The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is a movie screening event that takes place each October in Tampa, Florida. The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is a movie screening event that takes place each October in Tampa, Florida. The primary venue is the Tampa Theater, but several other cinemas in or near the downtown area and in St Petersburg simultaneously host the event as well. While most of the films focus on homosexual themes, some films explore other areas of human sexuality including transgender issues and gender roles.
The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) was founded in 1989 by representatives of several groups: The Tampa Bay Business Guild (TBBG), the Bay Area Human Rights Coalition, and the Tampa Bay Gay Men's Chorus. Started in 1990 as a 3 day extension of Tampa's gay pride celebrations, the festival grew to become one of the largest gay and lesbian film festivals in the United States and is now one of the 10 largest in the U.S. After the 1999 festival, the festival's core team of volunteers organized themselves as the Friends of the Festival, Inc., a nonprofit 501c(3) entity.
Friends of the Festival now produces year-round programming, which includes a Film Series from January through August, year-round outreach screenings, and the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in October.
Much of the success of the Film Festival continues to be driven by a large pool of volunteers who carry out a multitude of festival tasks, which include major fund raisers, screenings, a committee to preview and select films with the Programming Director, staffing of multiple events throughout the Film Festival, post festival wrap-up, reporting, and updating of the database.
In November 2006, Chuck Henson was hired as Executive Director.
For the 2007 event, seventy films from more than 20 countries were included in the line-up of the 18th annual Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The festival runs 11 days.
Additional events related to the annual film festival include, the Presidents Reception (Opening Night), Festival Gala, Frisky Friday (Women's) Party, Saturday Surge (Men's) Party, Festival Awards Brunch, and Business Guild Expo. Additionally a "festival" atmosphere is maintained outside the Tampa Theatre throughout the event.
The films, events, and videos draws approximately 14,000 people, making it one of the country's largest and longest-running independent gay film festivals.
At the conclusion of the 2007 event, Festival Organizers announced a re-branding of the annual event. The new name, Clip Film Festival also has several other iterations that capture the other year-round film events produced by Friends of the Festival, Inc., including Clip Film Series and Clip Film Outreach.