Next Generation Series

The ImageOut Next Generation Series is proud to bring the varied and very real experiences of LGBTQ+ youth to the greater Rochester community.

After three years of including a smattering of films highlighting issues faced by LGBT youth in the annual lineup, in programs such as After School Special (1995), It’s Elementary (1996), and The Young and the Restless (1997), festival organizers and curators realized just how important it was that these voices and experiences be heard. A special program was created to dedicate part of the festival to films by, for, and about LGBT youth. In 1998 this exciting project was inaugurated. With generous support from the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation, ImageOut added four programs specifically targeted to LGBT youth.

The first few years of this series focused on identifying and exposing the issues and problems faced by LGBTQ+ youth at home and in schools. Rochester’s LGBTQ+ youth population was finally able to share that exhilarating feeling we all get when the theatre is filled with other people who “get it” – those who also recognize those queer moments on screen, and with whom we share a sense of identity.

To help ensure that all youth can share this experience, information about the films and programs is distributed to community youth groups, school GSAs, and universities pride clubs before each festival. Free tickets to these films are provided to anyone less than 25 years of age to encourage their participation in the series.

The festival’s Programming Committee not only provides films covering a wide-range of youth issues, it also actively invites and encourages youth participation in the film selection process. Thanks to this collaboration, the annual offerings have grown in scope, including more films that are truly relevant to the issues, concerns and experiences of the LGBTQ+ youth of today.

Outreach to the LGBTQ+ youth has become a year-round concern and priority for the Festival. ImageOut previously partnered with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley’s Youth Program to bring festival-sponsored film screenings to the GAGV Youth Center. In 2007, a generous grant from the Wilson Foundation enabled ImageOut to purchase a digital video projector, further enhancing the viewing experience at these screenings.

All programs in this series are FREE to anyone under the age of 25. Tickets can be obtained during advance in-person ticket sales and at the box office on the day of the screening for programs that have not sold out in advance. Please be prepared to show proper ID.