April 22 – April 24, 2022
“Speculative fiction and films are a way of giving others dreams, especially dreams about the possibilities of our future as LGBTQ people.” – Jewelle Gomez, Keynote Speaker, TQFF 2022
Toronto Queer Film Festival is proud to present this years Symposium, Queer Futurisms. Since 2019, TQFF has hosted a Symposium that invites artists, scholars, writers, and community workers to host workshops, panels, presentations, performances, and other free programming for the public.
This year, in alignment with the theme of Queer Futurisms, programs in the Symposium explore the future possibilities of 2Spirit, Queer, and Trans existence with artists, writers, and scholars who dream of vast possibilities for all of us through their art, storytelling, and grassroot community work. The Queer Futurisms symposium create spaces for artists, critics, and audiences to continue in future-making work, and to celebrate the foundational work of Black, Indigenous, POC, Disabled, Neurodivergent, HIV+, Queer, Trans, and 2Spirit writers, filmmakers, artists, theorists, scholars, and activists.
April 22, 11:00am
One-On-One Industry Sessions
As a part of TQFF Symposium programming each year filmmakers involved in both the TQFF 2022 Film Festival and Symposium are invited to sign up for 30 minute one-on-one Zoom meetings with distribution expert Jordan Mattos to discuss all things distribution, including: a review of materials required by various platforms, what to watch out for in standard licensing agreements, and a walk-through of distribution basics. This programming is free for all who sign-up, and is offered as a part of TQFF’s commitment to supporting marginalized filmmakers and artists at all stages of their career.
April 22, 4:00pm
Kiki Wiki Edit-O-Thon
Ballroom is an international phenomena of queer grassroot competition, centered around dance, beauty, fashion, commentating, and other creative talents. A “Kiki” denotes its younger, friendlier spinoff. The Toronto Kiki ballroom scene has been an under-recognized part of the queer creative community of Toronto for past 10 years, and artists like Robin Gaudreau hope to change this. In this workshop, Robin Gaudreau will lead participants in learning about how to edit a Kiki Wiki. Kiki Wiki is a website with the mission of documenting the balls and the people that have made the Kiki ballroom what it is in Toronto. This workshop is a moment for people to learn how to edit a Wiki page, and to come together to collaborate on this digital archiving process.
April 22, 5:30pm
In this screening and discussion of the film, Disruption Embraced, ten first generation disabled and mad artists discuss their personal histories, reflecting on critical experiences that stoked their passion towards their art. Central in their stories is the creative disruption and productive force disability plays in their work. This force, or disability aesthetics, manifests in the products of their art and in the process of art making. These artists are actors, singers, sculptures, sewers, and photographers who demonstrate the value of disability through art. Their work speaks back to discrimination and exclusion within normative art/practices. Their work re-images the art landscape for the 21st century. Filmed in 2018, this documentary describes how disability, and disability art, is weaved into the stories told about Canada and its people. As access and collaboration were key to the success of the project, the makers also produced the documentary in different formats, including closed captioning, American Sign Language and Audio-Described versions. The Disruption Embraced screening will be followed by a moderated panel discussion featuring the filmmakers, directors, artists, and participants in the film.
April 22, 7:30pm
Mimi Zhu in Conversation with Sania Khan: On Queering Friendship
In this tender, generative and lush conversation, Mimi Zhu and Sania Khan will speak to how their creative practices, including Mimi’s forthcoming book (Be Not Afraid Of Love) and Sania’s forthcoming film (Custard), are currently musing on the themes of queer kinship, platonic intimacy, and collective dreaming. Throughout their conversation, Mimi and Sania hope for audiences to reflect on how queer friendships are integral to queer futurisms, and how the inherently liberatory framework that is consciously practiced within many queer friendships allows for the collective activation of imagined possibilities that centre embodied ease, love and justice.
April 23, 3:30pm
If Not Here, Then Where
What will be left for you, me, and everyone else once every last drop of water has been purchased, poisoned, and desiccated? Where will we go when rents have increased, and minimum wage can no longer house us? Who will we call a community as we venture into the unknown? How will we arrive there? If Not Here, Then Where is a screening of the film Land (Ab)Use and audience engaged workshop led by Métis filmmaker, Chanelle Lajoie. Lajoie will lead audiences through a factual conversation stimulated by questions that will transport participants to a fictional space which will be collectively built, imagined, and shared. Offerings from participants in this workshop will act as reminders that we hold power in both play and imagination, and these tools are even more effective when shared.
