The Winnipeg Gay & Lesbian Film Society has been organizing film screenings for the past 25 years or so, and this year marks the 19th annual Reel Pride Film Festival. This week-long GLBTTQ* film festival provides an outlet for artists to screen films that may not be viewed otherwise, and provides a venue for audiences to come together to learn about local artists and be inspired.
“You want to see what the queer community of Winnipeg looks like?” asks Eric Plamondon, one of the festival’s organizers. “Come on down, we’re a fun, confident, artistic group of people. We welcome everyone – no judgment here. We expect the festival to be about films, about people coming together in a space that is ripe for everyone to express themselves and be themselves.”
The festival features a variety of over fifteen GLBBTQ* films created by local artists screened from Oct. 9 to 14 at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Topics vary from film to film, and include genres such as comedy, love, awareness-raising, and much more.
“[The films] Weekend and Cloudburst are guaranteed audience pleasers. They’re beautifully made movies that will speak to you no matter who you are,” says Plamondon. “We also have a risqué showing of I Want Your Love that is very sexy but filmed in a real film style that will speak to a lot of people. I [also] have to plug the fact that we have a world premier in [the film] Route of Acceptance, and the director is coming to the festival.”
This event functions purely on community support provided by local businesses, non-profit groups and countless volunteers.
“We’re a volunteer community-based group – some of the best and most generous people around,” says Plamondon. “We have a large group of organizations and individuals stepping up and ensuring that the festival is something we can be proud of, but also something we can enjoy that will have an impact on our community.”
The Reel Pride Festival will kick off on Oct. 9 with a queer art show, and will come to a close with a screening of the two most popular films from the past 25 years of film festivals, as chosen by their loyal viewers.
“The last screening will be two movies decided by the public,” says Plamondon. “We fully give programming control over to the community – how great is that?”
Are you a student on a budget? Have no fear! A few of the Reel Pride events are free, and screenings are a mere $7 per show for students.
“If university is about expanding your experiences to capture the true reflection of our community then this is a good space to do just that,” says Plamondon. “And we’ll have beer and popcorn as well, of course.”
The Reel Pride Film Festival runs from Oct. 9 to 14 at the Gas Station Arts Centre. Check out www.reelpride.org for screening times and ticket information.