Thank you so much to every single one of you for making 2019 awesome! I mean it, LesFlicks could not be the success that it is without every single one of you.
I (Naomi, founder) took the idea of a film website to BFI Flare in March to see what filmmakers and film lovers alike thought of a dedicated space to promote lesbian film. The idea was borne out of 2 key events that highlighted the need for a central space to promote this genre of film. I had no intension of launching fully in March, but to take my learnings and to develop a product for launch later in the year… however you all had other ideas!
So what have we achieved in 2019?
When we started in March at BFI Flare we had a bare bones website and a few social media channels. Fast forward 9 months and we’ve got a strong brand and a growing audience!
Our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have all been steadily growing.
In the 9 months we have been running, we have been pretty busy watching films… here are some key numbers:
- Run 5 LesFlicks film clubs curated by LesFlicks in London and Manchester from September
- Run 7 screenings in collaboration with other groups including Queer Cinema Newham, Unicorn Nights and Superbia as well as running the cinema at LFEST lesbian arts festival in Wales
- Run 22 LesFlicks film clubs where we popped up in cinemas to watch lesbian films across London, Manchester and Birmingham
- Run 1 LesFlicks film club where we supported another film club to support Queer Cinema
Through all of the events listed above, in 9 months we have watched 74 lesbian films!
In just 9 months, we have filled 829 seats in screenings in the UK that would otherwise have been empty – this is an amazing step towards proving we are an audience and that we are willing to pay to see lesbian films!
LesFlicks Film Clubs
We starting popping up at cinemas around London, Manchester and Birmingham from April to fill seats in cinemas showing lesbian films, including locations such as BFI Southbank, Genesis, Rio, The Prince Charles Cinema, Cineworld and Curzon. From September we started to curate our own screenings in London and from October we also launched dedicated film clubs in Manchester. We’ve also been collecting information after the film clubs to see how many women knew about the film and the screening. The results are quite different across the three locations!
Increasing access to lesbian films through online streaming
Film Clubs are great, but they can’t be everywhere and there just can’t be enough to support the thousands of films that exist. We want to improve access to lesbian film for film lovers, but also to help creators to get their film easily to their intended audience, and recoup some of the costs of making the film.
We launched LesFlicks Video on Demand because we know the benefit of offering 100% of the content you want. Mainstream platforms offer less than 10% of content with lesbian and bisexual storylines and feedback clearly showed that many women don’t subscribe to these platforms because they don’t offer what you want. Existing LGBT platforms still don’t include much lesbian content, with less than 20% of content on these platforms being for women.
We soft launched in July, and after ironing out all of the kinks, and sorting out international currencies; we started to promote the LesFlicks Video on Demand platform from September this year. We already have 66 items on the platform with a steady stream of new content lined up for the first quarter of 2020.
Proving there is an audience for lesbian films
We’ve been collecting responses to our #WeAreAnAudience survey which aims to provide hard data which can be used in 2 key ways: a) to prove there is an audience for lesbian film, and that there is actually a disconnect between the film and the audience; and b) for filmmakers to be able to include hard data in their funding pitches in the hope that this will help more films get created and potentially with bigger budgets. We’ve highlighted below the key results collected so far.
This survey is always open, so if you want to participate, you can fill it out here: www.lesflicks.com/weareanaudience-survey
As part of our aims to increase the knowledge of lesbian and bisexual films, we have been adding films to the film database as we find them.
This is a slow, ongoing process. We currently have 151 films (a mixture of shorts, features and series) live on the database. However to give you some context as to the size of this project, we’ve identified over 235 feature films alone, so far… and more are being made every day! We also know there will be other, less known films that we won’t have stumbled across yet!
We’re aiming to load at least 5 films every month. If you have some time to spare and know how to use WordPress perhaps you’d like to volunteer to help us?!
So what can you expect in 2020?
Even more lesbian film of course!
With 9 months under our belt we are continuing very much in the same vein. We are looking to collaborate with distributors, film festivals, cinemas and groups to increase the knowledge of, and access to lesbian film.
We already have a number of collaborations and screenings planned for the first quarter of 2020 including:
- Pop up film club to attend Rainbow Umbrella Film Festival in London (9-12 January)
- Curating a short film compilation to be distributed globally by FilmDoo
- Curating a short film compilation to be screened in libraries across the UK in February for LGBT History Month (February)
- Film and Feast event for International Women’s Day (8 March)
- Collaborating with London Independent Film Festival for their lesbian shorts compilation (13-22 March)
- Attending BFI Flare (18-29 March)
- Continuing to run our film clubs every month on the last Sunday in London
- Continuing to expand the LesFlicks Video on Demand platform with more feature films, short film, series and additional content
- Returning to LFEST in July 2020 with an even bigger cinema (24-27 July 2020)
Plus any other opportunities that come up! Want to work with us, please get in touch!