Lesflicks aims to provide a platform to build a diverse community of LBQ fans and content creators from around the world.
Lesflicks promotes films that show women loving women on screen; have a central lesbian or bisexual storyline; or which have a strong lesbian or bisexual presence which shows these women in a positive light.
We launched on 1 March 2019 because we were tired of seeing so many great films with lesbian and bisexual storylines that either weren’t getting distribution, or even with distribution just weren’t reaching their audience. Equally we constantly see women on social media asking for recommendations of where to find films and what to watch. Yet the clear message from the industry is that there isn’t an audience and filmmakers can’t get funding to make these films. The disconnect was clear! The solution is here.
What do we do?
Video on demand: we have launched a dedicated video on demand channel, showing 100% short and feature films with a lesbian or bisexual storyline. Subscriptions are reinvested directly back to filmmakers so by subscribing you get to watch relevant content and also help make future film. As well as royalties for views on the video on demand platform; we will be providing filmmakers with the core data around the number of subscribers and the number of hours of content watched. This is to empower queer female filmmakers to get funding and prove that there is an audience for their content! https://www.lesflicks.com/watch/
Film database: we are building a database of all existing lesbian films. An easy way to look through and find new films to watch. Films are listed in order of release date. https://www.lesflicks.com/films/
IRL Film clubs: we have a growing number of film clubs across the UK providing a monthly cinema social for women to get together and share their love of films. Whenever a lesbian film gets a cinema release we do additional pop up clubs to see these films. By doing this we fill seats and dispel the myth that tickets don’t sell and there isn’t an audience for these films. https://www.lesflicks.com/events/lesflicks-film-clubs/
Film screenings: we are collaborating with various organisations to put on film screenings. We’ve already supported several screenings since March 2019, with Unicorn Nights (But I’m a Cheerleader) and International Lesbians Meetup group (Tell it to the Bees) and hosted film screenings at Pride in London and at Manchester Pride in August (JT LeRoy) and we’re talking to filmmakers about other opportunities to get their films onto the big screen. https://www.lesflicks.com/events/
Data collection: through our We Are An Audience survey and our Lesflicks Film Club feedback forms we are building a picture of how LBQ women find out about and access lesbian and bisexual themed films. We aim to produce data and highlight trends that dispel the myth that there is no audience for lesbian films, and to instead highlight the gaps and possible changes to the current distribution model to increase viewers of these films both in cinemas and also through digital channels. https://www.lesflicks.com/weareanaudience-survey/
Filmmaker portal: a private space for new and independent filmmakers to share real experiences, and to find crew for projects. https://www.lesflicks.com/industry-portal/
There is so much more to do! Love film, we’re looking for volunteers so get in touch to see how you could help. https://www.lesflicks.com/about/join-the-team/
- We are committed to supporting independent filmmakers to get their film to their audience.
- We are committed to helping lesbian and bisexual women to find films of interest to them.
- We are committed to helping ensure that filmmakers see returns on their huge investment directly to help them to make more content.
- We are committed to educating on the distribution and cost of filmmaking to help viewers understand the importance of paying a filmmaker directly and not illegally downloading or sharing films.
The history behind Lesflicks
The founder of Lesflicks, Naomi Bennett, started out running lesbian lifestyle website, Planet Nation, and as part of the lifestyle articles was a frequent attendee at LGBT film festivals and spoke with many independent female filmmakers.
She was increasingly frustrated and surprised at how many films were being made but not getting distribution, and ultimately not reaching their audience (who were at the same time begging for more films to watch!). It was also clear that many new filmmakers were not accessing knowledge and experiences of those who came before them so mistakes were being made, and decisions taken without knowledge of the full range of options when it came to marketing and distribution.
After sitting on the broad idea for a couple of years, the timing seemed right to try to fix the gap. A number of great conversations with filmmakers, industry professionals from VOD platforms, and some general enquiries with women who were talking about film online gave her the energy and enthusiasm to give the idea further thought.
A few weeks later, in February 2019 she bit the bullet and started working on a brand and a website. On 1 March 2019 she launched and hasn’t looked back!
Achievements to date
- Launched 1 March 2019
- Published over 100 articles and film listings in the first 30 days of existence
- Launched the Lesflicks Film Club in London
- Launched the Lesflicks Film Club in Manchester
- Launched the Lesflicks Film Club in Birmingham
- Hosted 4 film clubs across London, Manchester and Birmingham to see lesbian independent film Booksmart (over 50 women across the four events)
- Supported a female-only preview screening of Tell it to the Bees with International Lesbians Meetup
- Helped a magic circle law firm obtain the rights to screen Rafiki as part of their diversity group
- Supported a screening of But I’m a Cheerleader at the Prince Charles Cinema with Unicorn Nights on 2 July
- Hosted a rooftop cinema at a lesbian club night for Pride in London
- Curated and hosted the cinema at LFEST, showing 20 films over 3 days
- Launched the first lesbian video on demand platform in Europe
- Launched a dedicated monthly film club in South East London curated by Lesflicks
- In the first 9 months we participated in 34 events; supported 74 films and filled 830 seats in screenings around the UK
- In 3 months the platform had grown to host 7 feature films, 21 short films and 2 web series
- Secured our first major release on the VOD platform – Rafiki (UK only)
- In the first 9 weeks of 2020, Lesflicks hosted 10 film clubs supporting cinemas showing lesbian films
- The UK lockdown created a significant increase in subscribers and viewers and content curation was sped up
- Obtained distribution rights to disribute More Beautiful for Having Been Broken on DVD in the UK and Europe and on VOD Worldwide – our first new release
- The VOD Platform continud to grow with content including: 37 short films, 5 web series, 12 feature films – and a pipeline of 5 feature films, 7 short films and 1 series confirmed for later in 2020
Join the team!
Want to be part of this revolution to get more content with a lesbian and bisexual theme to an audience? Passionate about film? Get in touch!