For the last 13 years, the Kansas City Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has been bringing great stories from around the world to movie audiences in Kansas City. This year, we are asking for your help to tell one of our area’s own great untold stories and share it with the world.

We have created Out Here Now – The Kansas City LGBT Film Project, a new venture that will produce and distribute films about the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people here in our area. We’ll be filming our stories ― our struggles for equality, the personal stories that shape us, and our shared culture that defines the LGBT experience in the heart of America.

Our goal is to raise the money to select the filmmaker who will be the creative lens for the first film. To do that, we’re using Kickstarter.com, the online pledge platform for community-supported, creative projects like ours. Six of the films featured in this year’s festival got their start via Kickstarter. You can see our Kickstarter project page now at www.OutHereNow.com.

In some ways, we’re very fortunate. There’s no shortage of vibrant people, fascinating stories, and well-documented history in our area ― including the resources of GLAMA, the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America, a joint initiative between the Kansas City Museum and UMKC.

As an established film festival that has worked with filmmakers from all over the world, we’ve got a shortlist of directors who know Kansas City and its LGBT community and would love a chance to help us. But we only have until July 15 to raise the funds.

We’ve created some great rewards to thank our project backers. You can choose to see your name on screen when the credits roll, own a copy of the finished DVD, or even attend the premiere next June.

Helping to produce films and support filmmakers from our area has been a long-standing vision shared by many. We will continue to bring you the best new emergent films (and classic favorites) from around the world. Our Out Here Now film project will not only further our mission to entertain and educate, but it will also share the unique cultural experiences of our LGBT community with the world.

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