Interview with Karin Hazé, Founder of 75 SHOTS

The Under The Radar film event takes place from March 29th until April 1st, 2024, and highlights queer BIPOC stories that often get marginalized and underrepresented through film and other multidisciplinary works of art. This hybrid event features voices that speak out against the persecution of LGBTQ+ rights. The goal of the series is to highlight the stories and also support the artists by offering subscriptions to the collection of videos that will go towards 75 SHOTS Pocket Cinema, a non-profit organization dedicated to shutting down hatred and persecution through the power of cinema. Remi Caron Liss spoke to the founder of 75 SHOTS, Karin Hazé, about the event and the importance of filmmaking as a resistance movement. 

Remi Caron: Hello Karin, thank you for the time for the interview today. First off, I wanted to ask you about what are some of the mandates for the 75 Shots organization and how the Under The Radar film festival came to be?

Karin Hazé: Hello, Remi. Thank you for having me. Under the Radar coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the Semaine d'actions contre le racisme. The mission of 75 SHOTS is to mentor LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly from countries where homosexuality is criminalized, in utilizing smartphone cameras to professionally narrate their own stories. Our initiative, The Cinema Feast Collection, serves as a platform for hosting these films online, providing marginalized communities access to quality art that resonates with their experiences.

Under the Radar stems from a childhood aspiration of mine to traverse remote areas and showcase films I've created and love. With the easing of lockdown restrictions and public spaces becoming lively again, the idea emerged to organize impromptu screenings in unconventional locations such as religious sites, government institutions, and deserted public spaces. These pop-up screenings facilitate dialogue between filmmakers and live audiences, fostering exchange and understanding.

Last summer, we were honoured to inaugurate the Pink Bloc’s Brûlances festival, and since then, we've expanded our outreach through additional events featuring discussions, screenings, and practical workshops.

For individuals residing in the 65 countries where homosexuality remains criminalized, accessing alternative media is exceptionally challenging. Our platform fills this void by amplifying silenced voices in a responsible manner, offering genuine avenues for personal and professional growth.

RC: 75 Shots teaches the fundamentals for filmmaking with a smartphone. There are many directors, like Steven Soderbergh, that have harnessed the power of technology to shoot films using a smartphone. How important is this device to filmmaking and leading a voice to not only fictional cinema but documentary as well? Can it be seen as a positive way of modern guerilla filmmaking? 

KH:  Smartphone filmmaking, to me, is undeniably defiant. I once met an artist who, upon arriving in Montreal, was astounded by the treasures he found discarded, particularly bed frames, which he transformed into giant paintings. His resourcefulness inspired me to embrace technology without intimidation. I actually find smaller gauges aesthetically appealing, and the more "imperfect" it is, the more authentic it feels, eradicating any stigma.

About eight years ago, while attending an underground Pride event in Jamaica, I noticed everyone taking selfies with smartphones capable of high-resolution and cinematic frame rates. It was a revelation, realizing the potential this had for someone feeling utterly powerless. It was a game-changer for empowering those feeling utterly powerless.

Yea for sure. All our activities will be available via live streaming and in person. For security reasons, we'll debut our latest production, an anthology film titled "Map Your Love." It comprises four queer love short stories shot across ten countries where homosexuality is criminalized. This exclusive screening will take place at the McCord Stewart Museum for a one-time-only event.

We have a packed schedule. It kicks off with a talk by Melanie Nathan, a human rights lawyer and activist from South Africa who heads the African Human Rights Coalition, aiding queer refugees across Africa. Following that, I'll be conducting a Pocket Cinema crash class. Lily Alexander will delve into her video essays and discuss the accessibility and self-reliance of this art form. Edem Abbeyquaye, a filmmaker from Ghana, will share her research on queer alternative media in Ghana. Leena Manimekalai, an Indian filmmaker recently forced into exile in Canada due to her provocative smartphone film, will speak on participatory filmmaking.

Three weeks ago, eight artists from various countries collaborated on a trans-local film project, which will be revealed during a short film program, titled "Lead from Behind," showcasing defiance in playful ways, on March 31st.  In conjunction, we're co-presenting a short film entitled The Fires Are Outside, a queer religious leader in Namibia speaks about the acceptance he has found within his church, at the Bading Film Festival on March 30th. Coinciding with Resurrection Day and Trans Visibility Day, we'll host a group discussion with our guests about the intersection of art and activism, and how these storytellers serve as frontline defenders.

RC: How can people still continue to support the mandates set forth by 75 SHOTS after the event has ended?

KH: Thank you for asking, as ongoing support is crucial. We have several avenues for involvement. Firstly, we're collecting old devices to send to our mentees, enabling them to continue creating art and advancing their careers. Additionally, you can subscribe to our monthly or yearly plan to access our collection of around 75 titles, with regular additions of rare gems.

For those with time to spare, we welcome volunteers for various tasks such as social media, photography, videography, translators, etc. If you are travelling overseas, we need [help] to safely deliver equipment to our members, providing legal assistance, aiding with courier services, and spreading awareness to influential individuals who can make a difference to vulnerable communities. Furthermore, if you know of interesting venues that could be lent to us for future events, we'd greatly appreciate any tips.

RC: Where can people stream the films?

KH: Films can be streamed at

RC: Thank you so much for your time today Karin.  We normally like to end our interviews with a fun question. What film have you seen recently, new or old, that you feel that everyone should go and see?
KH: Shirley, about the first black woman to run for President in the US. She is famously known for saying: “If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” What a woman. Give thanks, Remi, for the opportunity.


Remi Caron is co-host of At The Movies (With Iconic Sounds), heard every Tuesday Morning from 8-9 AM only on @CJLO1690AM and