April 23, 5:30pm
Settler Colonialism and Queer Heritage Grants
In 2019 Pride Toronto accepted a series of grants totaling $1,850,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Ministry of Public Safety. These grants promised a series of projects to celebrate police services, commemorate “decriminalization” in 1969, and fund a traveling art exhibit created by Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer artists. In his much-anticipated follow-up to his 2019 research presentation uncovering Pride Toronto's financial exploits, Tom Hooper will present new research and information on how Pride Toronto misused and exploited the partnership of Indigenous artists and organizations in these grants and proposed programming. This presentation will outline the context of these grants and demonstrate that these actions are part of a broader history of settler organizations exploiting the land and culture of Indigenous people in what is known as Canada.
April 23, 7:10pm
In 1991, local artists and grassroots activists collaborated on an innovative public access cable series entitled Toronto Living with AIDS (and were eventually shut down because of "too much thigh stroking"). These half-hour, no-budget tapes were some of the first in Canada to give voice to people living with HIV: fighting the government, fighting big pharma, fighting for our lives. Thirty years later, in the grip of our new pandemic, Viral Interventions continues this work for a new generation. Viral Interventions is a three-year residency, with cohorts of artists and activists coming together every month to workshop stories, trade ideas and create new urgent videos about living with HIV today. Intimate, passionate, irreverent, angry, unabashedly beautiful, inventively radical, brimming with loss and joy -- these new works by Longboy, Chan, Mikiki, Lopez/Hui, Zealley, and Mondesir plunge us inside six extraordinary stories, exploring HIV realities - in our worlds and in our bodies.
April 24, 1:00pm
‘Queer’ is an amorphous goo that you cannot hold or control, that seeps into everything—it is both a deeply bad and good word. I love “goo” because it is profoundly playful, and profoundly gross. Goo sums up the stickiness, the slipperiness of boundaries, the ambiguity and tension. (Joëlle Rouleau, SQS Lab Foundedr, Introduction of Queer TV Special Section, jumpcut, 2021). Gooey connections: little projects en route is a hybrid panel that will involve five unique presentations by research assistants from Laboratoire Sensibilites Queer (SQS Lab). Each presenter considers alternative forms of knowledge sharing such as mapping data, texts, video, micro-actions, social media, visual collages, gaming, etc. to illustrate to audiences various methods of queer sensibilities: El Marcelli will invite the audience to play a short video game they created that imagines how they—as a disabled person—survive a zombie apocalypse; Map will pose to audiences explorations of what it would be like to achieve equanimity and/or well being for themselves, creating a shareable digital collage from the responses; Sara Côté-Vaillant will interrogate with the audience the relationships present within the Cinéma L’Amour, a pornographic cinema located in Montreal; by considering the archive of film and screenplays as the working through of women screenwriters’ agency and subjectivity in the 30s and 50s, Zakia Ahasniou will compile a random collage of selected lines of these films in her audience-engaged performance. The presentations and discussions will be moderated by founder of SQS Lab, Joëlle Rouleau.
April 24, 3:10pm
Mainstream South Asian media uncritically features upper-caste/class, Eurocentric coded bodies and embraces models of development that recreate systemic and global inequities. Creating alternative images, worldbuilding, and stories of South Asian futurisms can help us interrogate these assumptions. In this presentation and workshop, artist Srutika Sabu will detail her process of creating her digital painting series “Neo-Alapphuzha” which attempts to imagine South Asian futurism that is localized, sustainable, liberating, and feature dark-skinned femme bodies living their best lives. During the workshop, participants will be guided through an ideation and worldbuilding exercise using frameworks from Indigenous epistemology and transnational feminism. Ultimately, participants will gain a greater understanding of how storytelling is a valuable tool for research, knowledge creation and future envisioning.
April 24, 5:00pm
Queer Futures: Jewelle Gomez
The work of groundbreaking author Jewelle Gomez exemplifies how the genres of horror, science fiction, and speculative fiction can offer world-building opportunities for Queer, 2Spirit, and Trans people to dream up futures that include their lives and community. Gomez states: “A primary lesson the vampire hero learns in my novel, The Gilda Stories, is that “in giving others dreams she recaptures her own.” For her keynote talk, Gomez will be discussing her work along with case study examples of horror-genre LGBTQ+ films that encapsulate the themes of community, world-building, feminism, and of course, visualization of Queer futures. As Gomez's written work has demonstrated throughout the years: “The Queer community has modeled (even if flawed) how we learn to recognize each other’s humanity and create dreams. It’s that recognition and celebration which will make our best futures and our best creative expressions.”