FilmPride is Brighton & Hove Pride’s official queer film festival. It will return in August for its third year. The event was supposed to take place during Pride. With cancellation of the main Brighton Pride event, FilmPride will be online only.
We caught up with Deborah Espect, the festival’s Artistic Director, to find out more.
What inspired you to start FilmPride?
I created FilmPride with Bill Smith, who runs Latest TV (Brighton’s local TV channel), 3 years ago. I’d just done a series of TV shows on Latest TV where I’d introduced LGBTQ+ short films, documentaries and animations, and I realised that, as far as I knew, we didn’t have a queer film festival in Brighton. So I talked to Bill about it and it turned out that he’d also started thinking about this!
We joined forces, and FilmPride was born. We agreed that, as well as delivering live events, it would be great to run part of the festival on TV, to offer filmmakers the chance to have their work broadcast on our local channel. This makes us very different from other film festivals, and FilmPride has actually been screened on different channels in the country! This year, we’re really excited to have Northern Visions in Belfast, Sheffield Live! in Sheffield and KMTV in Kent as our TV partners again.
Give us some of the highlights of this year’s festival.
There are over 70 films, from many different parts of the world, about so many different topics, so there will definitely be something for everyone! The common denominator is that they are all high-quality films. We have beautiful animations, hard-hitting documentaries and very moving dramas. As well as some very light-hearted content, too! We’ve also interviewed filmmakers about their experiences of making their films, and about what it’s like to be queer where they are based, so this will be a very interesting opportunity for our audiences to find out more about the people behind the films they watched in the festival.
Has lockdown affected FilmPride?
We were really hoping to deliver live events this year, like in our first year, but unfortunately, we didn’t feel that it was safe enough yet. There’s nothing like sitting in a room with people and sharing the experience of watching films together, and being able to talk about them afterwards! But being online is allowing us to reach out to a much wider audience, all over the world, and it’s also given us the opportunity to interview filmmakers who wouldn’t have been able to make a physical Q&A. We’re still hoping to be able to host live events in the next few months, though!
How can people get involved and support FilmPride?
The best way to support us is to sign up on our website (filmpride.org) and watch our films! And then to check out all the Q&As with the filmmakers. And to talk about us on social media (and everywhere else!). As we are a volunteer-run festival with no funding, word-of-mouth is the best way to help us.
How did you select the judges?
I have always admired Peter Tatchell and he was a great supporter of FilmPride when we launched in 2019, so I thought about him straight away for our Documentary section. It’s a real honour to have him on board.
Sophia Blackwell is a fantastic poet and I have known her for over a decade; her own writing is beautiful and I thought she would be an excellent Drama judge. Miss Hope Springs, who will be judging the Comedy section, is a multi-award-winning variety entertainer, impersonated by the lovely Ty Jeffries. Ty was a recommendation from Bill and I’m so glad he introduced us!
Lucy Irving, who is judging Animations, is a very talented Brighton-based animator and published illustrator. Again, I’ve known Lucy for years and she was my obvious choice for this category. Basically, FilmPride is a big family of very talented creatives, and we can’t wait to welcome you all in our festival this year!
The FilmPride TV festival will run from 2nd August to 15th August at 9pm on Latest TV, Brighton (Freeview 7 & Virgin 159) and online from 16th to 31st August, www.filmpride.org