The shortlists for the inaugural Lesflicks Film Awards have been announced, with voting open to everyone from this Thursday 21 January. We’re thrilled to be the Official Media Partner of this brilliant event.

From 13 December 2020 to 15 January 2021 any film fan – audience members, filmmakers, distributors and venues from across the world were given the opportunity to submit their nominations for their favourites in a vast array of award categories. The categories include best short/feature films, best queer icon, film clubs, film festivals, media outlets and more. Lesflicks wanted to give everyone a chance to be celebrated for their work and involvement in making and amplifying LBTQ-inclusive films and series.

With almost 400 entries received across the nomination period, the nominees were then narrowed down in each category so that those with the most nominations would be shortlisted for the final stage of the awards process – the all important vote!

Lesflicks founder Naomi Bennett.

Founder Naomi Bennett said: “Since the launch of Lesflicks in 2019 I’ve seen just how important all aspects of filmmaking from production through to distribution is currently extremely challenging for lesbian & bisexual film. I created these awards to highlight all the hard work going on behind the scenes, and to amplify those committed to these films.

“The categories were created giving thought to how to amplify smaller films that often get overlooked and to hopefully encourage more people in the future to seek out and support lesbian & bisexual film – whether that be in investment, the cinemas/theatres or through the press and media talking about these films. The awards nomination has thrown up some really interesting insights and also given us some great areas to focus on in 2021 to help further improve the knowledge of, and access to lesbian & bisexual films going forward.”

HEADLINE AWARDS.

These headline awards aim to raise awareness of films and series. Whilst films with a big distributor, A-list names and institutional backing are well known, many independent films and series are not as they don’t receive as much exposure. The LFAs aim to elevate all LBTQ+ content so that they all have a chance to be seen and recognised for their good work.

Best Feature 2020.

The audience’s favourite lesbian or bisexual feature film released in cinemas/theatres, on digital platforms or which appeared in film festivals in 2020 (released between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020)

·        Ahead of the Curve

·        Ammonite

·        Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

·        Forever Not Maybe

·        Happiest Season

·        More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

·        Portrait of a Lady on Fire

·        The Half of It

Best Short 2020.

The audience’s favourite lesbian or bisexual short film released in cinemas/theatres, on digital platforms or appeared in film festivals in 2020 (between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020)

·        Love Knows No Gender

·        Nice Chinese Girls Don’t

·        What does it feel like to fall in love?

Best TV or Web series 2020.

The audience’s favourite series aired on a television or cable channel or on an independent or public digital platform with a lesbian & bisexual storyline (first aired between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020)

·        Dating in place

·        Feel Good

·        The Fortnight

·        The Haunting of Bly Manor

·        Vida

·        Wynonna Earp

Best Soundtrack 2020.

The audience’s favourite soundtrack from a film released in cinemas/theatres or on digital platforms in 2020 (between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020)

·        Happiest Season

·        The Fortnight

·        Wynonna Earp

The Lesflicks Audience Favourite.

The Lesflicks audience’s favourite title available on the LesflicksVOD platform (all films and series are eligible for nomination)

·        Forever Not Maybe

·        More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

·        Rafiki

Best Feature Film Ever.

The audience’s favourite lesbian or bisexual feature film ever made

·        City of Trees

·        Elena Undone

·        I Can’t Think Straight

·        More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

·        Portrait of a Lady on Fire

·        Season of Love

Best Series Ever.

The audience’s favourite TV show or web series ever made which features a lesbian or bisexual core storyline

·        LA Webseries

·        The Fortnight

·        The Haunting of Bly Manor

·        The L Word

·        Vida

·        Wynonna Earp

Best Short Ever.

The audience’s favourite short ever made (under 40 minutes) which features a lesbian or bisexual core storyline

·        Nice Chinese Girls Don’t

·        The Choice

·        The Date

Best Queer Person working behind the camera.

The audience’s choice for favourite lesbian, bisexual or queer person working on or in wlw film or TV behind the scenes. Directors, producers, writers – right down to runners. The people that create the content we love!

