Gilbert Baker Film Festival- GBFF showcases 2SLGBTQIA+ narrative films, documentaries, animation, web series, and music videos once a year in honor of the late, great Gilbert Baker, the creator of the original rainbow flag. GBFF celebrates and amplifies authentic 2SLGBTQIAplus stories on screen and the Creatives and Filmmakers that bring those stories to life. Additionally, Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF aims to reach and strives to connect our 2SLGBTQIAplus Worldwide Community and Our Allies. GBFF celebrates Our Pride, Connects these communities and strives to educate.

GBFF allows a Global Audience to:
Watch All of Our GBFF Films on your own screen at your own time.
Participate, Watch, and Discuss GBFF Films from the Safety and Security of your own home.
Join our GBFF Zoom Watch Parties and Discussion Groups!

The first Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF came about because Aaron Casserly Stewart, Parsons City Commissioner in 2017, had wanted to honor Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Rainbow Flag. Gilbert conceived of the idea for the Gilbert Baker Film Festival, GBFF, with a group of his friends. The Festival was to be a celebration of LGBTQIA+ Pride in his old stomping grounds of Parsons, KS. Knowing that Parsons is a town in rural Southeast Kansas, Gilbert wanted to have an event that could showcase the accomplishments of the LGBTQIA+ community without a parade. Unfortunately, Gilbert died in 2017 before the first film festival was held. The committee working with him proceeded to hold the first festival. It was a small festival but it was a beginning. The town responded to requests to fly the Pride flag and showed support through attendance. Labette Community College provided space and a picture of the flag raising ceremony graced the cover of the local paper, the Parsons Sun.

In 2018, a dedicated group of people who wanted Gilbert's dream to reach its full potential continued working towards having another Film Festival. It was their hope that this event would honor Gilbert's memory and worldwide legacy for years to come. In 2019, the GBFF Committee coordinated with the Parsons High School Class that Gilbert would have graduated with if he had stayed in Parsons. To enable Gilbert's classmates to attend the festival, GBFF was held in October of 2019 at the same time as their high school reunion.

GBFF2020 was held the third weekend of September at the Parsons Public Library in Parsons, Kansas.

GBFF2021 was held from November into December online/virtually to a global audience allowing 2SLGBTQIA+ film fans around the world to come together to celebrate authentic Queer stories on screen and honor Gilbert Baker's legacy.

GBFF2022 Celebrated Pride2023 and Streamed Virtually, Worldwide on Eventive from June 16 thru August 16, 2023
Culminating with our Best in Fest! GBFF2022 Celebration Collection-->thru August 2023
GBFF allowed a Global Audience to:
Watch All Four GBFF2022 Collections on your own screen at your own time.
Celebrate Virtual Pride from the Safety and Security of your own home.
And Celebrate Virtual Worldwide Pride by joining our GBFF Zoom Watch Parties and Discussion Groups.

GBFF2023 Streamed on Eventive from December 15, 2023 through January 15, 2024
Five Collections- of short films and one feature film, curated around a theme.
A Special Screening window of Mama Bears (2022) Documentary
A Bonus Encore Presentation of Our Domestic Violence Awareness Collection - GBFFDVA2023
GBFF allows a Global Audience to:
Watch All of Our GBFF2023 Films on your own screen at your own time.
Participate, Watch, and Discuss GBFF2023 Films from the Safety and Security of your own home.
Join our GBFF2023 Zoom Watch Parties and Discussion Groups

The GBFF Committee strongly believes in Gilbert Baker's vision to unite the 2SLGBTQ+ Community around the world so everyone feels seen, heard, valued, loved, and represented. The online/virtual format extends our reach and includes those in remote areas so that they may be able to attend and participate.

Events throughout the film festival may include: filmmaker Q&A's , watch parties, and discussions for our LGBTQ+ film-loving community.

We look forward to seeing you there!!!

Awards per our esteemed GBFF Judges:
Best in Festival
Best Feature Film
Best Documentary
Best Short Film
Best Web Series
Best Animation
Best Direction
Best Writing
Best Cinematography
Best Performances / Acting
Best Production Value
Best Sound / Music
Best Costume Design
Best Editing
Most Evocative
Best Character Development
Best Music Video

Audience Favorite Awards
determined via Audience votes via Eventive Balloting System

GBFF Rules & Terms

Gilbert Baker Film Festival accepts submissions for feature films, short films, feature documentaries, short documentaries, animation features, animation shorts, web series, and music videos. All submissions must have an 2SLGBTQIA+ or gender identity representation and/or focus.

Language: All submissions will be assessed by English speakers. If the submission is in a language other than English, subtitles or other means of speech translation WILL Be REQUIRED. We request that EVEN those submissions with spoken English, provide English captions and subtitles.

In the interest of making our festival as inclusive and accessible as possible, we want English Captions/ Subtitles.!

English Captions will help those of us (Jen from GBFF included) that are hearing impaired.
English Captions will also help our Global Audience be able to understand all of the invaluable dialogue in your film and introduction video.
GBFF is global and for many of our regular attendees, English is not their first language.

