The TLA Releasing team behind the annual Philadelphia QFest LGBT film festival, marking 18 years in July, announced new partnerships last week that will see the launch of a similar festival, Baltimore QFest, in Charm City June 21 to 24.
The primary partner in the new nonprofit venture will be the GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland (GLCCB).
''I felt we needed a lot of community involvement in Baltimore, so we're working with a lot of organizations,'' says Ray Murray, president of TLA Entertainment – TLA Releasing's parent – who will also serve as artistic director of Baltimore QFest. TLA Entertainment, based in Philadelphia, includes movie sales, movie licensing and books.
In a release announcing the new festival, TLA quoted Baltimore's best-known filmmaker, John Waters: ''TLA unearths and spotlights some of the most amazing, extreme and crazy gay films in the world. Gay or straight, buy tickets to this festival immediately.''
That's not to say that the Baltimore QFest is merely a showcase of TLA products. As in Philadelphia, Murray promises multiple social events along with screenings, and adds, ''I approach [programming] as whatever films we like. Usually TLA films are never opening or closing films. It's really everything.''
That also means that Baltimore QFest, like its Philly counterpart, will be recruiting volunteers to pull off the festival. While details of the festival's labor needs are yet to come, Murray says the festival website, qfest.com, and GLCCB should have information on that front soon.
For more information, call the GLCCB at 410-837-5445.