Frameline43, World’s Largest and Longest-Running LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Announces Juried and Audience Awards
Following 11 days of electrifying screenings, events, and galas, Frameline announced its slate of award winners for its 43rd annual International LGBTQ+ Film Festival. Each year, the Festival issues a duo of juried prizes: The First Feature Award, proudly underwritten by Wells Fargo, and the Outstanding Documentary Award. The Festival audience too is given an opportunity to select their favorites each year with four categories of AT&T Audience Award winners, after introducing a new category for the Episodics section last year.
First Feature Jury Award
Frameline43’s First Feature Award, proudly underwritten by Wells Fargo, went to Lucio Castro’s END OF THE CENTURY from Argentina. The Cinema Guild will be releasing the film in New York City on August 16th before expanding it across the country, reopening in San Francisco and Berkeley on September 27th. This year’s international jury consisted of ITVS producer and filmmaker Bianca Beyrouti; journalist and founding president of the Queer Palm prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Franck Finance-Madureira; and Frameline alum, filmmaker, and board member of the Beijing Queer Film Festival, Popo Fan. The jury collectively offered the following statement:
“We are excited to discover a remarkable film about time and memory, love and relationships. In this debut work, the director found a smart and cinematic way of creating a unique timeline, while also thoughtfully exploring new challenges and possibilities in our community. At this moment, when we are about to conclude the first fifth of our new century, this work brings us a fresh element of filmmaking. Congratulations to the winner of the Frameline43 First Feature Award: END OF THE CENTURY, directed by Lucio Castro.”
The jury also included a special honorable mention to an additional first feature whose strengths and merit they wished to recognize: Margherita Ferri’s ZEN IN THE ICE RIFT from Italy. They added:
“All of this year’s first feature contenders are remarkable achievements in their own right. This visual poem of a feature debut offers a rich character study of burgeoning androgyny and queer first love against the cold backdrop of adolescent isolation and grief, anchored by assured direction and a captivating lead performance. We’re pleased to present the Frameline43 First Feature Special Jury Honorable Mention to ZEN IN THE ICE RIFT by Margherita Ferri.”
Outstanding Documentary Jury Award
The Outstanding Documentary Feature Award for Frameline43 went to Rodney Evans’ VISION PORTRAITS, which was also a recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund Grant. The jury for this prize consisted of Cornelius Moore, co-director at California Newsreel, and Nico Opper, Emmy®-nominated filmmaker and producer. Moore and Opper issued the following statement:
“In this gripping film about several artists, the filmmaker courageously turns a camera on themself. We experience how their artistic vision expands, taking us on a journey that is at once intellectual, emotional, visceral, and philosophical. We are delighted to present the Award for Outstanding Documentary to a film that also received a Frameline completion grant, VISION PORTRAITS by Rodney Evans.”
Additionally, Evans was the recipient of the Festival’s highest honor, the Frameline Award. Following an anniversary screening of the director’s seminal feature debut, BROTHER TO BROTHER and a celebratory montage of his body of work and interviews with collaborators and admirers, Evans graciously received the Frameline Award at the Castro Theatre before the Bay Area premiere of VISION PORTRAITS. The film begins its US release on August 9th in New York City, before expanding across the country, and returning to San Francisco on August 30th, courtesy of Stimulus Pictures.
AT&T Audience Awards
Every year, Frameline lets the audience have their say as well, issuing AT&T Audience Awards in four categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, and Episodic. Choosing from close to 200 of the Festival’s titles, tens of thousands of festivalgoers weighed in on their personal favorites through both text and paper ballots.
The AT&T Audience Award for Narrative Feature went Leon Le’s SONG LANG, a beautiful and evocative first feature from Vietnam.
In the Documentary Feature category, the AT&T Audience Award went to Michael Barnett’s CHANGING THE GAME, a timely and moving portrait of the triumphs and struggles of transgender high school athletes.
Frameline was pleased to issue the second annual AT&T Audience Award for Episodics to the Festival’s Centerpiece title, A LUV TALE: THE SERIES, written and created by Sidra Smith, exactly 20 years after Smith’s short film of the same name, which provided the groundwork for the new series, made its debut at Frameline23.
Competing with a wide array of exceptional shorts, Alyssa Lerner’s BUBBLE, a funny and charming coming-of-age tale which screened in the Festival’s youth-oriented COMING UP QUEER program, took home the AT&T Audience Award for Short Film.