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Queer East 2022: On the Road at Reading Biscuit Factory

5, 6 & 7 Dec, 19:30

Following the success of its London edition this May, Queer East embarks on a three-month nationwide tour, On the Road, bringing a selection of highlights from this year’s programme to big screens across the country.

The touring programme will showcase a diverse selection of films, including unmissable LGBTQ+ classics, bold new releases, a wealth of short films, and moving image work that spotlights emerging directors.

Metamorphosis

Monday 5 December, 19:30 - book now

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.

With a pre-recorded introduction by director J.E. Tiglao.

Shorts: Days of Reverie

Tuesday 6 December, 19:30 - book now

This programme is dedicated to the power of queer dreams and daydreams to bring about change – a celebration of fantasy and its role in shaping LGBTQ+ identities. The characters in these films have vivid imaginations, whether envisaging unconventional futures, confronting contemporary illusions, or reminiscing about bygone love.

The directors showcased in this selection are interested in fantasies and legends, though their films often feel like fables: lessons for our times, powerfully articulated through the blending of dream and reality, a testament to queer reverie.

  • Elsa - Six-year old Stanley enjoys dressing up as Disney’s Queen Elsa. Dir Lim Jen Nee | Singapore | 2019 | 8min
  • Dear to Me - On a remote island, a local superstition leads a man to dream of his soulmate. Dir Monica Vanesa Tedja | Indonesia, Germany | 2020 | 19min
  • Encore Martha - A singer reconnects with her long-lost first love. Dir Natasha K. Sung | Taiwan | 2021 | 25min
  • Frozen Out 0 An émigré retreats to wintry landscapes, hoping to find a meaningful story and escape the anxieties of dislocation. Dir Hao Zhou | China, US | 2021 | 5min
  • In His Island - A cheerful young boy dreams of becoming a mermaid. Dir Christian Candelaria | Philippines | 2017 | 20min
  • God’s Daughter Dances - A transgender dancer gets a call from the authorities asking her to attend a military service examination. Dir Sungbin Byun | South Korea | 2020 | 25min

Beautiful Boxer + It’s All Because of a Katoey

Wednesday 7 December, 19:30 - book now

Based on the true story of Thailand’s famed transgender kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol, affectionately known as Nong Toom, Beautiful Boxer is a poignant action drama. Believing since childhood that she is a girl trapped in a boy’s body, Nong Toom sets out to master the hyper-masculine combat sport Muay Thai, to earn a living and to pay for her gender reassignment surgery.

Uekrongtham’s touching, funny debut feature retraces the boxer’s steps from childhood days, to teenage life as a travelling monk, to the gruelling days spent in training camps, to widespread fame as a martial arts champion. Through intricately choreographed kickboxing sequences and a breathtaking performance from real-life fighter Asanee Suwan, Beautiful Boxer brilliantly confounds traditional perceptions of masculinity and femininity.

Preceded by short film It’s All Because of a Katoey (Dir Ledger Group | Thailand | 1954 | 12 min)

A beautiful woman arrives at a gentlemen’s club, and the men start vying for her attention – but there’s a surprise in store. Made around 1954, this surprisingly progressive silent comedy is the oldest existing Thai film to feature a ‘katoey’, a pre-LGBTQ term referring to a transwoman or an effeminate gay man.