We salute our friends at the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) for their ongoing commitment to queer content. Celebrating their 20th anniversary—the festival runs April 20-30, 2023—CUFF is presenting the Canadian Premier of Kokomo City.
Directed by two-time Grammy nominee D. Smith, Kokomo City presents the stories of four Black transgender sex workers in New York and Georgia.
Shot in striking black and white, the boldness of the facts of these women’s lives and the earthquaking frankness they share complicate this enterprise, colliding the everyday with cutting social commentary and the excavation of long-dormant truths. Accessible for any audience, unfiltered, unabashed, and unapologetic, Smith and her subjects smash the trendy standard for authenticity, offering a refreshing rawness and vulnerability unconcerned with purity and politeness.
D. Smith is a two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter-producer who produced and is featured on “Shoot Me Down” from Lil Wayne’s 8x platinum album Tha Carter III and wrote and produced the No. 1 Billboard dance single “Love Yourself” by Billy Porter. She made history as the first trans woman cast on a primetime unscripted TV show. This is Smith’s directorial feature film debut.
“As a Black and trans filmmaker, Smith refreshingly creates the space for [her subjects] to be provocative, raw and daringly glamorous in her taboo-breaking work filmed in gleaming black-and-white and edited with a fiery spirit.” – Harper’s Bazaar
“The principal participants … are an electric bunch, and the diversity of their testimonies propels this worthwhile project into refreshing, uninhibited territory.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Kokomo City screens twice: April 26 at 7 PM and April 29 at 1:30 PM. See you at the festival!
Keyboard Fantasies is about Glenn Copeland, a black transgender musician, who emerges from years of isolation to find a dedicated and enthusiastic audience. Attending McGill University in the 1960s as one of the only black students, and one of the only gay students, Beverly Glenn-Copeland was a gentle trailblazer out of sheer necessity.
Later, in 1986, Glenn-Copeland was sci-fi obsessed and living in isolation in Huntsville, Ontario. Glenn wrote and self-released “Keyboard Fantasies.” The album was recorded in an Atari-powered home-studio; the cassette featured seven tracks of a curious folk-electronica hybrid, a sound realized far before its time. Three decades on, the musician—now Glenn Copeland—began to receive emails from people across the world, thanking him for the music they’d recently discovered. Courtesy of a rare-record collector in Japan, Glenn’s music finally finds its audience in the 21st Century. Debut feature film director, Posy Dixon, one of these fans, developed a close friendship with Glenn over Skype. The film is a love letter to the album and the artist.
The Calgary Gay History Project is going to be subdued over the next four weeks. However, you can look forward to these Spring programming events.
Sunday, April 23rd 7 PM @ The Globe Cinema
We are partnering with the Calgary Underground Film Festival to present the WORLD PREMIERE of THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN. The film is about the celebrated author whose Tales of the City books were groundbreaking works of gay fiction. This series of nine books published between 1978 and 2014 mirrored developments in the gay rights movement across North America.
Sunday, May 7th, 10:30 AM @ Community Wise (The Old Y) 223 12 Ave. SW
Join the Calgary Gay History Project’s Matthew Gillespie on a walk through the Beltline. We will travel to significant historical gathering spots for the gay community in this inner city neighbourhood, including Calgary’s first gay bar, from 1968, Club Carousel. Everyone welcome.
10th Anniversary Jane’s Walk
Sunday, May 14th, 1:00 PM @ Knox United Church, 506 4 St SWTo celebrate Knox’s 10 year anniversary of being an affirming congregation in the United Church of Canada, the church is hosting a number events including a presentation on the history of the LGBTQ community and organized spirituality in Calgary. More details to come.