Out+About: qFLIX comes to Worcester as our first LGBTQ+ film festival

We know Worcester is the cradle of inventions and is a creative place, so it makes sense to have a film festival here. The executive director of qFLIX chose Worcester as the festival’s second site for many reasons, but one of those reasons is inclusion. He said that the 100 percent rating for the Municipal Equality Index was one of the criteria to expand the qFLIX film fest.

I’m proud to say that I had a hand in changing that rating. When Ed Augustus was first hired as city manager in 2013, I approached him to help improve the rating, but he insisted on bringing the score up to 100 in one year. He worked with the mayor and city council, as well as the Commission for Human Rights, to make it happen. It is impressive that this continues to pay dividends, thanks to the hard work of city officials who literally had to change the rules to make sure the city rules matched the inclusive attitude that already existed.

James Duggan, president of qFLIX USA (a 501c3 nonprofit), said that he had friends in the area, and naturally, they reached out to Worcester Pride. At the Pride Farewell February event, he said, “We are pleased and proud to announce the launch of qFLIX Worcester: Central New England’s LGBTQ Film Festival, a four-day event, Sept. 14-17, 2017, that will take place at the historic Hanover Theatre in the heart of the region’s growing arts and cultural community.”

Duggan said that diversity was integral to the operation and is in the mission statement. That is another reason for choosing Worcester – its diversity! At Pride, Duggan said he was impressed with the range of ages and the visual diversity at our Pride events.

Worcester Pride’s own film enthusiast, Robert Allen, has joined the selection committee to ensure local integration. Duggan said that one of the ways the festival organizers focus on diversity is to be sure that the selection committee had representation from the LGBTQ spectrum, as well as gender and ethnic diversity. He said that when you have diverse voices at the table, the films have more depth and breadth than a typical film festival.

I couldn’t be more proud of Worcester as the home of the qFLIX film fest. I am an artist and have made a few films, so I am only sad this opportunity didn’t come along sooner!

“Having looked at many cities and opportunities, we selected Worcester as the best city in which to expand due to its central location in New England and its impressive demographic reach,” Duggan said. QFLIX Worcester presents our film festival for, by and about our community to help insure that our stories continue to be told in safe, welcoming and affirming spaces.

Find out more qflixworcester.com and on Facebook at qFLIXworcester.

As always, email me to let me know about the events that are important to you at John@JohnArt.com.

Here is a sampling of the exciting films:

Something Like Summer (2017) | 1h 55min | Drama, Musical, Romance | USA | Director: David Berry

Search Engines (2016) | 1h 38min | Comedy, Drama, Family | USA | Director: Russell Brown

The Pass (2016) | 1h 28min | Drama |UK | Director: Ben A. Williams

John Trobaugh