By Geraldine Chavez-Bourne

The Queer Women of Color Festival at the Brava Theater will run 33 Films from today until Sunday the 14th at the Brava Theater.  Mission Loc@l reviewed four of the films in advance.  The films are listed in order of appearence.  A full schedule can be found here.

Homeschool Directed by So Yung Kim (3 minutes and 58 Seconds)

Very short, but sweet. A woman recites a poem while images that relate to her life appear and fade. You never see the woman’s face, but there’s no need to. The viewer learns about her struggles with identity, where she is from and where she ended up. Certainly worth nearly four minutes. Friday, June 12 7:30 p.m.

What do Do After A Break-up….with the S#x T@ys. Directed by Lili Tom (10 Minutes and 45 Seconds)

Hilarious.   The director interviews  women and one man about what to do with sex toys after a break up. Does one recycle, re-use, or destroy them? A question as it turns out, with many different answers. A majority of the interviews were held at a house party  with guests talking in the background, ducking to avoid the camera and readjusting their microphones.  All of this simply added to the entertainment.  June 13, 7 p.m.

What If? Directed by B.K. Williams.  (22 Minutes)

A short story-like films that looks at the relationship between Abbey,  Jera and their mutual friends. The film starts out in a cafe and you immediately feel Jera’s hostility toward Abbey.  Then, relief for Jera as she turns and spots the beautiful Carmen.  Abbey does too, but she sees Carmen  and immediately has her  in mind for a friend.  Plans for  a dinner party to introduce the two get underway. Phone calls are made and the dinner party is now official, but it goes badly. Jealousy arises, ex-girlfriends appear, confrontations ensue and questions are left unanswered.

The  22-minute film is realistic, however  it feels too scripted and the dialogue sounded forced at times.  Nevertheless, I  enjoyed the ending. What  does Jera do with her interest in Carmen? June 14, 2:00 p.m.

Non-Resident Alien Directed by Cruzito  (15 minutes)

A short, colorful film about three strong Cuban women who eventually immigrate to the United States. Once the women are introduced we learn their names, where they were born in Cuba, and their preferred names, their “a.k.a.”   The three create a hip hop group, Las Krudas Primeras or the First Las Krudas during a time of heavy censorship. They are recognized for being the first MC’s in hip-hop to openly speak about sexuality on an island where  sexism and homophobia are still accepted, no matter the Revolution . But this is no anti-Castro film.

The love for Cuba is clear.  The women speak highly of the food, the people, and the culture.  They simply failed to fit in the one box that Cuba had created for women. Although the transition from Cuba to the United States was a difficult one, they ended up finding companionship and comfort—especially so in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

The film is  enjoyable  from beginning to end. The music is beautiful, the women poetic, and the translation of the lyrics and the live performance scenes, help the viewer get to know the women and appreciate their work and their lives. June 14, 6 p.m.

The Stories We Tell Directed by Rachel Poulain

The film introduces us to the Queer Women Of Color Media Arts Project by  following four women including the Executive Director, Madeleine Lim. Each shares her thoughts and feelings about film and being queer women of color.  All found their calling in film and the organization gave them the opportunity to develop their skills. Throughout the film we see clips of the films the women created. One of the goals of the project was to “create a really vibrant, diverse, queer women of color film making community,” as Madeleine puts it, and that’s exactly what happened.  We get to see the end result and the behind the scenes work involved in making a film.
It was fascinating to see how creative the woman got with their films. Each has the same purpose, but they created four very different films.  Inspiring.  The film reinforces the importance of documenting life experiences.  June 14, 6 p.m.

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Founder/Executive Editor. I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born and raised. Like many local news outlets, The Tribune no longer exists. I left daily newspapers after working at The New York Times for the business, foreign and city desks. Lucky for all of us, it is still there.

As an old friend once pointed out, local has long been in my bones. My Master’s Project at Columbia, later published in New York Magazine, was on New York City’s experiment in community boards.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how you make that long-held interest in local news sustainable. The answer continues to elude me.

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