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Queer Dreams & Waking Life

The mundanity of our lives often feels torturous, especially when contrasted with the fantasies we conceive to escape that daily grind. When coupled with the longings and repression of queer love, this despair can become overwhelming. Nevertheless, the very ideas of romance and desire, whether unrequited or fleeting or separated by great distances of time and space, can provide a glimmer of hope in the bleakest of situations. In these films, characters dealing with the everyday experiences of depression, social alienation, the specter of death, and even legal and workplace frustrations are given respite by the sheer beauty of queer connection and potential freedom. Even as we are anchored to the ground by brutal realities, imagination can give us wings to soar.

Program curated by Arzhang Zafar and Joseph Carranza.

Pre-recorded Q&A available with rental.

In this program

Know You Twice

Directed by Andrew Chan Gladstone

When a policy shift puts NYC-raised Paloma at risk of deportation, she pushes her girlfriend Claire for help, revealing expectations that threaten to unravel their future together.

Somewhere all the boys are birds

Directed by Apa Agbayani

Benjie’s obsession with long-dead movie star Jaime Reyes leads him to the rooftop where the actor committed suicide. Here, he summons Jaime’s ghost for a conversation.

Shanghai Fish

Directed by Wei Tao

An old man in Shanghai meets the boyfriend that his grandson with language expressive disorder brings home.

The Difference Between Us

Directed by Imran Siddiquee

An undocumented immigrant in Philadelphia starts to fall for a roommate she’s never met — forming a connection that will test the limits of her romantic imagination.