QueerX: sharing the queer experience with the world
QueerX is an annual queer music, film, and industry festival. Held in West Hollywood in Los Angeles, the 2019 event will run from 31 May – 2 June.
The event includes concerts, screenings, industry panels, parties, the Powerhouse Industry Pitchfest and the Revry Visibility Awards.
I caught up with festival directors Damian Pelliccione and Alia J. Daniels for a behind-the-scenes look at QueerX 2019.
This is the 4th year that you’ve presented QueerX – how has the festival evolved over that time?
QueerX – which was previously known as Out Web Fest – has evolved so rapidly over time, from a small one-day festival to a jam-packed three-day mini-conference focused on Music, Film and Industry. We’re so proud of the growth and impact our festival has made in just four short years. There’s obviously a need for QueerX to exist as the growing population of LGBTQ artists and filmmakers look for meaningful networking and connection to the gate-keepers of Hollywood. We’re just so thrilled to be able to facilitate this for our community.
Given the increasing shift to online streaming in terms of content distribution, what role does a physical event such as QueerX play in the entertainment landscape?
QueerX plays a pivotal role within our industry because at its core, we’re here to showcase the hottest new talent and connect them to studios, networks, industry, advertisers, press, agents, production companies and managers. Today, now more than ever, representation matters, and traditional Hollywood is starving for access to the best LGBTQ talent – QueerX is here to provide that connection. For one weekend, creatives, industry professionals and queer culture enthusiasts come together to celebrate queer media – including music, film, and influential change-makers.
What are some of the highlights that we should be looking forward to at this year’s QueerX?
We’re excited for opening night at the iconic Whisky GoGo on the sunset strip. We’re showcasing some of the top up-and-coming and established indie Queer music artists – like Brooke Candy, Davy Boi and Jordy. There are some really big surprise guests making appearance’s that will turn heads. We’re also thrilled to be honouring two of the biggest queer influencers – Nikita Dragun and Raymond Braun – with our Revry Visibility Awards this year, at our closing night gala sponsored by The Tourist Office of Spain at the fabulous London Hotel. Our grand sponsor, Lexus has really helped to take this year’s QueerX to the next level.
How does PitchFest work?
This is our second year of Pitchfest at QueerX. Last year, we matched 24 industry execs in a speed-pitch setting with 30 up-and-coming new LGBTQ filmmakers.
The pitch lasts a total of three minutes, with two minutes for feedback from the industry exec. We ask that the film makers pitching industry have a fully fleshed-out one-sheet, and are able to clearly articulate their three minute elevator pitch.
Is it getting easier for LGBTQ people to break into the entertainment industry?
We hope that this is a true statement, but the reality is that there is still a fundamental lack of positive depictions of Queer culture in Hollywood. The tides are slowly changing for the better, with shows like FX’s Pose being picked up for a second season and casting a predominately black transgender cast in a prime-time network show.
The key is to continue to have all stories within the community, from all different vantage points, to have a place to be seen and heard – something we’re incredibly proud to be doing through Revry.
What do you hope that audiences feel when taking part in QueerX?
We hope that everyone who attends QueerX – from the indie queer musician looking to have their music heard to the young non-binary person who finally feels seen by watching one of the selections in the festival – ends the weekend inspired and more connected than ever to the queer experience.