LGBT film festival

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Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco

An LGBT film festival or queer film festival is a specialized film festival that has an LGBT focus in its selection of films. Queer film festivals often screen films that would struggle to find a mainstream audience and are often activist spaces for awareness-raising around LGBT rights as well as for community building among queer communities.

The first queer film festivals were organized in the US as part of the awakening LGBT movement in the United States in the 1970s. The longest-running film festival with an LGBT focus is the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, which is held since 1977.[1] Until the 1990s, queer film festivals were mostly informal screenings in Western countries. In the 1990s, NGOs were founded around queer film festivals and some festivals became commercialized. Also new markets, especially East Asia and Eastern Europe, started to emerge.[2]

LGBT film festivals use different labels to promote their focus on LGBT topics, for instance "gay and lesbian" (such as the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival), "queer", "rainbow" (such as the Rainbow Reel Tokyo), "LGBT" or another variation of the acronym. Or they might use no label in their name at all (such as the MIX NYC).[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Loist, Skadi (2016). "Crossover Dreams: Global Circulation of Queer Film on the Film Festival Circuits". Diogenes: 1–16. doi:10.1177/0392192115667014.
  2. ^ Richards (2016), p. 8.
  3. ^ Richards, Stuart James (2016). The Queer Film Festival. Popcorn and Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 5. ISBN 978-1-137-59034-3.