Lesbian Invisibility Results in New Film Festival

DSC_1115A local lesbian filmmaker has launched her own film festival after claiming to have been shut out of the WA Pride Film Festival last year. Tessa Rooney submitted her five minute film to be shown at the Rooftop Movies as part of the film festival, but received no answer to her submission and follow up emails.

Rooney discovered her film (which is screening in the US, Canada, Melbourne and the Mardi Gras Film Festival) didn’t make the cut when the line-up was announced on Pride’s Facebook page.

As a film maker Rooney is used to being turned down, but upon realising that no lesbian films were showing throughout the whole festival, she felt a sense of invisibility. ‘There’s a film for the transgender community, there’s a film for the intersex community, a film for the drag community, there were two films for the gay community. They couldn’t find us five minutes to show local lesbian talent. Outrage is the word’.

In response to the lack of representation, Rooney decided to launch her own film festival, specifically for films made by lesbians, about lesbians, for lesbians ‘Lesbian invisibility is a huge issue! I’m putting my money where my mouth is, I’m completely self-funding, and I’ve rented the theatre’.

The film festival Dyke Drama will be playing fourteen films at Cinema Paradiso on Feb 27-28, the various films will be coming from Slovenia, Cambodia, Germany as well as local productions.

Pride spokesperson Sue Fisher explained the lack of lesbian content ‘this year we’ve had a committee that has had not enough members. As a result the members have been over committed’.

Fisher explained that under experienced younger members of the committee may have contributed to the over sight, ‘I can only apologise on behalf of the committee. Everybody deserves to be treated with respected and communicated with’.  Emphasising how talented Rooney is a film-maker, Fisher concluded that Pride would love to get to a point where they could collaborate again.

Tickets for Dyke Drama can be bought at cinemaparadiso.com.au.

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