·        Alexandra Swarens

·        Cory Xenos

·        Nicole Conn

·        Shamim Sarif

Best Queer Icon in front of the camera.

The audience’s choice for their favourite Queer icon in film/tv entertainment on screen

·        Dominique Provost-Chalkley

·        Katherine Barrell

·        Kristen Stewart

Community Amplification (fandom communities).

The audience choice for Community Amplification, which highlights the amazing power of the audience in the form of fandoms. Communities who take on an identity around their favourite film or series and join a fandom & help it thrive and often survive.

·        Damie

·        Earpers

·        Fortnighters

THEATRICAL AWARDS

Filmmakers create their films with the big screen in mind. Nothing beats the shared experience of watching a film on the big screen and experiencing the reaction of those in the room. Getting lost in the moment. Lesflicks wants to thank those cinemas that programme lesbian & bisexual films.

Best Cinema/Theatre.

The audience choice for a independent cinema/theatre or cinema/theatre chain that has programmed lesbian & bisexual films within their programme during 2020

·        BFI London

·        Landmark Cinemas

·        The Roxie

Best Film Club or Society.

The audience choice for a film club or society that has programmed lesbian & bisexual films within their events during 2020

·        A Fortnighter, Lucas Restoration Retreat Zoomland

·        Forum+ International LGBTQ+ Film Club

·        Lesflicks

FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS

Film Festivals offer valuable exposure for films; they offer communal, shared and unique experiences in which the films, their creatives, the points of views, ideas, and audiences collectively meet together. Often festivals are where audiences first hear about new films. We want to celebrate those who are doing a great job at promoting wlw stories within their festivals.

Best Mainstream non-LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

The audience choice for the best mainstream non-LGBTQ+ film festival for its inclusion of lesbian & bisexual stories within the film festival in 2020

·        North Hollywood CineFest

·        Sundance

·        TIFF. Toronto International FF

Best LGBTQ Film Festival.

The audience choice for the best LGBTQ+ film festival for its inclusion of lesbian & bisexual stories within the film festival in 2020

·        BFI Flare

·        Frameline International FF

·        Outfest

Best Lesbian Film Festival.

The audience choice for the best lesbian-specific film festival for putting lesbian & bisexual stories at its centre and for its inclusion and promotion of lesbian & bisexual stories in 2020

·        Cinema Systers Film Festival

·        LFEST Lesflicks Film Festival

·        Reel Affirmations

·        SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL QUEER WOMEN OF COLOR FILM FESTIVAL

PR, MARKETING AND MEDIA

You can’t search for a film if you don’t know it exists or what it is called. For this reason film PR, marketing and media promotion is essential in getting wlw films in front of the intended audience.  We want to celebrate those who are covering films featuring wlw stories.

Best Media Outlet.

The audience choice for the best mainstream non-LGBTQ+ and LGBTQ+ media outlets for championing and sharing lesbian & bisexual film. This is for news websites, blogs, journalists who write about and signal boost wlw films and series.

·        Alex Shillington on You Tube

·        Autostraddle

·        Buzzfeed

·        GLAAD

Best PR and Marketing Campaign for 2020.

The audience and creator’s choice for best PR campaign around a lesbian or bisexual film release or positive representation on screen in 2020. This can be a PR company or an individual PR person or a TV/film campaign.

·        Happiest Season

·        Proud Parent (Oreo and PFlag)

DISTRIBUTION & STREAMING AWARDS

For you to be able to watch films legally, they need to be available to watch. Distributors and streaming platforms are key in bringing films to an audience. We want to celebrate those that support wlw stories, whether that be through ethical pricing, pro-active promotion, or diversity of content.

Best mainstream non-LGBTQ+ digital platform.

The audience choice acknowledging the impact and support of mainstream non-LGBTQ+ platforms in offering positive representation to traditional audiences and making lesbian & bisexual film more accessible

·        Hulu

·        Netflix

·        YouTube

Distributor of the Year.

Best Distributor and Distributor of choice have been removed for 2020 due to a lack of nominations. Given nominations were open to filmmakers as well as audiences this is an interesting development and we will be exploring this further. Distributors are a key part of the film release to audiences and so we will be looking into barriers, challenges and solutions around this area.

