qFLIX film festival postponed

The qFLIX film festival was previously scheduled for June 19 - 26.

QFLIX, Philadelphia’s LGBTQ film festival which was set to run from June 19 to 26 at the Suzanne Roberts Theater, has been postponed due to issues involving the organization’s nonprofit status, according to a statement issued June 7 by the organization’s president, James Duggan.

“Due to the ongoing pandemic related struggles at the Internal Revenue Service in processing nonprofit filings received in 2021, qFLIX is forced to postpone all our festivals until further notice,” the statement reads.

“According to the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, because of ‘the IRS lag time in processing paper-filed Forms 990 and extensions due to the pandemic, some (nonprofit) organizations have received notification that their tax-exempt status has been revoked for not filing returns that were at the IRS site but not processed.’ Unfortunately, qFLIX has been caught up in this problem, and while we have been working to have this error reversed retroactively, as instructed by the IRS, this has yet to happen. Without the ability to solicit donations we are unable to move forward with our planned festivals, as such, we have been forced to issue this postponement.”

Duggan told PGN that the organization is working with legal counsel as well as with the office of Rep. Dwight Evans to remedy the situation. However, due to the volume of similar requests from other nonprofit organizations, Duggan said it may be months before qFLIX’s nonprofit status is reinstated. Still, Duggan was hopeful that the festival will be able to happen this year.

“We are going to make every effort to produce qFLIX Philadelphia 2022 in both in person and virtual settings by the end of the year,” Duggan said.

qFLIX artistic director, Bill Egan, sent an email to filmmakers explaining the situation and stating that “the programming team and I were very excited to screen your film and we hope to find other opportunities to share it with audiences.”

In an email to PGN, Egan echoed Duggan’s sentiments that the organization hopes to be able to screen the films scheduled for the June festival at a later date.

“Contacting hundreds of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, producers and distributors from around the world was a very heart-wrenching process, however their responses were very sympathetic and supportive,” Egan wrote. “We are committed to screening their features, documentaries, short films and web series later this year. Their LGBTQ+ stories will be seen and heard.”

Egan also said that “Our main priority is the celebration and promotion of our LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Any information about viewing these films in the Tri-state area will be posted on our social media.”

Duggan told PGN that at this time, funding is the main issue preventing qFLIX from taking place.

“Actually, if someone were going to give us some [funds] or be kind enough to be an angel and give us some gifts, we can still accept money. We just can’t accept tax deductible money, nor can we solicit as a nonprofit, but we still operate as an organization,” Duggan said. “That is our own alternative to keeping the doors open and getting the festival up and running as soon as possible. We could literally have a festival in September if we had the funds.”

In addition to the June in-person festival, qFLIX also produces a pop up festival in Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as a virtual festival. In January 2022, the organization announced “The qFLIX Initiative: Removing Barriers & Reclaiming Stories,” which seeks to provide no-cost digital access to LGBTQ films.