Revolutionary Love, a film showcasing youths response to vandalims of the rainbow crosswalk in Coldstream, has been chosen for the Reel 2 Reel International Film Festival for Youth, which is online April 14-23. (Revolutionary Love image)

Revolutionary Love, a film showcasing youths response to vandalims of the rainbow crosswalk in Coldstream, has been chosen for the Reel 2 Reel International Film Festival for Youth, which is online April 14-23. (Revolutionary Love image)

Vernon youth take stance against LGBTQ2+ crosswalk vandalism in film

Reel 2 Reel International Film Festival for Youth features two local productions

Taking a stand against homophobia after Coldstream’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized two years ago has landed some local youth in the spotlight.

A short film was created highlighting this response, which saw several youths take a stand on the Kalamalka Road crosswalk July 21, 2019, literally.

The film, called Revolutionary Love, has been chosen for the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth. The online festival takes place April 14-23 at r2rfestival.org and the two films are part of the Youth Filmmakers Showcase.

“It’s a special program of films made by youth themselves, so these students are very accomplished,” the film festival’s Helen Yagi said.

Raleigh Windsor, Keighan Davoren, Will Poole, Lachlan Deiter, Ari Pielecki, Lynden Rivers, Linus Thoemmes, Coel Leel, Iza Stark-Heling, Tessa Gough, Ricky Faulhaber, Josh Boon, Mia Schmeling, Ryan Hudson, Adam Vasconcelos and Matias Hartwig are all directors of the Revolutionary short film.

Gough was surprised to find out from her parents that the film was chosen. It was created by the group, who met each other at a free Reel Youth program at the Caetani Centre in 2019. Gough, now a second-year Okanagan College political science student, had just graduated from W.L. Seaton Secondary when she took part in the program.

“We haven’t seen each other since we filmed it,” said 19-year-old Gough, who lives in Coldstream.

Gough, along with Faulhaber and Boon, created another short film which has also been chosen for the festival. All Roads Lead to Romi features Vernon drag and performance artist Romi Kim who speaks to drag, artistry, and the experience of being different in a small town. Kim lives in Vernon and grew up in Armstrong, and jokes, “Population 8,000–population of Asians–my family.”

She also speaks about the crosswalk vandalism in her video.

“It was really shocking to me,” said Kim who had been to Kal Beach where the crosswalk is that very day and thought it was a joke. “I couldn’t really fathom that somebody would deliberately put white paint onto the rainbow crosswalk.

“That kind of shows you the homophobic and not very open mindset that some people might have here.”

The Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth presents films that explore the impact of social media, racism, and discrimination.

Bringing the best films for all ages from around the world, this year’s festival can be enjoyed in homes and classrooms across British Columbia. Access for an entire household is $40. School group access, which includes educational materials, is $75.

The festival shows 18 feature films and 45 shorts from over 35 countries and Indigenous nations.

READ MORE: Vernon youth put film skills to the COVID test

READ MORE: Coldstream rainbow crosswalk vandalized again


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Romi Kim speaks about her artistic drag experience and the homophobia that exists in the North Okanagan in the short film, All Roads Lead to Romi, which is featured in the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth, April 14-23. (Video still)

Romi Kim speaks about her artistic drag experience and the homophobia that exists in the North Okanagan in the short film, All Roads Lead to Romi, which is featured in the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth, April 14-23. (Video still)