Queer@Cannes Q & A

Queer@Cannes Q&A Livestream

Panel Talks

Chat online with a talented guest panel of Australian and international LGBTQIA+/Queer Content Specialists about their experiences, challenges and advice in creating LGBTIAQ+/Queer content and storytelling.

Steve Pereira

Prof Anne Harris

Eben Venter

Nevo Zisin

If you don’t hear any audio, click the movie window to start playback!

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Steve Pereira
1 hour ago

Argh I lost the discussion

Pauly
Pauly
7 days ago

Congratulations David, loved hanging out tonight. Great to challenge my assumptions and reflect that only really simple human qualities are needed to show sensitivity in storytelling – empathy and respect most importantly, and good listening. Nothing superhuman and values that most can show and appreciate.

Teacosy
Teacosy
7 days ago

Thanks everyone-Keep listening avoid assumptions and keep asking questions in the gender identity and sexuality space ? bye

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

Incitefull event.

Thank you all.

Tech difficulties. so im outta here

Robbie
Robbie
7 days ago

Loved the opportunity to reflect on practice, a renewed perspective on the evolving, dynamic and expressive gender and sexuality space. Looking back on a snapshot of lives lived and wondering on lives to come.

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

I’ve got to run, but thanks everyone. Hope this sparks some great discussions and deliberations around more ethical LGBTIQA+ representation in the media! Have a lovely evening.

Robbie
Robbie
7 days ago

Thanks Davie and thank you to the incredible panel. Its been a wonderful taste and opportunity to reflect and learn. I missed the film due to technicalities but will watch tonight.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Robbie
7 days ago

Bye, really loved yr insights

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

Is David going to summarize live again?

Heidi
Heidi
Reply to  Scott Sanders
7 days ago

Cool

Steve Pereira
7 days ago

Thanks all, been fantastic. Honored to be in this company

Rob J
Rob J
Reply to  Steve Pereira
7 days ago

It was lovely to hear from you Steve

Teacosy
Teacosy
7 days ago

as a queer oral historian tonight was so encouraging for me to continue to record particularly older LGBTIQ+ stories and where possible asking them to reflect on the changes they have experienced in relation to their identity- gender sexuality the binary etc

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Teacosy
7 days ago

Sending you so much love Teacosy! Haven’t seen you in a while but always value the time we share together <3

Teacosy
Teacosy
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

hey and back <5- so love your powerful work

Hayden
Hayden
7 days ago

While not being part of the queer community, I notice the frustration that many in this community dislike labels because it steers away from being an individual and authentic. We all need to fathom that we share many things with other humans but we are each designed with a unique hybrid of traits and bodily shapes. I think we all need a balance of pride and humility, a sense of self awareness but not be blind to how others want to treated. Compassion and conversation is integral gaining more comprehension of how each individual can make contributions to our global society without trivial factors of dubious importance interfering. Conformity and institutionalisation are old fashioned concepts and need scrutiny and reform. Social constructs are for inherently confused people requiring guidance. Conversation and forums allow us to grow our knowledge and hopefully disown irrational and over-utilised rhetoric. Thanks David and thanks to your panel for the fascinating food for thought.

Oli
Oli
7 days ago

Thanks for the film and the talks!

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
7 days ago

Me too – thanks David, Scott and everyone for making this great event possible! <3 Thanks for coming everyone, and for the great discussion. Take care

David
David
7 days ago

Ok S0 I feel we have about 5-6 core tips and advice to glean from tonite !

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 1
Ethics are important for storytellers ! We have a duty to be ethical in our creative practice

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 2
Connect and participate with the cultures and communities you want to write about.

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 3
Empathy and Respect is important for writing about different cultures

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

Pay people for their participation and involvement in your projects

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 4
Lived experiences & your experiences and and feeling in your own life are a mine of energy for writing good stories

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 5
Dont make assumptions about your audience you my think your writing for : audiences are much bigger & more diverse than you may think !

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 6
Develop your awareness of the cultures your are writing about : Understand the issues of their visibility, their different identities & their experiences of political oppression and marginalsiation

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 7

Focus, organisition and discipline is essential to create an good story ! Writing is hard work !!!

