LGBTQIA2S+ media is drawn from all over the world and for the fourth annual Pink Lobster Film Festival, with around 31 shorts and feature length films presented to the city of Fredericton.
The films were accepted until Jan 31 and displayed at Fredericton locations such as UNB’s Tilley Hall, Café Beaverbrook and the Tipsy Muse Café.
In past years, the films were displayed in strictly Tilley Hall, but this year, they expanded to other, small-scale venues because the main lecture theatre in Tilley Hall felt too large for certain presentations.
“We want to have kind of a more intimate experience,” festival coordinator Ty Giffin explained.
Some of the short films were local submissions while many of the feature-length films hailed from countries such as Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong, India and Italy. Most of the films came to the Pink Lobster Film Festival through the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival, a major sponsor this year and inspiration to Pink Lobster.
The festival was started four years ago when festival director, Dr. Robert Gray, attended the Iris Prize Film Festival and wanted to bring those stories to Fredericton.
“So, Iris has been a part of PLFF (Pink Lobster Film Festival) from the start and each year has shared their selections so we can continue to bring powerful stories from around the world to our city,” Gray wrote in the Message from the Festival portion of this year’s program.
One of the feature length films was Mom + Mom, an Italian film about the struggles of getting pregnant as a lesbian couple through IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation.) The couple in the film is burdened financially by the cost of IVF and frustrated by the repetitive failure of artificial insemination.
Mom + Mom played at the Beaverbrook on the last night of the festival, along with six local short films earlier that night. The films screened were: “Baggage,” “Feline Fatale,” “Courage,” “When Night Falls,” “Uncanny Valley,” and “Welcome.”
Entropic, Gray’s film, was the feature film playing at Tilley Hall on the Friday evening.
“That was like a pretty big deal to have a feature film made here in Fredericton,” Giffin said, explaining that the filming for the project had been done in and around the city, making it not only locally written and made, but also locally set.
Giffin says filmmaking “gives people a chance to tell their stories and also to hear other stories. I think the community here in Fredericton has a lot to say, we actually have a local section in the festival this year. But they also get to see people's experiences like theirs from around the world, which I think is something very special.”