CINEMA DIVERSE: The Palm Springs Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, is dedicated to advancing and further strengthening our diverse gay community through the establishment of a world-class forum that presents lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema from around the world. We bring together film artists, film lovers and industry professionals in a celebration of motion pictures that reflect, inform, enrich and often transform lives.
45 Days Away From You: In a fiction film with documentary characters, Rafael, a Brazilian gay guy in his 20s, waited 45 days for a love that never returned. Broken hearted, he departs into self exile, seeking refuge with three friends who, for different reasons, decided to live away from their own home: Julia in England, Fabio in Portugal and Mayara in Argentina.
50 Years of Fabulous: 50 Years of Fabulous recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, one of the oldest and most influential LGBT organizations in the world, from its genesis as a critical public space for the community and capacity building of LGBT San Franciscans, to its vital role in the advocacy for LGBT human rights; the film documents the full scope of the organization's historical evolution up to its contemporary struggle in finding relevance, both in the wake of social progress it has helped foster, and in light of a newly empowered political coalition committed to rolling back a half-century of civil rights achievements. Filmmaker and Special Guests in Attendance.
A Culture of Silence: When the Archdiocese of Cincinnati revised it's teacher contract prohibiting educators from publicly supporting the "homosexual lifestyle," students and educators were forced to choose between their religion or living in their truth. Students describe their experiences being LGBTQ in Catholic schools: why they value Catholic education, and how being LGBTQ affected their success and sense of belonging in their Catholic schools. Educators in Catholic schools give their insights into the needs of LGBTQ students, and the culture of silence around being LGBTQ in Catholic schools.
Analysis Paralysis: Analysis Paralysis is an LGBTQ romantic comedy about the intersection of imagination and anxiety, and the courage to reach for love. The story begins when Tyler O'Conner, a young gay author, visits a therapist and discovers that he suffers from an anxiety disorder commonly called 'Analysis Paralysis' -- an inability to take action without imagining the ways that each possible choice could go wrong. Unchecked, the condition will lead Tyler into a state of complete inaction. To confront the disorder, Tyler decides to fight through his anxiety and ask his cute neighbor, Shane, out for coffee. Despite a flurry of imagined disasters, the date goes well, and Shane and Tyler ultimately become involved. Against all odds, the relationship moves forward, but not without every step of the way -- sex, moving in together, and meeting Shane's parents -- preceded by an avalanche of negative, albeit hilarious, fantasies.
Angela Wilson: A Butcher’s Tale: An intimate portrayal of Angela Wilson, a butcher and owner of Avedano's Holly Park Market located in San Francisco. The film ebbs between her identity, values and the currently shifting community of the the bay area. This is one woman’s tale of a dream, and the reality of living it.
Devil’s Path: Two men encounter each other on a dangerous gay cruising park trail, and quickly find themselves caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse. But who is the cat, and who is the mouse? Veteran Actor Matthew Montgomery’s first feature film (as writer, director and actor) takes audiences on a wild ride filled with suspense, psychological twists and turns, and an “edge of the seat” plot.
Dirty, Sexy Comics: They're not just comics. They're not just porn. They are our desires. Our struggles. Our stories. The men who have created gay erotic comic book stories have been turning on readers and documenting gay history in a way no one else has by created time capsules of desire. These are the unsung heroes of the gay community: creative, determined and unapologetic. And they were REALLY good at what they did. They knew how to turn their audience on. They knew how to be gay. And they fucking knew how to WRITE and DRAW! Dirty Sexy Comics tells the story of these hot comics, the brave men who made them, and the history of a struggling but tenacious community.
Dykes, Camera, Action: Lesbians didn’t always get to see themselves on screen. But between Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, they built visibility, and transformed the social imagination about queerness. Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they’ve expressed queer identity through film. DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! is a history of queer cinema from the women who made it happen.
