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Peccadillos for the archives

10 December, 2019 — By The Xtra Diary

Sauvage, which won the Rising Star Award at the 2018 Cannes festival

FOR 20 years, Peccadillo Pictures has been at the forefront of the gay movie industry – releasing thoughtful, and often fun, offerings.

Now the Fitzrovia-based film firm has handed over its company archives to the Bishopsgate Institute – to add to the growing national LGBTQ archive it possesses.

Peccadillo has been at the forefront of distributing LGBTQ films and celebrates its 20th year in the business in 2020.

Recognising the firm’s heritage, and the need for academics and researchers to have access to Peccadillo’s story, company founder Tom Abell has donated reams of marketing material from each of its films to the archive. This includes flyers and posters from films such as Weekend, Sauvage and Postcards From London.

Mr Abell told Diary: “When I started Peccadillo it was a natural successor to Dangerous To Know my previous company, but rather than being exclusively LGBTQ+ focused, Peccadillo would also distribute interesting world cinema titles.

“Over the years Peccadillo has assumed a unique position and is well known for its diversity of content. The fact that we seek out unusual, interesting content, bringing otherwise untold stories back to the UK and Ireland, is internationally recognised – as is our ability to discover new talent. I’m very proud that Peccadillo has continued for so long and hope that it will continue to do so. But success and longevity come down to the people who work within, and for, Peccadillo. We have a large family of contributors and it’s their dedication that keeps us and our films going”.

And it is a good home: Bishopsgate Institute has one of the most comprehensive collections documenting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer histories in Britain.

The institute started collecting LGBTQ+ materials in 2011 as part of a drive to record hidden histories and to preserve and share the history of protest and radicalism.

It has become one of the most-used research resources of its type. The Peccadillo collection will join archives from groups such as the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive (LAGNA), LGBTQ+ Library, The Campaign for Homosexual Equality, Switchboard, Stonewall, The UK Leather and Fetish Archive and the Paris Lees Archive.

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