Kinemelaya: Celebrating Queer Cinema in Northern Luzon

North Luzon Pride (NLP) collaborates with the British Council, talks about creating safe spaces for queer people through film.
In celebration of Pride month, the Northern Luzon Pride (NLP) proudly launched Kinemelaya: A Series of Film Screenings on June 9, 16, and 23 at the Balanghai ni Ikeng, Ili-likha Artists' Wateringhole, Baguio City. This three-day screening was an admission-free event dedicated to celebrating queer cinema and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion through the country's creative industry. Creators, film enthusiasts, allies, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community watched a diverse and meaningful roster of films from the Philippines, Colombia, and the UK.

"Northern Luzon Pride is a volunteer organization made up mostly of creatives, and it is important to us to platform queer creativity and queer narratives," shares writer and NLP board member Faye Olayo.

"The films in Kinemelaya illustrate the spectrum of queer storytelling, the films varied by genre, from video essay and documentary to animation; by subject matter, from true-to-life narratives to surrealist imaginations; from stories on identities, family, and acceptance; to love and loss. Through these film screenings, we can see and appreciate the wealth of stories, talent, and artistry the LGBTQIA+ community has," she adds.
As an advocate of the arts and an organisation that values equality, diversity and inclusion, the British Council partnered with NLP to support and enrich this year's screening, providing films from the UK. They also hosted a panel discussion led by British Council’s Head of Arts, Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, and the organisation’s Arts Manager, Sari Molintas, on the last day of screening to highlight and elaborate on the importance of films as one of the safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ communities.

Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, British Council's Head of Arts, emphasised that their mission has always been to build meaningful, respectful, and lasting relationships across different cultures. "The British Council is dedicated to fostering environments where everyone feels included and respected. Our work spans across the arts, English, and education, aiming to develop inclusive programs that enrich everyone's experiences and contribute to more diverse yet inclusive societies," he added.

Kinemelaya is hosted by Northern Luzon Pride supported by the Department of Health - Cordillera Administrative Region (DOH-CAR), Balay Marvi by LoveYourself, SCORA-Asian Medical Students' Association-Philippines, IHG, Ili-Likha Artists' Wateringhole, British Council in the Philippines, Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Bahaghari - UP Baguio Chapter, Sumikom, Sulong Likha, UBBOG Cordillera Writers, PassionMax Philippines, and Rebel Bakehouse – all unified to create a platform for LGBTQIA+ voices and stories.

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