Photo Credit: Yannis Papanastasopoulos via Unsplash

 

On Friday, March 26 from 6-9 p.m. Brock Pride will be kicking off Pride Week with a screening of The Garden Left Behind, followed by a panel discussion featuring the film’s producer, Brock alum Roy Wol, as well as two of the films featured actresses.

 

Talia Ritondo, Gender and Sexual Violence Education Support Coordinator with Brock HRE and one of the event’s planners, believes that the film is an important one to show at the beginning of Pride Week because it’s a story that often goes untold.  

 

“It’s a trans woman’s experience navigating the medical system. [But] not only the medical system, they’re navigating social circles and they’re navigating romance and family members.”

 

There are also parts of the film that deal with intergenerational immigrant experiences between the main character and her grandmother.

 

“There’s just so many interesting dimensions about the film that are really important to consider and I think it’s just a film for everyone,” said Ritondo. 

 

Wol reached out to Brock Pride about potentially showing his film as part of Pride Week. Wol graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (hons.) in Dramatic Arts and Film Studies while he was at Brock. He and his filmmaking partner Flavio Alves work to create films that centre the experience of international 2SLGBTQ+ people

 

Students are encouraged to register in advance. At 6 p.m. students will log onto Amazon Prime Video to stream the film together via a watchparty. Students are able to get six months of Amazon Prime for free when they register, so anyone should be able to participate without being charged. Once the movie concludes, the panel will begin and participants will be directed to a livestream panel discussion on Facebook Live and YouTube, wherein participants can ask questions of Wol and the films featured actresses on either platform. 

 

“We’re doing a lot of collaboration for this event,” said Ritondo. 

 

Both the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences have stepped up to help provide funding and marketing for the event. 

 

“We’re also collaborating with BrockTV to be able to stream it on multiple platforms and house all of our comments in one central space. So if people want to ask a question all they have to do is type in a comment and we’ll choose questions to ask as they pop up,” said Ritondo. 

 

There have been some challenges to running Pride Week with COVID-19 still being a part of all of our lives. There were even some discussions about scrapping the event altogether. The Brock Pride Club’s enthusiasm for Pride Week and their staunch belief in its importance is what ultimately led to the week full of events going ahead despite the challenges. 

 

“It really came to be because of the enthusiasm from 2SLGBTQ+ students on campus. It was a nice reminder that these events are meaningful and important to students on campus,” said Ritondo. 

 

Pride Week will run until April 1 and there is a full slate of events, including movie nights, educational panels, trivia nights and more.

Students are encouraged to register for the event on ExperienceBU by clicking here.