David
David
Reply to  David
7 days ago

POINT 8
Be real. be yourself – thats authentic AND – IF you do that it will probably sell too !

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
7 days ago

My apologies but I have to leave now. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to participate, organisers, fellow speakers and audience. All my very best wishes for your creative work.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Eben Venter
7 days ago

Thankyou for yr powerful response

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

Keep language updated. Or go back to relevant language to be Era appropriate.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Heidi
7 days ago

The language in this space evolves so quickly; I often feel like I am walking in a mine field. There’s always someone who is offended or feeling left out but I didn’t even know that this language has come to existence.

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Eleanor
7 days ago

Yes this language evolves quickly, which is why if you want to write about our communities / lives, then you need to be on top of it. It isn’t just a matter of people being ‘offended’ it’s a matter of our safety.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

I had not thought about the safety aspect before. I’ll be more mindful of this in my teaching when interacting with my students.

Robbie
Robbie
7 days ago

Story telling is a space of both compromise and commitment. Its a courageous space of risk and reward led both by authenticity of the subject and the unavoidable interpretation of the creator.

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

Keeping on top of current language based on each aspect of Lgtbqi+.

And if you are looking back don’ forgrt that language to make it authentic.

JWFR
JWFR
7 days ago

Sorry I can’t stay guys, I have to prep for my radio show tonight. Thanks for inviting me David it was amazing and extremely insightful. James.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  JWFR
7 days ago

Awww, bye….

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Scott Sanders
7 days ago

The third person, the writer was good in terms of the advice he gave writers in terms of how to develop their work and the work ethic needed.

Prof. Anne Harris was great in terms of highlighting the generational issues faced and also how older generations are not good at changing their language to be more inclusive and respectful.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Eleanor
7 days ago

That was Eben.

Liz
Liz
7 days ago

Home-truths!

Robbie
Robbie
7 days ago

Resonating comment from Nevo:
Coming from a perspective of having been born in the wrong society (or time) creates an abundance of freedom to be real and present just as you/we are. This can be a potent starting point for many creative ventures.

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
Reply to  Robbie
7 days ago

Being born into the wrong society/ or coming from the wrong crib – I’m thinking here of Jeanette Winterson – can and must be utilised as the hook for your story or novel. Without that ‘wrongness’ you just wouldn’t be the writer you are.

Robbie
Robbie
Reply to  Eben Venter
7 days ago

Wrongness, otherness, outsiderness…yes indeed.

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
7 days ago

Writing a queer character into your story requires good research, an attentive ear for dialogue, empathy and respect with the character, and, if possible, lived experience.

Pauly
Pauly
Reply to  Eben Venter
7 days ago

Thanks Eben

Pauly
Pauly
7 days ago

I am a white heterosexual actor & mum in my 40’s who dabbles in devising and writing. Is there an estimate for how much of a potential audience base might be LGBTQIA percentage wise? Any tips on how I might better make my work/storytelling relevant and engaging to this audience?

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Pauly
7 days ago

About 20%. That’s a huge audience!

Pauly
Pauly
Reply to  Liz
7 days ago

Wow, sure is.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Pauly
7 days ago

Did you see the text responses…? I think they were great tips for writing *all* characters, especially from Steve and Eben.

Pauly
Pauly
Reply to  Liz
7 days ago

Ah yes, saw them now, thanks Liz

Steve Pereira
Reply to  Pauly
7 days ago

Hi Pauly, my take on this is just write interesting stories about a diverse range of people, making sure you know them before you write about them. Everybody loves that

Pauly
Pauly
Reply to  Steve Pereira
7 days ago

Thanks Steve 🙂

William Le
William Le
Reply to  Pauly
7 days ago

Just look at the Slash (same sex fiction from pop culture and sci fi media) communities- they’re HUGE! And majorly driven by female authors, isn’t that interesting? It started thanks to Spock and Kirk in Star Trek.
But the demographic might’ve changed.

Pauly
Pauly
Reply to  William Le
7 days ago

Will check it out, cheers.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  William Le
7 days ago

Ooh I’ll have to check this out too.

