FRAMELINE FILM FESTIVAL
First show: June 17
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 the Bay Area and around the world.
Friday June 17
6:30 Mama Bears
Christian parents push against ingrained, religion-fueled prejudices to embrace their LGBTQ+ children as they combine faith with activism in this uplifting and vital documentary from director Daresha Kyi (Chavela, Audience Award winner at Frameline41). The Mama Bears Facebook group has over 32,000 members, many from conservative Christian backgrounds, all united in support of their kids and the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights. Kyi focuses on three of these moms. Kimberly is mother to a small trans daughter, and Sara has a gay adult son. Mama Bears highlights their journeys to not only accept and love their children unconditionally but to become advocates for entire communities. Meanwhile, Black lesbian Tammi relates a lifetime struggles within her family and church, underlining the urgency of the Mama Bears’ work on a personal level.
Directed by Daresha Kyi. 90 minutes.
8:45 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
Is a chance meeting at a family dinner a moment you hold in your heart, or do you delete it forever from memory? These LGBTQ+ stories explore love’s beginnings and the heartbreak of love’s ending with the tenderness of the initial touch to the brutality of the last.
A collection of short films including:
Firsts Directed by Jesse Ung. 16 minutes.
I Wish I Never Fucking Met You Directed by Jacob Charton. 10 minutes.
Keep/Delete Directed by Kryzz Gautier. 19 minutes.
Lucky Fish Directed by Emily May Jampel. 8 minutes.
Naufragio Directed by Sebastiao Varela. 14 minutes.
One Like Him Directed by Caitlin MCleod. 16 minutes.
Split Sole Directed by Barnaby Bolton. 13 minutes.
Saturday June 18
11:00 Emergence: Out of the Shadows
Emergence: Out of the Shadows tells three vital queer stories that each examine the unique struggles of coming out in a traditional South Asian household. The youngest and most vulnerable is Kayden, forced by an abusive home situation to leave India for Canada, ultimately finding hope through queer community. A different trajectory confronts Jag, a queer woman with understanding parents, who must carry the secret that her brother Harv is also gay. Meanwhile Amar, raised by a single mother, must overcome self-loathing and bullying on his way towards spiritual awakening and community activism.
Directed by Vinay Giridhar. 80 minutes.
1:30 Gemmel & Tim
In two similarly suspicious overdose deaths, though years apart, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean spent their last moments in the West Hollywood home of Ed Buck, a white, well-connected political donor who managed to defiantly shrug his way out of explaining much of the circumstances deemed “not suspicious” by authorities. In this powerful and frank documentary chronicling the two cases and quests for justice, director Michiel Thomas (Game Face, Frameline39) paints intimate and touching portraits of the two men by elevating the voices and memories of their loved ones, digging beneath the salacious media headlines to reclaim the humanity of Gemmel and Tim.
Directed by Michiel Thomas. 91 minutes.
On the run from his abusive father and in search of a mother he thought was dead, Mi’kmaw teenager Link (Phillip Lewitski) undertakes a formative journey through the small towns and lush wilderness of Nova Scotia. With his sarcastic younger half-brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) in tow, Link meets an empathetic young drifter named Pasmay (Joshua Odjick) who shares his Indigenous heritage and offers to guide the brothers through the unfamiliar landscape.
Directed by Bretten Hannam. 99 minutes.
A reflection on a short-lived scene with long-lasting impact, Blitzed! traces the evolution of the eponymous London club through interviews with club regulars like Boy George, Princess Julia, members of Spandau Ballet, and more. Blitz grew out of a time when Teddy Boys chased punks down the King’s Road, and David Bowie performed on Top of the Pops. Bowie became the universal inspiration for the wild and wondrous looks required for club admittance: only the decidedly outrageous could get you through the door. While the interviewees recall the fun, the joy, the feeling of belonging, they also acknowledge the competition, striving to outdo your rivals with next week’s outfit. In Blitzed!, we’re invited to savor the clothes and the cattiness.
Directed by Bruce Ashley & Michael Donald. 89 minutes.
9:00 Three Headed Beast
Erotically charged and inventively shot, Three Headed Beast is about love, lust, and self-discovery as a non-traditional, long-term couple in an open relationship learn how to communicate their desires in the scorching Texas heat. Ruminating on the complexities of sex in the expanding modern rulebook, the film——fresh off its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival——follows a young couple in Austin struggling to communicate their needs.
