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Muskoka Queer Film Festival to be held virtually for third annual event

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The Muskoka Queer Film Festival (MQFF) is back for its third year as they continue to build toward being able to hold an in-person festival.

Shawn Forth, Secretary and Promotions for Muskoka Pride, says the MQFF will be virtual through Facebook this year with tickets being pay-what-you-can, but the price is suggested as $25. “We want to make sure people can see these films,” he says.

“As a member queer community myself, often I’m not able to see myself represented in these stories and it’s amazing how validating and empowering it is to see yourself presented on screen,” Forth says.

The festival will be held from March 18 to 20. There will be 14 films shown with each day having a feature film and three or four shorter films. “People can look forward to some amazing films that we curated from around the world,” Forth says. “I think we have seven different countries represented, including four from Canada.”

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“People can expect narrative, documentaries, long-term and short-form,” Forth goes on to say. The shortest movie clocks in around six minutes, while the longest is just over an hour and a half long. Each night will have a specific theme and will be followed by a question and answer period with the people behind the films.

Forth notes that every film is currently involved in a film competition somewhere around the world.

Heading into the festival’s third year, Forth boasts over 100 people bought tickets for the first and second years of the event. “We’re hoping in the next few years to be self-reliant,” he says, pointing out that the MQFF is a non-profit and relies on grants and ticket sales to continue.  

“We’re hopeful one of these days to hold an in-person festival at one of our theatres,” he says. 

The first festival, held in 2019, was just eight days away from being held in person before Ontario went into a lockdown because of COVID-19. Forth says, with restrictions beginning to be lifted, he wants the festival to be held in person next year.

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