UW-Eau Claire hosts annual Q-Fest

Celebrating LGBTQ+ films from around the country, on campus

Delia Brandel

More stories from Delia Brandel


Photo by Chris Murray / Unsplash

UW Eau Claire hosts annual Q-Fest.

During the month of October, UW-Eau Claire will host Q-Fest, a LGBTQ+ film festival based in Eau Claire. 

Q-Fest is a celebration of LGBTQ+ filmmakers from around the country. A group of UW-Eau Claire students travel to San Francisco to watch and choose short films to bring back to campus and show their peers. 

These films tackle themes of inclusion, love, family, friendship and many other life experiences with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ representation. The films are mixed genres, to encourage everyone to participate.

The Q-Fest website’s mission statement includes “we challenge ourselves and our community to examine systems that uphold hetero- & cis-sexism, anti-queerness, racism, and colonialism.” 

Erin McMicheal, student programmer on the Q-Fest team, blogged, “On top of just learning more about who I am as a person, I learned so much about the meaning of family, both chosen and biological.” 

Students at The Bridge, UW-Eau Claire’s LGBTQ+ common space on-campus located on the second floor of Davies, gave their opinions on how Q-Fest affects them as identified allies or parts of the community. 

“I think for me its about representation of the queer community, because in a lot of films we dont get that representation, especially as a nonbinary person who is queer,” Jazzmyne , a first-year student, said. 

Jasmine T, also a first-year student, said “I think it’s a good way to meet new people and connect over things like … different interests, just being part of a community- thats how I found most of my friends here”  

Q-fest gives an opportunity for the LGBTQ+ members of campus to view their own hardships and celebrations through the lens of visual media, which has been done minimally up until now, according to Statistica.

The website features biographies for all of the members of the team and updates for this year’s festival. 

“I am excited to strengthen my relationships with my siblings and parents and not back away from tough, important conversations,” said McMicheal.

“I think its a great way for people to feel less isolated, and feel like they’re not alone (in) being a queer student” said Jazzmyne.

The film festival will be showing the first of 19 short films on Oct 18, all being held at the Woodland Theatre in Davies Student Center. 

The festival runs for five days, allowing students to stop in when they can as the showings are scattered throughout the day. This, along with the free admission, allows for more accessibility for students who are interested. 

Many of the films have already gained notoriety and will bring in more viewers, including “Gatekeep Gaslight Girlboss,” a short film collection. 

To find out more details regarding Q-Fest and how it comes together, you can visit https://qfestuwec.com/ 

Brandel can be reached at [email protected].