ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — The oldest LGBTQ plus film festival is underway. “Out on Film” takes place over the next 11 days here in Atlanta…

For its 33rd year we can expect films from all over the world that depict the humanity of queer characters. The movies will be viewed online because of the pandemic, but this doesn’t affect their ability to inspire.

The “Out on Film” festival has always been a celebration of the LGBTQ experience. These are their stories, told by their own community. This year the festival will showcase more than 130 films from all around the world.

The festival opens with the documentary “Surviving the Silence” made by local filmmaker Cindy Abel. The story follows on the landmark 1992 military review of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for admitting she was a lesbian. An Army nurse was asked to preside over her trial.

“The irony was that the nurse was a lesbian herself,” said Abel. “It’s about their story, how they reconciled and it’s very timely because this is the 10th anniversary of the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ policy.”

Jim Farmer, the festival’s director, said there is a bonus to screening movies online versus in-person: ticket holders can view the movie at their convenience within a 72-hour window.

“The good news is that because we are virtual we can utilize filmmakers from all over the world,” he added.

And for the first time ever, the festival has been named an Oscar qualifying event.

“So what this means is that the film that wins our Best Drama Short award is now eligible to be considered for next year’s Academy Award and that’s huge for us,” said Farmer. 

It’s also huge for the community of Atlanta. The “Out on Film” festival runs through October 4 online. An in-person 40th anniversary screening of “Fame” will be held October 3 at the Spring Cinema Tap House.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.