This month, Fredericton becomes home to a new LGBTQIA+ film festival, the Pink Lobster Film Festival, featuring films from around the world over three nights, February 16th to 18th at the Tilley Hall Theatre on the University of New Brunswick Campus.
The festival features films on LGBTQIA+ themes from India, Hong Kong, the UK, Australia, Sweden and several other countries. The festival also features shorts by local filmmakers: Lucas Crawford’s “Elephant in the Room,” Victoria Clowater and AJ Ripley’s “Babes,” Elijah Matheson’s “Daisy Chain” (a film made during 2016’s 48 Hour Film Competition) and Robert Gray’s “3 Cafés.”
The idea for the festival came from filmmaker and UNB professor Robert Gray who in 2016 was at LGBTQ film festivals in Europe and North America screening two of his recent short films: “I was at all these film festivals seeing so many great films that I wanted to share with filmmakers and people back home in New Brunswick. We’re hoping this will bring out LGBTQIA+ communities, supporters and people who love film and give them a little break from winter.”
Gray and his collaborators Jon Dewar and Matt Rogers created the festival through Frictive Projects, an education and community development aspect of their Frictive Pictures film production company. Pink Lobster joins the 48 Hour Film Competition and the What’s Up Doc? high school documentary film-making program as events run by the trio.
The New Brunswick Film Co-op is the key collaborator for this festival. According to Gray: “when I brought this idea to Cat Leblanc and Tony Merzetti at the Film Co-op, they were so excited to help us make it become a reality. This wouldn’t happen without their support. This new festival carries on the film co-op’s long history of bringing in films from all over the world to local audiences.”
Gray also sought help from several key festivals for helping with programming: “The prestigious Iris Festival in Cardiff was a huge help, and also Inside Out in Toronto, Cinema Spectacular in Vancouver, and the SENE Festival in Providence.” The City of Fredericton, University of New Brunswick, the Iris Prize Festival (UK) are key sponsors.
For its first year, the festival will run three nights from February 16th to 18th at the Tilly Hall Theatre at UNB. Each night features a program of short films from around the world at 7:00PM and then a feature film at 9:00PM. Tickets are $7 for individual screenings or $20 for a festival pass.
Get festival passes online here.