3 Days Down, 4 To Go: A Fairy Tales Weekend in Review

Here we are, already nearly halfway through the 17th Annual Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival. Thank you to everyone who came out to spend the first weekend of the festival with us! 11304284_10205752282340620_476669192_n

This first weekend was great: fantastic weather, lovely people, and excellent times spent watching wonderful films!

Let’s recap, shall we? The festival started off with a lovely opening gala of wine and cheese with our sponsor, Vine Styles, which doubled as a great venue for artist Lisa Heinricks’ Awesome People Project. It was such a great gala that the party would have continued late into the night if it weren’t for closing time.

After two great film screenings at The Plaza - Liz in September and Boys - we headed over to the Oak Tree Tavern where we held our first ever outdoor screening under the patio with the TRUCK camper. With hotdogs and beer and some of the best weather we’ve had so far this year, we had a great time! The atmosphere was great, and we all shared many laughs over the Dancing Queer Cartoons! If anything, we needed more chairs for everyone in attendance!

Before we knew it, it was already Saturday: Day 2! The day began quietly with Sins Invalid, but it was a very special screening with a wonderful performance by Momo Mixed Ability Dance Theatre preceding the film and a stimulating panel discussion held at the end, featuring panel guests from Calgary Sexual Health Centre, Right 2 Love and Momo Dance Theatre. In addition to discussing the film, topics examined included the intersection of queer identities and disabilities and making spaces safer and more accessible to both the queer and disabled communities.


Following Sins Invalid was the wickedly hilarious Appropriate Behavior, which was then followed up by our Retro Gala screening of the 35mm film version of the classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We hope everyone enjoyed this classic in its film form along with our “Sugar Daddy” drink special!

We began our Sunday by partnering up with our friends at Camp fYrefly for a screening of the locally created Over the Rainbow documentary at Hillhurst United Church, which was then followed by a panel discussion with the film’s director, cast members, and Camp fYrefly’s Co-Founder Kris Wells.

Back at The Plaza, we had some pre-show entertainment for Do I Sound Gay?: a special performance by the Calgary Men’s Chorus. Being what is likely the most controversial film of this year’s festival, this documentary stimulated many laughs and many discussions.

Finally, to finish off the night and the first weekend of the festival was the emotional roller coaster that is Blue and Not So Pink.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first weekend of the festival! We look forward to seeing you again as the festival resumes on Wednesday, May 27!

Want to know what’s in store for everyone joining us for the last four days of the festival? Let me tell you! We have a variety of documentaries coming up, covering topics such as the tragic case of Matt Shepard, the political climate of both Iran and the United States that caused the 30+ year separation of an American Peace Corps volunteer and an Iranian man, a Boston-based queer youth theatre group, the history of the gay porn industry, an intimate portrait of a Nicaraguan trans woman fighting for education and social reforms, and an examination of the life and work of cultural critic and writer Susan Sontag.

You can also look forward to a beautiful and touching feature film about grief and two short film packages: the Youth Queer Media Program that features short films created by four Calgarian youth mentored by Fairy Tales and our friends at EMMEDIA and Sexy Shorts, which will be preceding our annual Kink Party!

As for galas and parties, we have a lot in store for you this week! Wednesday begins with our Centrepiece Gala at Pulcinella, exclusive to invited guests and full passholders. Following the Youth Queer Media Program screening we will be holding a gala at The Naked Leaf Tea Shop to celebrate these up-and-coming young filmmakers! Friday is going to be hot and sexy as we move over to ARCHEloft (previously known as Endeavor Arts Gallery) where we will be holding our annual Kink Party! Curious about what you can expect at the Kink Party? Pick up a Kink Party menu when you come to the Plaza for your next screening! Last but certainly not least, on Saturday we have three events to end this year’s festival in style! Join us for one, two, or all three! We’ll be starting off the day with a Drag Brunch at the Kensington Brasserie hosted by lovely drag kings and drag queens and our wonderful MC Tara Slone! Have some time between films on Saturday? Join us at the Closing Gala, held once more at Vine Styles! Then finally, our last event of this year’s festival is our After Party: Stars of the Stage & Screen, presented by Third Street Theatre at the Arrata Opera Centre and featuring Hot Mess. We look forward to partying the night away with you.

This is going to be an action-packed closing week!

Veronica Reeves is the returning contract Festival Assistant with Fairy Tales for our 17th Annual Festival, and a recent graduate of the New Media Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Lethbridge.