Queer Cinema Initiative

Queer films constitute a vital strand in the history of American independent cinema. IndieCollect’s Queer Cinema Initiative includes documentation through our Queen Cinema Index; restoration of significant queer films; and revival of the films through theatrical and online exhibition.

Paris is Burning

WHAT IS THE QUEER CINEMA INDEX?

IndieCollect’s Queer Cinema Index will be the first comprehensive compendium of LGBTQ+ films, broadcast TV and online series made in the U.S. and around the world.

Thanks to the cooperation of our partners – UCLA Film & Television Archive, Outfest, and the Outfest Legacy Project – we’ve got a running start. Thousands of films have already been entered in our Index, and the data is being vetted and enriched.

WHY NOW?

As recounted in Vito Russo’s landmark book, The Celluloid Closet, and in Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman’s award-winning documentary, gay cinema started in the silent era. For decades, however, many queer films circulated in the shadows. We need a complete catalogue of this extensive and rapidly expanding body of work.

HOW WILL YOU USE IT?

Just as you turn to IMDb to search for a film, the Queer Cinema Index will be the source for every title you want to find, and a great place to discover the films you never knew existed – an invaluable resource for scholars, programmers, festival directors, distributors, archivists, and cinephiles.

OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERS

Thanks to the cooperation of our partners – UCLA Film & Television Archive, Outfest, and the Outfest Legacy Project – we’ve got a running start. Thousands of films have already been entered in our Index, and the data is being vetted and enriched.

ROBERT HAWK — OUR SECRET WEAPON

Robert Hawk is Project Director for the Queer Cinema Index. A “walking index” of queer cinema, Bob is documenting arcane titles and searching for hidden works before they are lost.

SAVE YOUR LEGACY — WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR FILMS!

Have you created a film, TV program or other work that belongs in the Queer Cinema Index? We invite all filmmakers – directors, writers, producers, artisans in all crafts – to let us know about the titles with which you’ve been associated. Please contribute your individual titles, or if you have large body of work, please email Bob directly.

TAKE ACTION — BECOME A SUSTAINING SPONSOR

Founding Sponsor Gerald Herman pledged $20,000 to launch the Queer Cinema Index, and many others have since joined him. Please visit indiecollect.org to see the list of Founding Sponsors.

Become a Sustaining Sponsor of the Queer Cinema Index today. Every tax-deductible donation helps us illuminate this body of work in all its subtlety, candor, beauty and complexity.

QUEER CINEMA RESTORATIONS

Anemone Me

Anemone Me (1990)

Directed by Suzan-Lori Parks & Bruce Hainley

In a fishing village on the Maine coast, a father works hard as a fisherman to provide for his wife and their strappingly handsome blind son. One day, a beautiful merman (Peter Hermann) rises out of the sea, and forms a strange, magical attraction to the boy.

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts

Jan Oxenberg's Lesbian Film Collection

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts (1975)

In Jan Oxenberg’s send-up of lesbian stereotypes, each scene satirizes a different Hollywood film genre — the source of many such stereotypes. LA film critic Bridget Byrne wrote that A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts is “as witty and clever in execution as in concept.”

It was so controversial that New York’s public television channel dropped the film from its line-up – a decision they later reversed in response to protests by the LGBT community. It’s now in use by scholars of lesbian and feminist film studies in colleges across America.

Home Movie (1973)

Using her family’s home movie footage and her own trademark talent for parody, Jan Oxenberg gives herself a cheerful lesbian childhood. “The thing I liked best about being a cheerleader was being with the other cheerleaders... the football match was just an excuse.”

A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts and Home Movie were shot on film. They are not available in a state-of-the-art digital format that theaters and online platforms today require.

Support the 4K restoration of Jan Oxenberg's Lesbian Films with your tax-deductible donation now!

A Man in your Room

A Man in Your Room (1983)

Directed by Christine Vachon

A priest wakes up repeatedly from a dream in which he sees an attractive, partially-disrobed man in in his room. The hypnotic repetition and anxiety of his vision gains tension from the minimalist score.