Every Act of Life: Playwright Terrence McNally has redefined contemporary gay theater with an extraordinary body of work that includes The Ritz, Corpus Christi, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, and Love! Valour! Compassion!, to name just a few. But his life offstage has been just as fascinating, encompassing activism, addiction, romance, and the constant pursuit of artistic excellence. McNally shares his story onscreen with the help of friends and colleagues like Angela Lansbury, Rita Moreno, Nathan Lane, F. Murray Abraham, and many more, as captured by documentarian Jeff Kaufman (The State of Marriage).
Freelancers Anonymous: Rushing to get to her pointless job every morning sucks, and Billie’s (Lisa Cordileone) not putting up with it anymore. After telling everyone to f*ck off, she unfortunately has to break the news to her fiancée (Natasha Negovanlis). When she meets a ragtag group of women who are also looking for employment, Billie is struck with the idea of cultivating their skills to create an app, by designing a prototype for an investor launch party. Billie takes the risk of her life, lying to her fiancée in order to buy time until her plan for Freelancers Anonymous can come to fruition. When the wedding and the launch party are booked for the same day, it all comes to a head.
In The Middle: Three mid-length films (ons is a web series, one is a television pilot produced in Palm Springs, and one is a “long” short) are a delight, despite being a tad too long for shorts and too short for traditional feature films. Enjoy Some Kind of Wonderful, Interested In, and finally, Scary Lucy Film.
Just Friends: On the 10th anniversary of his dad’s death, Joris still tries to come to terms with his father’s absence when he meets the free-spirited Yad, who returns back home to his family after living on his own. Although very different, there is an instant spark between the two and they want to be more than “just friends”, but both have issues with their mothers that threaten to jeopardize their relationship.
Kiss Me (Embrasse Moi): Serial-romantic Océanerosemarie has finally met the girl of her dreams, a photographer named Cécile. Unfortunately, no one around her will (a) believe her or (b) leave her alone long enough to make this relationship work. Fantine, the most recent in a long line of exes, repeatedly tries to throw a wrench into the budding romance and finds a willing ally in Océane’s mom, who complains that her daughter’s breakups are hard on her, too. Meanwhile, the reserved Cécile can’t decide how to respond to her determined pursuer, who follows Cécile to an out-of-town workshop on modern dance and uncovers an embarrassing secret. Will these two wacky lovebirds ever find their happy ending?
Latter Day Glory: Follow two gay ex-Mormon missionaries as they travel across the United States to confront their past and explore their futures while discussing their life experiences, their struggles and their eventual reconciliation with themselves and their lives. In a variety of locations, they talk with other gay Mormons about rejection, oppression and excommunication by the Church of Latter Day Saints, and try to come to grips with the reality of a growing number of LGBT suicides within the LDS community.
Left on Pearl: In 1971 classified ads for employment were still segregated by gender, battered women's shelters did not exist, abortion was illegal, and married women couldn’t open a bank account without their husbands’ permission. LEFT ON PEARL is about the movement that changed all that. This fast-paced documentary focuses on a highly significant but little-known event in the history of the women's liberation movement - the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University-owned building by hundreds of Boston area women. The ten-day occupation by women demanding a Women’s Center and low income housing for the community in which the building stood, embodied within it many of the hopes and glories - as well as the conflicts and fault lines – of what came to be known as Second Wave feminism.
MAPPLETHORPE: Robert Mapplethorpe is arguably one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Mapplethorpe discovered himself both sexually and artistically in New York City throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The film explores Mapplethorpe’s life from moments before he and Patti Smith moved into the famed Chelsea hotel, home to a world of bohemian chic, where he begins photographing it’s inhabitants and his new found circle of friends including artists and musicians, socialites, film stars, and members of the S&M underground. Mapplethorpe’s work displayed erotisim in a way that had never been examined nor displayed before to the public. The film explores the intersection of his art and his sexuality and his struggle for mainstream recognition. The biopic offers a nuanced portrait of an artist at the height of his craft and of the self-destructive impulses that threaten to undermine it all.
