The first public program of the fledgling LGBTQ+ Institute at the University of Arizona, the LesbianLooks Film Series was launched in 1993 by Janet Jakobsen, Founding Director of the Committee on LGB Studies (which eventually became the Institute) and film professor Beverly Seckinger. The annual series has presented over two hundred fifty films to audiences drawn from campus and the Tucson community, and featured filmmaker Q&As and panel discussions on topics ranging from breast cancer to homeless youth to Israeli-Palestinian politics, LGBTQ refugee resettlement, trans identity, racial violence, borders and immigration, and queer history.
Over the years, Lesbian Looks has hosted events at nearly every screen on the University of Arizona campus and throughout the Tucson community. Co-sponsors have included more than twenty departments, colleges and other university units, as well as numerous community organizations.
Lesbian Looks has hosted distinguished filmmakers Monika Treut, Su Friedrich, Barbara Hammer, Michelle Citron, Elle Flanders, Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss, Michelle Memran, Megan Rossman and Jen Gilomen; film scholars Richard Dyer and Amy Villarejo; founding director of San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival, Michael Lumpkin; and Lesbian Herstory Archives founders Joan Nestle (2006) and Deborah Edel (2020).