Celebrating a decade of LGBTQ cinema | Out At Clapham

Travel through ten years of our Clapham home's queer film club

Dan Hawkins

23 Jan 24

This week marks a significant milestone for Out At Clapham, the LGBTQ film club hosted by Clapham Picturehouse, as it commemorates its 10th anniversary. As the co-founder and programmer of the club, I've been taking a look back at the last decade of screenings – a period that has seen queer cinema really come to the fore, with numerous critical and commercial successes.

Our journey began on 06 February 2014, with the screening of the award-winning drama Dallas Buyers Club. This inaugural event set the stage for a decade filled with remarkable LGBTQ cinema releases, including Barry Jenkins' groundbreaking Moonlight in 2017, which made history by clinching the Best Picture prize at the Academy Awards. Other noteworthy films like Luca Guadagnino's beautiful coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name, Todd Haynes's exquisite period romance Carol and Sean Baker's iPhone-shot comedy-drama Tangerine, also made their mark, solidifying LGBTQ film's place in the mainstream. All these releases were marked with sold-out previews at Clapham Picturehouse as part of Out At Clapham.

But it's when we go beyond just a film screening at Out At Clapham that the film club comes alive. Over the years, we've hosted many memorable Q&A sessions, such as 2015's Pride, a drama about the 1984 Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners movement – we were joined by producer David Livingstone and original members of the LGSM. In 2017 we were thrilled to welcome Francis Lee for a preview of his debut God's Own Country, and in 2021, we had the privilege to be joined by Stephen Frears, Hanif Kureishi, and Gordon Warnecke for a Q&A following a screening of the seminal 1985 drama My Beautiful Laundrette, which was followed by the unveiling of a 'Rainbow Plaque' outside the laundrette featured in the film.

What sets Out At Clapham apart is its versatility, transitioning seamlessly from programming important issue-led films like Chemsex, A Deal With The Universe and 120 BPM, to hosting audience-participatory events celebrating the best of LGBT culture. Over the years we've hosted four lively, late-night screenings of cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show as well as three raucous Eurovision parties, complete with party bags! The club has become a hub for diverse LGBTQ experiences. Music has also played a significant role, with Out At Clapham events celebrating the lives of key LGBT icons - films about Whitney Houston, Madonna, Judy Garland, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, George Michael and Wham! have all had the Out At Clapham treatment. 

A key figure in this journey is David Robson, the face of Out At Clapham, who has been an unwavering presence as both an expert Q&A moderator as well as a fabulous host and compere. Having not missed any of the club's 80 screenings, Out At Clapham owes much of its success to his dedication. 

Join David this week as he welcomes audiences for the special 10th Anniversary events. On 26 January we will be joined by the incredible British director Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years, Lean on Pete) who will be here for the opening night screenings of his highly anticipated drama, All Of Us Strangers, which boasts a stellar cast that includes Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy and Jamie Bell. Then on 31 Jan, we turn our attention to synth-pop legends Pet Shop Boys and their concert film Dreamworld Don't miss it.

Stay updated on all things Out At Clapham by following us on Facebook and TwitterHere's to another fantastic ten years of celebrating LGBTQ cinema and culture!