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Hanoi Queer Film Week Provides Platform for Vietnam's LGBTQ Voices

Starting today and running until Friday, August 17, Hanoi International Queer Film Week 2018 (HIQFW), will include 14 film screenings followed by audience discussions. 

According to VOV, the film week is the biggest-ever movie event of its kind held in the capital and aims to project voices from the LGBTQ community.

The film week’s inaugural event took place in April 2017, and was themed ‘Pride Journey,’ while this year’s theme is ‘Spin the Pride.’ The aim of the event, according to Nguyen Bao Chau, director of HIQFW, is to raise public awareness about the diversity of sexuality in Vietnam in the hopes of ending social discrimination of minority groups.

“HIQFW 2018 promises to deliver a fascinating playground presenting various issues within the queer world to all cinephiles,” she said. “HIQFW 2018 is a civilized environment which encourages love regardless of gender or sexual orientation, occupations, and hobbies.”

14 movies will be shown at the event, including eight short films and six feature films. Films such as Our Gay Wedding, Lost in Paradise 2, Saigon I Love You, and Tomboy will be featured, with works on display from both international and Vietnamese directors.

Vietnam was recently heralded as one of the most progressive nations in Southeast Asia following the repeal of its once heteronormative definition of marriage, though some activists refute this claim. Research by Vietnam’s Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE), for example, found that, after surveying 3,000 gay, lesbian and transgender people in Vietnam, 20% of respondents had been beaten by family members after coming out.

The screenings will take place at L’Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street; and August Cinema, 45 Hang Bai Street. For more information about the events, check out HIQFW's Facebook page

[Photo via TIME/Borja Sanchez Trillo]

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