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Learn more about Reel Q and the organization bringing LGBTQ+ films and events to Pittsburgh since 1985.
The 2023 Pittsburgh Reel Q Film Festival is back with a lavish slate of features and short programs from all corners of the earth. Mark your calendars: Our cinematic journey launches October 6 and runs through October 15. Around the world in nine days, one story at a time.
Header Photo by Mara Rago for Qburgh
Movie buffs are likely familiar with Pittsburgh’s rich cinematic history, but queer and other marginalized community films often fly under the radar. At Reel Q, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ film festival, we’re trying to change that. Allow us to introduce ourselves, our community, and our favorite films to celebrate Pride.
In just the past few years, Pittsburgh has hosted big name queer movie sets like Happiest Season with Kristen Stewart, Mysteries of Pittsburgh (based on the novel by Michael Chabon), The Perks of Being A Wallflower, and local standouts Rehabilitation of the Hill and Thanks to Her, to name a few. By celebrating global and local LGBTQ+ cinema, Reel Q’s mission is to connect the culture and message of these queer films to our Pittsburgh communities and move queer voices to the fore.
As the longest running film festival in the region, Reel Q has been around for it all. We became festival-official in 1985, and shortly thereafter boasted of our “East Coast” premiere of My Own Private Idaho. In 2012, we changed our name from Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society to Reel Q in an effort to be more inclusive of the full LGBTQIA+ community. Originally conceived as a local space to showcase independent queer cinema that wasn’t readily available to mainstream audiences, Reel Q has remained committed to that mission, but also upped the ante with the diversity of our programming, partners, and, of course, parties (in the pre and post pandemic times).
This October will mark our 38th annual Reel Q film festival, our landmark series of screenings, which is traditionally a 10 day celebration. As the sixth oldest running LGBTQ+ film festival in the world, we are proud of the longevity of the festival and the friendly audience we’ve accrued over the years. The festival is a whirl-windy blast, featuring meet-and-greets with cast members and directors, panel discussions, queer craft markets and, did we mention the parties? This year’s celebration is scheduled for Oct. 6-15, 2023.
In addition to the festival, our programming continues year-round. Catch us at City of Asylum for Reel Stories, a free monthly series dedicated to showcasing international queer cinema, with a focus on marginalized perspectives, which will be available in-person and virtually. For full schedules and to RSVP to upcoming events, be sure to check out the Reel Q website and Facebook page.
It wouldn’t be a true Reel Q elevator pitch if we didn’t mention our youth program, Reel Youth. This arm of Reel Q really shines as in-person events, so we hope to revamp those events soon!
And it wouldn’t be a VisitPITTSBURGH blog post without a list, so check out our top-10 queer films of all time, as told by our friends at QueerPGH.
Hannah W.Visit Website
Hannah Waltz works on the Free Expression Programs team at PEN America, and currently calls Pittsburgh home. A true subscriber to the power of words and stories to promote good change, she's worked at the center of literature and activism at local nonprofits, bookstores and magazines in Pittsburgh, New York, and Indianapolis. She's on the board of ReelQ, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ film festival, and believes in moving queer narratives to the fore.