Directed by Fernando Andres & Tyler Rugh. 85 minutes.
Sunday June 19
11:00 Long Live My Happy Head
Funny, poignant, and profound, Long Live My Happy Head introduces us to the unique talent, understated wit, and unenviable journey of Gordon Shaw, a Scottish comic book artist who is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in his early 30s. Not the least bit self-pitying but with puckish humor and admirable honesty, Gordon allows the film to accompany him and his long-distance true love Shawn—a sweet American living in Virginia—as they navigate the fragile rollercoaster of health challenges and caregiving amid the onset of COVID.
Directed by Austen McCowen & Will Hewitt. 88 minutes.
1:30 A Run For More
As a corporate executive, political campaigner, military spouse, and proud Latinx daughter of immigrants, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe is used to fighting for other people’s causes. But when she decides to campaign as the first trans woman to run for city council in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, she faces a different kind of challenge—and this time it’s personal.
Directed by Ray Whitehouse. 82 minutes.
4:00 When We Were Men
Bullied at school and tormented by his religious mother to be a traditional girl, the only place Kieran, a trans teen, can be himself is the theater, where he is deeply respected and always ends up getting cast as the lead male. When Egan moves to the rural Irish town, Kieran’s precariously balanced world is in danger of crashing down, especially when he realizes that, despite himself, he has fallen in love with the new boy, who doesn’t know Kieran is trans. Pulled in several directions at once, Kieran has to let go of his idea of masculinity before he loses sight of who he is and those he loves.
Directed by Aidan Dick & Izzi Rojas. 96 minutes.
6:30 Where Butterflies Don’t Fly
Teased for his painted nails and penchant for Oscar Wilde, eighteen-year-old outsider Daniel (Daniel Krejcík) is loath to join the rest of his high school classmates on a camping trip. But things take an unexpected turn when Daniel falls into a crevasse, plunged into a vast hidden cave system. While searching for Daniel, his handsome gay gym teacher Adam (Jiří Vojta) stumbles into the same pit, leaving the two of them stranded together in the harsh abyss. As the pair work together to find a way out, they begin to form an unexpected bond that changes them both as they fight for survival.
Directed by Roman Nemec. 126 minutes.
9:15 Constant Craving
Whether in a post-apocalyptic sauna, a NYC subway car, a cruise-y back alley, a sweltering bedroom, a dream metropolis, or on the outskirts of Rio, humans long to connect, and some desires burn hotter than others. These adventurous and sensual queer shorts find their subjects—a futuristic wanderer, a biker dyke, a naked dreamer, a sultry saxophonist, and two couples in love—crossing cities, generations, even states of consciousness to chase their fantasies. This program has a content advisory.
A collection of short films including:
A Wild Patience Has Taken Me Here Directed by Érica Sarmet . 25 minutes.
Exalted Mars Directed by Jean-Sébastien Chauvin. 18 minutes.
Fou de Bassan Directed by Yann Gonzalez. 5 minutes.
Kiss Directed by Chou Tung-Yen. 13 minutes.
Melting Point Directed by Mindy Stricke. 5 minutes.
A Man of My Dreams Directed by Tristan Scott-Behrends. 5 minutes.
Monday June 20
6:30 Fragrance of the First Flower
Fragrance of the First Flower is a love story all too relatable for many, one that has societal expectations and internalized homophobia as its main antagonists—but Angel I-Han Tang crafts it into one with uplift and hope. This Taiwanese romance follows Yi-Ming, a young woman whose desire to live within the traditional bounds has left her in a stifling marriage with a rigid husband. She attends a same-sex wedding and is reunited with her first and only queer love, Ting Ting. In flashbacks, we see their budding romance and Yi-Ming’s fear that broke them apart, while in the present, we see Yi-Ming challenged anew by Ting Ting’s freer approach to finding happiness and what it would mean to up heave the “normal” life she has tried to achieve.
Directed by Angel I-Han Teng. 103 minutes.
9:15 Oh! You Pretty Things
How do we see ourselves, and how do others see us? When does identity align with perception, and when does it not? From puppets to poetry, from dating to dancing, these short films carve out the spaces to be authentic and explore sexuality and gender identity in fresh, hilarious, and fabulous ways.
A collection of short films including:
At Waters Edge Directed by Sean Dorsey. 4 minutes.
Bi the Way Directed by Amir Ovadia Steklov. 15 minutes.
