By Justin Kamimoto
It was 25 years ago this fall that Fresno State student organization GLBSA (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Student Alliance) participated in the third annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD). Concurrently, Ken Fries, a Fresno State student, had the idea to establish a local gay and lesbian film festival. That fall semester of 1990, the inaugural gay and lesbian film festival, in conjunction with the NCOD, was held for the greater Fresno community.
In the first year, 11 films were presented from five countries, screened two times per day over six days. “It was a magical and amazing moment in time for our wonderful and diverse community and allies,” says co-founder Peter Robertson.
The mission of Reel Pride is still the same as it was in 1990. Through the universal appeal of films, the film festival continues to increase the awareness of the gay and lesbian community. This annual event continues to enhance community acceptance and understanding, while adding diversity to our city.
Festival passes are available for a one-of-a-kind experience, including admittance into all films, and the opening and closing night galas. Starting at $95, each festival pass purchase helps keep this premier event thriving in the Central Valley.
Students may bring their student ID card to the box office to get complimentary admittance to all films (except the opening and closing night films) as part of Reel Pride’s Community Outreach Program.
Reel Pride 25 will be the biggest and best film festival the Central Valley community has seen. Taking place Sept. 17–21 in the Tower District, Reel Pride will bring together community members, stars and directors of films through films and celebrations over five days.
Justin Kamimoto is the outreach coordinator for Reel Pride. For more information about Fresno Reel Pride, visit www.reelpride.com and like them at facebook.com/reelpride.