An exquisite drama from Iceland that won a Directing Award at Sundance, this slow-burn feature is our World Cinema centerpiece for a reason - it's a deeply rewarding exploration of how two vastly different women from different continents forge a connection in a harsh world.
This moody, sexy and ultimately uplifting romance is set in the gritty Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, featuring a lonely young protagonist who dances on his webcam to earn money. Hard Paint deservedly won the Teddy Award at this year's Berlin Festival for best LGBTQ narrative film -- it's terrific. And the directors will be here in San Francisco too!
Not your typical coming-of-age story, L'animale introduces us to tomboy Mati and her Austrian family in a crucial moment of their lives, as she explores what real friendship (and love) mean and her parents try to sort out their complicated needs. I really enjoyed the smart script - director Katharina Mückstein will be here from Austria.
I worked the phones, emails and every angle hard to bring Frameline the U.S. premiere of this terrific BBC drama that charts two connected love stories set 60 years apart. Vanessa Redgrave gives a standout performance, as does up-and-coming British star Julian Morris, who will be at the Castro Theatre. Yes, this is also coming to PBS Masterpiece...but see it at the Castro first with Julian Morris in person!
Fierce, inspiring, electrifying - you won't want to miss this amazing profile of Brazilian performance artist/rapper Linn da Quebrada, a black transgender whirlwind who uses poetry to take on racism, machismo, gender inequality and homophobia. Another Teddy Award winner too!
An excellent survey of the triumphs and pitfalls of representing authentic lesbian stories in films and TV, and the challenges facing queer women behind the camera. We'll follow the screening with an amazing panel focusing on queer women documentarians, moderated by B. Ruby Rich.
I never knew the story of extraordinary British 1970s-80s figure skater John Curry, who single-handedly changed the sport by bringing balletic artistry into its vocabulary, and faced down homophobia along the way. The editorial craft in this archive-rich film is off the charts.
Our opening night selection is a moving, timely, and important look at the situation facing the more than 15,000 transgender people currently employed in the U.S. military. Focusing on the experiences of four individuals, the personal film is told with heart and urgency, and is a vital report from the current front lines of the ongoing fight for LGBTQ inclusion in American life.
This is an affectionate and honest behind-the-scenes portrait of the Tony- and Emmy-winning playwright Terrence McNally, chock full of terrific performance footage from his memorable works including Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Lisbon Traviata, Ragtime, Master Class and so many more. Great interviews with Angela Lansbury, Nathan Lane, Audra McDonald...so you know why I fell for this one. McNally will be here for the screening too!
Offbeat Specials and Oddball Surprises
The premise is simple and brilliant: women across the country are filmed reading aloud unpublished letters to the editor sent in the 1970s to Ms. Magazine. It ends up being an amazing two-lensed portrait: it's both a fond remembrance of the heyday of second-wave feminism, and a commentary on the far-less-than-perfect status of women in today's American society. This ought to be a sleeper hit, do not miss it!
This is a goofy and occasionally grisly black comedy, whose charm is held firmly in place by the two older actresses in the leads who happen to be legendary divas in the Philippines. They play two best friends on the lam, one in search of her long-lost girlfriend and the other fleeing a crime (with evidence hidden in her Louis Vuitton bag). I coudn't stop giggling.
This year's annual showcase of sexy/romantic short gay films from abroad is exceptional this year, including new films from Israel, Québec, and San Francisco's own Travis Mathews (via Brazil).
She was a pillar of the Bay Area documentary scene and an inspiring filmmaker/activist, whom we lost too soon. Come enjoy this tribute to the amazing Debra Chasnoff (among other achievements, she was the first person to thank her same-sex partner when she won her Oscar), and stay for the screening of her groundbreaking documentary It's Elementary.