Thank you for still paying attention to this weird thing running by a group of weirdos. For certain reasons I call it weird because it was not something that most people would understand. Moreover, we are able to present films that describe love and desire despite physical errors of queer people, such as featured length films including Days, Unsound, Nobody and Stoma; as well as those documentary films that manifesto weird as beauty, such as Beauty in Ugliness, China PK Queen, and Madame; and countless films which has touching expression and zoomed in the unbearable prejudices from all aspects. At the same time, we also observed that pandemic has not limited the creativity of queer filmmakers, but stimulated their different ways of experiencing the life. Yet, wherever they drifted to, Chinese queer filmmakers have formulated their extraordinary way of storytelling and shot it out. We also found those experimental queer filmmakers who are not satisfied from telling a story but pull out from reality and tend to communicate with the world in an abstract way of experssion.
This weird thing has been happening in Beijing secretly for already twenty years. I am so proud that I can take part in with multiple identities such as filmmaker, festival secretary, committee member, curator and director on duty during the second decade of the festival. Under the circumstances that made everything more and more difficult, it is more and more restricted with what we can do. It seems to be very few funds that support the festival or collaboration organizations. However, since the impossiblility of blocking information due to internet impact, we have tripled the number of the films programmed this year. Among those, it is exciting to see the booming of queer filmmakers’ works in Chinese. Every one of them worth our deep respect and applause for keeping making queer films in Chinese language. Perhaps it is a sign for a new era to come with special meaning. I am now filled with happiness while holding hands with my weirdo companions who have been all the time together and expecting the next decade to come.
——Jenny Man Wu
Director on Duty, 2021 Love Queer Cinema Week
20 years ago, when we founded the festival, we never thought it would become the independent film festival with the longest history, which is still happening in China. Since 20 years ago, it still keeps the most democratic and free way of its organization, just like a utopia. During the 20 years, we’ve lost many pioneer queer artists. “Tribute to the pioneer queers” program looks back at Micky Chan, Madame, Ellen Joyce Loo, Barbara Hammer’s biographic queer life. 20 years later, we also welcome back many old friend filmmakers with their astonishing new films, such as Zero Chow, Kit Hung and He Xiaopei. The Taiwanese gay comedy Formula 17 shown at our festival in 2005 will come back with its newly restored version. Great thank to all the festival team, volunteers, partners and filmmakers all over the world. I’m so moved by your persistent contribution and support. Every time when I look at thoes queer images on big screen, I feel no longer alone.
Director on duty, 2021 Love Queer Cinema Week
I don’t miss Beijing, but I miss the passed days.
I miss 2005, 2007, 2009. I also miss 2011, 2013, 2014. I also miss 2015 and 2016 a bit, just a bit. And I believe, I’ll also miss 2017 and 2019.
Moreover, I miss the people who passed.
I miss Meimei, I miss Kenta Yeh, miss Mickey Chen, Barbara Hammer, I miss Liang Ma.
But I also wonder, how long I’m gonna miss it. And how much we’er gonna miss?
To Love Queer
——Popo Fan, Committee Member
Like a queer flower that has been blooming for 20 years, the Festival is the longest independent film festival in China, and I am very proud to be one of its branches. For the last 20 years, I have participated in the film festival in different capacities, from actor to director, but also as a member of the organizing committee and curator. Thanks to the Festival, I have watched diverse, colorful and tenacious life stories, I have known many queer film directors from different countries facing all kind of difficulties but still making beautiful pieces. While organizing the film festival, I also came to face some challenges, ups and downs, but that all led to exciting and memorable moments. Unfortunately, the pandemic prevents me from attending the festival in person this year, which makes me miss the time of being there physically even more. But I hope that everyone attending the festival will continue to support independent films, queer movies, and to give a voice to our freedom of speech and our pride for being who we are!
——Wei Xiaogang, Committee Member
Since the word Queer has been used, people talk about what is Queer.
Since film became a carrier of culture, people discuss what is film.
The discussion and debates brought people together, created lots of things and witnessed separation and reunion.
The festival passes year by year, as if someone is weaving a rope.
Starting with a few strings hanging on a wobble nail, different people have weaved this rope, added different strings of color, materials and thickness.
I think I am one of the strings. And you, coming to cinema, watching the films, holding the mic, you are too.
Some scenes keep repeating themselves. The most beautiful scene I remember is that after the screenings, a group of people laughing and talking to each other, keeping each other warm in the November wind.
You look at the crowd, you feel encouraged, you feel the meaning of making efforts and taking risks. You worry about the rope if it’s going to broke, but you also feel the world is so inclusive, diverse and beautiful.
——HYQ, Committee Member
I became endeared to the Beijing Queer Film Festival when I screened my film “The Night” there in 2014, and I have been following the festival ever since. As BJQFF marks its 20th anniversary, this year’s edition of the festival is especially meaningful. I have been honored to participate in selecting films for BJQFF. The festival’s selfless team and I have had the joy of viewing Chinese queer films, a beautiful beacon of hope for the future. I’ve also had the pleasure of translating and captioning foreign queer films into Chinese, becoming intimately familiar with these global queer voices. I hope that the Beijing Queer Film Festival can always successfully exhibit a variety of cinematic works that speak to love and diversity around the world!
——Hao Zhou, 2021 Love Queer Cinema Week Program Consultant
I am honored to participate, as the secretary of the committee, in the 20th anniversary of Beijing Queer Film Festival. It is a very glorious mission to realize the freedom of creating and enjoying films for our Chinese LGBTQ compatriots. I hope this mission will continue year after year.
——Irene Zhao (Secretary)
2019 seems to be a year with a residual last pleasure for everyone, and it was the year I first attended LoveQueer as a volunteer. In the basement of CFA, where my Quinn and I fantasized about how we should pick up the director and rehearse our shitty English. The next year, Zhenzhen and I went to see “Weekend”, I knew the lines so well that I could almost memorize them all, afterwards we bought a big bottle of Kirin and walked all the way south. A lot of things ended, a lot of things were forced to start again, and a lot of days passed uneventfully, but it is these real details of LoveQueer that lingered in my brain, as Nietzsche said, have made me “well through countless very bad nights”.
——Larry Hu·Volunteer Coordinator, Copyright Coordinator