Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) returns for its 34th edition, August 11-21, 2022. The theme this year is “Make It Yours,” inviting audiences to return to the political grassroots of queer activism. Both in person and online screenings will be available with a province wide video-on-demand selection in Vancouver theatres each day. Passes are available now with a full programming announcement and individual tickets to be made available soon.

This year will be more fabulous than ever with more impactful films that raise awareness about the struggles, joys, and journeys of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Inspired by this year’s submissions, VQFF’s programming aesthetic and curatorial vision will draw upon the fearless and fierce politics, visual style, and grassroots creativity of queer subcultures and the ‘zines that kept the communities informed and connected. Thematically, this year’s Festival shares stories told from an autobiographical perspective, leaning further into the trend of experiential and experimental filmmaking, community building, and self actualization through artistic expression. 

The Festival’s Opening Gala screening is the local premiere of Dave Rodden-Shortt’s feature documentary The Empress of Vancouver, an ode to local drag icon Oliv Howe, crowned the 10th Empress of the Vancouver Dogwood Monarchist Society in 1981. In the 80s, Oliv’s punk rock energy, gender-bending performances and DIY glam aesthetic spoke to a political and artistic shift in Vancouver’s drag community. This proudly local documentary brings to light queer artistic legacies and histories that have previously been unseen. This film will be available exclusively in person on opening night, with a fabulous queer royalty-themed Opening Night Party to follow the screening.

Our local shorts program The Coast Is Queer returns for its 25th anniversary year, available in person and online. Also returning are shorts programs: Obsidian: Black Queer Cinema, subtitled AS I AM, and Two Spirit and Indigiqueer Cinema, which has been expanded into two shorts programs this year, A Brave and Tender Lineage and Sovereign Bodies.

This Festival proudly presents the Canadian premiere of French film Besties (Les Meilleures), a beautifully shot coming-of-age drama about two young women from opposing groups in suburban Paris navigating womanhood and queer identity. Other prominent feature film programs include local documentary Emergence: Out of the Shadows on navigating queer identity in South Asian families; ground-breaking Filipinx drama Metamorphosis on intersex identity; the delightfully absurdist, queer body-swap comedy Homebody; our Youth Gala film Being Thunder about a Two Spirit teen of the Narragansett tribe; Afrofuturist sci-fi musical Neptune Frost; and Lebanese documentary Sirens about the first and only all-women Middle Eastern thrash metal band.

VQFF’s closing feature is Dramarama, a heartfelt comedy and instant classic about a group of graduating theatre kids in 1994 spending one last slumber party together where tensions and true identities come to light. This in-person only screening is the perfect theatre-going experience to close out the Festival.

In addition to in-person and video-on-demand screenings, VQFF will be hosting its first in-person celebrations in three years, the Opening Night Party and The Coast is Queer 25th Anniversary Celebration, and three workshops on queer arts practice and community-building: Queer Collective: VQFF Programers Talk; We’re Here We’re Queer, Let’s Activate!; and Out In Schools: Beyond SOGI.

For ticketing details, including pricing, and the complete Festival lineup, along with screening dates and times, please visit



More info and tickets can be found here.

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.