Queer East started from a simple realisation, driven by my personal experience as a filmgoer: here in the UK, there is a noticeable lack of East and Southeast Asian queer films available in cinemas for the public. It seems that we still lack understanding about these communities. It is hugely important that we bring more queer Asian representation to the big screen."
Yi Wang (Queer East)
Launched in 2020, Queer East is an LGBTIQ+ film festival that showcases queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia. Screening compelling, authentic work made by international filmmakers and diaspora communities, the festival seeks to amplify the voices of Asian communities and to explore the queer landscape of contemporary Asia. Queer East takes place in cinemas and art spaces across London, blending retrospectives, new releases, and artists’ moving image work, alongside panel discussions, talks and Q&As. A 2021 recipient of the BFI FAN Exhibition Fund, Queer East aims to facilitate better cultural understanding, and invites everyone to be part of the conversation about what it means to be Asian and queer today.
The third edition of Queer East took place in May 2022, with over twenty screenings hosted in cinemas across London, along with introductions, Q&As, panel discussions and masterclasses. Venue partners included BFI Southbank, Barbican Centre, Genesis Cinema, Catford Mews, Stanley Arts and The Horse Hospital.
The programme featured 40 films from 17 countries across East and Southeast Asia, as well as France, Germany, the UK, and the USA. The programme explored a wide range of topics including trans and intersex communities, queer women, older LGBTIQ+ groups, marriage equality and legal challenges for same-sex families, body image, and gender politics in relation to queer Asian cultural contexts.