Queer East Nationwide Film Tour.

Queens East Nationwide Tour

Queer East returns to cinemas around the UK in 2023 for its fourth year with a nationwide tour presenting contemporary feature films and documentaries with retrospective screenings, short films, artists’ moving image works, and a VR cinematic experience. Through a programme of cinema and performance art, the festival pushes boundaries and challenges expectations and labels commonly associated with queer communities. Queer East is sure to provoke, inspire and engage. 

Following on from the main festival in London, the nationwide tour runs until December across venues in Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, and more to be announced, with a selection of cinematic highlights that were screened at the main festival back in April. 

This year’s festival features Focus Korea, a strand spanning from the 1960s to the present that revealed a surprisingly vibrant tradition of queer filmmaking across the decades in Korea, despite the country’s conservative social attitude to LGBTQ+ rights. And for this year’s tour, Queer East is proud to be screening the main festival’s closing Gala selection, Home Ground (South Korea, 2022), in two cities. This poignant documentary is about Korea’s first lesbian bar, Lesbos. Since 1976 when women-only cafe Chanel was closed down after a baseless police raid, the city’s lesbian community had been left with nowhere to call their own… until Lesbos opened its doors in 1996. Home Ground is an affecting portrait of a woman determined to provide refuge for her city’s ever-expanding queer community and is a vital piece of contemporary Korean LGBTQ+ filmmaking.

This year’s ‘Focus Korea’ strand seeks to highlight South Korea and provide audiences with a chance to see a snapshot of the country’s diverse queer storytelling. Screening Peafowl (South Korea, 2022), in which Byun Sung-bin graduates from award-winning shorts to his feature film debut with a compelling drama about a transgender dancer who must return to her rural hometown following her father’s death.

Audiences in Sheffield will have the opportunity to see the hilarious high-camp comedy I Love You, Beksman (Philippines, 2022). The film follows glamorous make-up artist and fashion designer Dali, who is assumed by his friends, colleagues, and queer family to be gay. But when Dali falls for beauty pageant queen Angel, he’s forced to come out as straight finally… the problem is, nobody believes him, not even Angel. 

The tour’s line-up further expands out of South Korea, encompassing contemporary and retrospective screenings, representing an extraordinary breadth of queer filmmaking that spans 60 years and seven countries. Let Me Hear it Barefoot (Japan, 2021) is The story of Naomi, a student dropout, who befriends the happy-go-lucky Maki. As they begin to express their growing intimacy through rough playfighting, their actions acquire a hurtful intensity that threatens to overwhelm their relationship. What Happened to the Wolf? (Myanmar, 2022) brings together two hospital patients with different outlooks on society, who form a strong bond. Bad Women of China (China, 2022) is a raw and frank documentary that explores the lives and desires of three generations of Chinese women from filmmaker and activist He Xiaopei. Heading back 60 years, The Love Eterne (Hong Kong, 1963) is a sumptuous opera film, in which maiden Chu Ying-Tai disguises herself as a boy in order to attend school. There, she meets the dashing Liang Shan-Po. Also screening is Rebels of the Neon God (Taiwan, 1992), a masterful exploration of urban alienation and sexual malaise, widely regarded as one of the best Taiwanese films ever. 


Exploring the queer experience in all its myriad forms, Queer East presents a truly diverse selection of thematically linked short films in Manchester. 

All About My Mother

A collection of short films exploring the mother figure’s nuances within LGBTQ+ families. With raw emotions and tenderness, these films investigate the complex emotional terrain of these intergenerational relationships.

● Titles: Will You Look at Me (Dir. Huang Shuli, China, 2022), Skin Can Breathe (Dir. Chheangkea, US, Cambodia, 2022), Fictions (Dir, Alice Charlie Liu, Canada, 2022), Rising Sun (Dir. Cheng Ya-chih, Taiwan, 2018), Fishbowl (Dir. Jacqueline Chan, US, 2021), A Good Mother (Dir. Lee Yu-jin, South Korea, 2022) 


Presenting cutting-edge experimental works which confront, challenge and subvert.

Alien Body, Human Dreams (Programmed by April Lin)  

A series of cinematic investigations that centre the body as a potent site of hybridity, rejecting false divisions of man/woman, human/animal/alien, and self/other to construct their own embodied and multifaceted ways of being. 

● Titles: to boyhood, i never knew him (Dir. Trâm Anh Nguyễn, Vietnam & Canada, 2022), Longing for the Sun to Set Upwards (Dir. Jao San Pedro, Philippines, 2022), Native beast (Dir. Aileen Ye, Netherlands, 2022), Disease of Manifestation (Dir. Tzu An Wu, Taiwan, 2011), Yummy Body Truck (Dir. Noam Youngrak Son, Netherlands, 2021), BXBY (Dir. Soojin Chang, UK, 2022), Garden Amidst the Flame (Natasha Tontey, Indonesia, 2022) 


A VR cinematic presentation: In the Mist (Dir. Chou Tung-Yen, Taiwan, 2020). In a dim-lit room filled with mist emerge blurred figures of men, tasting desire and experiencing loneliness. Entering a fantasised gay sauna through a VR headset, you are transported to a forbidden zone, a state between dreaming and awakening, a place in which you gaze at someone and are gazed at by them. In The Mist is a hallucinatory and explicit VR experience that is not to be missed. 

Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds and more cities to be announced.

Please keep an eye on the Queer East Festival website for further announcements: https://queereast.org.uk/ 

Facebook: @queereast Twitter: @queereast Instagram: @queereast 




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here