All feature narrative and feature documentary submissions must be 40 minutes or over in length.

All short film narrative and short documentary submissions must be under 40 minutes in length.

ALL submission/entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE.

Short films, Web Series, Animations, and Music Videos that are available on YouTube, Vimeo or other media services are eligible for submission and award consideration.
We also encourage films without distribution to submit. Please note that these films will need to be uploaded and ingested onto Eventive and submitted to GBFF via permissions through Eventive's platform.

Please note, we do not pay rental or screening fees.

There is no production year limit on submissions. However, films or projects can only be selected for screening and judging in one festival year. Repeat screenings in subsequent years will only be possible as an exception, if agreed between the GBFF Committee and content rights owner. We strive to amplify and celebrate 2SLGBTQIAplus stories on screen and happily run films that are gathering digital dust!

We allow 2 films per creators in any festival run.

All films must be initially submitted via FilmFreeway.
Filmmakers are required to fill out a completed application form via FilmFreeway.
All submissions will go under review and are selected on the following criteria:
The story has a 2SLGBTQIA+ narrative and/or primary 2SLGBTQIA+ characters
The strength of the story
The quality of narrative
The degree of 2SLGBTQIA+ representation
The production values

Selected films must register with and submit films via the Eventive uploading system including uploading film with embedded REQUIRED English captions or English subtitles or adding an external SRT or VRT file with the REQUIRED English captions or English Subtitles.
(or only by permission in extraordinary circumstances; submit to Gilbert Baker Film Festival a H264 or mp4 digital format of selected submission and trailer with either English Captions or English Subtitles built in or a separate digital subtitle file.)

Our festival is digital and virtual and does not accept, blueray, DVD, 35mm, super 16mm, or 8mm.

A link to the trailer in the format of YouTube or Vimeo format must also be submitted if selected when possible.

All films submitted must be fully completed before the start of the Festival Run dates. We reserve the right to remove/disqualify any film not completed before the Festival Run time. and disqualify non-completed films out of our award selection process and potentially out of our program selection process. We do not show incomplete films.

Submission of an entry indicates submitter accepts all of GBFF rules & terms, that the submitter guarantees that a screening copy in the format specified will be made available for the dates of the event, and submitter guarantees authorization to publicly exhibit the work at Gilbert Baker Film Festival- GBFF. By submitting the screening copy you are stating you have the authority to distribute the film. It is the submitter's responsibility to ensure that they have the right to submit an entry to GBFF.

If the film's rights are held by a distribution company and/or the screening copy is to be provided by a distributor or agent then entry must be submitted by that distributor/agent, along with any criteria or conditions. We reserve the right to remove/disqualify the film from the program if criteria or conditions cannot be met.

Submission of entry permits Gilbert Baker Film Festival- GBFF use of materials and images from and related to the project for the marketing purposes of Gilbert Baker Film Festival.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival- GBFF reserves the right to refuse a screening copy of poor technical condition that may be detrimental to the screening.

GBFF is open to U.S. and International entries. Please check individual categories for additional requirements. By submitting an entry you agree to allow Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF to screen your entry WORLDWIDE.

You may submit multiple entries but must fill out a separate entry form and pay an entry fee for each.

Dates & Deadlines for Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF2024:
Submissions Opening Date ->December 20, 2023
Earlybird Deadline -> February 21, 2024
Regular Deadline ->March 13, 2024
Late Deadline ->April 10, 2024
Notification of Festival acceptance status is scheduled to be given to all entrants on or about May 01, 2024

GBFF2024 Festival Event Dates will fall inside: June 01, 2024 – August 15, 2024

Submission of film and all requested assets must be received as soon as possible before the Festival Run time.

While every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason.

-- Entry fee (must be paid online through FilmFreeway).
-- 3-Line Synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website)
-- FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS: 250 Word Synopsis (may be used for Festival Program and website)
-- College Students: Include proof of student status at the time of production. (Copy of student ID or transcript.)
-- Young FILMMAKERS: Include a copy of your state or student id verifying your age at the time of completion of the film. You may submit a letter from a teacher if you do not have a photo ID. You must provide written consent from my parent or legal guardian
-- Accepted entries must submit at least one digital, horizontal 300dpi still photo and one vertical 300dpi still photo from the film and at least one web-ready still at 72dpi and 560x315 pixels. If selected you may be asked to provide more images related to the submission. Please submit horizontal and vertical film posters.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF reserves the right to revoke a selection status if a file or print is received after the asked deadline.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival- GBFF is held harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity or review of any experience.

If submission is selected you will be contacted by a committee member and advised where to send digital copies of the submission.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF aspires to provide the best quality projection possible but will not be held liable for any failure in the technical quality of the projection, internet, software or hardware, nor will fees be refunded in any such case. Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF. While every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Gilbert Baker Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in schedule.
No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection and after our GBFF Program is locked.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival does NOT pay rental or screening fees for films.

