ReelOut Queer Film Festival delivers diverse short films

‘Darling Buds of May’ is fun for the whole family

Feature includes five LGBTQ+ shorts.
Credit: 
Supplied by ReelOut
ReelOut Queer Film Festival’s ‘Darling Buds of May’ is a collection of family-friendly shorts, offering fun watches for kids and nostalgic experiences for adults.
 
The collection features five films from India, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Some involve emotionally moving topics like gender and grief, while others deliver funny, joyful stories featuring playful narratives, costumes, and humour. 
 
Dal Bhat by Nemil Shah
 
Made in India, this film tells the story of Muktida as he struggles to understand his gender identity upon realizing his biology doesn’t match his male friends. 
 
The film does well in portraying the emotional pain experienced by many LGTBQ+ individuals, through the ostracization of Muktida and his priest father by their community. 
 
The conclusion is touching—Muktida finds the strength to live in his own body and go swimming in the nearby lake. While it’s clear Muktida’s struggles are far from over, this moment of self-acceptance gives the film a powerful, moving end. 
 
I Am Leo by Tajo Hurrie
 
This film is told through the perspective of Leo and explores the distress associated with getting your period, specifically for some members of the LGBTQ+ community. 
 
I Am Leo handles gender identity in a subtle yet impactful way, as viewers can feel Leo’s discomfort, confusion, and frustration while experiencing the trauma of their first period and being viewed as a woman. 
 
Inertia by Mat Johns
 
This short film explores the painful emotions that surround loss and grief.  
 
While the story is told from the perspective of naïve but kind-hearted Rabia, the film is really about her teacher, Maddie, struggling to cope with the loss of her partner. 
 
Inertia’s most resonant scene is when the students hold a memorial to show Maddie how much they love and support her. It’s a touching and necessary reminder to support those you care about rather than allow them to grieve alone. 
 
Dracudate by Rhael McGregor
 
Canadian-made, Dracudate tells a cute story of a vampire named Lilith, who nervously goes on a date. The animation follows Lilith as she tries to impress the girl she admires while simultaneously avoiding a determined monster hunter. 
 
By the conclusion, Lilith finds love in a fellow monster who appreciates her as she is. For humans, perhaps especially for LGBTQ+ viewers, it’s a welcome sight to see self-worth prevailing fears of society’s constructed expectations. 
 
Once Upon a Drag Storytime—Going for the Gold by Stephan Nicolazzo
 
Once Upon a Drag Storytime’s cheerfully theatrical acting, storyline, and colourful aesthetic are reminiscent of this generation’s childhood television shows. 
 
The humour used throughout the film helps deliver the story’s message in an entertaining way while also showing the importance of friendship, compassion, and teamwork. 
 
As characters Keith and Mohinder use the book Peanut Goes for the Gold by Jonathan van Ness to inspire their friend Gavin, viewers learn the importance of never giving up on their goals—even if pursuing them involves a few 
embarrassing mistakes. 
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