I had the honour of joining Theresa Heath (Wotever Film Festival), Ingo (Wotever World) and Muffin Hix (Fringe! and BFI Flare) to discuss the state of queer women's filmmaking post the seminal Go Fish.
Following a screening which for many was their first experience of it on the big screen, there was a sense of shared appreciation in the collective viewing, laughing together, revisiting the cultural touch points (many of which are as relevant today as they were twenty one years ago) and remembering the experience of watching the film for the first time and what that meant.
What became clear very quickly was the sense of importance of this film that should remain with us. What has happened since to our representation on the big screen? Largely dominated by a trend for appeasing the mainstream pallet (whether through succumbing to the chick lit formula, or content decisions being made by the heteronormative Hollywood male privileged few), a sense of disappointment has pervaded, leaving a disillusioned audience no longer willing to invest on indie LBQ content and leading to a seriously underfunded development of LBQ cinema.
The discussion focused on the socio-political-economic reasons behind this, in particular via the fragmentation of the community and economic disempowerment facing pretty much all content makers where there is no guarantee of a mighty box office return on investment.
The solution: to continue to make good quality content, to find ways to communicate to our audiences about the importance of authentic, represenative non-mainstreamed content, and to find spaces to bring the two together.
Sound familar, film makers of twenty one years ago?