The third annual Queer Media Festival takes place this week at the multi-million pound arts hub HOME.
Founded in 2014 by broadcast journalism student Jamie Starboisky, the Queer Media Festival was inspired by a TEDx talk he attended on storytelling, the contents of which has become the “bedrock mantra” of the Festival.
He says that the aim of the Festival is to celebrate LGBT stories in all forms, encourage more stories to be created and told, and also to contribute to changing the world one story at a time.
This year there is a new addition to the festival in the form of MobDoc, the world’s first LGBT mobile filmmaking workshop. It aims to be an insightful and intensive two days where participants learn the basics of filmmaking with mobile journalist Geertje Algera.
Participants will be encouraged to make a 60 second film in just four days. The films will then premier as part of the Queer Media Festival.
The Festival itself takes place at HOME, an arts venue which opened in spring 2015.
Starboisky says that it “totally fits” with the ethos of the festival and that holding the event at HOME had presented organisers with the opportunity to hold feature film screenings alongside a range of panel discussions with LGBT identified media professionals.
Last year’s panellists included notable LGBT YouTubers Vinny & Luke, but this year there is a decidedly more professional approach, with attendees coming from the BBC and Channel 4.
“Having guests [like these] really highlights how the festival is evolving to represent the variety of areas that you can tell LGBT stories in,” said Starboisky.
“With the event only being one day, we try to make it as diverse as possible to give a flavour of the variety of ways people are telling stories.”
Panellists this year include transgender theatre maker and performer Kate O’Donnell, as well as playwright, performer and poet Cheryl Martin.
In addition, award-winning playwright and producer Shannon Yee will be talking about how she creates work reflecting her life as an immigrant, ethnic minority, and queer artist with a disability.
Starboisky believes that the Festival is not merely a film festival.
“Our aim is to inspire the next generation of LGBT storytellers, and that no matter what age they are they feel welcomed and enjoy the opportunity to network, learn, inspire and create.
“We encourage anyone with an interest in films, media or those who just want a change to hang out and learn something new to come along and dip in and out of any session they want.”
The Queer Media Festival takes place on November 5 at HOME. Tickets are £15 and can be bought from the HOME website. http://homemcr.org/event/queer-media-conference/
More details can be found at www.QueerMedia.org.uk or at the Twitter account @QueerMediaUK