The Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Pink Apple was founded in 1997 by a small group of film enthusiasts in Frauenfeld in the Canton of Thurgau. Thurgau, nicknamed the Swiss «Apple Canton», was the reason for its naming. Initially its aim was to promote the emancipation and acceptance of homosexuality in the provinces on the basis of a cultural activity. The festival was first held in 1998, showing ten films to a large crowd in the tiny Cinema Luna in Frauenfeld.
Pink Apple landed in Zurich in the wake of the lesbian and gay Eurogames held there in the year 2000. The programme – with seven performances of seven films in the Arthouse Movie Cinema – was very successful right from the start. Since then the festival has been growing continuously, and its focal point now lies in the big city, thanks to the great public encouragement and increasing demand for an annual gay and lesbian film programme.
In 2003, the opening night of Pink Apple took place in Zurich for the first time. 50 short and long films were shown in approximately 40 performances, mainly Swiss premieres.
In the meantime, Pink Apple has become the largest lesbian and gay film festival in Switzerland. Admissions to the festival in both Zurich and Frauenfeld have increased by a factor of 20, from 500 in the early days to 9800 in the year 2016. In 2013, 111 events took place. 94 films from 27 different countries were shown, and over 30 film makers personally presented their work at the festival.
Apart from fulfilling its socio-political function, Pink Apple has recently been offering a fringe programme in a filmhistorical and/or filmaesthetical context, with numerous panels, workshop talks, lectures, and, occasionally, exhibitions and concerts. Also, since 2012, Pink Talks have taken place; these are discussions with festival guests from near and far, hosted by well-known moderators.
Pink Apple is an independent project based on a society.