Best Film distributed independently 2020.

The audience choice for favourite independently distributed (i.e. not distributed by a company) lesbian or bisexual film (between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020)

·        Ahead of the curve

·        Ife

·        Summer Of Mesa

REGIONAL AWARDS

The progress of wlw content across the world is moving forward at different rates. Across the world wlw films and series are being created so we look to highlight all the content being made with local stories and within their local areas.

Best Asian title 2020.

The audience choice for the best Asian title for its inclusion of Asian lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        4 More Shots Please

·        Nice Chinese Girls Don’t

·        The Half Of It

Best British title 2020.

The audience choice for the best British film or series for its inclusion of British lesbian & bisexual stories. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Ammonite

·        Sex Education

·        Summerland

Best European title 2020.

The audience choice for the best European title for its inclusion of European lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Albania, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        El contacto cero

·        Kontrola (Control)

·        Portrait of A Lady On Fire

Best Middle Eastern / African title 2020.

The audience choice for the best Middle Eastern/African title for its inclusion of Middle Eastern/African lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Syria. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Only one nominee was submitted for this category! Tune in on the awards night to find out who the winner is!

Best Oceanic title 2020.

The audience choice for the best Oceanic title for its inclusion of Oceanic lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as Australia, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Dating in Place

·        Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

·        Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story

Best North American title 2020.

The audience choice for the best North American title for its inclusion of North American lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as Barbados, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Greenland, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, United states. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Happiest Season

·        The Fortnight

·        Wynonna Earp

Best South American title 2020.

The audience choice for the best South American title for its inclusion of South American lesbian & bisexual stories from countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela. Eligible films are those that were released in cinemas/theatres or on digital between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Alice Junior

·        RED

THE FUN AWARDS

We’re all about community, and so we also know that the audience loves the chemistry in film. So we have a few more light hearted awards.

Best Couple 2020.

The audience choice for the best couple in a lesbian film or series. The film or episode should have first aired in cinemas/theatres or on television or digital channel between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Dani & Jamie in The Haunting of Bly Manor

·        Luca & Peyton in The Fortnight

·        WayHaught in Wynonna Earp

Best Kiss 2020.

The audience choice for the best kiss in a lesbian or bisexual film or series. Because chemistry matters! The film or episode should have first aired in cinemas/theatres or on television or digital channel between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Dani & Jamie in The Haunting of Bly Manor

·        Luca & Peyton in The Fortnight

·        WayHaught in Wynonna Earp

Best Line 2020.

The audience choice for the best line in a lesbian or bisexual film or series. Any good film has a memorable line that you say and everyone knows what you’re talking about. The film or episode should have first aired in cinemas/theatres or on television or digital channel between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        “I don’t play tennis.” – McKenzie, More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

·        “Nicole Haught, will you marry me?” – Wynonna Earp

·        “You were my Peyton and I was your Luca. And no one else can say that.” – The Fortnight

Best Sex Scene 2020.

The audience choice for the best sex scene in a lesbian or bisexual film or series. An art in itself, a good scene will hit the right balance. The film or episode should have first aired in cinemas/theatres or on television or digital channel between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020.

·        Luca & Peyton in The Fortnight

·        McKenzie & Sam – More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

·        WayHaught in Wynonna Earp

The winners will be announced on Saturday 6 February 2021 online in a virtual awards presentation streamed online across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and on the Lesflicks.com website.

Lesflicks invites LBTQ audiences, filmmakers and anyone with a love of lesbian & bisexual film to also join in our virtual awards dinner on Friday 5 February 2021. 

Register for the event and download your dinner recipe, purchase the ingredients and pick your best party frock. On the evening of 5 February prepare your meal, grab your outfit and at 8pm in your local timezone share your photos, videos and involvement on Twitter, TikTok and Facebook. 

Use the hashtag #LFAsVirtualAwardsDinner and tag @lesflicks to let us know you’re joining in! We’re hosting a dinner and you’re all invited! Why not gather a group of friends together and host your dinner and drinks over Zoom?

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