The reelout queer film + video festival was originally established as a working group of the Kingston OPIRG in 1999.
Reelout's founder, Marney McDiarmid, held test market screenings in the backroom of the city's only gay bar, 477, to see if Kingston could sustain its own weekend-long queer film festival. As a result, McDiarmid rallied together both professionals in academia and enthusiastic film buffs and activists together to create what was known as the "reelout collective". The group was formed around the consensus decision-making process ensuring that every member of the group had the opportunity to have a voice.
As time went by and Reelout went from a working group to a joint project of Kingston OPIRG, the organizers felt they were successfully on their way to bigger and better things which included incorporating as a non-profit organization called the Reelout Arts Project Inc. in 2004. This newly formed corporation could now lay the groundwork for future sustainability and growth by forming a board of directors and hiring paid employees to direct the administrative and artistic aspects of the festival.
In 2006, the festival was honoured with the Queen's University Human Rights Initiative Award for their contribution to the community.
In 2007, the Reelout Arts Project Inc. became a registered charitable organization and a member of Volunteer Canada and in 2008 established the Reelout in Schools Project specializing in diversity and gender diversity education.
As Reelout, enters its next decade with a capital "R" it honours the work and dedication of those who have championed queer film and video and its artists over the past ten years and will continue to work towards showcasing the best and brightest queer cinematic offerings from around the world.
Special thanks to Reelout arts project inc. funders: