QFest is dedicated to promoting the arts as a powerful tool for communication and cooperation among diverse communities by presenting programs by, about, and of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community.
QFest is a sponsored project of The Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), a 501c3 dedicated to promoting the creation and appreciation of film, video, and new media as art forms of a multicultural community.
The story of QFest begins in 1996, when a group of maverick arts organizations collaborated and created The First Annual Houston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, better known as The HGLFF. Inaugurated by Loris Bradley of DiverseWorks, Liz Empleton of Rice Cinema, Sarah Gish of Landmark Theatres, and Marian Luntz of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The HGLFF would soon grow to include Steve Buck of The Angelika Film Center and Andrea Grover of The Aurora Picture Show. In its early years as a multi-venue annual event, The Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) served as the festival’s non-profit fiscal sponsor. The first co-presidents of the HGLFF were Gudrun Klein and Andrew Edmonson, followed by Margaret Zigman and Ernie Manouse. In 2005, Margaret Zigman became the festival’s President.
In 2006, the festival’s tenth anniversary, under then-Board President Sixto Wagan, Rob Arcos, formerly of Landmark Theatres, was named Festival Director and Kristian Salinas was named Program Director. Now charged with creating its own program, the festival condensed its previous two week run into a five-day weekend. In 2007, led by new Executive Director Kristian Salinas, The HGLFF’s 11th year launched with a new name – QFest.
Entering its 19th year, QFest returns to its roots, once again engaging The Southwest Alternate Media Project as its Fiscal Sponsor. Sharing philosophies and missions, SWAMP and QFest mutually benefit one another through their partnership, and as a result, positively impact the cultural landscape of the Greater Houston Area.
Kristian Salinas | Artistic Director
Kristian’s involvement with QFest dates back to 1996, when he served on the Festival’s first Advisory Committee. An RTF graduate at The University of Texas at Austin, Kristian has been involved in nearly every facet within the arts and entertainment industry, having worked for Rice Cinema, MFAH Films, Landmark Theatres, Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), Reinhart Marketing, and The Angelika Film Center. While living in Los Angeles, Kristian was the Senior Programmer at Outfest 2003: The 21st Annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. He also enjoyed a successful freelance career as a copywriter, publicist, online marketing specialist, and festival-programming consultant.
Mary Lampe | Grants Administrator
Mary is an independent consultant for film and cultural arts, working statewide with organizations and individuals to develop and achieve collections, funding, exhibition, education, and other arts-related goals. She served as the Executive Director of Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) from 1998 through 2014. While at SWAMP, she was also the Executive Producer for The Territory, a short film showcase series broadcast on Texas PBS stations. During her tenure, she helped filmmakers raise over $2 million for their film projects. Mary is often a short film juror for Dallas VideoFest and Houston’s Senorita Cinema. She is a founder and current board member of Houston Cinema Arts Society and Houston Cinema Arts Festival.
Stephanie Saint Sanchez | Volunteer Coordinator
Raised in Beaumont, corrupted in Houston…Stephanie Saint Sanchez is a “by any means necessary” media artist, movie maker, and instigator. As founder of La Chicana Laundry Pictures she has made over 25 award winning, genre-bending shorts. She also started the Senorita Cinema Film Festival, the only all Latina Film Festival in Texas. She is a recipient of both The Southwest Alternate Media Project’s (SWAMP) Emerging Filmmakers Fellowship and Lawndale Artist Studio Program, and created and directed the official 2013 and 2014 QFest trailers, with plans for 2015. Look for her alter ego DJ ESteff to be spinning them fun fun records at various QFest events throughout the festival.
Mail: ℅ SWAMP
3400 Main St., Ste. 284
Houston, TX 77002-9528