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Queer film fests are so plentiful, even Lethbridge has one!

After its big debut last year, Lethbridge’s Rhino in the Room International Queer Film Festival is looking for submissions for its second event.

Yes Lethbridge, Alberta (population: just under 100,000). Amazing!

More submission info can be found online at rhinofilmfest.wordpress.com. Deadline is July 1 for the 2010 festival. The Rhino folks are also on Twitter @RhinoInTheRoom

Organizers are planning two nights of film, a guest speaker and an afterparty at a “local night hotspot.”

"At last year’s festival, there was only one local submission,” says festival director Heather Zarichney. “This year we would love to see more of our local community members represented in RITR, which is really starting to make a name for itself that Lethbridge should be proud of.”

Xtra caught up with Rhino organizers back in Sep 2009, days before the festival launch:

"Our biggest surprise was that people actually submitted their films,” says organizer Brittany Elder, with a sheepish tone. “We were not sure how people would respond to a
queer film fest in Lethbridge, but checking the mail and seeing the
piles of films arriving was really encouraging — we said ‘The festival
is actually happening!’”

And what about the name, “Rhino"?

"When we were planning the festival, we were really trying to come up
with a name that was distinctive,” says Elder. “We wanted to avoid
queer film fest clichés such as ‘rainbow,’ ‘out’ and ‘reel.”

Organizers researched gay symbols and learned that Boston activists used the purple rhinocerous as a gay emblem in the ‘70s.

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