Queer East Festival 2024
17 — 28 April
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Queer Japan
Japan, 2019

Documentary, Focus Japan,
Directed by
Graham Kolbeins
Running time
100 min mins

Trailblazing artists, activists, and everyday people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality defy social norms and dare to shine in this kaleidoscopic view of LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. Dazzling, iconoclastic drag queen Vivienne Sato peels back the layers of language and identity. Maverick manga artist Gengoroh Tagame tours the world with his unapologetically erotic gay comics. Councilwoman Aya Kamikawa recounts her rocky path to becoming the first transgender elected official in Japan. At legendary kink-positive hentai party Department H, non-binary performance artist Saeborg uses rubber to create a second skin. Featuring material from over 100 interviews conducted over three years, Queer Japan showcases a vibrant and inspiring group of people, sharing their experiences of queer expression in their own words.

The film is followed by a live online Q&A with the director Graham Kolbeins.

Director Bio

Graham Kolbeins is a Canadian queer filmmaker, writer, and designer. He received a fellowship from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Council in 2016, and subsequently spent five months directing Queer Japan.

Additional info

This screening is organised in partnership with the Japan Foundation, with support from Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Daiwa Foundation and Japan Society.


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