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Reelout 2022 promises globetrotting adventures for the mind

The Reelout Queer Film Festival promises to whisk you around the globe at the end of the month as they launch their 2022 season with “International Points of View.”

Reelout 22 is travel-themed to help ease the COVID blues while remaining in the pandemic-safe virtual format. Submitted image.

Running from Thursday, Jan. 27 to Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, Reelout home audiences can get comfy and be entertained by over 60 films from 19 different countries and diasporas.

With physical travel limited in Ontario, this year’s festival is travel-themed, offering multiple “Cinematic Adventures” to explore.

There is something for just about everyone to enjoy, explained Matt Salton, the Executive Director of Reelout: “If people go to the [event] site, there’s a button that says ‘Your Cinematic Itinerary,’ and I think that is the easiest way for people to just sort of browse through the 22 different ‘Adventures.’”

“I think each [‘Adventure’ or program] will speak to individuals,” he  explained. For example, “There’s a Thriller/Horror program, and then there’s a Family program, and so on.”

“Reelout is a 12-day International, independent celebration of queer film, right here in Kingston. We’ve been running now for 23 years, and we really try not only to represent as many people as we can within such a disparate, marginalized community, but we also try to promote films, types of films that you wouldn’t normally see, like experimental, shorts, and documentaries, bringing that unique culture to Kingston,” explained Salton.

Salton added that his favourite film this year is called Potato Dreams of America. “It is a feature film, an American film by filmmaker Wes Hurley… it’s a true story about Wes and his mother’s migratory experiences coming from the former Soviet Union in the 80s and moving to Seattle, Washington, when his mother becomes a mail-order bride. It’s serious, it’s a true story, but it’s also it’s told with great humour, creativity, and flair…  there’s a lot that went into making the film and I really appreciate it.”

Salton advised that, with the new format, some people might find it overwhelming with so much to choose from, “But you have 11 days to actually watch everything that you buy a ticket for.”

Photo still from Brazilian film Coming Into Bloom, which sheds light on the challenges of growing old in Brazil as a woman who loves women. A bisexual filmmaker bisexual reflects on her own ties based on the experiences of Yone Lindgren, founder of the lesbian movement in the country. Submitted photo.

“I think the most important thing about [an independent queer film festival] is that we all want to see ourselves represented. And the media has come a long way as far as representing LGBTQ+ characters, but only in a sort of mainstream way,” he explained. “Whereas the films that we’re showing are not just mainstream films, but they are films from all over the world… that sort of sums up for me what Reelout is for so many people in our community; they get to see themselves represented, and they don’t feel so alone.”

Despite the virtual nature of the festival, each of your 22 possible cinematic adventures allows for a limited number of viewers in their online theatre, so make sure to “book your cinematic travel plans ahead” to avoid sold-out screenings.  

Reelout Queer Film Festival: Points Of View’s content is “geoblocked.” Only audiences in the province of Ontario will have access to the films, with the exception of all short film collections, which are available to all residents of Canada.

Tickets for individual cinematic adventures are $15, including all fees. Please note that your ‘Cinematic Adventures’ unlock on specified dates, and you have until February 7,  2022 to start each journey you have purchased a ticket for. Once you hit ‘Play’ on your film, you have 48  hours to complete that experience. 

A Frequent Fiver pass is $69 including all fees. With this pass, you get to choose any five cinematic adventures in advance for a  discounted price. 

All-access passports are $139 including all fees, and you can book all 22 ‘Cinematic Adventures’ in advance. Once you have purchased your passport, you will receive an email prompt asking you to pre-book the ‘Cinematic Adventures’ you wish to experience. This is important, as your passport alone does not guarantee you a space on any of your 22 possible journeys. As mentioned above, each program still only has a finite number of virtual “seats,” so you must ensure you book yours after your passport purchase. 

You can purchase passports on the Reelout Eventive platform and view the festival schedule and details on their Eventive virtual platform.

You can download the eventive app and navigate the festival on your Roku, AppleTV, or on a smart TV app. You can also cast your ‘Cinematic Adventures’ to your TV using Chromecast or airplay or by connecting your device to your TV with an HDMI cable.  

Ted Hsu for MPP
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