Remembering Michael Gamilla

ImageOut Board Member Michael Gamilla, beloved community member, colleague and friend, passed away in Spring 2023. Michael served as Programming Director of ImageOut: The Rochester LGBTQ+ Film Festival for two decades. In this role, he carefully curated films to bring the best in global LGBTQ+ cinema to our local screens. The films offered visibility and representation of the LGBTQ+ community, telling diverse stories regarding race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religious identities, and more.

Among his many honors, Michael was a 2011 The Little Theatre Friend of Film awardee, a 2015 Empire State Pride Agenda Outstanding Community Champion awardee, the 2022 ROC Pride Grand Marshal, a 2022 Rochester LGBTQ+ Together ROC Pride MVP at Rochester Red Wings Pride Night, our 2022 ImageOut Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, and a 2022 Rainbow Seniors ROC Evelyn Bailey Legacy of Pride Award recipient.

Michael Gamilla, 2022 ROC Pride Grand Marshal at Pride Flag Raising Ceremony, MLK Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY
Michael Gamilla, 2022 ImageOut Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient at ImageOut 30th Anniversary Pearl Jubilee, The Century Club, Rochester, NY
Michael Gamilla, 2022 Evelyn Bailey Legacy of Pride Award Recipient at Rainbow Senior ROC Annual Meeting, Three Heads Brewing, Rochester, NY

To view out our full photo album dedicated to Remembering Michael, click here.

In His Own Words

There’s no one better qualified to speak about Michael Gamilla, his passion for LGBTQ+ cinema and love for ImageOut than the man himself. As we just begin to process this immense loss and mourn together as a community, we offer you this beautiful 2012 interview of Michael by Kevin Indovino:

“In this interview, Michael Gamilla extensively discusses his involvement with the ImageOut Film Festival, an annual LGBT film festival held in Rochester, New York. He talks about his interest in LGBT cinema and what he believes ImageOut has contributed to Rochester over the years. Gamilla then discusses his role as Chair of Programming for the festival. He also talks about the importance of making LGBT cinema accessible to the community.”

To read CITY’s news article remembering Michael, click here.

Honoring Michael’s Legacy

Our only ask as an organization right now is that you love and support each other through this difficult time, as our ImageOut family, greater Rochester community, and Michael’s friends and family around the world mourn this immense loss.

We are, however, being inundated by those asking how to best support Michael’s legacy at ImageOut. In conjunction with his Lifetime Achievement Award last fall, we created The Michael Gamilla Fund to provide underwriting support for our film festival. We’re certain that Michael would want to see LGBTQ+ film continue to thrive in our community, and this is a great way to ensure that.

Those interested can contribute to the Fund in honor of Michael’s legacy and in memory of our beloved dear friend. Checks can be mailed to our office at 274 N. Goodman St., Ste. A203 Rochester, NY 14607. They should be made payable to “ImageOut” with “Michael Gamilla Fund” in the memo line. Online donations can also be made via credit, debit or EFT at