Ah, to be young and in love – although many a love story has been told time and time again, there remain many matters of the heart that have not yet found their way on to screens.
That’s particularly the case when it comes to Indigiqueer tales, which have been rendered almost completely invisible in mainstream media – and a new Vancouver-shot series hopes to change that.
Querencia, an eight-episode coming-of-age web series by writer/director Mary Galloway, chronicles the blossoming of a romance between two young Indigenous women who attempt to bridge the gap between their differing cultural backgrounds and the complexities of their identities.
The traditional, shy, and closeted Daka, played by Kaitlyn Yott (Charmed), has left home for the first time and moved to Vancouver. In the city, she pursues her dreams of becoming a professional dancer where she has to audition against stiff competition.
Through a dating app, she winds up meeting the urban and out-and-proud Abe, portrayed by Galloway (whose acting credits include Never Steady, Never Still, Ruthless Souls and Fire Song). Abe, a struggling musician who lacks a connection to her cultural heritage, is ready to leave her past relationship behind as she and Daka, despite their differences, follow the stirrings of their hearts.
Galloway explained in a news release that the idea for this series arose from her own yearning to see Indigiqueer stories on screen.
“Growing up, I had no one who I could look to on-screen that I felt wholly connected to,” she said. “I hope that this show gives our Indigiqueer young adults something to turn to, to connect with, and to feel like they belong.”
Galloway and series producer Jessie Anthony (Brother, I Cry) won the APTN/imagineNATIVE Web Series Pitch Competition in 2019, and also received further funding from the Canadian Film Academy’s Telefilm Talent to Watch to expand the series.
In time for Pride Month, the series launches on June 1 with a free virtual premiere event, hosted by Toronto’s imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival, to be held at 8 pm, featuring live performance by Amanda Theory, Xana and Quanah Style.
In addition, the Querencia team – including Galloway, Yott, Anthony, and APTN online content director Lisa Ducharme – will participate in a live panel discussion.
After the premiere, he series will go live on the APTN lumi site on June 1.
And the series is getting an additional boost from Toronto’s Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, which will provide the first two episodes.
This story originally appeared in the Georgia Straight.