1. I, the representative of the project being submitted (the "Film"), acknowledge and agree as follows in connection with the Film's submittal to Gilbert Baker Film Festival (“GBFF”) for consideration for the Gilbert Baker Film Festival (the "Festival"):
2. I hereby represent and warrant to the Festival that (a) I am duly authorized, on my own behalf and on behalf of all other persons or entities who have any ownership rights in the Film, to exhibit this Film at the Festival, (b) this exhibition will not violate any law or any right or consent of any person or entity and (c) the Film is not subject to litigation nor is it threatened by any litigation.
3. I further represent and warrant that, to the best of my knowledge, the exhibition of the Film at the Festival will not violate or infringe any copyright, patent, privacy right, publicity right, trademark, service mark or any other personal or property right of any person or entity and that my Film does not constitute a defamation of any person or entity. I have paid and will pay in full all license fees, clearance fees, and other obligations, of any kind, arising from the exhibition of the Film in connection with the Festival.
4. If accepted, I acknowledge that the Festival's presentation of the Film does not create any confidential or fiduciary relationship between the Festival and me. I understand that I will not receive any compensation for such exploitation, although some prizes at the Festival may include cash awards. I acknowledge that no obligation of any kind is assumed by or may be implied against the Festival or the GBFF or its Sponsors because of the Festival's selection of the Film. I understand and acknowledge that the selection of my Film by the Festival does not in any way constitute an express or implied endorsement or approval by the Festival or the GBFF the content of the Film or any opinion expressed therein.
5. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF, the Festival, the affiliate, subsidiary and parent entities of each, and the officers, directors, employees, committee members, attorneys, advisors and agents of each of the foregoing from and against any and all claims, losses, or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that may be asserted against any of the foregoing or incurred by any of the foregoing at any time in connection with the Film or the Festival's use thereof, and/or arising from any breach or alleged breach of any representation made by me to the Institute or the Festival.
6. In the event that the Film is accepted into the official GBFF Festival program, myself and all other parties involved with the Film agree that the Film will not associate with nor receive support from corporations during or related to the Film's participation in the Festival that are Official sponsors or supporters of the Festival without prior written consent of the Organizational Committee of the Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF. Methods of support include: hosting a dinner, party or junket for or in conjunction with the Film, providing media space for roundtable or one-on-one interviews, etc. The GBFF is a non-profit organization that relies on the funding of our official sponsors and supporters to produce the Festival. For an official list of sponsors and supporters, please refer to the contributors list at If you have been approached by a company or corporation that does not appear on this list, they are NOT officially aligned with the Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF.
7. If accepted, I hereby grant without reservations, to the Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF, and their related entities (a) the right to use footage, stills and/or titles, and information from the Film for promotional purposes and (b) the right to issue and authorize publicity concerning the filmmakers and the Film and to use all associated names, likenesses and biographical information. I also agree to provide contact information for the director and producer(s) of the Film and grant the Festival the right to provide this information to film industry organizations sponsoring Festival events at its discretion.
8. I represent that I am 18 years of age or older, or that if I am younger than the legal age to enter into contracts in my state, I have provided a written consent from my parent or legal guardian. I agree that any controversy arising out of or in connection with my Film and the Festival will be governed by the internal laws of the State of Maryland and conclusively determined by arbitration in State of Maryland in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association before a single arbitrator mutually agreed by the parties. I hereby waive any and all rights and benefits which I might otherwise have or be entitled to litigate any such dispute in court, including without limitation a trial by jury.
9. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the rules and regulations for submitting a film to the Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF.
10.By submitting a film or any content to Gilbert Baker Film Festival-GBFF, I constitute my full and complete acceptance of the terms hereof. I acknowledge that no oral representations of any kind have been made by the GBFF or the Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Tony Clemente Jr

    Such an inspiring festival. Jennifer works night and day to organize the fest, communicate with filmmakers, and raise awareness on social media. Your film is in good hands at Gilbert Baker!

    January 2024
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Tony Clemente Jr.!
    We so appreciate your participation and support.
    It has been an honor and a delight having you and your film, as part of Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF2023 and
    We look forward to having you as part of GBFF for years to come!

  • GBFF is an intimate and highly accessible festival organized by incredibly passionate, caring, and very hands-on staff. I highly recommend them and it was a wonderful experience to screen with them!!

    July 2023
    Response from festival:

    It has been an honor and a delight having you and your film, "F*** (2021)", as part of Gilbert Baker Film Festival - GBFF!
    We so appreciate your participation and support.
    We look forward to enjoying future projects from Laughing Cat Productions! 🏳️‍🌈 😍 🤗

  • Lanca Li

    An amazing community festival and one of the loveliest & most welcoming festival crew I've ever met. So honored to be part of your amazing festival and thanks for everything you guys are doing for the LGBTQIA+ community!

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    Thank you so much, Lanca Li.
    We really are Stronger Together!

  • Had a wonderful time at this festival. The community here was so welcoming, warm, and responsive. I think one of the best parts of the GBFF is that it is so receptive to a wide variety of content and stories. Experimental film, narrative stories, documentaries, and animation can all find a home here. Although it's a small festival, it encompasses a wide range of talent and filmmakers at different stages in their career. I was honored to be welcomed by this festival and am excited for next year!

    September 2020