‘Queer’ Asia Film Festival 2022 – Survival

Call for Submissions *Now Open*

QUEERNESS IS NOT YET HERE. QUEERNESS IS AN IDEALITY. PUT ANOTHER WAY, WE ARE NOT YET QUEER, BUT WE CAN FEEL IT AS THE WARM ILLUMINATION OF A HORIZON IMBUED WITH POTENTIALITY. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN QUEER, YET QUEERNESS EXISTS FOR US AS AN IDEALITY THAT CAN BE DISTILLED FROM THE PAST AND USED TO IMAGINE A FUTURE. THE FUTURE IS QUEERNESS’S DOMAIN.

(JOSÉ ESTEBAN MUÑOZ, CRUISING UTOPIA: THE THEN AND THERE OF QUEER FUTURITY,  P. 1)

Our fifth annual “Queer” Asia Film Festival (QAFF) of 2022 invites you to reflexively, critically, and creatively engage with us in the conversation on the theme of “SURVIVAL” (Submission Guidelines at the bottom).

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented uncertainty to our lives, ranging from disruption of our daily lives to the intensification of systemic oppressions, government surveillance, and the shutting of international borders. In the meantime, the emerging global political unrest, the rise of nationalism and imperialism, and the urgency of the climate crisis have further restricted our mobility and threatens our survival. 

“We were never meant to survive” – emphasises Audre Lorde in “A Litany for Survival”, her work exploring the precarity of marginalised communities often forced to live in silence and fear, lacking even the capacity and luxury to dream. Yet, as Lorde remarks at the end of the poem, “it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive”. 

This year’s film festival will explore queer ‘survival’ in our difficult times. How do LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex) individuals and communities navigate their everyday living conditions at the intersections of the pandemic, queerness, and different forms of hierarchies, crises, controls, and discriminations, including heterosexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.? How do we transgress global normativities, including the hegemonic discourse of temporality and space, challenge national and colonial ideologies, and manifest the impossibility of queer hopes, desires, and dreams? How do we revisit our past, create our present, and imagine the possibility and potentiality of queer futurity? Let us embark on the exploration of the glorious power of queer art of SURVIVAL. 

Towards this goal, the “Queer” Asia Film Festival is collaborating with Xintong Zhang, a Chinese queer feminist artist who investigates the value of weeds in urban landscapes as a metaphor for resistance to the hierarchical value system in human society. She exposes their fragility and marginalised status by running fresh plants directly under the printing press, to make imprints on top of etched images. Her works aim to bring attention to the beauty of those whose existence is isolated or marginalised and raises important questions about our living circumstances, identity and sense of belonging. 

QAFF invites submissions of film no longer than 30 minutes (detailed submission criteria below) from a range of filmmakers including activist groups, academics, professional, and amateur filmmakers. The Festival will be held in early July 2022 in various central London locations and we are currently exploring the possibility of holding some screenings in Coventry and Oxford.  

As an annual celebration of films from across Asia, including Asian diasporas, QAFF has showcased a wide diversity of films from across Asia, including Azerbaijan, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Myanmar, The Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Viet Nam in Central London venues including The British Museum, SOAS, King’s College London, and University College London. QAFF has also collaborated with different organisations, including The British Museum, Club Kali, CINEMQ, SOAS, University of London, University of Warwick, King’s College London. 

Since its launch in 2017, the film festival has grown significantly. The number of films being screened rose steadily from 11 films in 2017, to 33 in 2018 and over 80 in 2019, the last year the festival was held before the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, the number of tickets sold to festival increased from 500 in 2017 to nearly 2500 in June 2019.

During its existence, QAFF has also attracted extensive media coverage including BBC Impact and BBC World News, Rife Magazine, Gay Star News, CUNTemporary, The Guardian, Attitude Magazine. Films from the QAFF lineup have been showcased on TV programmes in the UK such as Brighton TV, and in private screenings at major companies.

Submission Guidance

  • SUBMITTED FILMS MUST HIGHLIGHT/FOCUS ON ASIAN AND OTHER LGBTQI+ ISSUES. As the theme, “Survival” for the festival, other submissions will not be considered.
  • Films of no longer than 30 minutes in any language are accepted but should have subtitles in English (if relevant). 
  • ‘Queer’ Asia Film Festival is a NOT FOR PROFIT film festival focused on raising visibility and awareness and therefore DOES NOT OFFER SCREENING FEES to any film, since it invests its limited resources in showcasing all the films to the best possible extent.
  • Filmmaker/ Producer/ Distributor certifies that the person submitting the film holds the rights for submission of film to the festival and will be considered as the original submitter. All correspondence will be done through email ONLY to the original submitter. 
  • A submission will be considered complete only after the DOWNLOAD IS ENABLED for the film’s preview screener in Film Freeway or other accessible links provided.
  • DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 24th January 2022. The Festival will not consider late entries due to volume of submissions. NOTE: Films are selected for programming only based on their merit. Please do not be persuaded by anyone who claims to have access to the Festival Team / Selection Committee, and asks for monetary or other favours to get 
  • To submit your film for consideration follow this link: https://filmfreeway.com/QueerAsia

The film festival does not charge screening fees from filmmakers and film submission is free of charge.

Please contact queerasia@gmail.com for any further information or queries.