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Frameline

Frameline

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival

Thursday, 17 September 2020 until Sunday, 27 September 2020

Frameline’s mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. As a media arts non-profit, Frameline’s programs connect filmmakers and audiences in San Francisco and around the world.

Founded in 1977, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival is the longest-running, largest, and most widely recognized queer film exhibition event in the world. As a community event with an annual attendance of more than 63,000, the Festival is the most prominent and well-attended LGBTQ+ arts program in the Bay Area. In 2018 Frameline's Festival was named by MovieMaker to be one of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.

Frameline44: the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival returns to the Bay Area with its signature showcase of the world’s leading queer cinema. Frameline44 unites diverse communities for 11 days of innovative and socially relevant content. Discover emerging talents and embrace an unparalleled community of festival-goers at the world’s largest celebration of queer media. The Festival pays tribute to LGBTQ+ experiences through pioneering documentaries, gripping features, delightful shorts, cinematic classics, and more.

Each year, Frameline hosts 400 official Festival Guests, including directors, producers, actors, programmers, distributors, and buyers that range from small, independent entities to major studios such as Strand Releasing, Wolfe Video, The Film Collaborative, TLA Releasing, HBO, Showtime, and Warner Bros. The Festival is one of the largest annual business meeting places for theatrical and educational film and video buyers in Northern California.

Committed to showcasing the best and most diverse work by, about, and of interest to the LGBTQ+ community, we strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, transgender people, intersex people, asexual people, non-binary people, disabled people, and other underrepresented people and communities. The Festival is produced by Frameline, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to the exhibition, distribution, funding and promotion of LGBTQ+ media arts.


Awards & Prizes

Since 1983 our audience has been responsible for selecting the Best Narrative Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film of the Festival. Putting the power in the audience's hands, the Frameline Audience Awards offer cash prizes to the favorite Feature ($1000), Documentary ($1000) and Short ($500) in the festival. From Frameline42 we started an Audience Award for Episodic ($500).

Outstanding First Feature
A juried award for the most Outstanding First Feature to be awarded to the Director. Submitted film must be a San Francisco Bay Area Premiere to qualify.
Sponsor: Frameline
Cash Award Value: 7,500 U.S. Dollar

Outstanding Documentary Jury Award
A juried award for the most Outstanding Documentary Feature to be awarded to the director. The submitted film must be a San Francisco Bay Area premiere.
Sponsor: Frameline


 

2020 films...

CENTERPIECE

SHIT & CHAMPAGNE

dir. D’Arcy Drollinger | USA | World Premiere San Francisco's own drag queen extraordinaire D'Arcy Drollinger swaps the stage for the screen in their first feature film, a wacky send-up of 70s sexploitation flicks with a supporting cast of all-star drag talent. Drollinger stars as the infamous Champagne, an intrepid stripper who finds herself embroiled in a wild plot involving booty bumps, an evil retail chain store, murder, and wigs galore.

ALICE JÚNIOR dir. Gil Baroni |Brazil | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles In this fizzy, warm-hearted coming-of-age tale from Brazil, trans teen Internet sensation Alice must trade in her enviable beachside lifestyle in Recife for a traditional Catholic high school when her family relocates to a conservative rural town. Finding herself a victim of misgendering and bullying by her classmates, Alice uses her confidence and sass to find a new circle of supportive friends as she desperately pines for her first real kiss.

THE OBITUARY OF TUNDE JOHNSON

dir. Ali LeRoi | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Gay Black teenager Tunde Johnson (13 Reasons Why’s Steven Silver, in a mesmerizing performance) keeps waking up on the last day of his life to once more relive his death at the hands of killer cops. Timely and urgent, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson updates the Groundhog Day structure with a riveting tale at the intersection of anti-Black police violence and the resurgence of homophobia in the Trump era.

THROUGH THE GLASS DARKLY

dir. Lauren Fash | USA | World Premiere Since the sudden disappearance of her daughter a year ago, Charlie (Robyn Lively of both Teen Witch and Twin Peaks fame) has never stopped searching the sleepy Georgia hamlet where she lives with her partner. When the granddaughter of the town's matriarch vanishes, Charlie sets out to find answers. As she digs into the community's dark past, Charlie must come face to face with her own destructive secrets in this tense psychological thriller.

