Pink Lobster festival reveals joys, sorrows of LGBTQ life

The first ever New Brunswick LGBTQ Pink Lobster film festival featured touching, sad, visually pleasing and laugh-outloud films produced by local and international talent.

The festival showcased 19 short films and three feature films from Thursday, Feb. 16 to Saturday Feb. 18 in Tilley Hall. All of the films were chosen by the organizer of the festival, University of New Brunswick professor Robert Gray, who hopes to expand and continue the festival in the coming years.
Four of the films shown were made by New Brunswickers: Babes, Elephant in the Room, Daisy Chain and 3 Cafes.

A snapshot review of some of Saturday night’s short films is featured below.

Daisy Chain, a film directed by St. Thomas student Elijah Matheson and made during the 48-Hour Film Festival, featured three St. Thomas students as actors: Johnny Matheson, Jonathan Harrison, and Olivier Hébert along with music composed by third-year student Hannah Zamora. Through the three characters it explores gender dysphoria, body image and the death of a loved one.

Gorgeous lyrics and notes filled the audience’s ears as vibrant fall colours and short shots played across the screen. Besides the song lyrics, there is no talking in the seven-minute film, but the absence of words speaks volumes. The film plays with colour, particularly in the final scene, which shows the three characters dressed in black walking into grey water carrying bright yellow smiley-face balloons.

Oh Be Joyful, a 13-minute film directed by Susan Jacobson in the United Kingdom, was definitely a crowd-pleasing, sweet and hilarious film. The film shows a cool, hip grandmother trying to help her granddaughter come out. In one particularly funny scene, the grandmother convinces her granddaughter to live a little and go shoplifting. A song with the lyrics “we are the rebel crew” starts playing in the background as the screen shows the granddaughter pushing her grandmother, who’s in a wheelchair, down the aisle of a grocery store in slow mode. The film was a wild and incredibly joyful time that elicited a lot of laughter from the audience.

The film Parting by Dimirtrius Toulias was a touching 10-minute film made in the United Kingdom that featured an elderly gay man caring for his dying elderly gay partner. One scene shows the non-sick elderly gay man sitting in his bathroom crying as a steady stream of water pours from the tap. When the film finished, some members in the audience “awed” as the scene changed from the old men lying side-by side to younger versions of themselves in a similar shot.

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