by Tony Inglis
A FILM and arts festival celebrating the works of the LGBTI community and people of colour will open next Friday at Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts.
GLITCH Film Festival will present experimental films, live performances, documentaries and workshops across a nine day period, with free entry to all events.
The festival opens with a screening of the unconventional coming of age story Moonlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the Oscars last month.
Other highlights include a live multimedia performance from composer and artist M Lamar, as well as showings of Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro and the new film from South Korean director Park Chan-Wook, The Handmaiden.
Festival director Nosheen Khwaja intends for the event to be accessible to all.
She said: “Everyone is welcome at GLITCH festival and for it to be a true Glasgow welcome we want everyone to be able to attend regardless of circumstances.
“We are a festival that is international in outlook and brings a multiplicity of perspectives.
“In these times this feels more important than ever.
“Whilst LGBTIQA+ people of colour are still shockingly disenfranchised from the film industry, there is actually also a large amount of exciting work being made by us and we’ve made it our mission to get it out to audiences.”
The event is supported by Creative Scotland, the Equality Network and Film Hub Scotland and is run by Digital Desperados, a Scottish charity which works to promote diversity within the arts.
The organisation’s co-founder Cloudberry MacLean said: “We are the first LGBTI+ people of colour led and focused film festival in all of Europe.
“We believe our festival to be of both cultural and political significance in combating racism, homophobia and sexism and we aim to increase diversity within the film industry.
“We do this by creating an international platform for high quality art created by LGBTI+ people of colour and welcoming everybody.”
The festival programme seeks to explore a variety of themes which are at the forefront of the communities it looks to empower such as violence, self-defence, conceptions of safety and trans activism.
GLITCH, now in its second year, is being seen as a successful venture in increasing representation in the artistic community in Glasgow and the wider country.
Sam Rankin, intersectional equalities coordinator at the Equalities Network, said: “It is very exciting that more diverse and inclusive LGBTI events are taking place in Scotland and that the diversity of the people running them is widening every year.
“As in all communities, LGBTI people in Scotland come in all kinds of different types including the disabled, younger and older, people of all colours, faiths and economic groups, and nationalities.
“These different aspects of identity can have very complex effects on our different lives and needs.
“It is vital that space is made in equalities work for diverse representation and exploration of how other aspects of our identities impact on how we experience our LGBTI lives.
“Arts events, such as the Glitch Film Festival, are a fantastic way to amplify diverse LGBTI voices that are too often not heard.”
An inaugural meeting to attempt to establish a global film festival network for LGBTIQA+ people of colour, attended by four other event organisers, will also be a part of the schedule.