Exploring the relationships, struggles and joys of young people who are discovering their sexuality for the first time, the Reelout Queer Film Festival comes back to Kingston this month with a selection of 18 independent films.
“The Reelout Film Festival is about raising the profile and the visibility of the LGBTQ community in Kingston and the Thousand Islands region,” said Matt Salton, the programming and film organizer for the Reelout Queer Film Festival.
“It was started in 1999 by a group of students, academics, and townspeople to find a creative way to empower a marginalized community.” Salton currently lives in Kingston and has been organizing and working on the board of film festivals for over 16 years. In the past, he’s also organized Calgary’s FairyTales Queer Film Festival, the Slimebone City Horror Film Festival and the Winnipeg REEL PRIDE festival.
“It’s all about fun, but it’s also about education and learning about different lives and different areas of the world, which is mutually interesting to everyone,” Salton said.
“It’s been really cool to see the festival grow from a three-day festival to a nine-day festival and to see that a city of 100,000 people can sustain a niche boutique film festival of this kind.”
Salton added that much of the success of the festival is owed to Kingstonians, Queen’s students and to all the different local businesses that sponsor the festival.
Salton said the event will remain “theme-less”. From feminism to race and gender binaries, and everything in between, this year is the most diverse in Reelout’s history, and Salton said he simply couldn’t choose just one.
A highlight, according to Salton, is the Jan. 31 screening of Drown. Focusing on homosexuality in traditionally “masculine” sports, the film explores how gender dynamics affect queer athletes. Bryan Fautley, PheKin ’13 will feature as a special guest alongside the film. A former Queen’s varsity volleyball player, Fautley came out as openly gay in 2012 to his teammates, who showed him vast support. Fautley is now completing a master’s degree in Olympic Studies at the International Olympic Academy, with a focus on LGBTQ rights in international sport.
The Reelout Queer Film Festival takes place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7 in various locations throughout the city.
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