BEAUTIFUL DREAMER

dir. Amy Glazer | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Starring Erin Daniels of The L Word and adapted from Patricia Cotter’s play, The Surrogate, Beautiful Dreamer is a charming, light-hearted dramedy about family, friendship, and love within a tight-knit group of fortysomethings, shot in and around the Bay Area. Over the course of several months, these friends try to juggle planning a wedding, having a baby through a surrogate, and finishing a novel while relying on each other for much-needed support.

CICADA

dirs. Matthew Fifer & Kieran Mulcare | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere After a torrent of hollow and unsatisfying hookups, charming New Yorker Ben (writer-director Matthew Fifer) forms an unexpectedly meaningful bond with silky-voiced Sam during the muggy cicada summer of 2013. As the two men grow closer and more vulnerable, at a time when disturbing details from the trial of coach Jerry Sandusky permeate the airwaves, past traumas are revealed and confronted in this personal and affecting debut feature.

COWBOYS

dir. Anna Kerrigan | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Troy (a dynamite Steve Zahn, who won the Best Actor prize at Tribeca) escapes to the Canadian border on horseback with his golden-haired, 11-year-old son Joe. How did these “cowboys” wind up here? Unfolding clue by clue through flashbacks, this moving, suspenseful feature from writer-director Anna Kerrigan skillfully tells the story of a contemporary family struggling with how best to raise a transgender child. Jillian Bell, Ann Dowd, and remarkable trans newcomer Sasha Knight also star.

GOSSAMER FOLDS

dir. Lisa Donato | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Featuring an excellent ensemble cast of familiar faces and original songs from Sarah McLachlan, the directorial debut of Lisa Donato (co-screenwriter of festival fave Signature Move, Frameline41) is a heartfelt tale of big dreams and unlikely friendships, set in Missouri circa 1986. Newly relocated to the suburbs, 9-year-old Tate sparks a strong bond with two of his neighbors—a Black transwoman and her retired English professor father—as he tries to adjust to his new surroundings and his parents’ crumbling marriage.

MINYAN

dir. Eric Steel | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere David is a 17-year-old yeshiva student living with his Russian Jewish immigrant family in 1980s Brooklyn. Stifled by the constraints of his conservative community, David begins seeking solace in an East Village gay bar, leading not only to a sexual awakening but a spiritual one as well, in this tender and evocative portrait of self-discovery.

SHIVA BABY

dir. Emma Seligman | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Played by breakout newcomer Rachel Sennott (Tahara, Frameline44 Pride Showcase), Danielle is a sexually-liberated, bisexual post-grad trying to find her footing in life...one paying sugar daddy at a time. When she reluctantly finds herself at a shiva with her parents and her overachieving ex-girlfriend, Danielle gets caught in a series of hilariously awkward encounters that’s made exponentially worse with the arrival of her current, paying beau.


WORLD CINEMA

COCOON (KOKON)

dir. Leonie Krippendorff | Germany | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In German with English subtitles The summer of 2018 is the hottest ever recorded in Berlin. For 14-year-old Nora, it’s also the summer she discovers her sexuality. With an absentee mother who drinks too much and an older sister more interested in boys than hanging around with her kid sister, Nora is left to her caterpillar collection and her burgeoning feelings for a fellow classmate, Romy, in this bittersweet and accomplished coming-of-age story.

DRY WIND (VENTO SECO)

dir. Daniel Nolasco | Brazil | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles Set in a neon fantasia of erotic exploration, Dry Wind follows the yearnings (both kinky and tender) of Sandro, a shy, hunky bear who spices up his mundane life working in a factory in dusty central Brazil with vivid sexual encounters, both real and imagined. Sandro’s giddy array of fetishes and fantasies, and even the prospect of love, come dazzlingly to life in this visually arresting film, one of the hot queer tickets at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT)

dir. Monica Zanetti | Australia | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Experiencing her first real crush, high schooler Ellie calls upon the universe to help guide her through it. Enter Tara, Ellie’s dead aunt, who reappears only to her to help her navigate the awkward travails of coming out and falling in love. Monica Zanetti’s delightful romantic comedy is a hilarious and sincere exploration of first love and the family legacies that live inside of us throughout generations.

FORGOTTEN ROADS (LA NAVE DEL OLVIDO)

dir. Nicol Ruiz Benavides | Chile | World Premiere In Spanish with English subtitles After her husband’s death, repressed widow Claudina meets the independent and married Elsa, and this new friendship quickly develops into a full-fledged romance. In the gossipy Chilean town of Lautaro, however, the women’s relationship doesn’t stay secret for long, and Claudina must choose between her old life and the open road ahead in this delicate coming-of-(older)-age film that’s brimming with sweetness and vitality.

THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE (LA DEA FORTUNA)

dir. Ferzan Ozpetek | Italy | West Coast Premiere In Italian with English subtitles Just as their 15-year relationship appears to have hit a lull, gay partners Arturo and Alessandro find their lives thrown for a loop when their friend (and Alessandro’s ex-girlfriend) asks them to look after her two adolescent children. A trio of Italy’s brightest stars lead a stellar cast in the latest film from Turkish-Italian auteur Ferzan Ozpetek (Facing Windows; Steam: The Turkish Bath, Frameline22)—a warm, engaging tale about the true meaning of “chosen family,” which juggles interpersonal drama with a healthy dose of humor and heart.

MONSOON

dir. Hong Khaou | UK | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In English and Vietnamese with English subtitles For the first time since his family fled during the Vietnam-American War, Kit (Crazy Rich Asians heartthrob Henry Golding) returns to his native Saigon to scatter his parents' ashes. Ashe navigates this unfamiliar new land, Kit reconnects with estranged family members and strikes up a budding romance with a handsome ex-pat (World on Fire’s Parker Sawyers), embarking on a personal journey to understand his true roots in the long-awaited sophomore feature from Hong Khaou (Lilting, Frameline38).

NO HARD FEELINGS (FUTUR DREI)

dir. Faraz Shariat | Germany | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In German, Persian, and Arabic with English subtitles A young German-Iranian raver forms an inseparable bond with two Iranian immigrant siblings over the course of a summer, as threat of deportation looms and a secret romance becomes too explosive to contain, in this year’s winner of the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Filmmaker Faraz Shariat’s exuberant, heartfelt, and slyly funny autobiographical debut shines an empathetic and hopeful light on a generation of displaced youth finding their place in the world

RIALTO

dir. Peter Mackie Burns | Ireland, UK | West Coast Premiere After an unexpected encounter in a public bathroom, Colm—a working-class Dublin family man struggling in midlife, played powerfully by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Endgame)—becomes enamored with the charismatic, much younger gay-for-pay Jay (Dunkirk’s Tom Glynn-Carney). As Colm’s personal troubles mount and his interest in Jay grows more complicated, Rialto becomes a deeply affecting portrait of a crisis of masculinity.

RŪRANGI

dir. Max Currie | New Zealand | International Premiere In English and Māori with English subtitles Trans activist Caz has a lot of explaining to do when he returns home to rural New Zealand after being away for 10 years. Reconnecting with his estranged father, confused ex-boyfriend, and hurt best friend— on top of an environmental crisis that’s threatening the farming community—Caz may have bitten off more than he can chew. The filmmaking team’s #byusandaboutusmission of genuine trans representation is unmistakable, making Rūrangi an authentic celebration not to be missed!

TWO OF US (DEUX)

dir. Filippo Meneghetti | France, Luxembourg, Belgium | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In French with English subtitles The closet has dire consequences in this heart-wrenching tale of Mado and Nina, two older lesbians who haven’t disclosed their relationship to the kids yet. When an unexpected crisis puts Mado’s children in charge of their mother, Nina finds herself shunted aside, and her attempts to rescue her relationship with Mado turn increasingly desperate. German screen icon Barbara Sukowa stars in this sizzling feature debut from director Filippo Meneghetti.


DOCUMENTARY

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

dir. Jen Rainin | USA From its start in 1990, Curve Magazine was a visionary and unapologetic celebration of lesbian life from cover to cover. When faced with the magazine’s possible end in 2018, director Jen Rainin and Curve founder Franco Stevens explore questions of lesbian visibility and legacy through interviews with contemporary LGBTQ+ tastemakers, “celesbians” (including Jewelle Gomez, Kate Kendall, and Lea Delaria) and rich archival footage of the formation of a lesbian cultural institution.

CURED

dirs. Patrick Sammon & Bennett Singer | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere For most of the 20th century, being homosexual in America meant you could be clinically diagnosed as mentally ill and subject to drastic medical interventions posing as “cures.” This riveting documentary reveals the inspiring efforts of a courageous band of gay and lesbian activists in the 1960s-70s, who challenged the American psychiatric establishment to remove the stigma of mental illness from the medical books, and by extension, to free LGBTQ+ people everywhere.

