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Beauty: hometown premiere for Christina Willings’ NFB short at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Featured with Obom’s animated short I Like Girls and a retrospective screening of Clint Alberta’s Deep Inside Clint Star.


(Images provided by the NFB)

July 5, 2018 – Vancouver – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The Vancouver premiere of Vancouver filmmaker Christina Willings’ new short film Beauty leads off a strong selection of new and classic National Film Board of Canada (NFB) productions at the 30th Vancouver Queer Film Festival (August 9–19), which is also presenting Diane Obomsawin’s multi-award-winning 2016 animated short, I Like Girls, as well as a retrospective screening of the late Clint Alberta’s subversive 1999 feature, Deep Inside Clint Star, presented as part of the festival’s special 30th anniversary programming.

Beauty is screening at The Coast Is Genderqueer, which takes place Friday, August 17, at 5:00 p.m. at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. The Coast Is Genderqueer is the Festival’s first short film program that showcases local trans, genderfluid and non-binary stories. These are B.C.-made shorts with an emphasis on youth on screen and emerging filmmakers.

Both Deep Inside Clint Star and I Like Girls are screening as part of the festival program decolonizing discipline(s): a two-spirit showcase. Clint Alberta’s feature doc screens Saturday, August 18, at 9 p.m. at the York Theatre, with opening comments from filmmakers Justin Ducharme and Jade Baxter. Obom’s I Like Girls is being presented as part of Indigiqueer Shorts from Turtle Island & Aotearoa, programmed by Justin Ducharme, which starts Saturday, August 18, at 7 p.m. at the York Theatre.

About the films

Beauty, 23 min.

In a world of fixed positions and prescribed roles, expanding the definition of gender requires the courage to dive deep into understanding and acceptance. Written and directed by Christina Willings, Beauty explores the lives of five gender-creative kids, each uniquely engaged in shaping their ideas of what it means to be fully human. Claiming your own sense of gender when everything around you insists that you comply and conform can be challenging, and sometimes scary—but family and friends are there to help.
Free-flowing animated elements, ranging from images of octopuses to astronauts, draw together the kids’ shared experiences in beautifully rendered fantasias that celebrate the power of imagination and the flourishing force of self-determination. Playful, goofy, loving and brave, each of these remarkable young people—including Ladner, B.C.’s transgender advocate Tru Wilson—have found their own way to break free and show the world what it really means to be your true self.

Beauty is produced and executive produced by Shirley Vercruysse for the NFB’s BC and Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver. Teri Snelgrove is associate producer.

I Like Girls, 8 min.

Written and directed by Montreal cartoonist and animator Diane Obomsawin, a.k.a. Obom, based on her graphic novel of the same name, the film uses endearing anthropomorphic figures to tell real-life stories of first love.

An incredible animated short about one-sided infatuation, mutual attraction, erotic moments, and fumbling attempts at sexual expression, I Like Girls has won eight awards so far, including Best LGBT Short at the New York City Short Film Festival, the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the Guy-L. Coté Award for Best Canadian Animation at the Sommets du cinéma d’animation.

I Like Girls was produced by Marc Bertrand, with Julie Roy as executive producer for the NFB’s French Animation Studio.

Deep Inside Clint Star, 88 min.

At the turn of the millennium, director Clint Alberta invited us into conversations from the hearts and minds of fellow young Indigenous Canadians around Toronto. Stylish and subversive, this documentary provides a look at Indigenous sexuality through identity with an anarchist approach to documentary filmmaking. Hugo is a punk rocker who doesn’t care what you think. Tawny has aspirations to attend university and “live happily ever after.” Harvey feels that his life has just begun after coming out. Michael’s got an iron-fist grip on his cultural and sexual identity. Becky is ready to find love again, and Gerhard is here for the ride—letting life take him where it may.

Watch as they explore issues of identity, sexuality, and intimacy with a director who was not about conforming to society’s demands. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in 2000 and going on to win the Donald Brittain Award for Best Documentary Feature, Deep Inside Clint Star is an (extra) ordinary doc about life, sex, love, and truths despite 500 years of oppression.

Deep Inside Clint Star was produced by Silva Basmajian and executive produced by Louise Lore for the NFB’s Ontario Studio.


Promotional Material
Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailers, synopsis: Beauty | I Like Girls | Deep Inside Clint Star

Associated Links
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
York Theatre

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit NFB.ca.