6 Films you shouldn’t miss at the 3rd Queer East Film Festival

These are six films you shouldn’t miss at the 3rd Queer East Film Festival which will take place from May 18 – 29, 2022 in cinemas across London.

– Selected Films –

May 21, 2022 | Saturday | Catford Mews | 6:00 pm

Take Me Home by Han Jay – South Korea | 2020 – 99 minutes

Eunsu and Yewon are a same-sex couple who live together. Their lives are happy and uneventful until one day, Eunsu meets up with her sister Eunhye and the pair are involved in a serious car accident. Hearing the devastating news, Yewon rushes to the hospital, and outside the operating theatre meets a young girl called Sumin, Eunhye’s daughter. After a long operation, Eunsu survives but is left paralyzed below the waist. Eunhye, however, dies from her injuries, and as she was a single parent, Sumin has nowhere to turn except Eunsu and Yewon. As they return home, Yewon finds herself taking on responsibility for the child’s welfare, while simultaneously caring for Eunsu, a situation that tests the couple’s relationship to its limits. Director Han Jay’s moving drama is a powerful testament to resilience against the odds. (QEFF 2022)


May 25, 2022 | Wednesday | Curzon Soho | 6:20 pm

24 by Royston Tan – Singapore, Thailand | 2021 – 76 minutes

Described by director Royston Tan as “a sound film that brings you to the past, present and future through the journey of a sound man”, 24 follows the journey of a deceased sound recordist through twenty-four diverse environments after his death. These include a forest, a theatre, a cinema, a temple, a cemetery, a truck carrying migrant workers, an apartment bathroom – and the set of a gay pornographic film. James Choong, a sound recordist in real life, plays the deceased ghost of himself as we follow his travels through multiple soundscapes, watching him collect the audio he needs in order to transcend. A hauntingly personal film by acclaimed director Tan, 24 is a work of compelling visual and sonic beauty, that reflects on what it means to hear life and death, time and space, and cinema itself. (QEFF 2022)

This screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A with the director Royston Tan.


May 26, 2022 | Thursday | Genesis Cinema | 6:25 pm

A Distant Place by Park Kun-young – South Korea | 2020 – 119 minutes

After settling down at a sheep ranch in rural Hwacheon five years ago, Jin-woo has been raising his niece Seol as if she was his own daughter. His same-sex partner Hyun-min arrives from the city to teach poetry, and for a while, they live happily together, although publicly concealing their relationship. But one day, Jin-woo’s sister Eun-young, the wayward birth mother of Seol, arrives at their doorstep and insists on taking the child with her. Jin-woo’s quiet existence is now threatened as he is faced with the breakup of his alternative family – but his sister’s actions also force Jin-woo to confront the deception that has characterised his daily existence. A Distant Place is a searing drama about the enduring power of prejudice, and the impossibility of escaping one’s past and identity. (QEFF 2022)


May 28, 2022 | Saturday | BFI Southbank | 3:00 pm

Malila: The Farewell Flower by Anucha Boonyawatana – Thailand | 2017 – 96 minutes

In this lyrical meditation on the fragility of life, former lovers Shane and Pitch reunite after years apart, and having experienced a series of personal tragedies. Pich has a terminal illness and finds peace in painstakingly creating exquisite Bai Sri ornaments, delicate flower sculptures used in Thai religious ceremonies. Shane is struggling to come to terms with the death of his daughter, and the subsequent disintegration of his marriage. When the pair reconnect, together they must try to heal the wounds of their past, and rekindling their relationship, Pich and Shane begin to release themselves from the pain that has burdened them for so many years. Touching performances and vivid cinematography characterise director Anucha Boonyawatana’s mesmerising second feature, a hypnotic contemplation of desire and loss. (QEFF 2022)

This screening is followed by an in-person Q&A with the director Anucha Boonyawatana.


May 28, 2022 | Saturday | Genesis Cinema | 6:25 pm

What She Likes by Shogo Kusano – Japan | 2021 – 121 minutes

Jun Ando is a high school boy who is concealing his homosexuality. He meets Sae Miura, a female classmate and closet Boys Love comic fan. The two become close until one day, Sae confesses her love for Jun. But she doesn’t know that Jun is gay and has a lover, Makoto, an older married man. They start to go out on dates, but as adorable and charming as Jun finds Sae, he can’t love her romantically. With Jun unable to tell anyone the truth about his sexuality, the couple’s strictly platonic relationship starts to show cracks. Can they find a concrete shape to the ideals they cherish? Based on an acclaimed novel, What She Likes sensitively depicts the troubled inner lives of teens, portrayed by a young cast who give terrific performances. (QEFF 2022)


May 29, 2022 | Sunday | BFI Southbank | 6:00 pm

Metamorphosis by Jose Enrique Tiglao – Philippines | 2019 – 98 minutes

Raised as a boy, fifteen-year-old Adam harbours a secret: he has both male and female genitalia, and experiencing menstruation for the first time, his whole life is thrown into turmoil. As Adam discusses the possibility of gender reassignment surgery with doctors, tensions build between the teenager and his devout Christian parents, and he forms a surprising bond with Angel, an older transfer student at his high school who harbours a secret of her own. Soon, Adam’s struggle for acceptance morphs into a journey of self-awakening, as he navigates the physical and spiritual limits of gender identity. Powered by a phenomenal performance from Gold Azeron, Filipino filmmaker J.E. Tiglao’s debut feature is a fearless coming of age drama that showcases the exciting possibilities of intersex storytelling. (QEFF 2022)

This screening is followed by an online Q&A with the director J.E. Tiglao.


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