Spotlight on Queer East Film Festival

Brian Butler September 3, 2021

Rarely-shown Queer cinema from East and Souh East Asia can be seen across London in the 2021 Queer East Film Festival. Running from 15-26 September, it will present 37 features, short films and artists’ moving image works.

A series of online panel discussions with international guests will run throughout the festival, including the development of LGBTQ+ movements.The festival aims to create a better understanding of the richness of Queer Asian heritage. It opens with the UK premiere of Daughters.

A 10-film programme Focus Japan looks back at Queer representation on film from the 1980’s up to today. Highlights of the festival include:

15 September- Daughters.Two close friends share an apartment in Tokyo and re-assess their relationship when one of them becomes pregnant. Venue: Genesis Cinema.

16 September- Lan Yu (20th anniversary). A poignant portrait of a Gay relationship between a successful businessman and a sensitive college boy, who first meet on a one-night stand. Venue: Curzon Soho.

18 September- My Dear Friend ( UK premiere). Searching for her boyfriend in his rural hometown, a girl unearths a mysterious relationship that has lasted 60 years. Venue: Curzon Hoxton.

18 September- Number 1 (UK premiere). A man unwillingly becomes the manager of a drag club and is soon roped into performing – becoming a great sensation. But how will he keep it secret from his family? Venue: Genesis Cinema.

19 September- Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence. David Bowie stars in this portrait of friendship and obsession among the men confined in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II. Venue: Catford Mews.

20 September- Close-Knit. An abandoned girl heads for her uncle’s home where she finds he’s living with his beautiful Transgender girlfriend. Venue: Curzon Horton.

21 September- Secrets of 1979 (UK premiere). During Taiwan’s martial law period, this is the story of a romantic but politically unacceptable relationship. Venue: The Lexi Cinema.

22 September – Queer Japan ( +Q and A) A kaleidoscopic look at LGBTQ+ culture in contemporary Japan. Venue: Bertha Dockhouse.

23 September- Shinjuku Boys. A documentary explores Japanese women who live as men working as hosts in Tokyo’s nightclub for female clients. Venue: The Horse Hospital.

25 September- Gohatto. A handsome samurai swordsman finds his affections being competed for among his male colleagues. Venue: Genesis Curzon.

Full programme and tickets from