Every fall, audiences gather for Out On Film, an 11-day, in-person and virtual film festival annually featuring more than 150 films by, for and about the LGBTQ community and its allies. The director of the festival is none other than Jim Farmer (ABJ ’88), who oversees the programming and scheduling of Out On Film, while also working with filmmakers and talent attending the event.
Following is a brief interview with Farmer.
GC: What clubs and activities did you participate in at UGA and Grady that were instrumental to your success?
JF: I was in Cinematic Arts, which handled film programming for students at the Tate Student Center. I wrote about the arts for The Red & Black student newspaper. I served as president of Di Gamma Kappa broadcasting fraternity. I was also a student judge for the Peabody Awards.
GC: What does LGBTQ Pride Month mean to you?
JF: For me, Pride Month is a time to remember and honor all of the LGBTQ pioneers who have made our lives today possible and celebrate everyone for their diversity and uniqueness, while also remembering that we have work to do still.
GC: What advice do you have for a young member of the LGBTQ community who will soon be entering the workforce?
JF: That is a tough question. Today’s workplace is different than when I first entered it. I took a job many, many years ago for the salary but had to remain closeted. It was in a Georgia county that had a history of LGBTQ intolerance. When I did come out, I was fired a few months later for “my job performance.” I vowed never again to take a job for the money and to find a place where I could be comfortable. Luckily, I have been able to do that. My advice is to find out everything you can about the company, your colleagues and the climate beforehand and make a decision accordingly. It’s obviously important to find a job that allows you to make a good living, but it’s also important to be in an environment that respects you for who you are.
GC: What has been your greatest accomplishment since graduating from Grady College?
JF: I’m old, so I have several! I am proud of what my team with Out On Film has accomplished over the years, the support we provide filmmakers and that we have grown into an Oscar® qualifying film festival. I am an arts reporter as well and proud of the stories I get to write and cover every week. Most of all, I feel lucky to continue doing what I started doing during my UGA days, do it professionally and be happy doing exactly what I want to be doing.
Editor’s Note: UGA students looking for more information to learn about resources and support the LGBTQ community here on campus are encouraged to visit the UGA LGBTQ Resource Center website.