KEYBOARD FANTASTIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY

dir. Posy Dixon | UK | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In 1986 in a rural town in Ontario, Glenn Copeland recorded a new sound that paired folk-electronic music with his classically trained voice. He sold two dozen cassette tapes of Keyboard Fantasies, and that was that. Except that it wasn’t. Three decades later, a rare-record collector in Japan discovered the album and sets into motion Glenn’s resurgence into the music scene through intergenerational collaboration and sold-out live performances around the world.

KILLING PATIENT ZERO

dir. Laurie Lynd | Canada | West Coast Premiere This groundbreaking documentary about a public health panic offers a dual portrait of Gaëtan Dugas, the Canadian flight attendant villainized as “The Monster Who Brought AIDS to North America,” and San Francisco journalist Randy Shilts, who mythologized Dugas as “Patient Zero” in And the Band Played On. Superb as both original queer history and a corrective to long-held public perceptions, the film shines an empathetic light on a generation traumatized by a virus and by society’s blame—uncannily appropriate for our time.

PIER KIDS

dir. Elegance Bratton | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Former “pier kid” Elegance Bratton creates a raw, kaleidoscopic portrait of the queer and trans homeless youth who have carved out space for themselves on the West Village’s piers. This vérité style documentary lets its subjects tell their own stories of struggle and survival, revealing a “world within a world” impossible to ignore.

TRANSHOOD

dir. Sharon Liese | USA | West Coast Premiere What was it like being a trans youth between 2015-2019 in the age of Snapchat, bathroom bills, the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the Trump presidency, and the years following the “Transgender Tipping Point?” This feature documentary follows four youths—Avery, Leena, Phoenix, and Jay—as they navigate not only childhood and teenagehood but also change what it means to grow up transgender in this US.

UNAPOLOGETIC

dir. Ashley O’Shay | USA | West Coast Premiere Seen through the eyes of two Black, queer women organizers—aspiring social worker Janaé and West Side artist and “rap-tivist” Bella—Unapologetic is a film about “Black girl magic,” offering a lyrical and urgent portrait of the Black Lives Matter movement in Chicago. Produced by Frameline favorite Yvonne Welbon, Ashley O’Shay’s inspirational documentary points its camera at the Black feminist voices standing up to police violence and ushering a progressive change in political leadership in their city and state.


SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN

TAIWAN EQUALS LOVE

dir. Sophia Yen | Taiwan | World Premiere In Mandarin with English subtitles Just as the LGBTQ+ community in the US was celebrating the legalization of same-sex marriage, the struggle for the same rights was unfolding across the globe in Taiwan. Director Sophia Yen combines the political with the personal as she documents the clash between marriage equality activists and their opponents through a deeply affecting portrait of three couples.

THE TEACHER (WO DE LING HUN SHI AI ZUO DE)

dir. Ming Lang Chen | Taiwan In Mandarin with English subtitles This fresh romantic drama takes us boldly into the streets and bedrooms of today’s Taipei. Kevin is a 26- year-old high school civics teacher, comfortably out as a gay man, attending rallies for same-sex marriage and romantically involved with an older married man. But when he dares to bring up gay rights in his classroom, he finds he is putting both his job and relationship in jeopardy.


EPISODIC

EQUAL: EPISODES 2 & 3 — Frameline is proud to partner with HBO Max to present a sneak preview of Equal, a documentary series on the pioneers of LGBTQ+ rights who helped change the course of American history through their activism. Join us for two of the series’ episodes, each followed by a discussion. EQUAL is executive produced and led by Scout Productions’ Emmy Award-winning team David Collins, Academy Award® winner Michael Williams (The Fog of War) and Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Joel Chiodi along with Emmy nominated Berlanti Productions’ Greg Berlanti (Love, Simon, Arrow, Riverdale, The Flash) and Sarah Schechter (Supergirl, Riverdale), Emmy and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory, The Normal Heart, The Boys in the Band) and Emmy nominee Todd Spiewak (Special, Young Sheldon, A Kid Like Jake) from That’s Wonderful Productions, Jon Jashni (Lost in Space) from Raintree Ventures, and Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

  • EQUAL: EPISODE

2 dir. Kimberly Reed | USA | World Premiere The 1966 riot at San Francisco's Compton's Cafeteria by a community of trans women, drag queens, and other gender-nonconforming folk frames the incredible stories of three trans people from the across the ages: Christine Jorgensen (Jamie Clayton), Lucy Hicks Anderson (Alexandra Grey), and Jack Starr (Theo Germaine).

