Your Normal LGBT Film Festival

Event/Prairie Pride Coalition/2013

The Problem

LGBT equality is an important part of inclusion and diversity in every community. But equality is more than a policy. Understanding comes with empathy, interaction, and perspective. Bloomington-Normal’s first LGBT film festival showcases the triumphs, struggles, fears, kinks, conflicts, and commitments of LGBT couples and individuals. These stories are not just isolated to the LGBT community though as they are commonly shared themes of life, however getting the cisgendered heterosexual population to attend the shows proved challenging.

The Project

The LGBT Film Festival was created by a local LGBT advocacy organization to show films with familiar themes based on gay narratives. The goal was to empower and advocate for the LGBT community in Bloomington-Illinois, but also seek to find common ground with cis/straight identified audiences. Marriages, relationships, sexuality, extended family, careers, and children are all aspects of life that can be humorous, heart-breaking, or up-lifting. A provocative and accessible marketing presence was needed to reach new audiences.


  • Developed, designed, and maintained festival website.
  • Assisted in logo design development with contract designer.
  • Managed all print and digital advertisement for festival.
  • Consulted and developed sponsoring structure for tickets packaging and web advertisements.
  • Developed ticket packages to incentivize and measure attendance.
  • Worked with town staff, advocacy members, and local business in development of festival partnerships.
Festival identity research.

The Solution

The color pallet of the festival brand is based on the excitement of a dark theater, the electric light of the Art Deco cinema in which the festival calls home, and the bold, iconic, and proud colors of the LGBT rainbow flag. The dark fields help to saturate and isolate the colors while providing a sophisticated edge. For a small midwestern town in Illinois, approachability without apology was key in attracting new audiences and recruiting new advocates.

The Results

Repeat festival attendance grew in the years instituting the festival pass, as well as recognizability in the festival itself. In the weeks leading up to the festival kickoff, Uptown Normal embraced the event with banners and media partnerships. The website served not only as promotion of the features and events, but also to draw film submissions from around country and bring new perspectives to Normal, Illinois.

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