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

Is there still a live feed?

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Heidi
7 days ago

Yep

chris
chris
Reply to  Scott Sanders
7 days ago

ok good

chris
chris
7 days ago

to all speakers: how can we avoid creating a queer character that is stereo typed?

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

what all the speakers said: write from your own experience, or do the research/consultaiton and write 3-dimensional characters.

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

I think there are a lot of things one can do to avoid stereotypes – to start with, actually meaningfully engaging with queer people, building relationships with them, having collaborators who are actually queer as part of the process, lots and lots of research – if you’re still worried the character will be a stereotype, then don’t write the character.

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

Agree. Let a transgender person take the role of a transgender character, as was doen in POSE.

William Le
William Le
7 days ago

Insightful and thought provoking discourse around equality representation from aspiring or professional industry peers, everyone! Timely, given the casting controversy of a cis actor playing a transgendered character in Hedwig & The Angry Inch theatrical production, that’s now postponed ? That the creators said that anyone could play the role, forgetting that authenticity actually matters and resonates more than those who haven’t, no matter the good intentions. Does it matter though if Hugh Sheridan has had relationships with both men and women, giving him the right to take on such a role, or are there others more deserving?

David Micallef
David Micallef
Reply to  William Le
7 days ago

I’d love to hear the speakers take on this as well as I have always been on the fence about this issue. On one hand, I want more LGBTIQ+ people on the stage and screen, on the other hand isn’t it the job of an actor to get into the mindset of the character they are playing, no matter who that character is?

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  David Micallef
7 days ago

Sure that is the role of an actor – but for as long as transgender people for example are experiencing extremely high rates of unemployment and are very rarely cast to play cisgender characters, the least casting directors can do is reserve the transgender roles for transgender people – the same goes for all LGBTIQA+ people

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

There are heaps of talented trans actors who haven’t been given a chance because of their gender identity / presentation – they deserve the opportunities to show their talents as well, especially in roles that should be designed for them.

David Micallef
David Micallef
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

Agreed Nevo, there are a lot of talented LGBTIQ+ people out there who need to be given better opportunities.

William Le
William Le
Reply to  David Micallef
7 days ago

I can see both sides of the fence but when you consider a growing or existing number of actors with truthful experiences and can be as talented, it’s perhaps more a question of access and opportunity than for the sake of an acting exercise. And you have to consider the historical context: for instance more cisgendered performers have played LBGTIQ roles than those in their own community. So personally, fortune should favour the bold, not the tried and true if you get my drift.

Liz
Liz
7 days ago

Why do you think there is such an attachment within the film industry/ies, to stereotypes of queer characters or a ‘token’ approach??

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
Reply to  Liz
7 days ago

Hollywood just does not know how to portray these people without stereotyping or humouring them. This knowledge and respect is only setting in now.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Eben Venter
7 days ago

Do you find it difficult to write characters based on your experiences, let alone to write your adventures down?

William Le
William Le
Reply to  Eben Venter
7 days ago

If anyone saw The Boys in The Band on Netflix- perhaps relevant of its time but slightly outdated in other ways. What I do love in the introspective that at one point or another perhaps we’ve all had to deal with a sense of self-loathing or at least self questioning, that can drive us and informed by the society of its time.

William Le
William Le
Reply to  Liz
7 days ago

Reductive psychology or reductionism perhaps.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  William Le
7 days ago

That’s pretty cynical but I suppose accurate.

William Le
William Le
Reply to  Liz
7 days ago

Lol I’m far from cynical!

Robbie
Robbie
7 days ago

As a photographer I get invited to make portrait images of folks within LGBTIQA communities/networks. I love these opportunities and often have ideas for photos. Its more common however for folks to have their own idea of how they’d like to present or be portrayed and I find myself following their lead despite feeling awkward about perpetuating stereotypes of body type, age and cultural background (ie sexy images). This is a question of respect and representation verses an artists vision which I myself a little torn over.