  • EQUAL: EPISODE 3

dir. Stephen Kijak | USA | World Premiere The intersection of Civil Rights & Gay Rights—struggles on a national, local, and personal level— we meet three very different activists: Lorraine Hansberry (Samira Wiley), Bayard Rustin (Keiynan Lonsdale), and José Sarria (Jai Rodriguez) and learn about the largest gay rights demonstration in history (and no, it’s not Stonewall...).

CHOSEN FAM: SEASON 1

dirs. Natalie Tsui & Lindsay Sunanda | USA | World Premiere Within the (very) underground Bay Area music scene, QTPOC indie band Chosen Fam is struggling make a name for themselves. When the band lands a gig opening for their heroes, singer-songwriter-bassist Cody, guitarist Maddox, drummer Dani, and band manager Evie start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, all while juggling romantic up-and-downs and an escalating rivalry with another queer group. This hilarious, charming, and quirky episodic will have you immediately hooked!


SHORTS ANIMATION SHORTS — This year’s animation package features the best from around the world, including films which premiered at the Tribeca, Berlinale, and Locarno Film Festivals. We will take you through a young loner’s melodic and mystical urban journey, intimate and cross-generational conversations of vulnerability and shame, stories of legendary transgender spirits imbued in healing stones, buoyant scenes of voguing, and memorable live concert moments.

  • KAPAEMAHU

dirs. Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson | USA In Hawaiian with English subtitles Legend tells us that long ago four spirits came to Hawaii and healed the people. Now all that remains are the stones, and the spirits if we remember them. From the makers of Leitis in Waiting (Frameline42) and Kumu Hina (Frameline38).

  • HOUSE OF [AS]

dir. Leah Shore | USA | West Coast Premiere An homage to BALL/Vogue made for Adult Swim.

  • GENIUS LOCI

dir. Adrien Mérigeau | France In French with English subtitles There is chaos everywhere: in her head and outside, in the big city. Things are taking on a life of their own. Young Reine is on the search, but she does not know what she is looking for. In delicate drawings and fluid animations, we see the world through her eyes and her perception becomes tangible.

  • THE SHAWL

dir. Sara Kiener | USA An animated short film starring real-life lovers Shane O’Neill and Dusty Lynn Childers, who recount how their long-distance romance blossomed with the help of Stevie Nicks’ lip-synch videos.

  • CWCH DEILEN

dir. Efa Blosse-Mason | UK | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Welsh with English subtitles Learning to love someone can be scary, but it can also lead to the most marvelous adventure. With a striking illustrative style, writer-director Efa Blosse-Mason tells the story of Heledd and Celyn who navigate the undiscovered and murky waters of entering a new relationship.

  • PURPLEBOY

dir. Alexandre Siqueira | Portugal, France, Belgium Oscar is a child who sprouts in his parents’ garden. Nobody knows his biological sex but he claims the masculine gender. One day Oscar lives an extraordinary but painful adventure in an authoritarian and oppressive world. Will he manage to have the identity recognition he desires so much?

  • UMBILICAL

dir. Danski Tang | USA, China In Mandarin with English subtitles An animated documentary exploring how a mother's abusive relationship shaped the director's own experiences in boarding school.

  • I BLEED (SANGRO)

dirs. Tiago Minamisawa, Bruno H. Castro & Guto BR| Brazil | West Coast Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles Inspired by a true story, I Bleed—winner of the Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short at the Chicago International Film Festival—is the intimate confession of a person living with HIV. Whirlwind of emotions. The first sensations. An animation film which tries to demystify issues that, to this day, persist in society’s imagination about the virus.

  • FLESH (CARNE)

dir. Camila Kater | Brazil | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well done. Through intimate and personal stories, five women share their experiences in relation to the body, from childhood to old age.


BI CANDY — Everyone’s favorite bisexual shorts program has returned! Follow these daring nonmonosexuals as they look for love in the most unlikely times and places— from funerals to musicals to state-mandated lockdowns. These shorts are a celebration of how bisexual attraction, distraction, and shenanigans can defy all odds. Curated by Allegra and April Hirschman.

  • BING! BANG! BI!

dir. Jessica Huras | Canada | World Premiere Bing! Bang! Bi! is a comedy about a struggling actor who takes a stance on her bisexuality at an inopportune moment.

