Fringe! London's Queer Film and Arts Festival

The definitive celebration of queer arts




Since 2011, Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Festival has been an entirely volunteer-run organisation rooted in London’s queer creative scene. Taking place in a range of venues across east London in November every year, the festival aims to showcase an eclectic mix of films, art and performance celebrating LGBTIQA+ stories from around the world. 


The festival began as a community response to cuts within the arts sector. Staying true to this original ethos, many of the screenings and events are free or affordable.



At this year’s festival, viewers are encouraged to look back with a focus on documentary filmmaker, Catherine Gund, who is in town for the duration of this special event.


Her short documentaries first chronicled activist movements over the past decades and provide an archive of some of the trailblazing queer people protesting, cruising, loving and pushing the boundaries. Her more recent doc-biopic traces the later life of Mexican ranchera legend Chavela Vargas. Known for scandalising Mexico throughout the 20th century by singing, smoking, gambling and loving “like a man”, Chavela chronicles Gund’s discovery of this infamous singer prior to her death in 2012.


A similar glance to the past reveals three rare 16mm experimental dramas from lesbian feminist filmmaker Jacqui Duckworth, screening in collaboration with feminist curatorial collective Club des Femmes and Felicity Sparrow. An Invitation to Jacqui D offers a selection of Duckworth’s films which were unprecedented in their unflinching representation and exploration of a newly visible lesbian feminist identity to emerge during 1980s London. 




The festival line-up also includes numerous works from fantastic queer women in cinema, such as DES!RE by Campbell X, Paula Durette’s hilarious early-internet cartoon about mating habits, Nesting Season, Krissy Mahan’s class analysis of Carol using Fisher Price models and Carrie Hawks’ animation Black Enuf. 


With so many female directors and artists breaking taboos and reclaiming histories in queer cinema, Fringe! programmers have heralded 2017 The Year of the Lesbian Filmmaker. The festival begins this evening with opening film Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story and runs until 19 November.


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