It truly was a memorable 19th annual Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival. We served up REELNESS thanks to so many incredible films about LGBTQ2Ia lives and the incredible filmmakers who cooked them up for us!
In addition to the audience awards for Best Short (Handsome & Majestic), Best Narrative (Venus) and Best Documentary (Abu) we added a new award in honour of a dear, departed friend and supporter of the festival – Betty Berghout. Betty passed away in 2015 but we think of her often and at this time of year in particular as visiting filmmakers still talk about her delicious homemade preserves she would make for them. Betty Berghout was only 54 when she died at home, surrounded by loved ones, after being diagnosed with a rare degenerative brain disease. She was, as the Kingston Whig-Standard referred to her as, a “staple force” in Kingston’s market with BETTY’S BYRE, selling fresh fruit and vegetables and preserves (including the best pickles in K-town).
Betty was a huge lover of life including live music, her cats, her family, and most significantly her partner Terrie. Terrie and Betty’s love made everyone else feel loved in their company and it seems only fitting that we remember Betty’s memory whenever we see a really great love story. This award is determined by our programming committee and the audience ratings during the festival. The inaugural Betty Berghout Memorial Award for Best Love Story goes to The Feels by director Jenée LaMarque .
Our sold-out crowd gave enthusiastic reviews for this largely-improvised, ensemble comedy about a lesbian bachelorette weekend featuring the wonderful Constance Wu and a riotous, scene-stealing performance by Ever Mainard as “Regular Helen”.
The Feels was produced by Provenance Pictures and is distributed by The Film Collaborative.