Code Switch Directed by Davis Alexander James & Micha Lyric Borneo. 5 minutes.
Fernanda Directed by Mary Angélica Molina. 13 minutes.
Hello My Name Is Sarah Directed by Sarah Hill. 10 minutes.
How Not to Date While Trans Directed by Nyala Moon. 12 minutes.
Mama Has a Mustache Directed by Sally Rubin. 10 minutes.
Nathan Joe: Homecoming Poems Directed by Nahyeon Lee. 14 minutes.
Warsha Directed by Dania Bdeir. 16 minutes.
Tuesday June 21
6:30 Camila Comes Out Tonight
Following a tepid welcome to her new Buenos Aires high school, Camila is instructed to remove the green handkerchief tied onto her backpack. A symbol of women’s rights, resistance, and pro-choice activism, it’s an unwelcome political display, and the first of many times she will be expected to conform to the school’s rigid code. Brooding, confident and fiery, Camila is quick to find friends as well as lovers, but she remains an inscrutable teenager to her mother. Camila chafes at familial and institutional restrictions, relating more to a volume of Thoreau stumbled upon in the school library, “all good things are wild and free.” As graduation approaches, tensions mount and buried secrets build towards a reckoning.
Directed by Inés Barrionuevo. 103 minutes.
“I don’t like movies where no one gets murdered.”
With colorful splashes of Dario Argento and early Pedro Almodóvar, Cut! takes a hysterical, tongue-in-cheek look at the vibrant queer scene in Barcelona through the lens of a gay B-movie director. Played by writer-director Marc Ferrer, Marcos is notorious for leaving a bad taste in audiences’ mouths, and he’s currently in production on his latest disaster: a low-budget giallo starring his regular leading lady, drag legend Amparo (Spanish queer icon La Prohibida). When members of his cast and crew start ending up dead (not unlike in his screenplay), Marcos finds himself hotly pursued not only by the usual fame-hungry drag queens and hipster twinks but also by a horny butch detective, her squeamish partner, and a ruthless tabloid TV journalist—each on the hunt to unmask the killer. Sexy, outrageous, and wildly entertaining, Cut! serves up high camp alongside its high body count.
Directed by Marc Ferrer. 78 minutes.
Wednesday June 22
7:00 Because the Night
Hookups, breakups, fuckups, and all the things that happen at night collide in this wild and whimsical collection of queer stories. From steamy dating app encounters, accidental threesomes, and tales of revenge, these shorts take a playful look at what happens when you probably should have just gone to bed.
A collection of short films including:
Aspirational Slut Directed by Caroline Lindy. 14 minutes.
Beautiful Stranger Directed by Benjamin Belloir. 25 minutes.
Hey Man Directed by Kai Tillman. 23 minutes.
Starfuckers Directed by Antonio Marziale. 15 minutes.
Valentine Directed by Beck Kitsis & Chris McNab. 10 minutes.
9:30 Anonymous Club
You’ve heard her voice. Whether it be from her various TV appearances including Saturday Night Live, regular rotation on college and satellite radio, or acclaimed duets with the likes of Kurt Vile. Since the release of her debut LP in 2015, Grammy-nominated Australian musician Courtney Barnett has spent a lot of time on the road and a lot of time in her head. Through this intimate documentary directed by her longtime collaborator Danny Cohen, we’re privileged to join her in both spaces. But this is not a film about a rise to fame, it’s a window into an examined life.
Directed by Danny Cohen. 83 minutes.
Thursday June 23
6:00 Let Me Hear It Barefoot
Handsome but painfully shy, and awkward around his friends, young Naomi spends his days collecting oddball discarded artifacts from 20th-century life—analog tape recorders and obsolete videocassettes—breathing new life into them, even as he is baffled by how to connect with friends and his distant father. But things start to shift when he meets happy-go-lucky young Maki, who shares Naomi’s love for all things analog and who cajoles Naomi to collaborate on an unusual recording project: making audio postcards for his elderly blind friend Midori, to convince her that he is traveling the world that she no longer can see.
Directed by Riho Kudo. 128 minutes.
9:00 Coming To You
Offering a rare, years-long look at two supportive mothers alongside their queer kids, Coming to You celebrates the strength of each family’s supportive bonds even amid an often hostile cultural climate. As late-teen Hankyeol works through countless obstacles in transitioning, their mother Nabi moves from struggling to understand to becoming their best advocate and ally. At the same time, flight attendant Vivian supports her gay son Yejoon as he navigates life as a newly out university student in Toronto and back home.
