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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