Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival
Since 2007 QDoc has shown award-winning films fresh from Sundance, Berlin, Hot Docs, Tribeca, Amsterdam and other top-tier festivals. We have shown historical films, personal stories, artist biographies, experimental work and topical films dealing with current controversies. Visiting artists have included prominent film makers from all over the U.S. and from as far as Italy and Australia, who have participated in lively discussions after the screenings. We have hosted emerging filmmakers as well as 3 Academy Award winning directors, enabling dynamic audience interaction with artists.
Note to filmmakers – QDoc is a curated festival, we do not have open submissions. You can email us with information about your film, and we will let you know if we want to see a screener.
50 YEARS OF FABULOUS
2018 USA 82 minutes
Director: Jethro Patalinghug
50 Years of Fabulous recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. Founded in San Francisco by renown activist, drag queen and performer Jose Sarria, the Council has helped shaped LGBT life and social history in San Francisco and beyond throughout the last five decades. The film captures the full scope of the organization’s historical evolution up to its contemporary struggle in finding relevance - both in the wake of the social progress it has helped foster, and in light of a recently empowered political coalition committed to rolling back a half-century of civil rights achievements.
BREAKING THE SILENCE
2017 USA 51 minutes
Videographer: Julia Reihs
Producer: Paul Iarrobino, in collaboration with Nathaniel Boehme
Before September 2011, no person who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender could serve openly in the United States military. Those who did serve were forced to do so secretly, at great risk to themselves and their families. In 2011, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, making it legal for LBG Americans to serve openly without fear of official reprise or discharge. In June 2016, the ban keeping transgender Americans from serving openly was also lifted (temporarily). Shortly thereafter, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs began to record the stories of veterans and service members from across the state who were forced to serve in silence. BREAKING THE SILENCE captures the experiences of these proud Oregonians, who put themselves at tremendous risk so they could serve the country they love.
QUEERCORE: HOW TO PUNK A REVOLUTION
2017 Germany 80 min
Director: Yony Leyser
Dissatisfied with "bourgeois" aspects of the gay rights movement and machismo in the 1980s punk scene, young Canadians Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones introduced the world to the rapidly growing Toronto queer, punk scene through homemade zines and scrappy films. Before the internet, there was no way of knowing that “queercore” consisted of just two people and soon enough, their subversive creation spread beyond their bedrooms to attract actual adherents, spawning a radical underground subculture and social movement. The zines challenged the position of the new wave of punk rock that was embracing homophobic songs and excluded LGBTQ people and instead embraced radical ideas and pornography giving the reader the perception that queer punks were an international phenomenon.
Filmmaker Yony Leyser (WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN) documents the development of this anarchistic, alternative punk/gay culture through archival footage and interviews with an extensive participant list including Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Waters, Justin Vivian Bond, Lynn Breedlove, Silas Howard, Pansy Division, Penny Arcade, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Deke Elash, Tom Jennings, Team Dresch and many more.
BIXA TRAVESTY (TRANNY FAG)
Brazil 75 minutes
Directors: Claudia Priscilla & Kiko Goifman
Linn da Quebrada is a black trans woman from the impoverished outskirts of São Paulo; she is also a pop performer who raises her voice for queers of color from the slums. Accompanied by her childhood friend and partner in crime, black trans woman and singer Jup do Bairro, her concerts are nothing short of dazzling. Aided by exorbitant costumes and plenty of twerking, her performances are onslaughts of electro against Brazil’s white heteronormative gender order and the machismo of the country’s funk scene. Through a series of dramatized interviews Linn also powerfully espouses her convictions about feminism and her transsexuality.
ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO
USA 90 minutes
Director: James Crump
“Given the elements of race, ethnicity and sexuality that Antonio injected into fashion–a Puerto Rican-born, Bronx-raised bisexual–this film needed to be produced now at a moment when Latino, African-American and LGBTQ rights and issues are still being contested and underrepresented in dominant media and culture. " - James Crump, Director
SEX FASHION & DISCO is a feature documentary-based time capsule of Paris and New York between 1969 - 1973 viewed through the eyes of Antonio Lopez, the dominant fashion illustrator of the time, and told through the lives of his colorful and sometimes outrageous milieu. Antonio was a seductive arbiter of style and glamor who brought elements of the urban street and ethnicity to bear on a postwar fashion world desperate for change and diversity. Counted among Antonio’s discoveries were unusual beauties such as Grace Jones, Jessica Lange and Warhol Superstars Donna Jordan and Patti D’Arbanville. Antonio’s inner circle in New York comprised of his personal and creative partner, Juan Ramos and photographer Bill Cunningham among others.
