Annual SF film festival highlights same-sex marriage debate

The 2012 QWOCMAP weekend’ also to feature Chilean/Colombian queer women of color filmmakers in the festival’s new home.

This year’s Eighth Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival, sponsored and curated by the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, will premiere 39 films created by queer women and trans people of color and showcase Colombian and Chilean documentaries.
This year’s festival — whose theme is “I Do and I Don’t: LGBTQ People of Color and Same-Sex Marriage” — also will feature a panel discussion called “To Have and To Hold.”

The theme is a loose commentary on the current political moment regarding same-sex marriage in the U.S. — i.e., the kind of moment which simultaneously sees the passing of North Carolina’s Amendment One (which bans same-sex marriage) and a public voicing of approval (but no political or legal action) of same-sex marriage from President Obama.

The same-sex marriage question affects communities of color differently — for example, recently released documents from right-wing organization National Organization for Marriage reveal that part of the organization’s strategy to prevent legal marriage equality for same-sex couples was to target communities of color — specifically, to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” and “to make support for [non same-sex] marriage a key badge of [cultural] identity” in Latino/a communities.

QWOCMAP and the Queer Women of Color Film festival responds to these attempts to divide communities of color by celebrating some of the most marginalized families and fostering alliances between diverse communities.  The films will explore a variety of familial relationship realities for queer and trans people of color, not just wedding vows or lack thereof.

The event will be held at a new venue — having called the Mission District’s Brava Theatre home for seven years. The Novella Theatre at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco will host the festival over three days — June 8-10.  The theatre is wheelchair accessible and, also for the first time, childcare will be provided.

The screenings are completely free because of QWOCMAP’s commitment to economic justice and accessibility — but get there early! It isn’t every day that the stories of the artists featured by QWOCMAP are seen up on the big screen and the seats fill up with eager movie-goers pretty quick.

~Laura Soldano

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