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. In 2021, we went hybrid and provided both virtual and in-person cinematic experiences to our audience. We also added ImageOut First Cut, our spring edition, in May last year so we can screen many films that were getting released before October.

For 2022, we are hosting our second ImageOut First Cut film festival from April 30 to May 8 and it will be mostly films that distributors will be releasing before fall. This submission page will still be mainly for our October film festival which we are planning once again to be a hybrid event.

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
  • I was excited to screen my series pilot, Couple of Guys, at ImageOut. Michael Gamila, Michelle Thornton and Stephen Weisenreder went out of their way to be hospitable and welcoming, and really made us feel at home with a great Q & A and rapid responsivity. The town itself is a lovely arts community, with plenty to see if you visit. We loved the theater and the screenings and we had a nice sized audience, which we worried about with Covid, but it was nicely attended. We enjoyed the other films we screened with and were proud to be part of the line-up. Highly recommend!

    November 2021
  • Kelly Walker

    Thank you so much for screening our film! We are grateful for the experience.

    October 2021
  • Christopher McNeany

    Wonderful festival. Michael really puts his heart and soul into making this festival a great experience for both filmmakers and audiences. Highly recommended!

    October 2021
  • 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