About Us

The Dayton LGBT Film Festival has been bringing the best and newest of LGBT cinema to the Miami Valley for well over a decade. It's hard to believe that this is already year 13! We've brought close to 200 feature length and short films to town since our inception, and we've hosted over 20 guest artists. We're thrilled that attendance has grown every year, and we think you'll fall in love with many of the films we've selected for you here. Whether you're from Dayton or from out of town, we hope you'll spend the weekend with us.



Miseducation of Cameron Post

Cameron is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh and her brother, Reverend Rick—himself an example of how those in the program can be “cured”—the center is built upon repenting for “same sex attraction.” In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow sinners. Together, this group of teenagers form an unlikely family and fight to survive.

Preceded by POP ROX; dir Nate Trinrud; 14 min
Jesse, a seventeen-year-old girl, musters the courage to tell her high school best friend that she’s in love with her.

Opening Night Party

Attendees of Opening Night Film are invited to the OPENING NIGHT PARTY at the Greater Dayton LGBT Center. Enjoy a complimentary cocktail and delicious appetizers to kick off this year's fest!


Top Drawer Shorts

SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX / DIR. REINOUT HELLENTHAL / 9 MIN Alex, a troubled and isolated teenager, finds a true and supportive friend in Hendrik, his sister's boyfriend.

MEN DON'T WHISPER / DIR. JODAN FIRSTMAN / 22 MIN After being emasculated at a sales conference, a gay couple set out to do the most masculine thing they can think of - sleep with some women.

SWEET AND SOUR / DIR. ANN SUN / 6 MIN Wei believes that his traditional Chinese mom will have a hard time accepting his boyfriend.

MASKS / DIR. MAHALIYAH AYLA O / 23 MIN A closeted med student risks being outed to her family on the same night of a horrific event.

DARIO / DIR. MANUEL KINZER & JORGE A TRUJILLO O / 15 MIN Against his mother’s wishes, a teenager from Colombia loves to dance in a carnival dancing group.

THE INHERENT TRAITS OF CONNOR JAMES / DIR. ALLY PANKIW O / 14 MIN Lea and Court, a happily-married lesbian couple, return to Lea’s hometown with their three-year-old son to attend an old friend’s funeral.


Around 15,500 transgender people serve in the U.S. military (notably the largest transgender employer in the U.S.), where they must conceal their gender identity because military policies ban their service. TRANSMILITARY chronicles the lives of four individuals defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own. They put their careers and their families’ livelihoods on the line by coming out as transgender to top brass officials in the Pentagon in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve. The ban was lifted in 2016, but with President Trump now trying to reinstate it, their futures hang in the balance again. This powerful film won the "Documentary Feature Audience Award" at this year's SXSW Film Festival.

Preceded by THE TOOTHMANS; dir HANSEN BURSIC; 14 min
Quietly nestled in McConnellsburg, a rural town in Pennsylvania, a relatively normal family faces challenges as their daughter comes out as transgender.

Wild Nights With Emily

From writer and director Madeleine Olnek (FOXY MERKINS) comes a comical look at the life of Emily Dickinson starring the incomparable Molly Shannon as the literary icon. This quirky and irreverent film runs counter to the notion that Dickinson was a lonely spinster. Instead, we get a brighter picture of a more spirited woman who was forced to hide her love affair.

Preceded by UNTITLED SHORT FILM ABOUT WHITE PEOPLE; dir Nicholas Colia; 17 min
In an effort to rid herself of guilt for gentrifying the neighborhood, a WASPy young woman aggressively attempts to befriend the Indian woman who works at the bodega on her block.


Robert Mapplethorpe is arguably one of the most important artists of the 20th century and he discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The film explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea Hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic. Here he begins photographing its inhabitants and his newly found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars and member of the S&M underground. Starring Matt Smith (DOCTOR WHO, THE CROWN), this biopic offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and of the self-destructive impulses that threaten to undermine it all.

Preceded by SET ME AS A SEAL UPON THINE HEART; dir Omer Tobi; 14 min
A gay sauna encounter between a young man and an older man becomes an unexpected lesson about love. .


Dear Fredy

Fredy Hirsch was a proud Jew and openly gay man born in Germany. At 19 years old, upon the publication of the Nuremberg Laws, he fled from Germany to the Czech Republic which was later conquered by the Nazis. He began activities in the Czech Republic as a sports teacher and soon became his students’ object of admiration. With the deportation of the Jews to Ghetto Terezin, Fredy was appointed head of the youth department and dealt with more than 4,000 young people. When he arrived in Auschwitz, he persuaded Mengele to set up a daycare center for children and youth and granted some 600 children their final moments of happiness.

Every Act of Life

EVERY ACT OF LIFE profiles world-renowned playwright Terrence McNally’s pioneering 5-decade career in the theater, focusing on the struggle for LGBT rights and his pursuit of love and inspiration at every age. Featuring Angela Lansbury, F. Murray Abraham, Larry Kramer, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald, Edie Falco, Christine Baranski, Patrick Wilson, Billy Porter, and many more – including Dayton native and Muse Machine alum Micah Stock.


RETABLO is a stunningly gorgeous coming-of-age film about Segundo, a 14-year-old Peruvian boy who idolizes his father and his beautiful artistic endeavors. Upon discovering his father’s secret, Segundo’s world is rattled and he struggles to come to grips with his role in this highly patriarchal community. This beautiful film has been winning awards at major festivals from Berlin to San Francisco.



The best way to attend the fest!
A pass gets you priority seating, plus access to all screenings and the Opening Night Party!



Buy online until noon on the day of each screening. Tickets also available at THE NEON.




The fest takes place at THE NEON movie theater in downtown Dayton. There are several restaurants located within walking distance of the theater.


Free parking is available directly across the street from THE NEON.


Tickets can be purchased online or at THE NEON. No refunds or exchanges. Tickets for each screening will be removed from online sale at noon on the day of each screening. At that time, remaining tickets will only be available in person at THE NEON.

Note that SOLD OUT doesn't always mean you can’t get a ticket! Call THE NEON at (937) 222-8452 to see if any tickets are available for purchase. Also, attendees without tickets may join a "Rush Line" to purchase any unclaimed tickets up to one hour before the screening.

Please arrive before the screening begins. At the start time of each show, the festival reserves the right to resell any unclaimed tickets or empty seats.


Thanks to all of our sponsors! Without their assistance, the festival couldn't happen. Costs to produce a festival go well beyond the rental of each film, and their support helps to keep ticket costs low. We encourage you to thank each of our sponsors - both verbally and by supporting their businesses when possible.

Westminster Financial
Rainbow Elder Care
Jewish Family Services
Equitas Health
Greater Dayton LGBT Center
Human Race Theatre Company
Dayton Gay Men's Chorus
Square One Salon & Spa
PFLAG Dayton
Marion's Piazza
MJ's on Jefferson

Additional sponsors include:
Ken Byers, Kurt Fleagle & Warren Riffle, Lisa Hanauer & Sue Spiegel, David Lauri, Craig Schrolucke
and Chase Whiteside.