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dangerous when wet
By Matt Pearson
Dangerous When Wet is the ninth installment of the annual London Lesbian Film Festival. The festival features a wide range of mostly Canadian feature films, documentaries, short films and videos, all of which explore lesbian relationships and celebrate the work of lesbian film makers.
This is the second time the festival has used the University Community Centre's McKellar Room as its venue and with a roster of over 20 films, Sonya Jewkes, co-ordinator of Western Film, says she is quite satisfied with the festival. "It's a great way for the lesbian community to reach out into the London community and for McKellar to reach out into the community."
Jewkes also pointed out that the LLFF is not the only outside group to use the McKellar theatre to show films. "We're providing a venue," she explains, adding the theatre regularly rents out its space to show a number of Hindi films, as well as hosting the annual Banff Film Festival.
Andrea Boulay, the University Students' Council VP-campus issues, is also excited about the festival.
"I think it's a fantastic opportunity, not only for the lesbian community, but for the campus as a whole," she says. "[The film festival is] a vehicle in which people can express themselves; [it's] an important vehicle for the Pride Community."
Boulay also stresses how beneficial the festival is to the Western community. "Having this on campus is important because we're recognizing another culture and not sweeping it under the rug."
Karen Hobden, a representative from the LLFF committee, describes the festival as a mirror for lesbians. "It's important for lesbians to see themselves reflected in film," she asserts. "It helps validate a sense of self."
Hobden also emphasizes the festival's impact on the city's lesbian community. "The chance to come together with other lesbians and see yourself reflected is special, it's electric," she explains. In this vein, the festival is more focused on celebrating lesbians through film than it is on educating the general public.
Hobden made it very clear that the festival is lesbian-driven. In fact, both showings will be "women-only." However, this decision is not based on animosity toward the gay male community. "It's not anti-men it's pro-women," she says emphatically. "It was felt that lesbians needed a space of their own."
Although the festival is exclusive, Hobden sees this exclusivity as a temporary situation. "The festival gives women the opportunity to come together with other women in a place that speaks just to us."
The festival opens its doors tonight at 7 p.m. and runs until tomorrow afternoon.