8 Must-See LGBTQ Film Festivals This Summer

8 Must-See LGBTQ Film Festivals This Summer

All summer long enjoy LGBTQ+ film festivals around the world to see the best works of queer filmmakers, actors, and more. Here’s where you can enjoy the art of queer film this summer. 


OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival 

Durham, NC (August 10-13, 2023)

This festival is the second largest LGBTQ+ film festival in the Southeast that brings thousands of filmmakers and patrons to Durham every summer. The festival is produced by the Carolina Theatre, the city’s cinema complex and screens films in various categories including documentaries, feature films and shorts. 

CinemaQ Festival 

Denver, CO (August 10-13, 2023)

CinemaQ is Denver’s only LGBTQ+ film festival hosted by Denver Film who have been working for the past 15 years to compile films representing and created by queer communities to display at the festival every summer. The festival seeks to elevate and amplify LGBTQ+ voices while giving the community a place to come together and appreciate the art of film. Get an all access pass here.

Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival

Honolulu, Hawaii (September 8-10, 2023)

This queer film festival will present screenings of LGBTQ+ centered films at the Doris Duke Theater, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and will also provide access to a collection of films online that can be viewed September 11 – 18 after the festival ends. This event is hosted by the Honolulu Gay and Lesbian Cultural Foundation which was found in 1997 to educate and raise awareness about the LGBTQ+ community in Hawaii.

Vancouver Queer Film Festival

Vancouver, Canada (August 10-20, 2023)

The Vancouver Queer Film Festival (VQFF) can be attended both in-person and online throughout British Columbia. For its 35th year, the festival returns with “outstanding cinema, live performances, community-building events, and great parties, all in the environment of beautiful mountain and ocean views.” The festival seeks to bring it’s audience films with strong narratives centered around 2SLGBTQIA+ protagonists, and every year honors one storyteller with The Narrative Change Award. 

EU & U.K. 

GAZE International LGBTIA+ Film Festival 

Dublin, Ireland (August 3-7, 2023)

Dublin’s queer film festival includes documentary and feature films like Kokomo City, Three Nights a Week, and Barrio Boy along with short films and special events through the 4 day event. The fest will be handing out awards for Best Irish Short Film, Best International Short Film, and Best Documentary. This festival also holds additional programming and events throughout the year to continue to support filmmakers and creators in the LGBTQ+ community.

Queer Lisboa  

Lisbon, Portugal (September 22-30, 2023)

This film festival is the only festival in Portugal to screen films that center LGBTQ+ narratives, and since its conception in 2015, the Queer Lisboa team has extended its program to to another major Portuguese city, Porto. This year, Queer Lisboa takes place in late September, just coming off the high tourist season, and will feature films like Arrête avec tes mensonges based on the book by Philippe Besson, who will be in attendance at the festival to engage in a conversation about the novel and film. 

MiX International LGBTQ+ Film Festival

Milan, Italy (September 28 – October 1, 2023)

This celebration of queer film in Italy has been running for 37 years and takes place in the beautiful Piccolo Teatro Strehler and Teatro Studio Melato. Each year, MiX gives out awards for best feature, short, documentary and European LGBTQ+ films. MiX seeks to bring the best of independent queer film to Europe with a “multidisciplinary approach that touches on all aspects of  queer culture, from dance to music, from books to theater and much more.” 


The B’Lore Queer Film Festival

Bangalore, India (July 22-24, 2023)

The Bangalore Queer Film Festival (BQFF) has been bringing LGBTQ+ film to this South Indian city since 2009. Here there is a strong focus on not only films that depict queer stories and are made by queer filmmakers, but also films that were produced in non-Western locations. Throughout the year, BQFF hosts photography and art exhibitions, drag shows, dance, and theatrical performances by queer artists.

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