  • SO LONG, PARIS!

dir. Charles Dudoignon-Valade | France | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In French with English subtitles A bittersweet comedy about a fanciful and rebellious pre-teen who ends up accepting her parents' divorce after an unexpected encounter with her dad's male lover. Co-starring Arthur Igual (4 Days in France, Frameline42).

  • A SINGLE EVENING

dir. Ashlei Hardenburg-Cartagena | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere A Single Evening is a queer musical short film about dating and loneliness. Minnie, an annoyed and single bisexual woman, navigates her way through yet another lonely night while personified dating apps serenade her with songs about her inability to find love.

  • TENDER

dir. Felicia Pride |USA After an unexpected one night stand, two women at very different stages of their lives, share an even more intimate morning after.

  • HEY STRANGER

dir. Andrew Fuchs | USA |West Coast Premiere Grace is a “normal” woman, or at least that’s what her partner Jack would like her to be. After he confides his fear that she might be attracted to women, Grace is unable to reassure him because, frankly, she doesn’t know. A rendezvous with a beautiful stranger shows Grace that a part of herself she’s long kept hidden might not be as scary as it seemed.

  • SWIPE UP, VIVIAN!

dir. Hannah Welever | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In this inventive sci-fi romcom, two agoraphobic women find love via a virtual dating app.

  • THE MISTRESS (LA AMANTE)

dir. Pati Cruz | Puerto Rico | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Spanish with English subtitles During her husband's funeral, Maritere receives an unexpected visit from Angela, whose presence re-awakens feelings from the past.


ENBY LOVE: NON-BINARY SHORTS — Welcome the genderqueers, genderfluids, and the in-betweens to Frameline’s first non-binary shorts program! Featuring claymation, an office lottery pool gone wrong, a trans-national fencing team, an androgynous queer utopia, an impromptu lesson in gender neutral pronouns at the gynecologist, a trans/NB backpacking trip, and growing mermaid scales, these films are a reminder that we all define our non-binary genders—and therefore our lives—for ourselves.

  • EYES

dir. Lily Ash Sakula | UK | North American Premiere This mix-media animation about moving though the world when your gender doesn’t conform to the binary explores the tension between being looked at and being seen, through a day in the life of Jig. A collaboration with the young people of Project Indigo, a queer youth group based in Hackney.

  • 2 DOLLARS

dir. Robin Cloud | USA | West Coast Premiere Syd is a Black, queer, masculine of center artist working a soul sucking office job to pay the bills. Syd’s coworkers are ignorant, their boss is a performative #bosslady feminist, and they just got slammed with more work and no raise. So when a lottery loving coworker convinces them to enter yet another office pool, Syd cashes in on leaving the office life a little too soon.

  • PARRY RIPOSTE

dir. Goldie Micomonaco | Canada | World Premiere The trans-national fencing team arrives to practice to find their studio destroyed. They must fix the studio, go to competition, and process their trauma—all while trying to make space for themselves in the sport of fencing.

  • COUSIN JOHN - THE ARRIVAL

dir. Tom C J Brown | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere While Cousin John is away in the City, the residents of The Carrington House Hotel in upstate New York yearn for his return in this film posing as a music video.

  • THESE THEMS: EPISODE 1

dir. Jett Garrison | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Episode 1 of These Thems, a queer comedy series that dives head first into the NYC lesbian/GNC scene, an impromptu lesson in gender neutral pronouns comes about during a trip to the gynecologist.

  • VENTURE OUT

dirs. Jamie DiNicola, Palmer Morse, & Matt Mikkelsen | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Venture Out is a story of overcoming odds, the power of resilience, and ultimately, the everlasting effects of LGBTQ+ community building. In sharing Perry Cohen’s story, we get a glimpse into the healing qualities of nature and life-saving community bonds that are being forged as a result of Cohen’s work with The Venture Out Project, a nonprofit that brings LGBTQ+ people together outdoors on wilderness trips.

  • MY BROTHER IS A MERMAID

dir. Alfie Dale | UK | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere My Brother Is a Mermaid is a social realist fairytale about a trans-feminine teenager, as seen through the eyes of their 7-year-old brother. Set in a desolate and prejudiced coastal town, the film examines how a child’s unconditional love can be a powerful and disruptive force for good.


