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Short Films to Watch: Pride Month

June means Pride Month, as people all over the world come together to celebrate LGBTQ+ voices. We select five fantastic films from the ASFF library for you to watch.

Wifi Rider

From Brent-based filmmaker Roxy Rezvany comes 16mm film Wifi Rider. The documentary short follows Shukri, a Queer Palestinian teenager who yearned to leave his lonely life in Jerusalem. “When I was 17 years old, I wanted to move to Paris,” he says. “I was always under the impression that people’s lives were easier in the West.” Now spending his days on the internet, as he looks at western pop stars preaching about self-love and unity, Shukri is in desperate need of connection. Everything begins to change when he begins to channel his frustrations into his fashion label, Trashy.

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Adam Palmer’s sensitive tale tells of two men – played by Nick Preston and Lawrence Walker – from opposing gangs who share a moment on the basketball court. As Palmer says: “The idea for Judas came about after seeing gangs in my local area. It’s always shown as such a heterosexual or masculine landscape, but it got me thinking, there could be at least one person struggling with their identity and where they fit into.” Featuring an elegiac score from Thom Robson, this naturalistic take on the struggle for self-acceptance is a fascinating look at sexuality, expressed more with gestures and looks than dialogue.  

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Sometimes, He Paints Bathrooms

Ron Dalglish’s introspective portrait, focusing on subject Elliot Jack Stew. As the camera stares at him, watching emotions in his face, we hear Elliot’s most intimate thoughts as he contemplates how his life will be after hearing the news that he has HIV. “I never went through what I assume a lot of people with HIV go through – which is this: ‘how will anybody ever love me again?’” he says, as he ponders the emotional rollercoaster he faces in a disarmingly calm manner.  A highly moving work.

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Self Portrait

Emma Dalzell-Khan’s short is a vibrant piece about self-expression. Five lithe male dancers – beautifully choreographed by Jordan Robson – move in and around each other in a colourful space. The work explores what it means to be a man in today’s world. Cut to ‘Queen’ by Perfume Genius, the lyrics ‘don’t you know you’re queen’ perfectly distill Dalzell-Khan’s efforts to unpick the complexity of masculinity.

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Words: James Mottram