>With news that Basil Tsiokos, long-time artistic director of NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival, had recently stepped down from his post, we had more of that earth-shifting-beneath-us sense that the film festival world is truly changing.
But even as he underscores the pressing festival financial realities that are only worsening in today’s economic climate, writing in an indieWIRE piece, FIRST PERSON | Basil Tsiokos: The Challenging State of Film Fests Today, he also offers some profound reminders of what draws many of us to this endeavor in the first place:
…the suggestion has grown that LGBT festivals have become increasingly irrelevant, especially in major metropolitan centers with large LGBT communities. What this ignores is that identity based niche fests serve a need beyond simply showcasing what used to be called “positive images.” Certainly, there are more LGBT images readily available in 2008 than there were when NewFest was founded in 1988 – but even then, when audiences were starved for representation, NewFest served another, more critical function: providing a communal public social setting where LGBT individuals could celebrate or debate LGBT films together with other LGBT audience members.
Substitute “kink” or “sex-positive” for LGBT and you not only get to the core of CineKink but, moving beyond mission statements, you land upon the aspect that energizes and inspires us to keep it growing. It’s an amazing thrill to bring CineKink’s films and filmmakers together with our audiences, to feel the buzz of “like-mindedness” as they experience a work together–or to speak with a director right after she’s had her work screened to a crowd that so apparently gets it.
We’ll keep those moments in mind over the next several months of preparing for the next CineKink NYC, most especially while keeping an eye on the budget and taking on the anxious task of drumming up financial wherewithals.
And we’ll wish Basil the very best of luck in his next adventures.
(via Film Festival Secrets)