Pulling Focus: Spotlighting Queer Cinematographers | Featuring Barbie Leung

Pulling Focus: Spotlighting Queer Cinematographers | Featuring Barbie Leung

In Pulling Focus, the OutMuseum showcases the queer gaze and the talented queer cinematographers whose visionary eyes bring it to life onscreen. Sculpting light and shadow into compositions that evoke distinct worlds and powerful feelings, their lenses guide audiences through story while crafting the indelible images that play over and over in your head long after the credits roll. Featuring mini-retrospectives of their short form work alongside a unique Q&A moderated by a director with whom they've collaborated, we aim to highlight different queer cinematographers and their incredible contributions to building the visual language of LGBTQ+ cinema.

Our second cinematographer honored in the exhibit is the exceptional Barbie Leung whose dark and lyrical style distinguishes her vision across genres, collaborators, and formats. She is the recipient of the American Society of Cinematographers Vision Mentorship Program, in addition to being awarded a spot at the AFI Conservatory's CIW Workshop. Her work has screened at festivals such as Outfest Los Angeles, AFI Docs, Frameline, Tribeca, and South by Southwest. In this collection, we spotlight three films from Leung's filmography that individually demonstrate her facility towards accentuating character and relationships within their environments, and collectively show her range as a cinematographer: a warm family drama in Tell-By Date (2019), a haunting psychological thriller in Disforia (2018), and a one-of-a-kind kinky fantasia in Be Right Back (2016). Director Hilda Schmelling (Be Right Back) sits down with Leung to discuss her career and image-making, working in the industry as a queer woman of color, and her advice for how to break into and stay in the business.

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Pulling Focus: Spotlighting Queer Cinematographers | Featuring Barbie Leung
  • Pulling Focus: In Conversation with Barbie Leung and Hilda Schmelling

    In this conversation between friends and creative collaborators on the short film Be Right Back, cinematographer Barbie Leung and director Hilda Schmelling discuss her career and image-making, working in the industry as a queer woman of color, and her advice for how to break into and stay in the ...

  • Disforia

    A young, gender-queer person comes home for Christmas to find his family has left, and the house has been sold. As he makes his way through the empty house, he is confronted with the haunting visions of another reality – perhaps his family would still be there, if he had come home as the “Jane” t...

  • Tell-by Date

    Ryan loves being a dad more than anything, but has never told his son that he’s transgender and not his biological father. As another Father’s Day passes, Ryan imposes a deadline or a ‘Tell-by Date,' but it’s easier set than done!

  • Be Right Back

    A bored shopkeeper casts her colorful customers in a series of escalating fantasies, until she can't take anymore.