LEITIS IN WAITING
USA 72 min
Directors: Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
LEITIS IN WAITING is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalize the leitis' lives.
With extraordinary access to the Kingdom's royals and religious leaders, Joey’s emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition. Emmy Award-winning directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson (KUMU HINA) along with story creator Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, herself a Polynesian transgender woman who once won the crown in Joey's beauty pageant, bring unexpected humor and insight to the inspiring story of Pacific people who must be true to themselves no matter the cost.
USA 95 min
Director: T Cooper
In MAN MADE, director T Cooper, himself born and raised female, takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. Four trans men take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world. MAN MADE is a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, as well as a unique narrative on social justice. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves, both figuratively and literally.
The strength on display in MAN MADE transcends the physical: Rese is a young father struggling with periods of homelessness; Dominic seeks out his family of origin, confronting an alternate history for himself; Kennie admits to himself and his loved ones who he is for the first time in his life; and Mason, a loving husband who struggles with mental illness, works daily to be the man he's always wanted to be - on both the inside and out. For the men of MAN MADE, it's not about winning - it's about being seen.
2018 USA 82 min
Director: Leilah Weinraub
Created from over 400 hours of footage Director Leilah Weinraub has been collecting for the past 15 years, SHAKEDOWN explores the history and culture of the Los Angeles underground black-lesbian strip club scene from which the film gets its name.
Chronicling the explicit performances and personal relationships of the party’s dancers and organizers, SHAKEDOWN provides an intimate look into the world of Ronnie-Ron, Shakedown Productions’ creator and emcee; Mahogany, the legendary “mother” of the community; Egypt, their star performer; and Jazmine, the “Queen” of Shakedown.
As one of only a few spaces for lesbian subculture, the backstage interviews reveal that Shakedown was more than just a strip club, it was a space that galvanized a community of freaks and queers of color. Using exclusive archive material, posters and fliers, the film takes a personal look at female desire that is rarely presented on the big screen.
EVERY ACT OF LIFE
USA 92 min
Director: Jeff Kaufman
EVERY ACT OF LIFE profiles the life and career of Terrence McNally, one of the world’s most honored and risk-taking playwrights (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman).
Documenting his personal journey, the film offers a portrait of the evolution of the American theatre; the struggle for LGBTQ rights; personal battles; the cycle of passion, loss, and love; and the relentless pursuit of creative inspiration. Full of footage and photos, the film features personal interviews and performances with: Chita Rivera, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Larry Kramer, Edie Falco, F. Murray Abraham, Billy Porter, Tyne Daly, John Slattery, Rita Moreno, Christine Baranski and many more.
Mr GAY SYRIA
France/Turkey/Germany 88 min
Director: Ayse Toprak
Winner of the Human Rights Award at the Sarajevo International Film Festival and the Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival. In focusing his attention on the competitors of Mr. Gay Syria, director Ayse Toprak shatters the one-dimensional meaning of “refugee.” Using a pageant as a means of escape from political persecution, the organizer Mahmoud — already given asylum in Berlin — hopes to offer the winner a chance to travel as well as bring international attention to the life-threatening situations faced by LGBT Syrians.
What brings the subjects together is a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest as an escape from their trapped lives and an answer to their invisibility. Will the dream come true or will the refugee crisis and the harsh consequences of being gay in the Muslim world shatter it to pieces?
2017 USA 68 min
Director: Jenny Mackenzie
QUIET HEROES tells the story of infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristen Ries and her partner (in both medicine and life) Maggie Snyder, who ran the only practice to care for HIV/AIDS patients in Utah.
In Salt Lake City, Utah, the religious monoculture severely complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients received no support from—or were cast into exile by—the political, religious, and medical communities. Further, Mormon culture encouraged gay men to marry women and have a family to cure themselves of their “affliction,” counsel which led to secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. In the entire state and intermountain region there was only one doctor to serve all HIV/AIDS patients. This is the story of her fight to save the lives of a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die.
THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA
2018 USA 72 minutes
Directors: Donal Mosher & Michael Palmieri
In THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA, love, faith and civil rights collide in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes. Portland documentary all-stars Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri take a personal, and often comical look at negotiating differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership. Gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is the home of the Christ of the Ozarks statue, commissioned in 1966 by the far-right, anti-Semitic American clergyman Gerald L.K. Smith, and the host to the Great Passion Play, a recounting of the persecution, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also the home to Eureka Live Underground, a drag and dance bar run by a pair of flamboyant and Christian gay men. Rather than pit these communities against each other, Mosher and Palmieri explore the complex and surprising relationships that emerge, and approach all their subjects with curiosity and a stylishness that eschews convention.