Film festivals have been important platforms for promoting independent films that bring to the forefront issues of marginalized communities, especially the struggle for queer justice and visibility. This paper pursues a hypothetical opportunity for programming a film festival screening centered on queer stories. The direction of this paper will take the form of a film festival curator’s statement that links three films with common themes and issues. The overarching, common thread holding the proposed films together is the mainstream Hollywood influence behind the exhibition and consumption of the films—The Academy Awards (otherwise known as The Oscars). Three major Academy Award-winning and nominated feature films will be used to exemplify the type of films that film festivals ought to program, thus, making more of an impact for queer representation in both the public discourse and mass media. The three films proposed for this hypothetical film festival program are, in order of appearance in this paper: Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl (2015), Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game (2014), and Gus Van Sant’s Milk (2008). Programming three films that utilize queer history to positively represent queer individuals and experiences will catalyze more queer opportunities in Hollywood, politics, and society at large. Moreover, this paper will combine scholarly research, press articles, and a variety of media, to create a discourse regarding the importance of screening the aforementioned films. Although these films were, by and large, produced and distributed by independent production companies, they garnered success in Hollywood via nominations and wins at the Academy Awards.
"Queer History Through a Hollywood Lens,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 12, Article 9.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol12/iss1/9