A new website which offers viewers the chance to rent independent lesbian films has been launched.

The site — Buskfilms — allows users to watch a film trailer before selecting a film to buy which the viewer then has 48 hours to access.

Buskfilms CEO and founder Andrea Wing told the Star Observer she hopes independent lesbian and queer films, which often disappear after they screen at queer film festivals, will be available on demand.

“A few years ago I was online looking for quality lesbian content and there wasn’t anything available that was easy to find,” Wing said.

“I was on YouTube a lot of the time and that is quite limiting in what it offers. As a filmmaker and also a film festival-goer, I knew there was a lot more indie film out there I couldn’t find access to.

“Thus began a process of figuring out how to build a platform to find this and to cost effectively deliver it as well.”

The site — which currently has more than 35 films in several genres — will be the first of its kind to offer underground lesbian films from around the world which are easily accessible online.

“It’s really important for us to have a strong international reach but also the content we offer to be a good slice of international representation, because the story is not just about the English-speaking world and North America,” Wing said.

“We’re very focused on trying to find films that are outside North American culture and give a little bit more representation about what’s going on in the rest of the world in terms of the queer community.”

Wing, who’s normally Vancouver-based but is living in Australia, said importantly, a percentage of money earned from the online movie rentals will go back into the pockets of filmmakers.

“Coming from a filmmaking background myself, the point is to put money back into pockets of the filmmakers and by doing that we hope, or we know, that once filmmakers make money off projects, more projects are made and that’s the point of it all,” she said.

“The good thing about the lesbian filmmaking community is that it’s such a tight-knit community, so if one filmmaker has their film on the site and realises some benefits from this, often they’ll speak to their friends and colleagues. We’re hoping it will bring in more films and attract more filmmakers.”

Wing said she will be keenly watching the upcoming Melbourne Queer Film Festival — which runs from March 17-28 — for films to potentially include on the site.

Visit www.buskfilms.com

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