Fringe event boosts slashed London gay film festival

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London’s annual Lesbian and Gay Film Festival may have been cut down to just a week but a community effort will see a fringe event following the main festival.

Due to cutbacks for arts funding, the British Film Institute has slashed next month’s festival down to six days, instead of its usual 14.

The festival’s supporters fear that the event may be cut completely and are petitioning the BFI to save it.

The cuts mean that the festival will show a reduced programme of events, despite celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

However, a group of artists and creatives plan to hold a four-day fringe festival in east London to follow the end of the usual festival on April 6th.

Titled ‘Fringe! the London gay film fest’, the event will include parties, special screenings, talks and performances.

Twelve films will be shown across four locations, including the Rio Cinema in Dalston, the Aubin Cinema and the George & Dragon.

Alex Karotsch, the festival’s producer and promoter of clubs Dirtbox, Dick & Fanny and Kimono Krush, said: “It’s a grassroots, not-for-profit festival for people who like gays and films.

“We’ll be showing crowd-pleasing classics along with new stuff, talks and performance. There’s also loads of quirky and exciting parties open to everyone during the four days of the festival.”

Anna Leach, the festival’s publicist and editor of lesbian website The Most Cake, added: “We were gutted to hear that the BFI festival had been cut in half and wanted to keep the spirit alive despite the cuts. After a random Facebook conversation we decided to pull together this fun weekend of classic gay celluloid romps, new queer films and great social events.’

The Lesbian and Gay Film Festival will be held between March 31st and April 6th. Fringe will be held between April 7th-10th. For more information, see here.