Halifax – Halifax hosted the region’s first Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Video and Film Festival, June 19-25.
The weeklong event was hailed by organizers as “A Queer maritime celebration of our art, our lives, and the very miracle of our survival. There is something here and queer for everyone,” films, workshops and other entertainment.
One workshop on “Sex, God and Film,” was advertised as involving discussion on sexuality, eroticism and spirituality, and asking “Is sex the search for God?” It was to include meditation and breathing exercises “to cultivate a melding of erotic and intellectual energy and ideas.”
Another workshop called “Activist Documentaries: How to make Your Own Controversy,” was held by Robert Hilferty, director of the film “Stop The Church” (see below). It promised to “show students how to identify potentially controversial subjects for low-budget projects, how to structure material in the most economic way for maximum message, and how to get a finished video seen by as wide an audience as possible.”
Organizers claimed to offer a week of “the finest works by sexual deviants in Canada, the U.S., Cuba and the United Queendom.” They included the following films.
• Heads or Tails – Two men “au naturel” in the outdoors, with disco lights, dance through a haze created by chain-smoking nuns.
• Steamclean – A light-hearted guilt-free video demonstrating safe-sex techniques in a bathhouse setting.
• Linda, Les and Annie – A video about a woman who became a man, sharing his pre-change photos, and depicting a night he spends with Annie trying out his new apparatus.
• The Sluts and Goddesses Workshop, or How to be a Sex goddess in 101 Easy Steps – a 45-minute straightforward representation of a whole range of possibilities for women’s sexual expression.
• No Skin off my Ass – a politico-comic gay-punk porno home art movie
• We’re Talking Vulva – A NFB musical romp hosted by an anatomically correct female genitalia; uproariously funny, and educational.
• Nice Girls Don’t Do it – A frank and sexually explicit film that depicts a woman ejaculating and appropriates this socially accepted sign of power as one that belongs to women as well as men. A how-to film that offers the steps to ejaculation.
• Stop the Church – This film documents the planning and carrying out of the atrocious and sacrilegious 1989 disruption of Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York by the militant gay rights group, ACT UP. They were protesting Cardinal O’Connor’s stand against safe-sex education and gay/lesbian rights.
The festival was generously assisted by the Canada Council and the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism and Culture.