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Image+nation film festival comes to Montreal

Image+nation film festival comes to Montreal

From Nov. 24 to Dec. 4, the image+nation film festival will present a diverse array of LGBTQ+ films hailing from all corners of the world.

“I think it’s an important opportunity to see great independent film, and it’s also an opportunity to see yourself reflected on the screen if you happen to be a queer person,” said Katharine Setzer, the programming director for the festival.

Handsome Devils, the festival's opening film, is a coming of age story set in Ireland.

Handsome Devils, the festival’s opening film, is a coming of age story set in Ireland.

Image+nation, which is in its 29th year, is the oldest queer film festival in Canada. It will present films from a variety of genres and formats, including powerful documentaries, beautiful shorts and award-winning features. There are over 30 films to choose from.

“There’s a power in coming to a festival,” said Setzer. “It is a genre festival—it is a queer festival. There’s a power of being with your people, sitting and congregating in the dark and watching images of yourself on the screen.”

This year, the festival will have a focus on Irish and American cinema, two countries that legalized same-sex marriage in the last year. Handsome Devil, the opening film of the festival, which will screen on Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. is part of this Irish focus. Directed by John Butler, the film is a coming-of-age story about Ned, a young outcast in a rugby-crazed, all-boys boarding school who sets out on a mission to finally have his voice heard.

According to Setzer, queer cinema has evolved over time. Although there’s still a place for coming-of-age and coming-out stories, the focus has shifted to representations of queerness that go beyond this, looking instead at the experience of living as a queer person in the world.

Golden Boys, an Israeli film directed by Revital Gal, takes a look at the ageing gay community in Tel Aviv and explores the challenges these men faced coming to terms with their own sexuality in a country which hasn’t always been open or tolerant. Golden Boys will screen on Dec. 3 at 3:15 p.m.

Although the festival includes films from around the world, it still has a local focus. Long-time festival staple Queerment Quebec gives an opportunity to see short films produced by Montreal filmmakers. These shorts will be presented on Monday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Phi Centre and include bustling local talent.

Films from this year’s festival will be screened at a number of different venues, including Cinéma Imperial, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Concordia’s JA de Sève cinema and Cinémathèque québécoise.

Tickets can be purchased both at the door and online. Regular passes are $12.75 per film or $9.50 for students. For information on the festival or to buy tickets for screenings, visit www.image-nation.org.

About Tiffany Lafleur