Hampton Roads will have a new Pride month event to add to the calendar in June 2023 when the first-ever Virginia Queer Film Festival will be held on the campus at Old Dominion University June 14-16. The Festival is designed to connect audiences with original films by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people and their families, and provide a forum for LGBTQ+ filmmakers to share and discuss their work.
Submissions from filmmakers are now being accepted at www.vaqff.org.
The festival will kick off on Wednesday night, June 14, with an opening reception. Screenings will take place on June 15 and 16 at the University Theater and the Yetiv Theater on the campus of ODU. The Awards ceremony will be held Friday night at University Theater.
“This is the first film festival of its kind in Virginia and one of only a handful of LGBTQ film festivals in the South,” said Festival board member Eric Hause. “It’s our hope and mission to educate, entertain, and build deeper acceptance and understanding of the Southern queer experience. While we accept submissions from all filmmakers, we’re putting the focus on Virginia and Southern voices.”
In addition to education, the Festival is also implementing a Give Back Volunteer Program. Local LGBTQ+ service organizations can solicit volunteers to work one or more of the Festival screenings. The Festival will then donate a percentage of the proceeds from those screenings back to the organization.
The Virginia Queer Film Festival is a registered nonprofit Virginia corporation. The Board of Directors is comprised of seven individuals from the local LGBTQ and allied, and academic communities: Dr. Charles Ford from NSU; Andrew Garber; ODU LGBTQIA+ Initiatives; Eric Hause, OutWire757; Tanya Kaish Keller, Me Jane PR and Comms; Ron Newman, retired Film and Theatre Educator; David Nygaard, David Nygaard Jewelers; and Priya Vashist, MFA, ODU Department of Communication and Theatre Arts.
Download the Festival prospectus and sponsorship opportunities here.