The Scottish Queer International Film Festival – or SQIFF, for the sake of brevity and fun-sounding acronyms – is back in Glasgow next month for its fourth incarnation. Having made its nest in the Centre for Contemporary Arts, SQIFF will also be touching down in the GFT, the Art School and several other venues between December 5th and 9th. With all screenings operating on a pay-what-you-can basis (from £0 to £8), there’s plenty to get excited about in the 2018 programme. Here’s a quick look at some of this year’s highlights:
The festival gets underway as a host of LGBTQ+ filmmakers from around the globe contribute to an evening of boundary-pushing shorts. With several of them sticking around to answer questions afterwards and a drinks reception sponsored by Merchant City Brewing Co, it promises to be the perfect start to this year’s festival.
After years of raising the profile of homegrown queer porn in Scotland, SQIFF is now able to showcase some its own. Different directors combine to produce a mix of humour, drama and lust that’s sure to satisfy. On the bill are parodic creation Scotch Egg and addiction-focused Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.
The 1939 classic based on L. Frank Baum’s book has long been regarded as being synonymous with gay culture, given that three of the characters (Tinman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion) all display effeminate or queer qualities. However, this intriguing new reading turns that on its head by arguing that Dorothy’s choice of companions is more asexual than homosexual. Accompanied by extracts from online analyst ‘Spoofmaster’.
American poetess Emily Dickinson has traditionally been regarded as a rather prim and proper type who wouldn’t say boo to a lesbian, let alone stick her tongue down one’s throat. This surreal comic romp sees SNL star Molly Shannon subvert that impression by sticking it to the man (and the woman – especially the woman) and breaking out of normal patriarchal conventions in a liberating lesbian escapade.
This Kenyan drama focuses on two lifelong friends who cause uproar in their politically warring families when their companionship turns into something more. The new turn their relationship takes forces them to choose between the safe course and the happy one, with explosive results. The film’s reception in its native country was similarly explosive; it was initially banned by the authorities due to its homosexual themes, and only reinstated after a lengthy court battle between the director and the government.