Audience at dyke drama film festivalThis winter I had the pleasure of attending Canuckamuk Productions Winter Warmer Dyke Drama Festival.

Canuckamuk Productions are a Perth-based production company dedicated to making films specifically of interest to the lesbian community. As well as writing and producing their own films, they host an annual Dyke Drama Festival that showcases some of the best lesbian short films from around the world.

In addition to the annual Dyke Drama Festival, this year we were spoilt with a Winter Warmer. Held at The State Library of WA, Canuckamuk Productions joined forces with the team at The Sparrows Nest Café to bring to the audience a night of food, drinks, queer poetry and film.

As us Sapphic sisters huddled side-by-side, sipping Black Russians in the foyer and trying to forget the cold, the night kicked off with a performance from the Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA (GALS WA), whose wonderful harmonies managed to warm a room of queers on even the coldest of nights.

To further warm our hearts, members of Perth’s queer poetry group, ‘OUTspoken’ laid down some seriously powerful performance poetry. It is no secret that ‘OUTspoken’ plays host to some very talented queer poets. With poems ranging in theme from that of stereotypes, to the struggles of identifying as transgender, to just plain ole’ relatable issues with the ex-girlfriend, it was a welcome tune to the ear to hear poetry directly related to the LGBTQIA community.

Following the poetry, the first film to screen was a short film titled A Streetcar Named Perspire. Though perhaps more relevant for the older audience members (it was an animated short on the symptoms of menopause) it was light-hearted, clever and gave rise to lots of chuckles. The feature film to follow was the hugely hilarious ‘Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf.’

When I first learned of the title of the feature to be screened, I was a little concerned. Though it’s clearly a play on the title of the 1962 theatre production ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ by Edward Albee, with so many bad lesbian film out there I’ll admit that I was somewhat scared it was going to be another “dear-god-should-I-stop-watching-this-is-terrible-and-yet-I-can’t-stop-watching-I’m-compelled-to-see-it-to-the-end.”

But they say don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and it turns out the same can be said of lesbian films with quirky titles (and questionable covers, have a Google!). This eccentric, all-female RomCom won me over very, very quickly. It was intelligent, it was funny, it was full of beautiful women, it contained the right balance of dramedy, the acting was flawless – particularly that of the lead Anna, played by Anna Margarita Albelo (Writer/Director).

Oh and did I mention it was full of beautiful women? Yeah, lots of them, including the recognizable faces of Janina Gavankar (Papi) and Guinevere Turner (Gabby Deveaux) from The L Word, yay!

So all in all it was a grand night for the LGBTQIA community. Hats off to all those involved and my fingers are crossed we will continue to see more Dyke Drama Festivals appearing on Perth’s queer calendar.