ENCOUNTERS: INTERNATIONAL SHORT DRAMAS — An encounter can be sexy, heartbreaking or dangerous, anywhere in the world. These compelling international dramas showcase the best in global LGBTQ+ storytelling. Whether a fight on a Parisian rooftop or a pointed Moscow farewell; through the experiences of a trans kid in Argentina, a baby dyke in Denmark, or a gay Afghan asylum seeker...these touching films will expand your world.

  • TRIBUNAL

dir. Mason Fleming | Australia | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In English and Persian with English subtitles A gay Afghan asylum seeker facing a hostile tribunal finds that his fate is in the hands of his interpreter, in this darkly comic drama inspired by actual Australian court proceedings.

  • BABYDYKE (BABYLEBBE)

dir. Tone Ottilie | Denmark | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Danish with English subtitles When teenager Frede begs her older sister to let her come along to a queer club, she has a clear agenda: she wants to impress the girl she’s crushing on. Being labeled by the older girls as “babydyke” isn’t going to help, in what will be a pivotal night of growing up.

  • SOUP (СУП)

dir. Inga Sukhorukova | Russia | North American Premiere In Russian with English subtitles Sometimes a bowl of soup is more than a bowl of soup. Special Jury Mention at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

  • THE EDGE (4 FROMAGES)

dir. David Chausse | France | International Premiere In French with English subtitles A pizza delivery snafu throws together two incompatible people trapped on a Paris rooftop.

  • ENCOUNTER (ENCUENTRO)

dir. Ivan Löwenberg | Mexico | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Spanish with English subtitles Arcelia and Lulu have been together for 40 years. Across town, teenager Julian is beginning to explore his identity. Their lives are about to intersect.

  • THE NAME OF THE SON (EL NOMBRE DEL HIJO)

dir. Martina Matzkin | Argentina In Spanish with English subtitles A trans son and his father’s search for connection. Winner of both the Crystal Bear and Special Prize for Best Short Film from the Generation Kplus International Jury at this year’s Berlinale.


HOMEGROWN — The Bay Area is known for many things, not the least of which being a proud and vibrant filmmaking community. These queer homegrown shorts touch on every area of Bay Area life, including coming of age in a gentrifying Oakland, caring for partners in their final moments, and creating safe spaces for all. This mix of fiction and doc films highlights the best in the Bay today.

  • WHEN I WRITE IT

dirs. Nico Opper & Shannon St. Aubin | USA | West Coast Premiere Two Oakland teens explore what it means to be young, Black, and committed to making art in their rapidly changing city.

  • THAT WAS RAY

dirs. Jordan Gorman, Brenten Brandenburg & Kaustubh Singh | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere That Was Ray chronicles the life of Reverend Raymond “Ray” Broshears, who was at the forefront of the San Francisco gay rights movement in the late 1960s-to-mid-70s. While he preached peace and acceptance, he also founded a militant group The Lavender Panthers, which curbed hate crimes with the threat of violence.

  • CARVING SPACE

dir. Annie Dean-Ganek | USA Unity Skateboarding, founded in 2016 by Jeffrey Cheung and his partner Gabriel Ramirez in Oakland, seeks to create a safe space and visibility for queer skateboarders within the heteromasculine mainstream skateboarding culture. Carving Space follows Unity and affiliated queer skate activists—including 2019 US Olympic Skateboarding team member, Leo Baker—as they provide spaces and voices to the often-overlooked queer community.

  • AYE, BOY

dir. My-Hanh Lac | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In this coming-of-age story inspired by true events, Mads, an exuberant tomboy in the 1990s, struggles to balance relationships with friends, family, and her own sexuality.

  • ELEVEN WEEKS

dir. Anna Kuperberg | USA | World Premiere Carla Jean Johnson accepts her fast and aggressive cancer diagnosis with clarity and grace while photographer Anna Kuperberg, her long-time wife, documents their final days and weeks together. With mesmerizing footage and intimate recordings of the couple’s final conversations, Eleven Weeks is a story more about love than death.

  • I’LL CRY TOMORROW

dir. Brett Thomas | USA | North American Premiere Pieced together through self-shot found footage (which the director found under his bed), I’ll Cry Tomorrow is a personal poem about being 21 in San Francisco in 1986 during the AIDS pandemic.


REALNESS & REVELATIONS — Queer and trans people of color take center stage! Meet some of the LGBTQ+ community in Ivory Coast. In Puerto Rico, two women rekindle an historic romance. In the US, two Asian American women share awkward high school stories, and a young man heads to a mysterious boat party. In Canada, two siblings embark on an adventure. And in India, a trans woman wishes to become a star.

