A gay rendition of Romeo and Juliet, the agonies of a transgender woman in India, the ins and outs of the world’s only documented queer street gang, and a series of experimental short films are set to hit the screens of Hackney at this weekend’s Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Fest.
The full line-up of Fringe!, an East London film festival that is rooted in London’s queer creative scene, is unconventional and eccentric. It features an impressive roster of films and documentaries that explore the lives and culture of the LGBTQ+ community – this year’s edition focusing on a strong queer family theme – and the programme opens this weekend. Launched in 2011 by a team of queer creatives as a community response to the cutting of arts funds, Fringe! plays host to dynamic and abstract films that serve as an alternative to other, more traditional, film festivals.
This year’s festival kicks off at the Rio with Viva, which tells the tale of a hairdresser in Havana who dreams of hitting stardom but is forced to pay bills through working at a drag cabaret club. The Institute of Light is then premiering Check It, a documentary revolving around the Washington DC queer street gang of the same name and the struggles of clawing out of gang life and into the unprecedented world of fashion.
The festival runs until November 29 in various venues across Hackney and features additional workshops, panels, events and free screenings.
Alex Karotsch, the Fringe! festival director, told Eastlondonlines: “We are very thrilled to bring Fringe! back for its sixth consecutive year with another exciting programme of film, performance, discussion and lots of queer fun displaying the highly rich and creative queer landscape we have access to today.”
For more information and the full programme, see here.