LAKEVIEW — A new LGBT film festival debuting Saturday has at least one goal over its predecessors: Be a little more intimate.
The Little Queer Film Festival started after the 30-year-old Reeling Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival decided to take a break in 2012. A couple of lesbian meet-up groups, including Lipstick Lesbians and Sapphic Adventures loved gay film as a social event and were sad to see the event go on hiatus.
"I was disappointed that the Reeling film festival wasn't happening," said Jeannette Diaz, founder of the Lipstick Lesbians group. "I've been going since I was a teenager. ... In the ‘80s, there really wasn’t a place to see movies. It was a great avenue for a gay person to go see a movie."
So, when Kelly Zeng, founder of Sapphic Adventures, suggested fundraising for their own small festival, Diaz was game. Five women on the Little Queer Film Festival's board raised about $10,000 since September to show six socially-minded LGBT films — from documentaries to a love story — this weekend at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St.
The film festival has turned into more than just a way to satisfy the gay film festival itch until Reeling returns later this year, Diaz said. The women will use the festival as a way to meet up throughout the year to watch gay films in intimate, social settings such as art galleries, outdoor venues and lounges.
"We want venues that are more conducive to being social and mingling," Diaz said. "More of a community. Almost as if you were going to church."
It's a natural progression from the meet-up groups, which already both occasionally attended movies as social events.
"We just all love the whole tradition of movie going and coming together as a community to see films," she said. "It’s more about that for us."
The Little Queer Film Festival starts Saturday, Feb 2, at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Tickets cost $14 at the door. See the schedule on the website.