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QUEERIOUS. COMMISSIONED ARTICLE. DEADLINE FOR PITCH: Mon 20 June 2022

Updated: May 10, 2023

We would like to invite a written response to our QUEERIOUS season –

a curated programme which explores a multitude of desires on screen in ways we all too rarely see in cinema.


Through stories of sexual (re)awakenings and queer love through a feminist lens, Queerious aims to help us to question, learn and enjoy our sexual selves. Each film is a collaboratively made DIY discovery in its own way, freed from the restrictions of mainstream filmmaking and ‘queerious’ in its making. 


 

Queerious encompasses 4 x FEATURES and 3 x SHORT FILMS:

THE GOLD DIGGERS by Sally Potter (UK 1983, 89’, cert U)

Sally Potter’s ground-breaking debut feature explores themes of power in relation to capitalism and sexuality from a feminist and collaborative perspective. The film was written and produced by Lindsay Cooper, Rose English and Sally Potter, and made with an all-women crew, all of whom were on equal pay. Featuring ‘swinging sixties’ icon Julie Christie and Colette Laffont as two star crossed lovers, this musical and comic adventure tells of their inter-connected quests to understand the nature of money and the feminine ideal in a story that simultaneously subverts and sends up the Hollywood narrative.

+ short film: ARE YOU STILL WATCHING? by Sissy Screens: Tali Polichtuk & Kitty Chrystal (Australia 2021, 6’)

Forced into near-isolation during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown, 20-year old Jamie keeps themselves entertained bingeing on queer film and TV. What begins as mere escapism turns sensual when they start having sexual delusions involving their favourite queer characters. Fantasy and reality merge as they recount their erotic encounters to their physician and receive an unusual diagnosis. Are You Still Watching? captures lockdown boredom and being perpetually horny and the emancipatory power of the queer imagination, told through vibrant animation.

I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING by Patricia Rozema (Canada, 1987)

Opening with a video-recorded confession from Polly, a secretary, this comedy tells of her voyeuristic fascination for her new boss, the ambitious Gabrielle, owner of an art gallery. The two women are like night and day – the new temp is absent-minded and innocent beyond her years with spiky orange hair and the curator bourgeois, polished and with a gift for gab – yet a strong connection builds through their shared love of art, curiosity and appetite for love. Directed by Patricia Rozema (Mouthpiece, 2018), a significant player in the Toronto New Wave, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing is a playful, humorous and complex look at the many different kinds of desire and admiration between women. 

+ short film WAVELENGTHS by Pratibha Parmar (UK 1997, 15’)

An exploration of the time honoured quest for love and human intimacy in the polished world of computers and the Internet. Set in gay bars, dreams, and cyberspace, this perceptive and highly visual film from Pratibha Parmar (Nina’s Heavenly Delights, My Name is Andrea) contemplates one woman’s search for emotionally safer sex. Mona’s girlfriend has left Mona with a broken heart, an empty goldfish tank, and—in her altered state—the ability to pick up other people’s conversations. Stuck in the post relationship blues, Mona just can’t seem to move on…that is until she discovers “cybersex”. 

PASSION by Maja Borg (Sweden/Spain 2021, 92’, uncertified 18+)

A film about longing, healing and belonging. Adopting rituals and play from queer BDSM practice and their own Christian heritage, artist and filmmaker Maja Borg (Future My Love, 2012) seeks to reclaim intimacy in the wake of a destructive relationship. In Borg’s quest to re-establish boundaries in sex and love, Passion pushes the  boundaries of documentary form, creating a textured, theatrical and intensely personal exploration of ritualistic practices, shot in both 16mm and digital, as a means of “reclaiming of myself.” Through stories of LGBTQI+ kink communities from across Berlin, Stockholm and Barcelona, Passion portrays the humanity at the heart of the practice. 

+ short film ISHTAR by Mia Georgis (UK 2021, 4’) 

Ishtar, the gender fluid Mesopotamian deity of love, sexuality, and justice, hosts a sumptuous and ritualistic dinner at which five gender non-conforming siblings of colour feast together in an English country garden. Exploring the coloniality of gender, Ishtar’s guests hold the history of their ancestors and their present day selves. 

FIRE by Deepa Mehta (India/Canada 1996, 108’, cert 15, fully subtitled)

Sita and Radha are two young women abandoned by their husbands, who find intimacy and passion in each other in this erotic romantic drama. The first of Deepa Mehta’s celebrated ‘Elements’ trilogy, Fire was the first mainstream Bollywood film to explicitly depict homosexual relations in a culture adamantly denying such a love could ever exist and was banned in India as a result. Fire is loosely based on “Lihaaf” (“The Quilt”) written by Ismat Chughta who famously refused to apologise when her short story found itself the subject of an obscenity trial in India following its publication in 1942. 

QUEERIOUS commissioned article will be from: an early career (of any age) UK based film writer / curator / critic / poet.  Applicants will deliver the finished work to Birds’ Eye View by the deadline below.

Your article will be between 1100-1400 words and a reflexive and creative response to all four feature films and the accompanying three shorts, by way of programme notes for the season as a whole. 

We’re looking for fresh perspectives on the film through a feminist and queer lens and invite those with this lived experience to explore how they may answer the brief. 

We don’t want to sanctify the work, but need to be mindful that this activity is supporting these important, rarely seen films. 

Now in its 18th year, BIRDS’ EYE VIEW continues to spotlight, celebrate and create impact for films by women and non-binary people while building a community for those who make, show, release and watch them. 

Reclaim the Frame brings a wider perspective of the world by championing cinema by women & non-binary filmmakers. Run by Birds’ Eye View, a charity with a mission to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion in film by fostering a community for those who make, show, release and watch them.

Find out more about the project HERE.

Details:

Writer Fee: £250

To apply

Please send the following to Birds’ Eye View – mail@birds-eye-view.co.uk with the subject heading: BIRDS EYE VIEW, RECLAIM THE FRAME X FILM FEELS CURIOUS 

Proposal (max 1 A4 page) including what you would like to do, how it engages with the brief, examples of past writing together with the lived experience you bring to your work, how you intend to create and deliver your idea along with a link to your portfolio/cv, website and social media handles.

♥♥

Deadline for Proposal (max 1 A4 page) Mon 20 June (10am)

Successful applicant notified Tue 21 June

Date for the article to be delivered Wed 29 June (10am)

Date for publication Fri 01 July

Notes to Applicants:

Engaging creative and representative individuals is a vital part of the RECLAIM THE FRAME project. We welcome and encourage applications from individuals from all backgrounds, including under-represented groups.

Queerious is part of Film Feels Curious, a UK-wide cinema season, supported by the National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network. Explore all films and events at  FILMFEELS  #FilmFeelsCurious.

Reclaim The Frame is funded by the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery.

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