Desperado Film Festival seeks to boost LGBT


Tayyaba Siddiqui and Brittany Mitchell

The Desperado LGBT Film Festival is a volunteer organization at Paradise Valley Community College Center for Performing Arts with members from MCCCD employees and several community agencies. Their mission is to showcase quality films that are related to the experiences of the LGBT community, and they recently completed their seventh annual festival.

Maryanne Holms is the Volunteer Coordinator of Desperado. She spoke at length about the importance of this particular festival.

“It gives us an outlet to show people films that they have never seen before, that are not online and have not been released and it is kind of a preview but the important part here is that all of the net proceeds go to scholarships for LGBT students/ally,” Holms said.

Ted Kirby, the Social Media Manager of Desperado, described the annual event as a great opportunity to network and connect.

“This event brings a great mix of people together, it’s a great networking event,” Kirby said. “Being a lover of film, my entire life and back in the early part of this millennium, this century. We had a separate film festival that was about up to 2006 and had a gap for a few years. The guys here in PVCC put up and we’ve been here since 2010, so we are on our eighth season”.

Kirby offered some thoughts on the challenges of getting people into the event.

“Sometimes people just have busy lives and during the weekend people just want to relax,” Kirby said. “The films in general tend to be a little bit more to an older millennial or Generation X and above, our target demographic is possibly 35 years old and above. The younger generation have other plans going on that’s more extracurricular activities or going out with friends.”

There are LGBT members  in all countries, among all ethnic groups, at all socioeconomic levels and in all communities. Many societies have traditionally been open towards LGBT people, including seven countries that have traditionally recognized a third gender. Desperado is a festival that aims to promote these members and their work, and it is a reminder that their issues do not go unsupported.