Think your lesbian Web site is the bomb? Do you spend hours a day tweaking the script for what you’re convinced is better than The L Word? Looking to become the next great (published) lesbian novelist? Well, clear your calendar on May 9–11.
Designed to foster resources, connections, talent, mentorships, motivation and encouragement, the weekend-long women’s summit, Q-Me Con, (the 3rd Annual Queer Media and Entertainment Conference) kicks off on May 9 in New York City.
“The idea for the Q-Me Con Women’s Summit sprang out of a block of programming devoted to women’s issues we launched in Hollywood at Q-Me Con 2007,” says Executive Director and Punkmouse Productions founder, Jennifer Howd. “We had such an amazing response to the women’s track in Hollywood that we decided to create an entire summit for the queer female media-making community back in our hometown.”
Howd continues, “It’s becoming increasingly clear that queer women must take responsibility for creating and distributing our own images of ourselves if we want to see our community accurately represented in the mass media and entertainment arenas on any significant level.”
Sandra Madsen (co-executive producer of Q-Me Con) adds, “The Q-Me Con Women’s Summit is a very important event because women’s voices are still a minority in the media today, and very much so with respect to the LGBTQ Community. This summit brings women of all ages, shapes, forms and cultures together to experience community, empowerment and endless possibility. The Women’s Summit allows us to have access to these important elements that play a large role in our industry, and it gives everyone a space to share their authentic voices.”
The staying power of queer media giants like here! Networks, Logo, TLA and Wolfe Video prove the need for queer content remains a vital part of the entertainment atmosphere. At the same time, shows like The L Word, Exes and Ohs, Lesbian Sex & Sexuality, Gimme Sugar and Workout have proven lesbian and bi characters and content are becoming increasingly more visible. Here! Networks and GO Magazine, sponsors of the opening night bash at HK Lounge on Friday, May 9, reiterate lesbian and bi visibility through their dynamic support of the Q-Me Con Women’s Summit and are setting the tone for the conference with a blast of power-schmoozing and a giant dose of New York lesbian fun.
Saturday, May 10 includes a wide array of informative seminars, in-depth forums and interactive workshops delving into the challenges of financing, pitching, marketing and distributing queer-inclusive, female-centric content. The L Word’s Rose Troche will be conducting two intensive workshops along with famed video and film artist Barbara Hammer. Other noted guests include: Amy Lesser, GO Magazine’s own publisher and editor-in-chief; Karen Flischel, executive vice president and general manager, here! Networks; Heather Matarazzo, actress on Logo’s Exes & Ohs; Michaline Babich, executive producer of Logo’s Gimme Sugar; Grace Moon, managing editor of OurChart.com and founder of Velvetpark; Diana Cage, show host on Sirius OutQ; Sarah Warn, founder and editor, AfterEllen.com; and Chagmion Antoine, reporter, CBS News on Logo.
Sunday’s continental brunch at Cattyshack, presented by OP/LYNX & NewFest in collaboration with Q-Me Con and Queer Black Cinema, will focus on the uncharted territory of Lesbian Webisodes. Brunch will be followed by a screening at 2:30pm. Immediately following the screening, Kerry Weldon, filmmaker and administrative director of NewFest, moderates a Q&A with the filmmakers on the topic of where new wave storytelling meets multi-platform marketing. Reserve your seat early: This event will sell out.
The ultimate goal of The Q-Me Con’s Women’s Summit is about finding solutions to how women in all areas of media can forge networks and combine resources to bridge boundaries and break down social constructs around gender and sexuality in the media landscape.
“By focusing Q-Me Con 2008 on topics that affect the queer women’s media making community, Jennifer and Sandra are taking the conference into a new and much needed direction,” says John Baez, co-founder of Q-Me Con. “I think that more so than gay men, queer women need a safe space to discuss the issues that specifically affect them. They’re also in need of increased opportunities to foster creative solutions and spaces to network and come together. I think this year’s Q-Me Con Women’s Summit will achieve those goals and much, much more.”