LGBT films have always been an important part of film history and art. It has only been in the last 30 to 40 years that these film festivals have achieved a wider audience and recognition for the contributions of this subset of society.
Here is a list of the top eight queer film festivals in the world chosen for their location and their contribution to the LGBT film world.
Sicilia Queer – Palermo, Italy – In its sixth year, Sicilia Queer is a festival with both feature length and queer shorts. Their film choices celebrate and dramatize the LGBT lifestyle, its triumphs and its pains. Hosted at the Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, this is the premiere event on Sicily and it is one of the rising LGBT film festivals in Europe.
OUTFEST – Los Angeles, USA – If Sicilia Queer is in its infancy, OUTFEST is an established and mainstream event. With sponsors like HBO and Delta Airlines, this is an international event that piggybacks off of the gay culture that has surrounded Hollywood since its earliest days. It’s one of the largest and most famous and watched LGBT festivals in the world.
Rio Gender and Sexuality Festival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – A government sponsored event, RGSF one of the largest LGBT film festivals in South America. Featuring powerful films from throughout the Portuguese and Latin world, it touches on all issues of gender and sexuality, including those that wouldn’t be considered strictly LGBT.
Gaze: International LGBT Film Festival – Dublin, Ireland – Five days of films and shorts, Gaze is an intense tour de force of LGBT films with films running 6 to 8 hours a day for 4 days. With two screens running and some of the most interesting and innovative LGBT from around being shown, Gaze is an amazing forum for Ireland’s LGBT community to show its vital contributions to the arts.
Thessaloniki International LGBTIQ Film Festival – Thessaloniki, Greece – Held in the capital of Greek Macedonia, this festival is in its 18th and is going strong. With 1200 films from 89 countries, this is a massive festival showing brilliant films from around the planet. Their categories include everything, features, shorts, documentaries and narratives.
Quezon City International Pink Film Festival – Quezon City, Philippines – Billed as Asia’s largest queer film festival, this is a five day event that takes place in the most populous city in the Philippines. Dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of gender and sexuality, it’s an event that is as much an activist event as a film festival. 2015 was the festival’s inaugural year and there is no information on the 2016 event; if it happens again, attend the festival to support the LGBT community in Southeast Asia.
Slovak Queer Film Festival – Bratislava, Slovakia – In its ninth year, this event celebrates the film culture of the Slovak LGBT community. With films from all over the world, it’s an international event with a distinctive focus on national and cultural homemade works
The Taiwan International Queer Film Festival – Taipei, Taiwan – Celebrating the LGBT culture in the Chinese speaking world, as well as importing films from the rest of the world, TIQFF is an international film festival. Showing primarily films in Chinese, TIQFF is able to bring forward a genre of film that is powerful, wonderful, and filled with talent, both old and new.
You can watch all LGBT films in our collection by clicking HERE.