In the summer of 2006, the Shropshire LGBT Group was thinking about organising an event focusing on education and schools. …. coincidentally, the Shrewsbury Summer Season team was looking for LGB input at around the same time! Looking ahead to the forthcoming Equality Act, the two got together to show the films ‘Wilde’ and ‘Get Real’, illustrating 100 years of change in attitudes towards, and experiences of, gay communities. The films were followed by a workshop for schoolteachers and youth workers and the format was a sellout.
Such was the success that the Old Market Hall was brought into the discussions and, aware that the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival was about to celebrate its 21st birthday, the idea for Shropshire’s first Rainbow Film Festival came to fruition, with support from Midland Zone.
Since then, the festival gathered strength and increased its base of supporters and its profile in the County. Not just a ‘once a year’ festival, the RFF supported film’s all through the year. The Rainbow Film Festival also links into other local initiatives aiming to highlight LGBT issues in Shropshire – and beyond.
In 2020 the Festival went online as part of History Month events and our last Festival was in October 2021. Since then, matters beyond our control have meant that the Festival has had to pause; there was no Festival in 2022; we hope to resume one day.