In Brief

David Ng and Jen Sung­shine cre­ated the Love In­ter­sec­tions short-film se­ries to tell the sto­ries of un­der-rep­re­sented mi­nori­ties in the lo­cal queer com­mu­nity.

Vancouver Magazine - - News - BY Michael White

A queer film se­ries goes main­stream, restau­rants by the num­bers and the best cul­ture event to check out this month.

Q:Love In­ter­sec­tions, a col­lec­tion of short lms avail­able on­line and screened at fes­ti­vals around the world, grew out of some­thing you ex­pe­ri­enced in 2014 as part of your work with Out in Schools: how some of the city’s evan­gel­i­cal Chi­nese com­mu­nity protested the Van­cou­ver School Board’s eƒorts to up­date its an­ti­ho­mo­pho­bia pol­icy, and how that protest was re­ported by the me­dia.

A:Sung­shine: I was sit­ting in school-board meet­ings, and my com­mu­nity was be­hind me with our rain­bow plac­ards, and sit­ting across from me were peo­ple who look like me, who could be my par­ents and grand­par­ents. And the way the me­dia was re­port­ing on this con­tro­versy was racist, in that it painted the Chi­nese com­mu­nity as one, that they’re all su­per­ho­mo­pho­bic. David and I were think­ing af­ter­ward, What could we learn from this ex­pe­ri­ence? And we re­al­ized the com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor be­tween us and the Chi­nese par­ents who were protest­ing was ac­tu­ally love. If there were a way to com­mu­ni­cate across all of the in­ter­sec­tions of iden­tity, it’s through love.

Ng: The par­ents who were sup­port­ing the queer kids, they love their kids and wanted their kids to be safe. The par­ents of the op­po­si­tion also love their kids and wanted them to be safe, but they per­ceived the is­sue [of trans­gen­der ac­cess to school wash­rooms] as a threat to their safety. So we wanted to cap­ture that mo­ment in the phi­los­o­phy of Love In­ter­sec­tions. We found that the most hon­est way to do that was to share our sto­ries.

Q: Be­yond the web, your lms have been screened at fes­ti­vals around the world as well as in B.C. schools.

Ng: Prob­a­bly the most well-re­ceived lm we’ve made, Re­galia: Pride in Two

Spir­its, is of my friend Duane, who’s two-spirit and has the Pride ag on his [First Na­tions] re­galia. It’s a sim­ple story of him com­ing out and talk­ing about the im­por­tance of hold­ing on to his cul­ture. That lm cost us $500. It’s been used for the Gen­der Stud­ies pro­gram at UBC and as part of HIV preven­tion by Van­cou­ver Coastal Health. It adds nu­ance to di’er­ent types of cur­ric­ula.

Q: Last year, you won a Telus Sto­ry­hive grant to pro­duce a six-episode se­ries that’s be­ing shown on Op­tik TV start­ing this spring. Does it feel like main­stream cul­ture is catch­ing up with your vi­sion? Ng: The fact that it’s ground­break­ing to show a lm about Duane or me or Jen— once it be­comes not ground­break­ing, once it be­comes nor­mal, that would be a good thing.

Q:You look for­ward to­be­com­ing ob­so­lete? Sung­shine: I can’t wait!

Once it be­comes not ground­break­ing, that would be a good thing.”

Scene and Heard Love In­ter­sec­tions founders Sung­shine (left) and Ng in a still from one of their films.

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