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. We've brought close to 200 feature length and short films to town since our inception, and we've hosted over 20 guest artists.

Save the dates: This year's festival will be held October 10–13! Whether you're from Dayton or from out of town, we hope you'll spend the weekend with us.



Gay Chorus Deep South

In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference.

Preceded by SLUSHIE; dir Ben Evory; 15 min
Jeremiah and his Christian rock band’s dream of touring the world is complicated when a cute guy comes to town.


Circus of Books

For over 35 years, the gay porn shop Circus of Books served as the epicenter for LGBT life and culture in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to many in the community it served, the store was cultivated and cared for by its owners: Karen and Barry Mason, a straight couple with three children. CIRCUS OF BOOKS is an intimate portrait of the Masons as told through the lens of their daughter Rachel.

Preceded by DRESS YOU UP LIKE MRS. DOUBTFIRE; dir Will J. Zang; 13 min
A look at 1992's MRS. DOUBTFIRE as one of the first family-friendly films to include drag.

Friday Night After Party

Attendees of CIRCUS OF BOOKS are invited to the FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER PARTY at the Greater Dayton LGBT Center. Enjoy a complimentary cocktail and delicious appetizers to kick off this year's fest!


Top Drawer Shorts

THE ONE YOU NEVER FORGET / DIR. MORGAN JON FOX / 9 MIN 14yo Carey is going to his first dance, and his father’s mission to get the perfect picture is more difficult than expected.

BABY / DIR. JESSE LEVANDOV / 8 MIN This queer love story follows a Dominican teenager in the Bronx on a Saturday afternoon.

MISDIRECTION / DIR. CARLY USDIN / 14 MIN A chance encounter teaches Cam to open her heart to magical possibilities.

SWEETHEART DANCERS / DIR. BEN-ALEX DUPRIS / 14 MIN A Two-Spirit couple rewrites the rules of Native American culture through their participation in the Sweetheart Dance.

THRIVE / DIR. JAMIE DI SPIRITO / 17 MIN Two young men make a connection during a hookup, but it becomes apparent they’re looking for different things.

SWEATER / DIR. NICOLAS BORENSTEIN / 5 MIN Corey’s day couldn’t be worse. Then he gets a free coffee.

SKIN / DIR. AUDREY ROSENBERG / 22 MIN A queer teenager discovers a living cave that presents them with a new skin and a chance to explore their identity.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SHAVERS / DIR. CHRISTINA RADBURN / 6 MIN Shines a light on gender and identity through its candid look at the way trans and gender-diverse people express and actualize their identity through facial hair.

Saint Frances

Bridget, a young woman drifting aimlessly through life, contends with an unplanned pregnancy just as she lands a new job nannying the six-year-old daughter of affluent lesbian couple Maya and Annie. Unaccustomed to the emotional flexibility required to be part of someone else’s family, Bridget learns to make peace with her precocious new charge as she becomes embroiled in a growing tension between the two moms.

Preceded by GIRLS WEEKEND; dir Kyra Sedgwick; 11 min
A queer daughter (Ali Liebegott) returns home to Las Vegas for a "girls weekend" with her estranged homophobic sister and people-pleasing mother (Linda Lavin).

Queering the Script

Queer nerds, rejoice! A dynamite roster of fans, creators and actors gather for an incisive discussion of the sometimes inspiring yet often troubled history of queer female representation on television. The film’s subjects beautifully articulate their frustrations and their ideas for better, more accurate, more inclusive visibility. Featuring interviews with Ilene Chaiken (THE L WORD), Angelica Ross (POSE), Stephanie Beatriz (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE) and more.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

At the time of release, The Advocate dubbed 1985’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge the gayest horror film ever made. For the film’s closeted young star, Mark Patton, such a tag was a stark reminder about the homophobia rampant in Hollywood at the time—and the painful experience he had making the high-profile film… which ended his acting career just as it was about to begin.



A feature-length documentary revealing the untold stories of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution from their home countries and who are resettling in the United States. UNSETTLED humanizes a group few people know, who are desperately trying to create new and safer homes.

The Blond One

In the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Gabriel has just moved in with his colleague, Juan. Shy and reserved, Gabo is reluctant to follow Juan’s wandering hands and meaningful looks. With a revolving door of beauties streaming out of Juan’s bedroom, his machismo seems firmly in place. However, the attraction between the two men is undeniable.

Straight Up

Todd and Rory are intellectual soul mates. He might be gay. She might not care. A romantic-comedy drama with a twist; a love story without the thrill of copulation.

Preceded by NEXT LEVEL SHIT; dir Gary Jaffe; 11 min
When Taylor prepares obsessively for the perfect third date with dreamboat Chris, his efforts backfire sending the relationship spiraling to a whole new level of intimacy.



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 the day of the screening, or anytime 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
Equitas Health
Greater Dayton LGBT Center
Human Race Theatre Company
Dayton Gay Men's Chorus
Square One Salon & Spa
PFLAG Dayton
Marion's Piazza
Miami Valley Fair Housing
MJ's on Jefferson

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