JWFR
JWFR
7 days ago

Growing up Bi in regional Victoria in the 1990s, thank you so much for talking about inter-generational bi and transphobia, it still exists, even in the Gay community in many regional areas.

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  JWFR
7 days ago

it’s so different once you get out of urban centres, isn’t it? I hear you.

JWFR
JWFR
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

Yeah living in the in the city is bliss. I am in my late 30s and have found more acceptance from so many people younger than me, than I ever have of even bi women and gay men in Bendigo

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

To the organizers

As a dyslexic, the grey writing on yellow background is such an obstacle.

Love a live qna, but hey 2020 adaptation.

Heidi
Heidi
Reply to  Scott Sanders
7 days ago

Thanks

chris
chris
Reply to  Heidi
7 days ago

roll the mouse over it and it becomes white on black

Heidi
Heidi
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

Thanks, but I’m on my phone.

Oli
Oli
Reply to  Heidi
7 days ago

If you fly over the box of a new comment in yellow or tap on it it will switch back to normal.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 days ago

How to navigate the issue of paying the “sensitive readers” in a volunteer indie production where no one else is getting paid?

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

Yeah this is a hard one and one I’m still navigating as a writer who works on pieces I’m not necessarily getting paid for – I think if you are exploring narratives outside of your own lived experience then you need to be paying. If that means paying out of your own pocket, then that’s just what needs to be done. I’ve done it quite a few times and I think it’s the bare minimum.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

And if you are not able to pay out of your own pocket to everyone else who is helping, is this fair?

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

Yep, if you don’t have the means then come up with different fundraising initiatives – grant applications, crowd-funding, even a bake sale! But marginalised people need to be paid for their educational labour.

Steve Pereira
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

The question for me is who decides who is a an appropriate ‘sensitivity trainer’ or ‘cultural consultant’ and on what basis? I have experience of far too many ‘cultural consultants’ on films who had no business consulting on anything.

David Micallef
David Micallef
7 days ago

I would love other the take of all of the speakers about their thoughts on LGBTIQ+ representation on Australian screens

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  David Micallef
7 days ago

I am American so I do lament the more conservative depictions of LGBTIQA+ characters in Australian media. I think we are still pretty reserved here.

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

that said, I’d wish there was more diversity of all kinds and in particular of more POC to truly represent the Australian that I know.

David Micallef
David Micallef
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

Agreed Anne and this diversity cannot just be on screen, it needs to be in all areas of production. You cannot get the essence of culture in art if communities are not included throughout the whole life cycle of production.

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  David Micallef
7 days ago

so true, especially in leadership positions.

Steve Pereira
Reply to  David Micallef
7 days ago

Growing up in Canada, we always thought Australians were ahead of the game in queer representation – particular in short, independent and experimental films. – mainstream not so good but still better than most other places.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 days ago

where did everybody go?

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

I’m wondering this too

Steve Pereira
Reply to  Eleanor
7 days ago

The problem when that film was first released was that there were far too few positive depictions of queer characters in films. So the film just repeated old tropes. Now we have a plethora of queer depictions and have nuanced stories and characters. We can be now, both good and bad. We didn’t have that luxury in the past,.

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

We’re still here, just online via the chat room here…

Rob J
Rob J
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

Peek-A-Boo

Rob J
Rob J
7 days ago

Thanks Nevo, please get in touch when your new book launches it sounds like it’s much needed in the community

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Rob J
7 days ago

Sure! You’re welcome to follow me on social media for updates 🙂

chris
chris
7 days ago

To Anne, Steve, Even, Nevo:
I recall in 1993 after the film SLIVER was released there was a backlash from gay and lesbian activists who protested to Hollywood that gay people or LGBTQI+ were presented in character roles as villains or negatively and that was offensive to gay people. Do you think the depiction of LGBTQI+ characters roles, in any medium, has changed to portray LGBTQI+ as more positive or is there any change since 1993?

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

There has definitely been a lot of portrayal of queer characters as villians, even in cartoons and the ‘queer-coding’ of evil characters. I do believe that is shifting significantly and have seen more and more positive representation of LGBTIQA+ lives

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

yes definitely things have improved, but there’s still a long way to go. For one thing, lesbians are not always suicidal or homocidal any more, so that’s good! I wish though there were more trans masc characters on TV to equal increasing numbers of trans feminine folks.

