Five things all queer audiences and queer filmmakers need to do now!
1. Go to the cinema
We watch movies on our phones, laptops and tablets. But the people who finance movies seem to be old skool and prefer the “kerching” of box office takings at the cinema, rather than clicks on VOD. So even though we are watching more LGBT films than ever, film financiers think “there is no audience for LGBT film” and then are reluctant to finance LGBT film. So show them you care by going to see LGBT indie films that come to a cinema near you. Demand to see that indiefilm you loved at the LGBT film festival that does not have or A list actors or megabucks marketing/finance. We get the LGBT cinema we deserve, and that applies to us if we continue to rush to watch what we are dished out by mainstream Hollywood moguls, who continue to misrepresent our lives.
2. On social media talk up the films you saw and the films you missed but want to see
We all talk about mainstream films on social media. By doing this we help market Hollywood films by making them them trend and go viral. We do this by debating about representation, whether it’s the issue of trans characters played by trans actors, or whitewashing of certain stories. There are LGBT filmmakers who work hard to use trans actors, or to tell stories from a QPOC (queer people of color) perspective. Share their work instead. The more we share links and chat about these films, the more of an audience they get, and the more we show it can be possible to think about LGBT representation in a different way. If we act like we don’t care about films our own LGBT “community” is making, why do we expect those audiences who are not LGBT to care?
How cool to be able to click and have everything we want at our fingertips. Just a few search terms that represent our interests and passions can open up a world of films to us. Due to the accessibility of digital technology many people who previously couldn’t afford to make movies, now have affordable tools at their fingertips. As a result we now have many films dealing with diverse subjects about global LGBT lives. So Google, or as Google wanted us to say quite clunkily – “perform a Google search” and find those films.
4. Support LGBT crowdfunding efforts
Even low- to no-budget films need some cash: films need money to shoot, or to finish to a good standard. Search on crowdfunded sites to support a film that grabs your interest. If you cannot donate money, find other ways to support the film. Share the link to personal networks via social media, email or word of mouth. We can help set queer film culture alight by just a click or a small amount of cash.
5. Watch films outside of your own identity
Go watch an LGBT movie that is not about your own identity. Cisgender LGB people watch and support transgender stories. Gay men watch stories by and about lesbians. Gay people watch bisexual stories on film. White people watch films by QPOC (Queer people of Color). It is exciting and invigorating to see the differences in our lives but also the similarities. Be inspired by lives lived that are not our own.
// Campbell X