After revealing the Opening and Closing Night films of the 40th San Francisco LGBTQ International Film Festival last month, Frameline has unveiled the full list of films for this year’s fest, which runs June 16-26 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. The festival is the largest and oldest of its kind in the country, with an expected attendance of over 65,000 and draws its 155 films from 24 countries around the world. Unlike many current festivals, this year’s Frameline offerings feature 40% of its films from women directors. A full 50% of the Documentary Features are female-directed.
This year features new films from André Téchiné (Being 17) as well as The Intervention, the directorial debut from actress Clea Duvall (Veep, But I’m a Cheerleader) and the Cuban film Horses, inspired by the works of Robert Mapplethorpe. Along the way we’ll revisit Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s seminal documentary The Celluloid Closet and docs about what it’s like to grow older in the gay community (Conversations with Gay Elders: An Intergenerational Film Project), a Canadian coming of age film starring Connor Jessup (American Crime) and featuring Isabella Rossellini as the voice of a talking hamster (Closet Monster), queer and lesbian burlesque performers (Femme Brutal) and Political Animals, the story of four out lesbian politicians—Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe—who took the LGBT civil rights struggle from the streets to California’s state capitol.
Here are some highlights of the festival. Visit Frameline for the full schedule and ticket/screening information.
CENTERPIECE US NARRATIVE
AWOL / DIR Deb Shoval / 2016 / USA / 85 min
Tomboy Joey and married mom Rayna fall for each other in this star-crossed love story set in working class Pennsylvania. The pair can’t quit each other, but struggle to imagine a life together as Joey’s deployment for Afghanistan approaches.
CENTERPIECE WORLD NARRATIVE
BEING 17 / DIR André Téchiné / 2016 / France / 116 min
When Thomas, the adopted son of rural mountain farmers, has to temporarily share a home with the more urbane Damien, the two hostile boys are forced to negotiate the challenges of unspoken desire, in director André Téchiné’s alluring new masterwork.
SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR / DIR Deborah Esquenazi / 2016 / USA / 89 min
At the tail end of the “Satanic ritual abuse panic” of the 1990s, four Latina lesbian women were accused and wrongfully convicted of a heinous sexual assault. After serving over a decade in prison, the women won’t stop fighting to prove their innocence, in this heart-wrenching examination of the criminal justice system.
GIRLS LOST / DIR Alexandra-Therese Keining / 2016 / Sweden / 105 min
In this delectably twisted fairytale of gender fluidity, three outcast girls’ dreams of boyhood become reality, sending them down a shadowy path of self-discovery.
GROWING UP COY / DIR Eric Juhola / 2016 / USA / 86 min
In a highly conservative Colorado town, a pink-loving, pig-tailed six-year-old girl named Coy becomes the unlikely poster child for transgender rights, in a landmark case that is reverberating in state courts across the country.
THE INTERVENTION / DIR Clea DuVall / 2016 / USA / 88 min
Friends and family stage a marriage intervention for a toxic couple, only to have to confront their own issues in writer-director-star Clea DuVall’s sharp, funny, and honest portrayal of the complexities of modern adult relationships.
PARIS 05:59: THEO & HUGO / DIRS Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau / 2016 / France / 97 min
The thrilling, sexy contours of a new relationship have rarely been mapped as well as in this bold romance, which unfolds in real time on the streets of Paris. After a sweaty bout in a sex club, Theo (Geoffrey Couët) and Hugo (François Nambot) take off together on their bicycles, engaging in a beautifully crafted and moving dialogue that traverses an extraordinary range of personal and psychological territory.
PUSHING DEAD / DIR Tom E. Brown / 2015 / USA / 108 min
In this quirky dark comedy set in San Francisco, a bureaucratic snafu keeps an HIV-positive writer from getting his prescriptions. Skewering healthcare bureaucracy, a gentrifying city, and the tribulations of being a longtime HIV survivor, the film features a terrific ensemble cast, including James Roday, Robin Weigert, Danny Glover, and Khandi Alexander.
RARA / DIR Pepa San Martín / 2016 / Chile, Argentina / 88 min
With her first feature, writer-director Pepa San Martín constructs a brilliantly subtle family drama that is both a poignant coming-of-age tale and a based-on-a-true-story account of a lesbian marriage threatened by social forces, told chiefly from almost-13-year-old daughter Sarah’s perspective.
SPA NIGHT / DIR Andrew Ahn / 2016 / USA / 93 min
The LA air is thick with sublimated desire and frustrated yearning in Andrew Ahn’s deeply felt feature debut, a touching study of a virginal, closeted teenager wrestling with his Korean-born parents’ expectations and the forbidden, mysterious allure of men’s bodies.
STRIKE A POSE / DIRS Ester Gould & Reijer Zwaan / 2016 / Netherlands, Belgium / 83 min
In 1990, seven male dancers joined Madonna on her taboo-busting Blond Ambition tour—which blew the roof off of global pop culture, raised AIDS awareness, and turned the dancers into sudden celebrities. This empathetic yet probing portrait revisits that era and traces the dancers’ paths from youthful exuberance to complicated adulthood.
SUMMERTIME / DIR Catherine Corsini / France
This 1970s-set, French love story provokes a rush of nostalgia (even if you weren’t there) for that heady time when political and romantic passions intertwined. French farm girl Delphine finds love with Parisian feminist Carole, but family keeps pulling her back into the closet in this smart, sexy movie.
THE TRANS LIST / DIR Timothy Greenfield-Sanders / 2016 / USA / 60 min
Boasting an impressive assemblage of transgender luminaries—including Buck Angel, Laverne Cox, and Shane Ortega—this riveting documentary highlights the distinct individuality and diverse outlooks of its subjects, while simultaneously evoking the collective power of an indomitable community.
FLASHBACK 1977: FRAMELINE’S FOUNDING YEAR / 91 min
In tribute to Frameline’s 40th anniversary, this program revisits a remarkable year in gay and lesbian visibility, including a film from the first festival and the rarely screened GAY USA, Arthur Bressan’s groundbreaking documentary on the burgeoning gay rights movement of 1977.
VEGAS IN SPACE / DIR Philip R. Ford / 1991 / USA / 85 min / Special Presentation with Peaches Christ Productions
Gender-bending astronauts, an evil Empress, and an adventure that will take you to the farthest, most fabulous reaches of the galaxy. It can only be the international cult classic—and significant slice of San Francisco drag history—VEGAS IN SPACE!
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About Frameline40: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
Frameline40 runs June 16–26, 2016 in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland. Commemorate legendary filmmakers, discover emerging talents, and join the distinguished community of festivalgoers at the world’s premier LGBTQ film festival and the largest celebration of queer cinema. Festival tickets go on sale to members on Friday, May 27, and to the general public on Friday, June 3. www.frameline.org/festival
Frameline’s mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. As a media arts nonprofit, Frameline’s programs connect filmmakers and audiences in San Francisco and around the world. Frameline’s integrated programs provide critical funding for emerging LGBTQ filmmakers, reach hundreds of thousands with a collection of more than 250 films distributed nationally, inspire thousands of students through Youth In Motion, which sends free films and curricula to schools across the nation, and creates an international stage for the world’s best queer film through the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival and additional year-round screenings and cinematic events. Learn more at www.frameline.org.