Queer East puts resistance and inclusivity at the centre of virtual programme for Pride season


29 June 2020

QE: Docs4Pride from Queer East Film Festival launches on 3 July with four free-to-stream documentaries shining a light on queer activism in East and Southeast Asia.

Pride 2020 will be like no other. Typically, it’s a time when the LGBTQ+ community and allies come together and celebrate progress made since the 1969 Stonewall Riots, but with Pride parades and events across the world cancelled, it feels like a time to reflect on the work that still needs to be done to ensure an inclusive movement worldwide.

Inequalities within the LGBTQ+ community exist. Through the power of film, QE: Docs4Pride aims to uplift and amplify the voices of those marginalised in the LGBTQ+ community, aligning with wider global conversations and reflections about racial justice and the recognition of minority groups.

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The four carefully selected films from China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines feature compelling stories of resistance, the fight for civil rights, legal protection and the LGBTQ+ liberation movement in respective countries.

The documentaries are: Out Run (US, Philippines), Shanghai Queer (China), Taipeilove* (Germany, Taiwan) and Of Love and Law (Japan, UK, France). Each title will be available to stream for a week at Queer East’s website and Vimeo channel.

Director of Queer East, Yi Wang says:

“Global events this year are a strong reminder of the importance activism and reflection play in progressing human rights. Everyone has a role in constructing a more diverse and equitable world and pride season is a time for the LGBTQ+ community to look closely and address existing challenges in the queer landscape.

The QE: Docs4Pride series aims to amplify the otherwise unheard voices of people of colour in the LGBTQ+ community and facilitate constructive conversations about the intersectionality of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and nationality.

The virus has kept us apart, but through digital spaces, we hope these four documentaries can unlock the collaborative strength of queer community and take action against inequalities.”

QE: Docs4Pride is the second virtual film series from Queer East Film Festival, which has had to postpone screenings following Covid-19 restrictions. The previous QE: HomeSexual Edition received donations from nearly 400 supporters to support the temporarily closed independent cinemas due to host screenings.

QE: Docs4Pride is part of Film Feels Connected, a UK-wide cinema season supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. With additional support from Brent 2020 Culture Fund, as part of Brent 2020, London Borough of Culture.

QE: Docs4Pride Programme and Schedule

Out Run
Dir S. Leo Chiang, Johnny Symons | USA, Philippines | 2016 | 75 min
Screening Date: 3 July – 10 July
Out Run follows Bemz Benedito, who led the world’s only LGBTQ+ political party Ladlad, in her historic quest to become the first transgender woman elected to the Philippine Congress. The film documents Ladlad’s journey of rallying LGBTQ+ representation and provides a unique look into how queer communities transition into the mainstream.

© Out Run

Shanghai Queer
Dir Xiangqi Chen | China | 2019 | 90 min
Screening Date: 10 July – 17 July
A documentary sharing collective memories of the LGBTQ+ community in the ever-changing city of Shanghai between 2003 and 2018. The film offers a rare insight into the city’s grassroots queer activism, through a series of interviews with frontline activists, scholars, and artists.

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© Shanghai Queer

Dir Lucie Liu | Germany, Taiwan | 2019 | 70 min
Screening Date: 17 July – 24 July
Taipeilove* documents Taiwan’s crucial moments in becoming the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. Featuring extensive interviews with key activists and lawmakers, as well as ordinary queer people who share their intimate stories, the film is a vivid and important portrait of the ongoing struggles and shifting social attitudes towards LGBTQ+ equality in Asia.

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© Taipeilove*

Of Love & Law
Dir Hikaru Toda | Japan, UK, France | 2019 | 94 min
Screening Date: 24 July – 31 July
An openly gay couple, Fumi and Kazu, run Japan’s first LGBTQ+ law firm. Passionately fighting for civil liberties, they represent clients who seek to challenge restrictive norms and discrimination. Through the couple’s life and ground-breaking human rights work, the film offers a snapshot of Japan’s changing and diverse society.

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© Of Love & Law