LESFLICKS AIMS TO PROVIDE A PLATFORM TO HELP LBQ FANS AND CONTENT CREATORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD COME TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY IN SUPPORT OF EACH OTHER
Lesflicks launched in March 2019 because we were tired of seeing so many great films with lesbian and bisexual storylines struggling to obtain funding, get distribution, or even with distribution just weren’t reaching their audience. The film industry claims that there isn’t an audience for LBQ content making it tough for filmmakers to be heard and for content to be created. At the same time, we would see womxn everywhere yearning for more content and representation, asking for recommendations of where to find films and what to watch. The disconnect was clear; this community does have a voice and we do want to be heard and seen, so we at Lesflicks vowed to help both the fans and the creators achieve this together.
WHAT DO WE DO?
Video on demand (VOD): we have 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. We also provide filmmakers with core data around number of subscribers and number of hours watched to empower filmmakers to get funding and prove that there is an audience for their content! https://www.lesflicks.com/watch/
Film database: we have built and are constantly adding to a database of all existing lesbian and bisexual films to provide our community with an easy way to find and access new films to watch. Even if we cannot showcase all these films on our VOD due to distributing rights, we believe in promoting all films that show positive lesbian or bisexual representation as well as sharing with you how they can be watched legally so that we may support the filmmakers and each other in making sure this content does reach its intended audience through the correct channels. https://www.lesflicks.com/films/
Film clubs and screenings: we have a growing number of film clubs across the UK providing regular social events for women to get together and share their love of films. When a lesbian film gets a cinema release we hold events to see and support these films. By doing this we fill seats and dispel the myth that tickets don’t sell and that there isn’t an audience for these films. https://www.lesflicks.com/events/lesflicks-film-clubs/
Film screenings: we collaborate 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 (work in progress): We will be building a private space for new and independent filmmakers to share real experiences, and to find crew for projects so that we can help each other create more content for our community. https://www.lesflicks.com/industry-portal/
WHO ARE WE?
We’re a community organisation that is volunteer-driven. Our team consists of kind-hearted lesbian, bisexual and queer womxn who dedicate time in their lives to help this community come together so that we may elevate each other’s voices and encourage positive LBQ representation. Also, the more subscribers we have, the more money is reinvested back into making yet more lesbian and bisexual content which we all want and love! #WeAreAnAudience
Can you help us?
Our vision is bold and there is much to do; if you share our passion for getting more LBQ content the recognition it deserves, helping fans understand the importance of supporting filmmakers and not illegally viewing films, as well as bringing our community together with our Film Clubs and other events, get in touch with us! We are always looking for more like-minded people to volunteer, if you think you can help please submit your interest here: https://www.lesflicks.com/about/join-the-team/
Or if you are able to donate towards our running costs of Lesflicks we promise to put your generosity to good use! Help us support you and achieve great things for our community by donating whatever you can. Every little bit helps. Thanks!
THE HISTORY BEHIND LESFLICKS
The founder of Lesflicks, Naomi Bennett, previously ran a lesbian lifestyle website, Planet Nation, and thus 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 there was a disconnect between filmmakers so that mistakes were being made with regards to marketing and distribution decisions that could have been prevented had there been better sharing of knowledge and experiences within the creative community.
After a number of great conversations with filmmakers and industry professionals over the years, Naomi decided to forge ahead to bridge this gap in the industry between filmmakers and their audience. In February 2019 she started working on Lesflicks as a brand and a website. In March 2019 it was launched and by September 2019 the Lesflicks Video on Demand (VOD) platform was up and running!
Achievements to date
- Launched website 1 March 2019
- Published over 100 articles and film database entries in the first 30 days
- 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. A new team of volunteers was created and within 7 days of UK lockdown, 30 events over 30 days were programmed.
- 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
- Took our film festival online for the first time.
- Released AESOP on the platform exclusively worldwide
- By the end of October 2020, Lesflicks VOD Platform offers 58 short films, 8 web series, and 17 feature films with a pipeline of 4 feature films and a number of short films
- Started working adding subtitles in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian
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!