Programmed by film-maker April Lin 林森, this 90-minute compendium of ten short films from queer filmmakers across Asia specifically focuses on dreams, science fiction, and the future: in other words, “other worlds”.

The programme finishes with Royston Tan’s musical fantasy Cut (2005) that parodies Singapore’s draconian censorship board. It’s a welcome injection of humour and flag-waving, although it’s by no means the only comic piece. In Huh Need-you’s How to Become a True Post-Human (2020), a spaceship computer explains the importance of repeated anal penetration. In Fuyuhiko Takata’s extremely lo-fi Cambrian Explosion (2016), Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (1989) sings “A Part of Your World” and slices her fishtail in two, as blood splatters everywhere, creating a sort of waddling, makeshift biped. Humour can be a fantastic way of provoking the audience to empathise with queer identities and their needs.

The rest of the programme is decidedly more serious, and just as thought-provoking. April Lin’s TR333 (2021) considers a new species of sentient tree created to battle against the Earth’s destruction, finding clever parallels with genderqueer politics. Other films are just out-and-out trippy, like Nuka Nayu & Harry Appleyard’s Book of Permutation = Tale of a Dying House (2021), a visually and auditorily overwhelming animation, tackling themes of the Buddhist funeral tradition in Korea.

An enthusiastic Q&A follows, hosted by April Lin and three other filmmakers from the programme, which enlightens us as to their filmmaking process and their thoughts on how to unite the queer community in 2022.

Artists’ Moving Image Programme: Destination: Other Worlds (18) + ScreenTalk Queer East Film Festival plays 6pm on Sunday 22 May 2022 at Barbican Cinema 2. Queer East Film Festival runs at multiple London venues 18 – 29 May 2022.

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