On Friday 1st July 2016, Queer Media UK ran a one day workshop at the University of Salford in Media City. The workshop was aimed at young people aged 18-25 and focused on highlighting the different approaches to LGBT film programming, the challenges involved and to discuss what would and would not get programmed.
One young programmer from the Adventures in Alternative Cinema Group in Wem attended the workshop and below is her account of the day:
On Friday 1st of July I took the train up to Manchester to attend the Queer Media Film Programmers Workshop in Media City UK. The workshop was aimed at young programmers aged 18-25. The day involved a number of speakers from various festivals who spoke to us about different elements to consider when programming for a queer film festival.
I was the first out of the group to arrive and was welcomed by the wonderfully chirpy Jana Kennedy. After some ice breaking activities the day kicked off with two speakers, Michael Blyth and Jay Bernard, from the BFI Flare Film Festival. After lunch we were joined over Skype by Dagmar Brunow from the Teddy Award in Berlin who spoke alongside Berwyn Rowlands from the Iris Prize in Cardiff.
While many subjects were covered the most prominent subject was inclusivity. We discussed how important it was in an LGBT+ for everyone to feel represented and welcome; all genders, sexualities, nationalities etc. We also discussed that as with all film festivals programmers should make sure their films are diverse in narrative, genre, style, budget and establishment of talent. Sometimes you have to sacrifice higher quality films to include work by up and coming film makers whose film may be telling a story which is rarely told. As programmers we have the ability provide a platform for these films and should use it.
Overall it was an amazing, thought provoking experience that has allowed me to network with a number of like minded individuals. Going forward I now have the chance to input into the programming of Queer Media Festival events and develop my experience further. I cannot give enough thanks to the organiser Jamie of QMF and assistant Jana for this fabulous workshop.
Queer Media UK celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) stories through all mediums with an annual festival held in Manchester and events throughout the year, with in-conversations, films, performances and workshops.