The Vancouver Queer Film Fest officially begins this Thursday, August 11, and the lineup features almost 100 films. There’s lots to see (check out the program for yourself) from local shorts to international features, and we chatted with executive director Brandon Yan for some of the festival highlights.

VQFF is on until August 21, and it’s the most accessible fest yet—tickets are available for as low as $5 (and up to $21—show financial support if you can!) and the films are available to watch both in-person and online.

Here are just a few of the greatest flicks of the festival. 

Vancouver Queer Film Festival Make it Out Alive program

Make It Out Alive 

This is VQFF’s youth shorts program—six short films depicting the ups and downs of teenagehood make up this screening. “It’s all about the rebelliousness and joy of youth,” says Yan. Get ready for some hormone-fuelled bad decisions (er, drugs and alcohol might play a role as well). One of the Canadian films is appropriately titled Sorry, Mom. 

Saturday August 13 at 10:30am 
VIFF Centre Vancity Theatre 
Get tickets here. 

Vancouver Queer Film Festival Death and Bowling still

Death and Bowling 

“This is a beautiful feature film focused on trans and gender-diverse experiences,” says Yan. The movie centres around the death of a matriarch in a lesbian bowling league. Death and Bowling spotlights trans masculinity, which Yan describes as “quite rare” in feature films, and the majority of the cast and crew is trans. 

Sunday August 14 at 11:30am 
VIFF Centre Vancity Theatre 
Get tickets here. 

Vancouver Queer Film Festival Troublemakers 6.0 program

Troublemakers 6.0 

This is the sixth iteration of the Troublemakers program, which pairs local youth with elders in the community who are “so-called troublemakers,” according to Yan. Aspiring young filmmakers meet queer artists and activists who aren’t afraid to make some noise, and make short documentaries about them. “Over the last six years we have captured many stories from our community that otherwise would not have been recorded,” says Yan. “It’s hyperlocal and intergenerational.” 

Wednesday August 17 at 6:00pm 
SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts 
Get tickets here. 

Vancouver Queer Film Festival Besties (Les Meilleures) Canadian premiere

Besties (Les Meilleures) 

This is the Canadian premiere of this French drama. It’s a millennial queer love story focused on two women from opposing groups in Paris, and it’s based on director Marion Desseigne Ravel’s experience as a North African teen. “It gives me anxiety, the role that social media plays in young people’s lives,” Yan confesses. 

Saturday August 20 at 8:30pm 
The York Theatre 
Get tickets here.