Leading lights from the queer film industry are joining forces to form a new network dedicated to promoting queer cinema all over the UK and Ireland.
Currently, there is no similar organisation within the queer film community and the network’s founding members see it as a unique opportunity to expand the market for queer cinema by developing audiences and increasing screening opportunities for filmmakers.
The launch of the Queer Film Network took place at the BAFTA Bar at the halfway point through Iris Prize Festival 2015, with festival director Berwyn kicking off proceedings.
The network arose from an initial meeting one year ago at the 2014 festival when Film Hub Wales brought together film programmers from across the UK who specialise in LGBTQIA programming.
Since then, the project has attracted support from Film Audience Network (FAN) Hubs nationwide, as well as from queer film festivals and organisations including GAZE Dublin LGBT International Film Festival, Wot Ever DIY Film, Queers in Shorts and many more.
The network’s founding members are from Queer Vision, Bristol Pride’s film festival, Liverpool Pride, Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) and Iris Prize.
Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager for Film Hub Wales said: “The strength of QFN is that it’s mutually supportive and collaborative network. It offers stronger support for LGBTQIA films that might not otherwise reach cinema screens and improves access for audiences”.
Additionally, the network intends to develop relationships with major queer film distributors such as Peccadillo Pictures, TLA Releasing and Wolfe Releasing, to collaborate in creating new touring programmes of films aimed at cultivating and growing audiences.
Iris founder Berwyn said: “The QFN demonsrates what can happen when people and organisations come together to work for a greater aim. I’m thrilled that this initiative came from a small but mighty nation like Wales”.