MARIO: There’s a ripple of disquiet in the locker-room when Leon, a new striker, joins the football team. Sharing a flat with keen rival Mario sets the scene for an unexpected love affair, but the path of gay love in this macho world is not an easy one. Mario is unwilling or unable to acknowledge the implications of what is happening. But pretend girlfriends don’t fool everyone. And gossip, along with the threat of blackmail, unbalances the team’s morale. With the prospect of a professional career a strong possibility, will Mario forsake the hope of emotional satisfaction for professional gain? This heart-warming rollercoaster of a film, set on and off the pitch, offers a dynamic and realistic picture of how gay professional footballers are still seen as out of step in the 21st century.
My Best Friend: Lorenzo is a quiet teenager who lives in a small town at the very edge of the world in beautiful Patagonia. His father decides to host Caito, the son of an old friend from Buenos Aires, as a favor. Lorenzo finds Caito very intriguing in many ways, and soon they start spending a lot of time together, despite Lorenzo’s mother’s concerns that Caito is bad news - a concern born out when the boy begins to misbehave. While the boys’ friendship is evolving towards deeper feelings, at least on Lorenzo’s part, Caito reveals a secret. What will be the outcome?
Red, White and Black: The Oregon Wine Story: Red, White, and Black highlights the lives of minority winemakers who have begun changing the face of Oregon's winemaking culture. This documentary delves into the challenges and accomplishments of winemakers of color and the LGBTQ community who have traditionally been excluded from the predominantly white, high brow industry. This is a story about entrepreneurs of different backgrounds who have removed barriers in pursuit of their dreams thereby closing the narrow opportunity gap in Oregon.
Room To Grow: For many queer people, some of our toughest years were when we were teenagers living at home. Homophobic parents and school environments often made life unbearable. Now meet the next generation of queer youth, forging a path of love, with the support of their families. In the face of one of the harshest political climates, with homophobia and racism on the rise, these fearless teenagers are claiming their identities and taking the world by storm. An intimate look into what it means to be an LGBTQ teen today.
Ruminations: Born in the late 1940’s Los Angeles as James Bartlett, the counter-culture and drag icon would eventually become known as Rumi Missabu. As one of the founding members of the radical queer performance group, The Cockettes, Rumi leaves Hollywood a trained child actor and dives headfirst into the LSD fueled hippie culture of San Francisco. This lifestyle and a brief brush with celebrity leads to Rumi burning out and disappearing off the grid for decades. It isn’t until the mid 90’s that Rumi finally regains his identity and reemerges on the stage, both performing in and directing original dance pieces that embody the unhinged spirit of The Cockettes. However, Rumi’s health plummets and his art becomes increasingly difficult to produce while confined to a hospital bed. Faced with his own mortality, Rumi is presented with a newfound sense of urgency to leave behind a meaningful legacy.
SHORT: Spell FEATURE: Two in a Bush: A Love Story: Two in a Bush: A Love Story: After losing her job, Emily arrives home early from work to find her girlfriend in the throes of passion with someone else. In an instant, her entire life is turned upside down. Moving in with her best friend, Emily lands a new gig working for a dominatrix, and promptly falls for her new boss, and her boss’s boyfriend. In this wise and witty look at the world of bisexuality, polyamory and dungeons, filmmaker Laura Madalinski asks us to consider what risks are worth taking for love.
