Is Scheduled To Happen Online The Third Week of September
2021 Gilbert Baker Film Festival

Is Scheduled To Happen Online The Third Week of September

Submit your projects now via Film Freeway -- We have the following Categories: Feature, Short, Feature Documentary, Short Documentary, Animation Short, Animation Feature, Music Video and Web Series. All Submissions MUST have realistic LGBTQIA+ Representation and preferably deal with LGBTQIA+ and/or gender issues

  • Virtual

Call For Entries Opens
March 1st, 2021
Early Deadline: April 1st, 2021
Regular Deadline: May 1st, 2021
Late Deadline: June 1st, 2021

Mission Statement 

Mission Statement

  • To protect, to celebrate, and to extend the legacy of Gilbert Baker, hometown hero and the creator of the LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Flag, as an activist, an artist, and an educator.
  • To record and to promote the history of the creation of the Rainbow Flag and its impact on the world.
  • To educate future generations about the internationally-recognizable LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Flag.
  • To create awareness of/about the LGBTQIA+ community through the medium of film and animation.
  • To support and to empower our mission on a collaborative level between the Foundation and it’s allies, including the LGBTQIA+ community, artists, organizations, educational institutions, non-profits, museums, archives and the press.
  • To promote this mission internationally to the wider world beyond the LGBTQIA+ community.
*Biography Provided By Gilbert Baker Foundation
Our History

The 2020 Gilbert Baker Film Festival began the tradition of holding the festival the third week in September annually from 2020 on. The 2020 Gilbert Baker Film Festival was held virtually via Zoom Webinar Monday September 14th, Wednesday September 16th thru Saturday  September 20th, There were be no sessions on Tuesday September 15th.

We had great festival in 2020. Wonderful panelists, judges and participants. We had some really amazing selections in 2020. The judging was tight. Thank you to everyone who made the festival possible.

In 2019, a group of people who wanted Gilbert's dream to reach its potential have been working towards having another Film Festival. They succeeded in having a great festival, featuring the festival premier of “The Whistle”, a documentary by director StormMiguel Florez. It is a story of 1970s and 80s lesbian youth in Albuquerque. It is our hope that this event will honor Gilbert's memory and worldwide legacy. In 2019, we coordinated with the Parsons High School Class that Gilbert would have graduated with if he had stated stayed in Parsons. They had their high school reunion on the weekend of the Festival. The festival was held at Labette Community College’s Thiebaud Theater on October 3rd and October 4th. We started utilizing FilmFreeway’s format in 2019. Due to lack of submissions the festival only awarded Best in Festival & Best Documentary to “The Whistle”, Best Animation to Kate Jessop’s Queerer Than Thou from her series “Tales from Pussy Willow”, Best Web Series to These Thems. Best Short Film to Spectrum and Official Selections: Flunk, an Australian web series, and The Date, a short film. We also showed a Queer Animation Kate Jessop Retrospective, a series of animations directed by Kate Jessop focusing on LGBTQIA+ issues.

There was no festival in 2018. The Gilbert Baker Film Festival Committee was restructured.

The first festival came about because Aaron Casserly Stewart, Parsons city commissioner in 2017, had wanted to honor Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag. Gilbert conceived of the idea for the Gilbert Baker Film Festival with a group of his friends. The Festival was to be a celebration of LGBTQIA+ Pride in his old stomping grounds of Parsons, KS. Knowing that Parsons is a town in rural Southeast Kansas, Gilbert wanted to have an event that could showcase the accomplishments of the LGBTQIA+ community without a parade. Unfortunately, Gilbert died in 2017 before the first film festival was held.

The committee working with him proceeded to hold the first festival. It was a small festival but it was a beginning. The town responded to requests to fly the Pride flag and showed support through attendance. Labette Community College provided space and a picture of the flag raising ceremony graced the cover of the local paper, the Parsons Sun.

Gilbert Baker

1951 - 2017

Gilbert Baker, world-famous political activist, designer and flag-maker created the Rainbow Flag in 1978. Over the next four decades, his creation would become embraced across the world as the universal symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement.

Gilbert’s work as a vexillographer (flag maker) spanned nearly four decades and includes distinctions for creating two flags that attained world’s records for their length.*

*Biography Provided By Gilbert Baker Foundation

Call for Entries Opens — March 1st, Current Year

Early Deadline — April 1st, Current Year

Regular Deadline — May 1st, Current Year

Late Deadline — June 1st, Current Year

Films Must Be Ready For Release by August 1st, Current Year