The San Antonio LGBT International Film Festival
San Antonio Q Fest: The San Antonio LGBTQ International Film Festival is committed to showcasing and bringing awareness of the diverse culture and perspective of the LGBTQ Community to the greater San Antonio area. The festival will feature cinematic works recognizing and celebrating a multicultural world.
Barbara Gittings Memorial Award for Best Character Portrayal
Barbara Gittings is often referred to as the mother of the gay rights movement. She organized the New York Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis, a gay rights organization in the 50’s and was editor of its newsletter, The Ladder, in the 60’s. She promoted literature to be in public libraries that showed homosexuality in a positive light. She organized some of the first gay rights marches in the United States. She also helped bring to light issues with having homosexuality as a pathology and worked to have the definition removed.
Robert Spitzer Memorial Award for Best Drama Feature Film
Robert Spitzer is one of the most pivotal LGBTQ advocates of the 20th century. In 1973 Robert was part of the American Psychiatric Association’s drafting board that created the Diagnostic and Statistics Manuel III, the manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists alike to diagnose disorders. Robert was instrumental in removing the pathological diagnosis of homosexuality, thus no longer allowing medical professionals to diagnose LGBTQ people as sick. Without this change the LGBTQ community would have never been able to gain the rights we now currently enjoy.
Lily Tomlin Memorial Award: Best Comedy Feature Film
Lily Tomlin is a prolific comedy actress who has created some of the most memorable characters in television history. She started on Laugh-In and continued both on the big and small screen. Lily met her future wife, Jane Wagner, in 1971 and lived with Jane throughout her career. Lily often inserted ambiguous jokes about being homosexual in her work. Today she is a Tony award winning actress with more than 40 years of comedic gold. She narrated The Celluloid Closet, a documentary about being gay in Hollywood. She also is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Christopher Marlowe Memorial Award: Best Documentary Feature Film
Christopher Marlowe was a 16th century playwright. Born at the same time as William Shakespeare his early experiments with blank verse lead the way to some of the most enduring plays of all time. His play, Edward II’s was the first English play to deal openly with homosexuality. In May 1593 he was arrested for “blasphemy.” 10 days later he was murdered by repeated stab wounds to the head.
Matthew Shepard Memorial Award: Best Student Film Official Nominees
Matthew Shepard was a student of the University of Wyoming in 1998. One night at a bar two men who pretended to be gay and offered him a ride home. On the way they brutally beat him and left him tied to a post to die. He was discovered 18 hours later by a cyclist. The brutality of the attack incited his mother, Judy Shepard, to become a fierce LGBTQ advocate. She worked tirelessly to get ratified Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act which was signed into law in 2009. She also created the Mathew Shepard Foundation which funds anti-violence education, outreach and advocacy programs.
Jose Sarria Memorial Award: Best Drama Short Film Official Nominees
Jose Sarria was a drag queen that lead the fight for gay rights from the night club stage. He fought against the corrupt police departments that was extorting brides from gay clubs and jailing gay men. His acts, normally arias, were tweaked to shed light on this struggle. In 1961 he ran for the SF Board of Supervisors and is thought to be the first openly gay candidate to run for an office anywhere in the world. His most enduring legacy was his establishment of the Imperial Court System which now operates worldwide.
Frank Kameny Memorial Award: Best Comedy Short Film Official Nominees
Frank Kameny is known as the father of the gay rights movement. He served during WWII. In 1957 he was fired from the Army Map Service due to his homosexuality. Frank appealed the ruling all the way to the president and legislative branches, to no avail. Frank founded the Mattachine Society in order to fight against discrimination and coined the slogan “Gay is Good.” Franks activism predated Stonewall by a decade and created the environment which allowed the gay rights movement to begin.
Truman Capote Memorial Award: Best Documentary Short Film
Truman Capote was a prolific writer of the mid 20th century. He led an openly gay lifestyle with his husband of 35 years during a time when such things were taboo. He wrote the novel Other Voices, Other Rooms in 1948 which dealt with homosexual themes and featured himself on the cover. His famous Breakfast At Tiffany’s was adapted into the iconic movie. While living his true authentic self he was able to host the most important social event of the decade in 1966, the Black and White Ball.
Audre Lorde Memorial Award: Grand Jury Prize
Audre Lorde was a black woman who became a prominent poet during the Civil Rights Era. She was a lesbian and used her fame to shed light on the struggles for liberation among oppressed people, crossing cultural barriers and building coalitions between races, genders, ages, sexual orientations and class. She was a poet Laurette who said of white feminists “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
Mr. Jenny McCall Memorial Award: Best Texas Resident Filmmaker Official Nominees
Mr. Jenny McCall is a beloved San Antonio and Texas icon. She started his entertainment career as a DJ. She indulged in his delight as a female impersonator and worked various clubs throughout Texas raising money for multiple charities. Mr. Jenny McCall was always most attentive to the new performers coming to the stage. She ran the Tuesday night amateur nights and considered each of the performers he touched along the way as one of her kids.