Two Manchester-made LGBT+ documentary films are set to showcase at the BFI Flare Festival in March.
Invisible Women and Deep In Vogue both received funding from Suberbia, a grant giving programme from Manchester Pride, designed to support, curate, fund and promote LGBT+ events and projects throughout Greater Manchester. As a result of their success, both films will be shown at Europe’s biggest LGBTQ+ film festival.
Invisible Women is a short documentary exploring the untold story of the North West’s LGBTQ+ past over the last 50 years through two women’s incredible journey of rebellion and activism. The film will screen twice during the festival, which takes place in London.
Angela Cooper and Luchia Fitzgerald have spent the last half a century fighting for their rights as women and as lesbians. Their work has revolutionised Manchester whilst transforming the lives of thousands of women and yet no record of them exists in the city’s archives; theirs is a story that risked disappearing from history. Until now.
Invisible Women producer Joe Ingham said: “At the same time white, mostly middle-class men were forming the Gay Liberation Front in the basement of the LSE in London, Angela and Luchia – two working class women – were forming the oft forgotten and overlooked Manchester GLF in The New Union – a dive pub on Canal Street which was a far cry from the rainbow clad strip we have come to know today. Theirs is a story that risked being lost forever simply because no one asked them about their activism and achievements.”
Angela Cooper said: “It’s probably hard for people who didn’t live through it to imagine what it was like. We know people who had lobotomies and aversion therapy. I suppose we were like freedom fighters now, the people involved in the Arab Spring, for instance. We felt that to survive we had to come out and say “Here we are”.”
Luchia Fitzgerald said: “We have had lovely reactions to the film, it’s been very heart- warming. There are often tears, some laughter and quite often surprise and shock because people don’t know what it was like. It’s good to see there’s still a lot going on and people are still active.”
Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, said “We were thrilled to support the incredible story of an unseen journey of activism through time. Luchia and Angela's story is a key part of LGBT+ history that has contributed to LGBT+ life in Manchester as we know it.”
'Deep In Vogue' which was also supported with a grant from Superbia, will showcase at the BFI Flare Festival this year. Manchester’s Vogue ball scene is revealed in a compelling documentary that explores notions of love, community and creativity, as preparations are underway for an upcoming competition. This is a celebration of the queer heroes of this scene, which takes its inspiration from the US model of competing Houses that were developed in the black, LGBT+ ballrooms of 1980s New York.
Superbia is the year-round programme of culture from Manchester Pride. Superbia curate, promote and support LGBT+ culture in Greater Manchester, encouraging participation, supporting new work and engaging Manchester’s thriving LGBT+ community. Through a dedicated Superbia Grants programme, Manchester Pride has assisted dozens of people to produce hundreds of projects engaging thousands of participants across the city.
For more information please visit Superbia
For details about Invisible Women and future screenings please click here.
Please see the official BFI trailer for “Deep in Vogue” here
More details can be found at the BFI Flare website