  • BUCK

dirs. Elegance Bratton & Jovan James | USA | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Caught in the midst of a depressive fugue Lynn turns to debauchery to ease his troubled soul only to discover that happiness is a complicated goal. Co-directed by Elegance Bratton (Pier Kids, Frameline44; Walk for Me, Frameline41). Recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund.

  • FLOOD

dir. Joseph Amenta | Canada | International Premiere A queer teenage boy takes his younger sister on an adventure wearing face paint and glitter on her tenth birthday. These colorful bandits move through their environments experiencing small joys while turning a blind eye to reality. It isn't until their celebration is interrupted that the cost of their freedom is exposed.

  • DARLING

dir. Saim Sadiq | Pakistan, USA In Urdu with English subtitles As a new show is introduced at an erotic dance theatre in Lahore, a sacrificial goat goes missing, a dreamy trans girl desperately tries to become a star and a naive young boy falls in love. Winner of the Horizons Award at last year’s Venice Film Festival and a Special Jury Award at the SXSW Film Festival.

  • THE ALTERNATIVE

dir. Adesua Okosun | Nigeria, Côte d’lvoire | International Premiere The story follows three people of the LGBTQ+ community, a queer female, a transgender male and a transgender female, living in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Each character takes us on a journey into their world, and shows us how Ivory Coast is trying to change the narrative of the LGBTQ+ community, changing the narrative about West Africa and continuously educating its people about the community within Africa.

  • THE MISTRESS (LA AMANTE)

dir. Pati Cruz | Puerto Rico | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Spanish with English subtitles During her husband's funeral, Maritere receives an unexpected visit from Angela, whose presence re-awakens feelings from the past.

  • WERE YOU GAY IN HIGH SCHOOL?

dir. Niki Ang | USA Two queer women recall their awkward, closeted high school days of kissing boys and straight-girl crushes. Recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund. UP CLOSE & PERSONAL — Queer communities and collectives are at the forefront of Frameline44’s program of exquisite documentary shorts from across the globe. Here, you’ll find this year’s Teddy Award winner, trans Indigenous musicians, art therapy, animated body positivity, found footage tributes to a generation lost to AIDS, scenic lesbian road trips, and a pink haunted house collide.

  • PLAYBACK (PLAYBACK. ENSAYO DE UNA DESPEDIDA)

dir. Agustina Comedi | Argentina | US Premiere In Spanish with English subtitles Argentina in the late 1980s: Catholic, conservative, and shaped by a military dictatorship. “La Delpi,” the sole survivor of a group of transgender women and drag queens, talks about how their shows in basement theatres galvanized the community and helped them in their struggle against AIDS and police violence. How they healed their wounds with lipstick, playback performances, and improvised stage outfits. And how they invented happy endings for those who were to die. A farewell letter compiled from VHS memories. Winner of the Teddy Award at this year’s Berlinale.

  • JESSE JAMS

dir. Trevor Anderson | Canada | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere A young Indigenous trans musician and his rock band bring mumble punk to the Interstellar Rodeo. A rock 'n' roll survival story of a different stripe from director Trevor Anderson (Docking, Frameline43; The Little Deputy, Frameline39)

  • SYLVIE

dir. Clem Hue | France | West Coast Premiere In French and Spanish with English subtitles In the suburbs of Toulouse, a group of queers and migrants are squatting in a mysterious pink house. They find traces of the previous occupants and try to live with the memory of a crime in this haunting and poignant film.

  • FLESH (CARNE)

dir. Camila Kater | Brazil | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles Rare, medium rare, medium, medium well and well done. Through intimate and personal stories, five women share their experiences in relation to the body, from childhood to old age.

  • INFERNO

dir. Andrew R. Blackman | New Zealand | San Francisco Bay Area Premiere Featuring breathtaking set pieces, this immersive documentary portrait delves into the fantastical world of artist Gui Taccetti, whose deeply personal work channels the anxiety of growing up gay in staunchly Catholic Brazil.

  • BREAKWATER (QUEBRAMAR)

dir. Cris Lyra | Brazil | West Coast Premiere In Portuguese with English subtitles With touches of Barbara Hammer, the collectively-made Breakwater follows a group of friends from São Paulo as they go on a road trip to a remote beach. While they wait for the New Year's Eve, they build a safe