A superlatively hip, laid-back, welcoming space... Queer Lounge is a smash hit, backing up its mission to queer filmmakers with fellowship by day and hot-and-cold running queer parties every night.—The Advocate
Queer noun (kwîr) 1) All-inclusive term identifying a lesbian, gay man, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) person; 2) one who is tolerant and open-minded
Lounge noun (lounj) A public room where one can sit or recline comfortably
Queer Lounge... a home away from home
Launched in 2004 during the Sundance Film Festival, Queer Lounge™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) films toward the goal of broad crossover appeal. By hosting a physical venue—"Queer Lounge"—at major, mainstream film festivals where LGBT filmmakers and artists connect with each other and a wide-range of industry leaders and audiences and press, Queer Lounge is a powerful force in shaping the next generation of LGBT film and filmmakers and their ability to change perceptions of LGBT people.
Queer Lounge made its international debut during the Toronto International Film Festival® in September 2006.
In August 2007, Queer Lounge announced it has become a program of GLAAD
- Queer Lounge Provides
- A central hub: The premiere networking venue and meeting place for queer and queer-friendly film professionals at mainstream film festivals, bringing together the world's top film professionals and emerging talent, both queer and straight, towards greater collaboration.
- A one stop info shop: A forum accessible to the public and press, creating awareness of queer-interest festival films through panels, guest-speakers, press conferences, events and a comprehensive LGBT film guide to the festival.
Why Queer Lounge... why now?
In contrast to that brutish who's-who tyranny, for the first-time ever, an enterprising team opened an all-inclusive Queer Lounge for filmmakers and festival-goers...—San Francisco Chronicle
Despite the unprecedented success of queer-content television show such as Queer Eye, The L Word and Will and Grace, this awareness and success has not translated across the board to queer-cinema. One problem is that queer film is often perceived as lacking a universal appeal while having a "narrow appeal." Mainstream audiences steer clear of films whose honest depiction of LGBT lives they feel they cannot identify with. Major studios, production companies and film distributors rarely make films with LGBT-content fearing that the films will lack mainstream crossover and generate little box-office. The result is a vicious cycle: lack of financial resources for LGBT film affects the quantity and quality of these films, limiting them from reaching broad audiences, and the richness, diversity, uniqueness, characters and tone in LGBT films and the lives they portray are often overlooked.
Queer Lounge is a force for change to overcome the stigma that queer film lacks broad appeal. Queer Lounge educates a broad community and provides access to queer-themed and queer-made film while strengthening the core of the LGBT film community and building bridges to the mainstream.
- Queer Lounge: Making a difference through...
- Media awareness: In one year alone, Queer Lounge made over 400 million press impression, inspiring groundbreaking features in major media such as Rolling Stone magazine, Reuters, Hollywood Reporter, Starz/Encore, MTV's LOGO which for the first-time covered a mainstream film festival from an LGBT film perspective.
Queer Lounge's press conferences and advocacy for press screenings supporting LGBT films have resulted in wide-spread media coverage for queer-themed and queer-made features and shorts.
- Education: Queer Lounge's panels have provided emerging LGBT filmmakers with access to and mentorship from some of the industry's most highly-regarded film professional – from directors Gus Van Sant, Maria Maggenti, Don Roos, John Cameron Mitchell to writers Armistead Maupin, Craig Lucas, actors Joan Chen, and documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick, Jennie Livingston, and Freida Lee Mock.
- Networking: Queer Lounge provides exposure for LGBT filmmakers to key industry players who can make a difference in their careers. From finding distribution, financing, collaborators ranging from producers, directors, talent, legal representation, celebrity spokespersons, countless film professionals at all levels have maximized their professional opportunities through networking at the Queer Lounge.
History & Future
Queer Lounge is the brainchild of former feature film executive, Ellen Huang, who was inspired to create Queer Lounge after experiencing the International Pavilions at the Cannes Film Festival. If each country could have a Pavilion dedicated to its films and filmmakers, why not an LGBT-friendly Pavilion? In its inaugural year at Sundance, the Queer Lounge supported over 50 films and 4,000 festival-goers who attended events at the Lounge. In successive years, Queer Lounge has doubled its attendance. In the near-future, Queer Lounge intends to expand its program to other national and international film festivals.