Directed by Byun Gyu-Ri. 93 minutes.
Friday June 24
6:00 My Emptiness and I
Scrappy, self-confident, and a little bit naïve, young androgyne Raphi is trying to navigate the sometimes-scary world of online dating as a newly out transwoman in Barcelona. Though her parents back in France are supportive, she is starting to feel the pressure to identify, look, and date a certain way: A therapist bluntly tells her she has “gender dysphoria;” some of her trans support group are focused on surgery; but Raphi is going to take this journey of self-discovery in her own unique direction, never losing her sense of romance and optimism.
Directed by Adrian Silvestre. 98 minutes.
In the years following a traumatic family event, Will (Zach Villa) has by all accounts adjusted to life as an adult. His job as a potter is enriching, while his relationship with a new boyfriend is rock solid. But after receiving a mysterious package, the buried evils of his past resurface and Will’s grip on reality—and his body—begin to slip, forcing him to confront and reckon with his demons before they consume him forever.
Directed by Addison Heimann. 96 minutes.
Saturday June 25
11:00 Doc Shorts: The Art of Realization
Politics, history, sports, art, and community come together—with a decidedly queer slant—in Frameline’s annual short documentary program. Take a deep dive into transgender imagery through the ages, meet a politician taking body positivity to parliament and a lesbian returning to her teenage love of hockey, and join the London House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as they canonize filmmaker Derek Jarman.
A collection of short films including:
Body Politics Directed by Aisha Fairclough. 9 minutes.
Saintmaking Directed by Marco Alessi. 24 minutes.
Salman Toor’s Emerald Green Directed by Adam Golfer. 8 minutes.
Small Congratulations Directed by Jessie Posthumus. 6 minutes.
Surviving Voices: The Black Community & AIDS Directed by Jörg Fockele. 17 minutes.
Vikken Directed by Dounia Sichov. 27 minutes.
1:15 Esther Newton Made Me Gay
Essential viewing for queer history buffs, this biopic of groundbreaking cultural anthropologist and butch icon Esther Newton fittingly mixes the personal and the political, tracking Newton’s present from academic conferences to dog shows, and illustrating her past with photos and archival footage. As a participant-investigator of gay life, Newton expanded her own discipline and broke ground for queer studies, writing about drag in 1972’s Mother Camp, queer spaces in Cherrie Grove, and investigating herself in the memoir My Butch Career. Anthropologists, ex-girlfriends, and a who’s who of genderqueer intellectuals—including Gayle Rubin, Amber Hollibaugh, and Jack Halberstam—help flesh out this multi-faceted portrait.
Directed by Jean Carlomusto. 92 minutes.
3:45 Gabi: Between Ages 8 and 13
Engeli Broberg’s impressive debut feature documentary follows Gabi, a kid who is not interested in fitting into the mold of gender norms, from age eight to thirteen. Gabi believes all genders should be treated the exact same, should play on the same sports teams, and should be free to wear whatever styles of clothing they want. But having recently moved from Stockholm to a smaller and much more homogenous town, the pressure to conform becomes more acute.
Directed by Engeli Broberg. 79 minutes.
The riot grrrl movement is back—or maybe it never went away? New-ager and former frontwoman of the 90s band Vulveeta, Grrrilda Beausoleil is getting the band back together in time for her 50th birthday and hires a film crew to document the whole thing. But a lot has changed in the 20 years since she walked out on her bandmates: San Francisco’s dot com boom has edged art and music out of the city, and not everyone in the band is ready to trust Grrrilda to navigate it. Somewhat expectedly, the unresolved tensions between the band members themselves threaten to end their triumphant comeback before it begins.
Directed by Maria Breaux. 93 minutes.
An expansive portrait of the LA art scene that ranges from hilarious and scathing to emotionally affecting and honest, Estuaries follows a mosaic of colorful, queer characters—all connected through an artist named Bdalak who recently passed during their own performance piece. Set in 2017—though filmed during the pandemic—the film centers on two figures: Bdalak’s partner Eli (played by director Lior Shamriz), a Jewish Iraqi composer who must think of alternative ways to obtain a visa; and Myrna (Chelsea Rector), a peer of Bdalak’s who is planning a retrospective of their work (albeit with questionable motives).
Directed by Lior Shamriz. 101 minutes.
FRAMELINE FILM FESTIVAL: Upcoming Showtimes