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Lesbian and Gay film festival: when will LGBT film-making go mainstream?

by Julie Bindel.

Tonight (March 23) sees the opening of the 26th Lesbian and Gay film festival at the BFI in London, making it one of the longest-running gay-focused events in the UK. I recall being there in 1988. As a young lesbian from the sticks I was bowled over by its sophistication, but could not for the life of me understand much of what appeared on the screen.

All I can remember is being surprised at glimpses of sex and genitalia and confused about the artsy focus. Today it is more mainstream, and definitely more accessible with its feature-length dramas and political (rather than avant garde) documentaries about serious issues around the world, but it remains a niche interest within the film festival circuit.

The programme reflects that in many ways Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) film-making has certainly come of age. In the festival’s early days the films tended to be either shorts, experimental art-house, or documentaries. Any full-length feature was almost guaranteed to be very low budget, and few were from outside of Europe or the US. Earlier programming reflected a minority culture and the film-makers were largely working in the independent low-budget sector.

Read the rest of this article from The Guardian.

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