SYMPOSIUM: Reaching Towards the Horizon: The Futures of Queer Cinema
To paraphrase José Esteban Muñoz: queer cinema is a horizon. If there was ever a moment in our queer cinema history where we may have touched that horizon, it has quickly receded and been blocked by corporate interests. How can we get our queer horizon back? What should the future of queer cinema look like? This panel brings together directors Elegance Bratton (Pier Kids, screening this year), Jesse Rovinelli (So Pretty, also screening this year), Michelle Mohabeer (Queer Coolie-tudes, Exposure, BLU In YOU), and Maude Matton (Swarm of Selenium, which screened at TQFF 2018) to discuss the current queer filmmaking ecosystem and look toward its queerer futures.
Elegance was thrown out of his mother’s home at the age of 16 in New Jersey for being gay. After ten years spent homeless, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a combat documentarian. After finishing the Marines he’s earned an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and an MFA from NYU Tisch Graduate Film. Grateful for a second chance in life, Elegance has dedicated himself to telling the stories of the under represented so that they too can discover the power of their experiences. Elegance’s award-winning short films have played in almost 150 film festivals world wide including Sundance, Outfest, and the American Black Film Festival. He is executive producer and creator of Viceland’s GLAAD-nominated series, “MY HOUSE”. He is also the author of the Kassel Art Book award-winning photo book, “Bound By Night.”
Born in 1988, Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli works as a film director, editor, colourist and critic living in New York. She has directed two feature films, So Pretty, (2019, Berlinale) a literary translation/transposition focusing on gender and the utopian imagination, and Empathy (2016, FID Marseille), a performative documentary following a heroin-addicted escort across the USA.
Dr. Michelle Mohabeer is a Guyana born, award winning Filmmaker, Researcher-Creator, teacher and educator who lives in Toronto. Her recent creative feature doc, Queer Coolie-tudes (2019) premiered at the 29th Inside Out film festival in Toronto and was part of the online media platform at the 50th Visions du Reel in Switzerland. Queer Coolie-tudes, was also awarded with a certificate of Excellence from the 7th Cine Film Fest in Mumbai, India. Michelle Mohabeer’s body of films have exhibited in nearly 200 festivals, conferences and galleries world- wide and collected by fifty university libraries across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. Michelle Mohabeer and her films have been profiled or mentioned in the collections: Film Fatales: Independent Women Directors (she was the only Canadian woman director in this collection), The Romance of Transgression in Canada, North of Everything, The Bent Lens, Women’s Experimental Cinema, and Queering Canada: A Collection of Essays that was part of Making Scene (Ottawa LGBT film festival) where she was honoured with a mini-retrospective. A collection of her early films was compiled by CFMDC for the Artist Spotlight Compilation series, this DVD compilation of Michelle Mohabeer’s work is accompanied by an educational study guide. She teaches as an Adjunct professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University.
Maude Matton is a film programmer, director and producer based in Montreal. They are the co-director of the science fiction shorts Swarm of Selenium (2017) and Emergent Visions, No Prisons! (2018). They currently act as a member of the selection committee of the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival and as coordinator of h264 Distribution. Their first short, Swarm of Selenium has screened at over 15 festivals worldwide, including TQFF, Outfest Fusion LA, Some Prefer Cake Bologna and the Berlin Feminist Film Week.