Eben Venter
Eben Venter
Reply to  chris
7 days ago

There is an revealing doco on NetFlix discussing how transgender people have been misrepresented and been made into jokes by Hollywood.The doco is called Disclosure. BY the time of POSE, representation started changing.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 days ago

thank you speakers

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 days ago

Great to hear about the importance of paying for professional input of sensitive readers. This is also a significant issue in the disability pillar.

Rob J
Rob J
7 days ago

That was a very interesting talk

Heidi
Heidi
7 days ago

This is so good folks.

Really diverse.

Thank you all involved.

Best wishes, Heidi

Liz
Liz
Reply to  Heidi
7 days ago

You’re so incredibly welcome. We hope you stay for the live Q&A.

Reggie
Reggie
7 days ago

Hey all, if you had technical difficulties and couldn’t watch the show. Send me an email on hello@reggiechang.me and I’ll see if I can get you a link to watch the show. Apologies for that mix up.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Reggie
7 days ago

Good work sorting out tech difficulties!

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Scott Sanders
7 days ago

Hi Scott, I went back to the film page, and it is still showing the begining pink page with the instructions. Cannot seem to access the film

Robbie
Robbie
Reply to  Reggie
7 days ago

Thanks Reggie

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Reggie
7 days ago

Can’t hear anyone anymore. Just pink screen.

Reggie
Reggie
Reply to  Eleanor
7 days ago

Hi Eleanor, The Q&A is happening now so there isn’t anything happening on the screen. Feel free to post a question.

Sally G
Sally G
7 days ago

Anne
thanks for speaking up re the middle bracket of age- any thoughts re re actions we all can take?

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  Sally G
7 days ago

thanks Sally. So many invisibles!

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  Sally G
7 days ago

sorry i missed the 2nd part of your msg – i think we can do more intergenerational work, events etc – which i know you have been doing for years – but i thikn in terms of NB alot of older people feel like the NB scene is too young for them and they (we) feel out of place. Intergenerational alienation in the queer community has always been an issue i think, and it just remains so. Different cultures within cultures? I don’t know. Good to keep talking about different levels of invisibility.

Sugar Plum Fairy
Sugar Plum Fairy
7 days ago

I am 35. Culturally queer and heterosexual. I find it so confusing all the different terms for sexuality and gender.

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  Sugar Plum Fairy
7 days ago

it is confusing! and generational

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

During my teenage years, gay, homosexual, lesbian were the main words that were used. Yes there was transgender and transvestite there too but that was about it in terms of anything that wasn’t from a heterosexual perspective. I was at a Catholic girls school.

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Sugar Plum Fairy
7 days ago

Can I ask what ‘culturally queer’ means?

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

“Cultural queerness” refers to the performance of queerness as an identity or aesthetic without necessarily being queer. Cultural queerness has nothing to do with actual gender identity or sexual orientation, nor with allyship.

https://www.mcgilldaily.com/2020/01/being-culturally-queer/

Nevo Zisin
Nevo Zisin
Reply to  Eleanor
7 days ago

Right okay, thanks for the resource. I’ll do some reading. Sounds a bit appropriative to me.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Reply to  Nevo Zisin
7 days ago

David was the one who gave me the term and honestly, it’s been the best thing. I’m heterosexual but have always felt more at home in queer spaces. It made so much more sense.

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
7 days ago

Great job Steve!

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

second that!

Anne Harris
Anne Harris
Reply to  Anonymous
7 days ago

thanks Sugar Plum Fairy and Anon <3

Sugar Plum Fairy
Sugar Plum Fairy
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

Really enjoying the content of your talk.

Steve Pereira
Reply to  Anne Harris
7 days ago

Thanks Anne, right back at ya.

JWFR
JWFR
7 days ago

Well done guys, this is brilliant!

Ummm me
Ummm me
7 days ago

Well done David 🙂

Sim
Sim
7 days ago

It’s it is fine