#Films & Movies
Amanda Nevill, Greg Dyke & Board of Governors at BFI, Ed Vaizey at DCMS & Boris Johnson
United Kingdom

2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. It is one of the largest and most successful film festivals in the UK, with annual attendances of 28,000, and one of the UK’s most significant LGBT cultural events.

During this time the festival has played a vital cultural role, bringing audiences together to debate and discuss an extraordinary diversity of important work. It provides a space and platform for emerging talent, for provocative and political films, for innovation. Very little of this filmmaking can be seen in the UK outside of the festival. The BFI is to be congratulated for 25 years of commitment.

However, this year’s festival will be a shadow of its former self, with a radically cut-down programme of 6 days, rather than 14 and a substantial reduction of the activities and facilities that have made it an internationally acclaimed event. Of particular concern is the loss of the annual tour of festival highlights that ensured that the festival was enjoyed by audiences across the UK.

With 15% cuts to funding as a result of the government’s spending review, the BFI is necessarily having to tighten its belt. As such it’s understandable that some cuts need to be made to its activities. However, we are deeply concerned that the substantial cuts WELL ABOVE 15% to the 2011 festival will hinder this year's success and are a move towards the BFI severing its responsibilities for the event. Few festivals thrive - or indeed survive - without the support and commitment of a major cultural body. If the BFI was to drop the LLGFF we fear for its future.

Furthermore, we understand that the BFI will reviewing the future of the festival in April after the 2011 event and we urge Amanda Nevill (amanda.nevill@bfi.org.uk) Greg Dyke (greg.dyke@bfi.org.uk) and Board of Governors at BFI, Ed Vaizey (vaizeye@parliament.uk) and Boris Johnson (mayor@london.gov.uk) to ensure that:

The BFI commits to organising and hosting the annual LLGFF as an integral part of its cultural programme.

The BFI commits to ensure that the festival reaches out to audiences across the UK through a tour of cinemas or by making films available through its online platforms.

The BFI explores ways to reduce expenditure while maintaining the integrity of the festival’s programme, and in particular safeguards such vital elements as length of programme, pay for the festival curators, some industry services, and a budget to help filmmakers attend the Festival to present their work.

The BFI explores new avenues for support from individual donors.

The BFI considers the impact on its own membership base (25% of BFI members book tickets for the LLGFF) if it was to drop the festival.

After the radical cut to the 2011 London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, we understand that the BFI is currently considering the future of the event.

We the undersigned petition the BFI to ensure and fund the long-term survival of this key event as part of its annual cultural programme.


The Save the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival petition to Amanda Nevill, Greg Dyke & Board of Governors at BFI, Ed Vaizey at DCMS & Boris Johnson was written by Selina Robertson and is in the category Films & Movies at GoPetition.