News / Winnipeg

Reel love: Winnipeg LGBTQ film fest promotes inclusivity with kids' flicks

The festival kicks off its 31st year on Tuesday and runs until Sunday

A still from the film Two Hard Things, Two Soft Things, which is a documentary about the struggles of LGBTQ people in the Canadian North.

File / Supplied

A still from the film Two Hard Things, Two Soft Things, which is a documentary about the struggles of LGBTQ people in the Canadian North.

From 'G' for general audiences to 'R' for restricted, Winnipeg’s LGBTQ-focused film festival is screening flicks from every movier rating category this year, in an effort to showcase its inclusivity.

Reel Pride-- a fixture in the local arts scene for 31 years--runs Tuesday through Sunday at the Park Theatre.

The festival's executive director, Matthew Pruse, said he’s excited to welcome kids to the festival this year with the introduction of a family movie screening on Sat., Oct. 15. 

See the World, Feed Your Mind, a compilation of 13 animated shorts from the Seattle Children’s Film Festival, is playing for free at 1:30 p.m.

“Kids don’t really care about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or however you choose to identify. Kids just want to go and watch cartoons and see other families like theirs, right?” Pruse said in a recent interview. 

“We need to be aware that we’re so fortunate that we’re able to do this (festival),” he said.

“Haiti actually just tried to have their (LGBTQ) film festival this year and they had to cancel it due to government pressures.”

Reel Pride boasts a bevvy of genres, from comedy to drama and documentary films, including Two Hard Things, Two Soft Things, playing Thursday at 7 p.m.

Toronto-based directors Mark Kenneth Woods and Michael Yerxa shot the doc in Nunavut last year at a seminal Pride celebration.

It details the struggles of LGBTQ people in the North to wipe out homophobia and draws connections to the cultural after effects of colonization and residential schooling. 

Woods said it was important for him and Yerxa to tell the community’s stories with great respect.

“The reason we decided that we were the right people to tell the story was that it wouldn’t have happened otherwise,” Woods said.

“We could go up there and ask questions and leave, and there were no consequences for us. But if you’re local, you still have to go to school the next day, or to church, or to work. That’s going to stick... I just think it was really safe for us to help push this conversation forward and hopefully make it a little safer for locals to now go and do some more work.”

Reel Pride tickets are $10 per movie and VIP passes for the whole festival are $50. Pruse encouraged anyone interested in attending who has limited financial means to email them or approach the box office.

Three to see

Short Film Competition – Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.

For the 13th time, Reel Pride put out a call for short films made by and/or about queer people. The film festival’s jury and audience will choose two winners from the 21 Canadian shorts being screened. Each flick is 30 minutes or less.

Other People – Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.

A dramatic comedy starring Molly Shannon and Chris Kelly, Other People focuses on how one family copes as their terminally ill matriarch dies of cancer. Kelly plays the protagonist, a gay son trying to mend fences with his distant dad, while enjoying final moments with his mom.

Major! – Sunday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.

Major Griffin-Gracy, a black transgender woman who survived the Stonewall rebellion and a stay in Attica State Prison, stars in this 2015 documentary directed by Annalise Ophelian. Major!explores the misgivings of the American prison system, especially when it comes to treatment of transgender inmates.

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