Our name — Stamped Film Festival, Pensacola’s LGBTQ Film Festival — was inspired by efforts of the LGBTQ community in the mid-1990s to highlight the impact of LGBTQ tourism. After some local officials and business owners spoke out against gay and lesbian visitors, including annual Memorial Day Weekend activities which draw tens of thousands of people to the area, many LGBTQ residents and visitors began to stamp the cash they spent with the words “GAY MONEY” and/or a pink triangle. That year, Christopher Street South, a local LGBTQ publication, estimated that gay and lesbian tourists spent $25 million annually in the area.
The Stamped Film Festival highlights the artistic contributions both nationally and internationally of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) films and filmmakers. The unique ability of film to transcend stereotypes and relate to the viewer opens the door to a dialogue about the LGBTQ experience, building a stronger and more open Pensacola.
Stamped Film Festival was spearheaded in 2012 by Sara Latshaw as a means to create a more accepting, safe, and educated community in our small Gulf Coast town of Pensacola, FL. The film festival board and organization has continued to grow over the years with increased attendance at the annual film festival and by hosting other outreach activities. Stamped showcases the artistic contribution of LGBTQ film and filmmakers from all over the world. In 2015 the film festival re-branded itself from Pensacola LGBTQ Film Fest to ‘Stamped Film Festival’, a name paying homage to the days when Memorial Day Weekend LGBTQ tourists stamped their money to demonstrate their significant impact on the local economy. Likewise, Stamped hopes to continue the tradition of raising awareness of the LGBTQ community.