Translate this page :

Together for Mental Wellbeing stands against racism in all its forms - read our anti-racism commitment.

LGBT+ History Month 2023 – Behind the Lens – A blog by Together Head of Operations and Development Matina Marougka

Posted on 28, February 2023

I watched Tár few days ago.

To my surprise, the movie started with what would have otherwise been the closing credits. I found this to be a great initiative to help the audience to actually spend time looking at how many people and groups have actually contributed to the movie. So that showed it wasn’t just (the amazing if you ask me…) Cate Blanchett and other actors that made the film. I wondered at the time how many of those behind the lens were identifying as LGBT+. To me that’s important, for various reasons.

I don’t necessarily want to see a movie portraying a lesbian woman that is merely produced/developed by cis men, for example. I am just not convinced it will be very relatable to queer people.

With that in mind, I am very excited to have booked tickets again for BFI Flare festival in March, which celebrates the best in contemporary LGBTQIA+ cinema from around the world. I am planning to see 4 movies this time, and as always, at least one documentary.

One of the things that draws me to this festival year after year is the opportunity to meet the films’ creators, as part of the Q&A section at the end. I am always curious to hear their rationale about the choices they made in the movie and the decisions they took.

On a more personal level, I shouldn’t underestimate the impact on my mental wellbeing. Not only does it make me feel as part of a community, but I also feel safe as I am around people who embrace diversity, especially different sexual and other identities. It’s about connecting with others, those in the room with you and those on screen and behind the lens. It’s about sharing own stories and developing understanding of how our different experiences shape us. It’s an opportunity to relate to others from everywhere around the world, making you optimistic that changes are happening but also reminding at times that there is still a long way to go. Going to the festival makes me really excited for all these reasons!

As in every workplace, diversity brings about miracles! Having diverse views and contributions comes from employing a diverse workforce, where all staff have permission to bring themselves at work without judgements and are given equal opportunities to participate. That of course involves them working at every level in the organisation. All this applies to films as well.

Also, I always considered the film industry to be more progressive, and my love for films comes from the desire to experience, and be exposed to, other cultures, identities, thinking, ways of living and struggles. Celebrating those behind the lens this LGBT+ history month is of great importance to me, as someone who identifies with the LGBT+ community, as a film lover, as an aspiring Occupational Psychologist too. It’s important to recognise all the hard work that goes behind what we all see on screen and how all this diversity, when truly embraced, can really shake up those of us watching.