Shall we talk
Katya Mikheeva was born and grew up in Moscow, Russia. She studied animation at HSE DESIGN University. In 2020 she moved to France to continue her education at La Poudrière school.
Filmography: In the Dance (2022), CYBER-EVE (2020), Shall We Talk? (2020), Tamed (2018), Dacha, Aliens, Cucumbers (2018).
How To spot a heterosexual
Adamson Novak is a Chicago-based director, producer, and creative; his work stretches across film and theatre. Originally from Maple Grove, Minnesota, Adamson is currently studying Film and Television Directing at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Notable works include Last Summer (2020), Mirrorball (2023), and How to Spot a Heterosexual (2023). As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Adamson strives to tell authentic stories through his work with pride.
How to Spot a Heterosexual explores and reimagines an America where queerness is the standard; where heterosexuality is something to be cast aside and feared as it “infiltrates our schools and churches”. Inspired by the classic, fear-mongering PSAs of the 1950s, this film aims to flip the script on the history of the Lavender Scare— a period of American history where homosexuals were expelled from their government jobs. In doing so, it seeks to cast a satirical lens on our society’s perspective of the stereotyped heterosexual man to illustrate the backward and stereotypical viewpoint that many of the LGBTQIA+ community are subjected to. The Lavender Scare may be a distant memory in our American history, but continued threats to the LGBTQIA+ community underline the need for films that question societal constructions and stereotypes of sexuality and gender. How to Spot a Heterosexual looks to do just that.
This film is very personal for me, in high school I had trouble being myself and never really realized it until moving out of my hometown and becoming my own person. Even today in an age of acceptance people have trouble being themselves and men often feel the need to put on a macho hyper-masculine persona rather than just being who they really are. Two Beers is about being yourself no matter how uncomfortable it might make you.
CONTAINS: Discussion of Porn, Bomb
Dancing with gender
CONTAINS: Animated nudity
Using visuals has always come natural to me. As a child I’ve painted every wall and surface my little hands had access to. It gave me a way to express myself, as having a stammer made it hard to put it into words. Though I’ve always been a quiet introverted person, as an artist I want to use my ability to visualize a message that needs to be told by way of animations and illustrations.
My specific interest is the LGBTQ+ community. Especially the misunderstandings exciting around them. A leading motivation for my art is to help erase those misunderstandings and enhance the acceptance of people who belong to this community. With my knowledge of representation and diversity, I can make sure that the animation is well executed. I do this with my skills of frame-by-frame animation which I combine with a variety of animation methods. That way anything is possible and I can quickly and sufficiently translate your and my ideas to a screen.
Dear Nancy, sincerely addy
CONTAINS: Talk of Gender Dysphoria, explicit language
An original story of a transgender man navigating life and eventually finding his higher self.
This is a personal narrative about a transgender man getting closure from his younger self, who was once named Nancy, and born female, she was a bit lost and unhappy until he reached another spiritual awaking. It's a love story of their past self as he heals the wounds within. He has a new sense of life and self-love.
CONTAINS: Tansphobia, Animated Violence, Verbal Abuse from a Parent
Loren Fink is an animation major at the School of Visual Arts in New York. They love telling stories that feature cute monsters, robots, and/or aliens.
I created "The Egg" based on my experience discovering my nonbinary identity and subsequently having to hide from and deal with unaccepting family members. While gender epiphanies (sadly) don't normally come in the form of friendly monsters, I wanted my film to be relatable to others who faced similar problems as I have, and hopefully carry along the message that everything will be okay.
Rebecca Marquardt, Lane Michael Stanley
CONTAINS: Transphobia, Homophobia, Loss of a Parent,
REBECCA MARQUARDT (she/her) is a filmmaker, actor, and musician. She was born and raised in Texas and studied Music at the Cincinnati Conservatory and comedy, writing, and acting in Chicago (Second City, Black Box Academy). She's performed on tiny stages all over Chicago and NYC and toured the country as the host/emcee of Odd Squad, LIVE! Her viral videos have over 2 million views and range from original music videos and covers to live streams and comedy/tutorial videos. Nicki Minaj once called her a "FKNG icon" and she will never shut up about it. Her short screenplay PINSETTER was a semi-finalist in the Slamdance Screenplay Competition in 2022. Find her online as Rebecca Loops or check out www.rebeccamarquardt.com.
LANE MICHAEL STANLEY (he/they) is a transgender director, playwright, filmmaker, and producer, and the co-founder of Secretly Famous Productions, along with Lowell Blank. Their award-winning debut feature film ADDICT NAMED HAL played at festivals including the Austin Film Festival, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and Dances with Films. Their short film UNTIE played at Outfest, Toronto Short Film Festival, aGLIFF / Prism Film Festival, and more, and their plays have been produced and developed by 19 theaters in 8 states and Australia. They have been a commissioned artist and/or fellow with Lambda Literary, Ground Floor Theatre, Art with Impact, and coLAB Arts and hold an MFA in Directing from the University of Texas at Austin. For more information, please visit www.lanemichaelstanley.com and www.secretlyfamousprod.com.
Thinking of you
Two friends go on a walk to share memories and reconnect.
Breaking the binary
A group of young adults explain their confusing and long exploration with gender expression and the gender spectrum on their journey to find out who they are.
CONTAINS: Explicit Language