Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With Jen and Ping of the Gilbert Baker Film Festival

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you, Hamish, for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all of your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.

TG Geeks: This week, I’m interviewing the directors of the Gilbert Baker Film Festival, of which I have two films in the festival: Matcha & Vanilla and The Last Anomaly. Could you please introduce yourselves and the Gilbert Baker Film Festival?


Jen and Ping: Hello! We are Jen and Ping, and we’re the Co-Directors of Gilbert Baker Film Festival (GBFF).


Gilbert Baker was the creator of the original rainbow Pride flag, a flag that means so much to the LGBTQIA+ community around the world. This festival was founded in 2016 when Gilbert conceived of the idea of having a film festival as a way to educate the community as well as celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride. Sadly, Gilbert died in 2017 before the first festival run. Nevertheless, the fully volunteer-run festival lives on in his honor and continues to unite, educate, and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community with all the films we screen and the events we hold.



TGG: Could you tell us what Gilbert Baker and the pride flag mean to you?


Ping: Gilbert Baker dedicated much of his life to spreading love, acceptance, and unity. Every video I see of him captures an exuberant, unapologetic spirit and love of life that is infectious and admirable. I hope to be able to spread much of the same positive energy in my own life and volunteer work with GBFF. 


The Pride flag is a magical symbol of so many great things and we have Gilbert Baker to thank for bringing it into this world. I feel the flag is a perfect extension of what Gilbert Baker advocated for and all the aspects of life worth celebrating: with the hot pink colour representing sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow signifying sunlight, green for nature, turquoise representing art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.


As with many things that pertain to 2SLGBTQIA+ matters, I realize that what the rainbow Pride flag means is unique to each person that discovers it. For myself, it represents unity, hope, love of life and diversity, an appreciation for all walks of life, and above all, it represents the principle that love is love and that we should celebrate love and life no matter what form they come in.



Jen: I strongly echo all of Ping’s sentiments regarding our Rainbow Pride Flag!
For me, The Rainbow Pride Flag lights up and keeps fueling all of my Queer Advocacy Passion, Queer Pride, and Queer Joy: Every time I see it, Over and over again! 

I Proudly wear Rainbow buttons, stickers, and clothing. I wear these things for me so I can be a living, breathing, walking Pride Flag and also so I am always sporting my own Queer Armor.  
Every time I see a Rainbow sticker or button I am drawn to it. If someone is wearing a Rainbow or sporting a Rainbow on their person I strive to connect with them in some way and to Let them know I See them, I Support them, I Stand with them. I want the entire 2SLGBTQIAPlus Community to know that they are Seen, Heard, Valued, Loved, and Represented!
The Pride Rainbow Flag is a universal symbol that inspires, unites, and emboldens the 2SLGBTQIAPlus Community around the World! The Rainbow Flag is a universal beacon of hope, safe harbor, and our continuing fight for Equal Human Rights!


TGG:  Could you please tell us about the festival programme you’re offering this year and what people can expect?

J+P: Thank you so much for your patience and support of Gilbert Baker Film Festiva – GBFF.


GBFF2022 will be open for streaming very soon! Coming in June 2023


#GBFF2022 will showcase 29 #LGBTQIA+ films grouped in 4 film collections: Raising Awareness, Under Wraps, Choose You, and Beyond Reality.


We will be inviting you to purchase tickets/passes and attend our virtual social events via our social media accounts and our newsletter. 


For now, you can wet your appetite on any or all of these trailers that we’ve made to introduce our GBFF2022 festival programme and films! 


Complete Festival Trailer: https://youtu.be/0T6NgqmQWWY


Feature Films Trailer: https://youtu.be/l5fVPFHGYYw



Raising Awareness Collection Trailer: https://youtu.be/VkT0P7p9lL0



Under Wraps Collection Trailer: https://youtu.be/x50pNMKIkVc



Choose You Collection Trailer :https://youtu.be/0UoUcNhFLdw



Beyond Reality Trailer: https://youtu.be/BkoUgH9tdyE



TGG: How do you plan to recreate the in-person festival experience online? I understand that you’ll be having watch parties.

J+P: Gilbert Baker Film Festival holds Watch Parties, Social Events and 2SLGBTQIAplus/Allies Filmmaker Networking Events

GBFF Watch Parties are ticketed events that are held in Zoom, where our GBFF Community can connect, communicate, discuss, celebrate and amplify 2SLGBTQIAPlus Stories on Screen
GBFF films are watched via Eventive, a secure streaming platform.

Gilbert Baker Film Festival Watch Parties general format:

Come join other 2SLGBTQIA+ /Queer/Ally people in Zoom for a Watch Party! Together we will enjoy watching and discussing films with 2SLGBTQIA+ /Queer representation and/ or storylines.


We open a Zoom for anyone in the community to join us to share our love of 2SLGBTQIA+/ Queer films, as well as watch & discuss films together.


The first few minutes are a general discussion, catch up, and making sure all participants have legal access to our GBFF Films via Eventive, followed by watching the films.

After watching the films, we’ll discuss the films and chat about the films and other stuff.

A great way to stay connected to our community!

Make new friends from all over the world with the Gilbert Baker Film Festival!!


Virtual & Worldwide – Zoom Events

We Are #StongerTogether

Come Connect and Communicate, Don’t Isolate !!


TGG: What was the biggest learning curve for bringing back this wonderful festival?


J+P: Life is full of surprises, and organizing a film festival is no different. What we have learned is that no matter how much we plan, things never quite go to plan, and we have to run with it. We constantly have to remind ourselves of the end goals and why this festival is so important in what it offers and represents; we give each other moral support and drive to push through to achieve what we set out to do. Ultimately, we are fans of 2SLGBTQIA+ films, of the underdog, of untold stories, and of positive representation. We put this film festival together so that other fans and people in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and allies may celebrate these stories with us. Through holding GBFF and interacting with incredible filmmakers and other like-minded people, we have learned so much already, and we hope to continue to learn and enjoy this educational and inspirational journey together.


TGG: Finally, how can we buy tickets and follow you (both the festival and individually) on social media?

J+P: Gilbert Baker Film Festival – GBFF2022 – Happening during Pride – June through July 2023
GBFF is Virtual and Worldwide





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Please follow us on social media for the latest updates on the festival and to help spread the word, spread our love of film, and support queer filmmakers!


Instagram: @gilbertbakerfilmfest

Twitter: @GilbertBakerFF

Facebook: @gilbertbakerfilmfestival

TikTok: @gilbertbakerfilmfestival

YouTube: Gilbert Baker Film Festival (GBFF) Official

Clubhouse: GBFF LGBTQIA+ Film Club

Meetup: Gilbert Baker Film Festival 

Subscribe to our newsletter: http://eepurl.com/hNLtiP

Together we are stronger, together we champion acceptance, diversity, human rights, and unity, and bring hope, community, and positive representation to the world.

Jen Trujillo
Twitter @jatdog

Facebook: @jennifer.a.trujillo1

TikTok: @jatdogzen


Twitter: @_Ping_L
Instagram: @PingScripted

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