Listening to Fairy Tales

By Jeff Kubik

From June 5 until June 7, Calgary will be host to an international selection of movies including a range of genres and nationalities. These carefully selected films are aimed at increasing exposure among audiences more likely to visit ticket dispensing sarcophagi than independent movie theatres. Some are dramatic, some are comedic and, incidentally, they’re all gay.

For three days, Fairy Tales–Alberta’s only gay and lesbian film festival–will bring the world of gay filmmaking to the Globe Cinema for an exhibition of film that is less about homosexuality than it is about important movies that should be seen.

“It’s all about good film,” says festival coordinator Brenda Lieberman. “It’s not about pornography or stereotypes, these are well produced films with important storytelling value.”

While the festival received over 200 short film submissions within six months, its short programs only include about 20 of these films, many of which were solicited by the festival itself.

“We turn away a lot of films. With limited funding and time we have to be very careful,” says Carl Ayling, member of the programming committee for the festival. “We could have done a series of shorts based entirely on Canadian submissions. We’re very excited about our final program.”

Co-produced by the Calgary Society for Independent Filmmakers and the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Association, this year’s series of films marks the festival’s fifth anniversary. With a thousand audience members each year, organizers have seen the festival grow from its 1999 beginnings.

“It seems to be getting easier, we’re receiving more submissions and getting more sponsors,” says Lieberman.

With plans to bring filmmakers to future festivals and schedule the screenings during Pride Week, Lieberman seems confident that the festival will be able to maintain itself as an important venue for diverse, interesting films.

“Everybody should come, there are so many good reasons,” she says. “These are entertaining, well-produced films that audiences now have the opportunity to see on the big screen.”

For more information call CSIF at 205-4747.


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