from free to £8. Throughout the festival, you can join the SQIFF team and special festival guests online for live watch parties, workshops and discussions.
All films are hosted on SQIFF’s Vimeo on Demand channel (vimeo.com/sqiff/vod_pages) and are pay-what-you-can. Free access is available for those who need – just get in touch with SQIFF and they will supply a code for the films you want to access, no proof of circumstance required. You will have up until 18 October to watch films once you have rented them.
All live online events will take place using Zoom software. Tickets for all live online events must be booked online in advance, up to an hour before the event start time. Tickets for live events are either free or on a sliding scale of free, £2, £4, £6, or £8.
The pay-what-you-can pricing allows you to choose what to pay based on what you can afford. No evidence or proof of circumstances is required, with the organiser appreciate those who can paying more in order to compensate everyone fairly and keeping the festival going.
You can find out more about the films, events and how to access them over at the SQIFF website: http://www.sqiff.org/
You can see all the films available and get access over at Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/sqiff/vod_pages