Kenyon to Host Evening of Short Films from Beijing Queer Film Festival

Ten films from LGBTQ+ filmmakers will be screened on campus for the public on Dec. 1, followed by a virtual conversation with some of the directors.


The Beijing Queer Film Festival brought more than 90 independent films from LGBTQ+ filmmakers to Chinese audiences earlier this month, and now some of them are coming to Kenyon College.

Ten short films that appeared this year at the annual festival will be screened Friday, Dec. 1, in the Gund Gallery Community Foundation Theater. There will be a reception at 7 p.m., followed by the films at 7:40 p.m. Afterwards, several of the directors from around the globe will join the group for a question-and-answer session via video conferencing.

The event is free and open to the public. It is being cosponsored by the Kenyon College Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI); The Gund; the Dance, Drama and Film Department; the Dance, Drama and Cinema Club; Kenyon Asian Identities and Unity House.

Hao Zhou, assistant professor of film and a programmer at the Beijing festival, said they wanted to bring a portion of the impressive selections — some of which previously were shown at the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival — to Kenyon.

“I thought it would be really great to bring that element of my programming to campus,” they said. “I want to showcase the most current films made by filmmakers around the world, specifically queer films.”

Zhou was selected over the summer for a short documentary lab highlighting LGBTQ+ stories by streaming giant Hulu and the IF/Then Shorts program.

Films that will be screened in Gambier come from Taiwan, Brazil, Chile and elsewhere. An Australian film, “Marungka tjalatjunu” (“Dipped in Black”) focuses on an indigenous queer artist who returns to his hometown.

Another film that will be shown is from Iran. Called “CCTV,” it is about two lesbian high schoolers who decide to erase footage from the school’s closed-circuit television cameras and end up getting locked up at school.

The hope is that the evening will show local members of the LGBTQ+ community how they are being represented in cinema by new filmmakers. And those interested in studying film can gain insight into cutting-edge storytelling methods.

“I’m just trying to inspire them, provide them with some fresh perspective,” Zhou said.

René Guo, assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said that ODEI is proud to contribute to this celebration of global queer experiences.

“This event serves as a valuable opportunity to broaden our understanding of LGBTQ narratives from around the world,” they said. “By bringing these films to our campus, we aim to create a space that not only resonates with LGBTQ students but also enriches the entire campus community with diverse perspectives."

Click to download images of Hao Zhou, a promotional poster for the film screenings, and Kenyon College