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Freiburg Germany is going Beyond Gay

As part of this whirl wind European tour Christopher Street Days Freiburg is screening Beyond Gay tonight at the CinemaxX Theatre. This is the launch of their CSD with a parade and the bulk of parties and events taking place on July 17-18. Freiburg is a beautiful little city on the edge of the Black Forest near the border of Switzerland. It holds the reputation of having the most sunny days in all of Germany. At the moment that is translating to being beastly hot. The forecast is that it may reach 37 degrees today – it’s not even noon and it’s already 31! The bonus is that it is also a university town so there’s a lot of sexy young students wandering around in very little clothing. It’ll also be a great night to sit in a nice air conditioned cinema watching a fun and informative film about the international LGBTI Pride movement. You can get all the details for the screening here and I’ll be posting an update on this and the amazing time I had at Helsinki Pride very soon. It was such an incredible experience it’s taking me a while to collect my thoughts about everything that happened there and all the the great people I met. but for now – Happy Pride Freiburg see you in a few hours at the CinemaxX!

Helsinki Will Be Beyond Gay Very Soon!

Every year since Beyond Gay was released there is a little rush of enquiries about screenings during Pride season, and this year there’s been more than in a long time, and they’re very exciting. Earlier this week our producer Charlie David presented the film in South Africa, and tonight I’ll host the first of a whirl wind tour of screenings in Northern Europe in Helsinki Finland. I just arrived last night and I was surprised how much it felt like home – not so much Vancouver as Northern British Columbia, it was sunny and warm and very green.  (This morning it’s very Vancouver though, the sky is that familiar grey and and it’s drizzling with rain.) The film is being presented with Helsinki Pride and the Canadian Embassy in Finland at Kino Dubrovnik/Andorra, Eerikinkatu 11. The doors open at 6 PM and I’ll be on hand to introduce the film and do a Q&A afterwards.

Helsinki Pride has an incredible line-up of events programmed, more than twenty different things just today and it’s only Wednesday. There is even a Barn Dance tonight (did I mention it felt like Northern BC..?), a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit and talk., and the Miss and Mr. Gay Finland competitions to name just a few. There is an entire program of Youth Pride events as well – super impressed by the variety of things to do. I’ll also be participating in a LGBTI Human Rights forum hosted by the US Embassy alongside several Russian and other Eastern European activists. Based on the conversations I’ve had in the planning, this is sure to be a very interesting event. It’s very refreshing to know that my own government, as well as the US are taking part and supporting the organizers of Helsinki Pride. I will be on a float representing ten visiting countries of LGBTI people and our allays in the parade on Saturday. I’ll try to keep my shirt on.

As I mentioned there are more exciting screening travels aheads, so stay tuned for more news – the fun has just begun and I’ll have plenty more to tell you once things get rolling.

With Pride to the Finish,

Bob

 

EuroPride in Riga, Latvia. Changing History is Hot!

So as the snow melts here in the great white north of Canada, organizers around the world are once again gearing up for Pride season. Florida International University held a screening of Beyond Gay this month to celebrate Pride Week (more here about that). As always we’re thrilled that film continues to be relevant and find new audiences. The Pride event of the year will be EuroPride in Riga Lativa. The dates are June 15 – 21. I’m still figuring out how to get there, but anyone in the region and everyone with the resources should make an effort to get to this event. This is the first time EuroPride will be held in a former Soviet State, and the organizers are sure to throw a fantastic event. Their tag line: Changing History is Hot!  EuroPride 2010 in Warsaw Poland was an amazing experience for us; there was an incredible energy at the events that is so much more important than typical Pride celebrations in North America. Marching for LGBT* justice in places where our rights are still in question by much of society is empowering in a way that is impossible to describe – you have to feel it for yourself. Riga Pride has a fundraising campaign happening right now, if you can contribute please help out, because as usual finding sponsors in Latvia is much more difficult than in much of Europe and North America. We have more exciting news about screenings coming soon, so keep an eye here and on our Facebook page.

Pride House Vancouver Revisited

 

We are very excited to be having another screening of Beyond Gay in Vancouver, commemorating its premiere here at Pride House during the 2010 Winter Olympics. This screening is taking place during the 2014 Winter Olympics on February 22nd at 9 PM and it is being hosted by Reel Causes and our friends at the SFU Woodwards Cultural Unit. In addition to Beyond Gay, at 7 PM there will also be a screening of Born This Way, a fascinating look at the lives of LGBT people living in Cameroon Africa, co-presented by the Human Rights Watch Traveling Film Festival and Reel Causes. Both screenings are free and will be held at the GoldCorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodwards, 149 West Hastings.

February 22nd is the last weekend of the games in Russia and we sincerely hope that the Olympics in Scohi are free of violence, and that our event will be an important moment to reflect upon the issues of LGBT rights worldwide that were successfully highlighted as a result of the games.  Wishing safe travels to the LGBT delegations from the City of Vancouver and elsewhere that are working to rid the games of LGBT discrimination and establish a Pride House at all future Olympic games.

 

Rings and Rainbow image courtesy of Christopher Stribley.

 

Reel Causes is a Vancouver based non-profit society of socially conscious cinema lovers that hosts monthly film screenings. Members use their passion for film to support community organizations that affect positive change both locally and globally.