FILM REVIEW: 5 short queer films

Brian Butler January 19, 2021

The London Short Film Festival this week brings us five queer tales from Fringe! Queer film and arts fest.

The best for me happened to be the first on the list – Alexis Langlois’ funny, gruesome, uplifting , crazy Terror, Sisters! Kalthoum , a trans girl , meets up with her trans sisters in a cafe bar and they go on a fantasy voyage in their dreams of a world where they can wreak their revenge on cis heteronormality. Its high-tech visual effects and headlong music soundtrack take us in and out of reality – a reality of phobia, violence and hatred. In the end the sisters – described as “ bad super bitches “ strut their stuff down the street – good for them !

Flourish is the up and down story of a black drag artist Miss Crystal Visions,  whose drunken, overbearing boyfriend’s intrusion into club life is annoyingly real. Mix with a lesbian threesome and androgyneous queer club-goers and you have a heady cocktail.

They Looked At Me And Smiled is a grainy, almost home movie – reminiscent of Warhol  – where a mixed group paint their faces like canvases and dress up – one as a pregnant Harry Potter –  and brave the snowy streets of Toronto to make their  trans,  non-binary and queer  presence felt.

Bonde again centres on a mixed group of  Brazzlian queer friends who go out clubbing and are subjected to police phobia and brutality. “We are a family “ they assert proudly in a final rooftop twerk session.

Beat Is Protest – Funk by Female Optics is an ambitious analysis of the phenomenon of Brazilian Funk music – especially free  street music – it’s lively, informative, empowering and puts women centre stage in an industry dominated by men.

Full details of the films and more at

The Queer films will be shown on 22 January – to book go to  With the wider short film festival from 15th to 24th Jan. Many a treat to be discovered.