ImageOut is a premier LGBTQ+ film festival in New York State. We present LGBTQ+ arts and cultural experiences showcasing films, other creative works and artists to promote awareness, foster dialogue and build community. Our vision is for ImageOut to be recognized and respected as a major arts and cultural organization enriching the community by celebrating and bringing visibility to LGBTQ+ artists and themed work.

In 2020, ImageOut adapted to the limitations imposed by the pandemic by hosting a full program of films on our Eventive virtual platform during our regular schedule -- without delays, cancellations, or scaling back. In fact, the Festival was bigger than ever, including a film screening on a boat cruise along the Erie Canal and a pop-up drive-in experience. We are hoping to provide both virtual and in-person cinematic experience for this year, depending on current pandemic guidelines and the availability of our arthouse venues. We're keeping our fingers crossed!

ImageOut is an Iris Prize partner and is one of the few select LGBTQ+ film festivals from around the world who can outrightly nominate a film for the Iris Prize Shorts Film Competition in Cardiff, Wales. It is one of the richest shorts film competition in the world.

The festival awards Jury Prizes for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short. The audiences also vote for their favorites and Audience Prizes are given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short. All feature-length films receive a $500 cash prize along with a commemorative certificate. Short films receive $250 cash prize and certificate.

FLOWER CITY FLICKS: Short films by local and area filmmakers can also compete in a juried competition with the winner receiving $500 cash prize and certificate. This is to encourage LGBTQ+ filmmaking in Western New York.

Short film submissions will also be considered for possible nomination to the Iris Prize competition in Cardiff, Wales.

All films submitted with LGBTQ content will be considered for the film lineup selection. Submission fees are non-refundable. Rochester is home to a large hard-of-hearing and deaf community. We encourage filmmakers to provide closed captioning for their films. If your film includes captions (as opposed to subtitles), please contact us for a fee waiver code. Films selected for the lineup are all eligible for the Jury and Audience awards. Submissions should ideally be film works from the last couple of years. Please contact us if your title is older than two years.

Overall Rating
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  • Rob Salerno

    ImageOut were so great at letting filmmakers know how the festival was going. I only wish I could have been there!

    December 2020
  • Ben Baur

    This was my second time showing a film at ImageOut. Unfortunately I couldn't be there due to Covid, but they put on a spectacular festival and I hope to be back again in years to come!

    October 2020
  • Nicholas Downs

    ImageOut is one of my favorite film festivals. I’ve been in projects that have been in this festival in the past and I just recently had my short film, The Handyman, screen at this year‘s festival. Everyone involved in the festival is just amazing and makes the experience incredible. This is definitely one to submit to!

    November 2019
  • Will Stewart

    As I come to the end of my festival run, I have come to realize how important communication is from the festivals. It is what has separated festivals I would submit to in the future and ones I will tell people to skip. ImageOut was fantastic in the communication department. I was unable to attend, but they answered all my questions leading up to the dates and gave me a rundown of how it went afterwards. Michael Gamilla is fantastic at his job! And the line up was great as well. Definite recommend.

    November 2019
  • Aaron Immediato

    It was an honor to screen my short film BATHROOM TROLL at ImageOut in 2019 and discuss the film with audience members. The entire experience was very rewarding, and I highly recommend the festival for both filmmakers and film-lovers.

    October 2019