The Universe is Made of Us

Tuesday, March 26, 2023 | 5:30pm EST
Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, USA| 59 min.

You and I, we’re creating new universes every day, every second – magical, challenging, and beautiful galaxies, unique worlds where we can discover ourselves. Struggling to find acceptance in the mainstream, often holding our breaths as we venture into uncertain and potentially dangerous worlds, together we are able to breathe freely, to gain courage and to share tenderness. From a journey in a desolate bathhouse to a moment of calmness with nature, this program highlights the wonderful and complex relationships we have with all beings.

Program curated by Lu Linares

Lu Linares (they/them) is a trans non-binary programmer, artist and arts administrator. Born in Peru and based in Toronto, their work is heavily influenced by their experiences as a queer immigrant and finding the balance between their multiple identities and cultures. Lu has programmed and worked for imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, Inside Out Film Festival, the Festival of Human Rights x Arts, aluCine Film and Media Arts Festival and Breakthroughs Film Festival. As the programming coordinator at the Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ festival, Lu focuses on showcasing and amplifying new queer talent in film.




Chou Tung-Yen

13 min | Taiwan | 2021

In an era where physical contact is strictly forbidden, we encountered an impossible kiss.

Chou Tung-Yen is a theatre director and a filmmaker. His main focus is on reconciling new media and theatre, with occasional involvement in video art, documentary, and music video. His VR film, “In the Mist,” was selected for the 78th Venice International Film Festival, and his documentary, “Looking For?,” was nominated for the Golden Horse Awards.


Itzel Sarmientos

7 min | Mexico | 2022

Below the insurgent roundabout you can hear the bass rumbling on Friday afternoons, where vogue is danced, graffiti is made, it is accompanied, barter is done, and they protest. The dissident tianguis is a letter, a call to us to take the spaces that still do not give us in a country that is among the highest numbers in hate crimes against the LGBTQIA + community.

Itzel Sarmientos is a film graduate from the University of Communication. Who has directed, written, and produced various documentaries focused on the LGBTQ+ community and various social issues since 2019. Several of these works have received national and international awards.


Alice Charlie Liu

12 min | Canada | 2021

A young Chinese Canadian photographer is forced to reflect on her shifting identity when she discovers the work of Cindy Sherman.

Alice Charlie Liu is a writer and director based between Toronto and New York. Her work often touches on themes of diaspora, East Asian culture and female identity.


Adam Bandrowski

4 min | USA | 2022

In “Warmth,” filmmaker Adam Bandrowski narrates his first year on testosterone. “Warmth” shows how beautiful life feels when one transitions, how it changes the way one observes joy in the world. It was created entirely on fabric, sewn into a quilt, and made into an animated film.

Adam Bandrowski grew up in Weaverville, California and moved to Los Angeles to study animation at CalArts. During college he discovered love for combining quilting with animation, which continues to be the media he creates with. He has graduated from CalArts with a BFA, and works as a freelance animator.

To All That We Are

Kristian Cahatol

5 min | Canada | 2022

Two young non-binary individuals embark on a dream-like journey of self-discovery and acceptance as they navigate the complexities of love and identity.

Kristian Cahatol, a non-binary, queer, Filipino director, makes their debut with “To All That We Are.” Passionate about representation, Kristian aims to share their unique stories and identities to create authentic representation for IBPOC, queer, trans, and non-binary communities on stage and screen.

Your Hand In Mine

Sheryl Au

4 min | Canada | 2022

Two Indian women are secret lovers, running for their lives once they are found out. Two Muslim women in Malaysia try to show affection for each other, but are shamed into hiding their love by strangers. Two Chinese women in Taiwan register their marriage on the day it is legalized.

Sheryl Au is a Malaysian Chinese animator based in Canada. She attended Sheridan College for the Bachelor of Animation Program and graduated in 2021. She is passionate about storytelling through drawing. Aside from drawing, Sheryl also enjoys playing video games, reading comics, and slowly picking up Japanese as her third language.


Emily Ryder

12 min | Canada | 2021

After discovering an abandoned house on a walk home from school, cousins Alfie and Julia begin a journey of self-exploration.

Emily Ryder is a Canadian writer and director who is passionate about telling stories that explore the complexity of intergenerational relationships through the lens of queer becoming and womanhood.

Beach Heart

Glenn Gear

2 min | Canada | 2022

Beach Heart is an animated love letter to the filmmaker’s late mother, and to the sea, shoreline, and sky near where she lived. The live action and time-lapse sequences were recorded in and around the many beaches and coves throughout Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland) during the summer of 2021.

Glenn Gear is an Indigiqueer filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist of Inuit and settler descent currently living in Montréal. He is originally from Corner Brook Newfoundland and has family ties to Nunatsiavut. His practice is grounded in a research creation methodology shaped by Inuit and Indigenous ways of knowing.

59 min Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, USA

2023, community, self discovery, shorts