Canal Street Online Manchester

5 years of Queer Media Festival

When the leaves start to turn and the mornings are darker, we all need a bit of excitement in our lives. Fear not stalwart of the Manchester calendar, the Queer Media Festival, is back.

Now in its fifth year, this year’s festival is looking good. Founder and organiser, Jamie Starboisky, spoke to Canal St Online’s Chris Park about what he has in store.

“We have three venues this year over two days which is a first. It’s bigger, better and bolder”. These are big claims but luckily for us they are true.

In the daytime on Saturday 3rd November there is “Why Don’t You...?”. This is held at The Sharp Project, two tram stops near Central Street.

“It is in an old calculator warehouse which is now a digital entrepreneur hub” explains Jamie “It is an opportunity for people to discover digital skills, telling stories on new platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. We’re also looking at mobile phone movies. We will go through the A to Z of making movies”.

Led by Deirdre Mulcahy from the BBC Academy and Amy Ashenden from Pink News, this is a perfect opportunity to learn from industry experts but what if you have absolutely no knowledge? “You don’t need film skills” Jamie explains “We will teach you from how to film to how to edit”

The next session is on Podcasting and is led by Emma Goswell (Gaydio Radio) and Chrystal Genesis (Stance Podcast). Finally, a major treat is a demo of virtual reality by Future Artists.

You’d think that would be enough but Jamie is only just getting started.

“At night we will be kicking our heels at HOME” he laughs “At 6.30 we have a work in progress documentary called Deep in Vogue. This is a film by Amy Watson and Dennis Keighron-Foster and looks at the northern vogue scene. “It looks at why minorities feel the need to explain themselves. There are four houses featured including the House of Ghetto and House of Decay from Manchester and House of Cards and House of Suarez from Liverpool”.

One thing Queer Media is known for are there eclectic and massively entertaining shorts, I’m hoping they will be present this year. “We’re showing two shorts” Jamie reassures me “Femme is about a guy who is rejected from a hook up in New York City for being too feminine. The other is Misconceptions, it is set in the 90s and is a poignant comedy about two lesbians looking to start a family”.

Last year the festival held a wildly successful Coronation Street smackdown between Hilda Ogden and Deirdre Barlow with local stars Anna Phylactic and Miss Blair taking it to true immersive levels. I wonder how this can be rivalled. Have no fear, Queer Media are prepared. “In the evening there is a dragtastic event celebrating Freddie Mercury’s queer life with performances from Jack the Lad and Vin Dicktiv”

The Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, is due for release but Starboisky has other plans than to just screen this. “Sasha Baron Cohen pulled out of it due to the lack of focus on Freddie’s queer life so we’re showing the BBC 2012 documentary, The Great Pretender”. But in true immersive style, audience members are encouraged to dress in black and white in homage to Freddie’s 39th birthday party from 1985 which became iconic. “Freddie wanted the record company to pay for the party so they turned it into a video for Living On My Own” laughs Starboisky “At one point you can see Freddie is trashed and a PA is holding him up to blow the candles out of his cake”.

The winner of the best outfit will win a meal for two with drinks at HOME so get your monochrome ensemble at the ready.

If that isn’t enough for you, on Sunday, in collaboration with Black Gold Arts Festival, Tribeca will be showing Shakedown. A raw and raunchy examination of a black lesbian club in Los Angeles. The event will be hosted by Onye OneDa Ezeh with an appearance from the House of Ghetto.

So Starboisky has done it again, produced a great schedule of content. What are you waiting for, get your tickets from via the link below

By Chris Park for Canal St Online

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Published: 11-Oct-2018

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