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Win Tickets to the Vancouver Queer Film Festival!

Enter to win one of two pairs of tickets to Tyee-sponsored screenings.

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This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Vancouver's second largest festival of independent queer cinema. And we've got tickets for you to attend one of two Tyee-sponsored screenings.

Saturday, August 16: The Secrets by Avi Nesher (Israel, 2007)

The lives of two fiercely independent girls, Naomi (Ania Bukstein) and Michelle (Michal Shtamler) collide at a girls' seminary in the sacred town of Safed, Israel. Naomi, a devout Orthodox Jew desperate to avoid her upcoming marriage delves further into the study of her religion, while Michelle, frustrated by the rules of the seminary, befriends Anouk, a French woman with a dark past.

Together Naomi and Michelle are pulled into Anouk's history of adultery, passion and murder. Stricken with terminal cancer, Anouk has come to Safed in search of redemption. Rejected by Safed's religious officials, she turns to Michelle and Naomi for help. Despite possible expulsion, the two girls immerse themselves in Kabbalistic texts to help guide Anouk to forgiveness. In the heart of such forbidden territory, Naomi and Michelle discover more simmering secrets about themselves. (Hebrew and French with English subtitles.)

Monday, August 18: The Beirut Apt by Daniele Salaris (U.K. and Italy, 2007) and Darling! The Pieter Dirk-Uys Story by Julian Shaw (Australia, 2007)

These two unique documentaries show the dangers and triumphs of refusing to shut up.

In The Beirut Apt, Italian filmmakers rent an apartment so their Lebanese interview subjects -- Muslims and Christians -- can speak freely about their sexuality, even though the country's notorious Article 514 makes it illegal to do so. The small space of the apartment harbours issues of international importance. Despite different backgrounds and opinions, these eloquent men and women share the struggle to live authentically in a culture that denies their existence. (English and Arabic with English subtitles.)

In Darling!, we meet the most famous woman in South Africa, Pieter Dirk-Uys, or rather his alter-ego, Mrs. Evita Bezuidenhout. In the 1980s, Evita's political satire skewered the policies of apartheid and earned her more than a little attention from the government and its enforcers. Today, Pieter is a hero to thousands of South African children and counts Bishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela among his ardent fans -- both of whom make appearances in the film. Pieter now travels the country speaking frankly and hilariously to schoolchildren about HIV prevention. He remains an inspirational reminder of the capacity for a committed individual to promote social change.

Both screenings take place at 7 p.m. at the VanCity Theatre.

Enter to win tickets to one of these screenings -- just send us an e-mail with "Vancouver Queer Film Festival" in the subject line. Entrants will also be signed up for our weekly e-newsletter.

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Contest closes at noon on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008.  [Tyee]

Read more: Gender + Sexuality, Film

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