Shorts: Becoming Me: Burton Before and After, Fighting Two Wars: The Story of Thalia Jane Ainsley, Go Debbie, Filters, Pre-Drink, Maybe
Shorts: Generation Gap(s): Coming of Age, Faggot Dad, Heather Has Four Moms, These Things Take Time, Unicorn, Uniform, Weather Talk
Shorts: HIV Then and Now: LGBTQ people led the fight against HIV. We dealt with it back in the early eighties and we deal with it today in ways many people still don't understand. Three shorts tell that story - Among Sorrows and Songs, The Secret Story: How Medical Marijuana Was Re-Legalized in the US, When the World Changed
Shorts: Horror-ish: LGBTQ filmmakers delve into the world of horror in He Drinks, Hippopotamus, Michael Joseph Jason John, My Price, Possession, Physical Beauty & Other Abnormalities
Shorts: Identity Theories: Who am i? Who are you? These shorts will thrill AND chill you. They include: Femme, Flamers, Gay Camp, Jim's Introduction to Gender Identity, Maybe, One Way, Pre-Drink, Real, The Other Side of the Wall
SHORTS: Meadowlark & Haircut: The Musical FEATURE: BULLY: BULLY: In this film musical, tragedy strikes a typical American suburb when 14-year-old Sam Bradley commits suicide after being repeatedly bullied in school on suspicion of being gay. The press descends on the town, leaving Sam’s parents and their community scrambling to find someone to blame and some way to move forward. BULLY has been much anticipated since Broadway World first celebrated the concept cast recording for “relevant and timely themes, an intriguing score, and remarkable talent behind every aspect of this musical.” Since its Houston premiere, the film has been screened and awarded prizes from numerous film festivals around the world.
Shorts: The Fight: Being Okey, Deviant, Life in Darkness, Undone, Skai Blue
Shorts: We’re Still Coming OUT: The Men: Coming out stories are as current today as they ever were. These feature men, and include: Chee Ko Pek, High Rocks, The Kiss, Tim and the Fluteboy, Silverlake Afternoon, Sakura
Shorts: We’re Still Coming OUT: The Women: Coming out stories are as current today as they ever were. These feature women, and include: Female Connection, Zoe + Ari, Jo, Miss Rivers, Prom Queen, Becoming Leela
Speak Your Truth: A candid documentary featuring nine women who were married to men, came out later in life, and completely changed their lives. These engaging women provide an intimate portrait of their journeys. Many of their life experiences were different, but in each case these women have one driving force: they decided to speak their own truth and live their lives authentically.
Still Waiting in the Wings: Still Waiting follows the trials and triumphs of a ragtag team of actors waiting tables in Times Square. While dreaming of the glow of the footlights next door, the reality of slinging hash under florescent lights mixes sweet aspirations with bitter drama. There's no people like show people and there's no telling what can happen when they're pitted against each other.
The Drag Roast of Heklina: your finest, biggest wig for a raucous, no-holds-barred roast of one of San Francisco’s favorite larger-than-life drag personalities, the one and only Heklina—aka Stefan Grygelko, founder of the city’s longest-running drag show, Mother (formerly known as Trannyshack). Filmed live at the Castro Theatre, The Drag Roast of Heklina offers a front row seat and a chance to relive the madness, as Jackie Beat introduces a host of hysterical queens reading the beloved Heklina to filth. Gracing the stage with their ferocious claws out are comedian Julie Brown (Clueless), San Francisco faves Peaches Christ and Sister Roma, and RuPaul’s Drag Race royalty Alaska Thunderfuck and Jinkx Monsoon—with a special appearance by Bob the Drag Queen (to break up all the white queens representing on stage, she said). HEKLINA to attend!
THE LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years. Narrated by Laverne Cox with music by Melissa Etheridge, this moving documentary tells the story of our lives through the pages, covers and first fifty years of our most prized L:GBTQ magazine: THE ADVOCATE. This stunning documentary focuses on major events and watershed moments in LGBTQ history through never-before-seen archival footage and engaging interviews (Ricky Martin, Darryl Stephens, John Waters, Gloria Allred, Gavin Newsom, Dustin Lance Black, Margaret Cho, Robbie Rogers, and many more). Starting with the Black Cat, the film covers Stonewall, the 70s and the sexual revolution that continued from the late 60s, the disco years, the saga of the AIDS crisis, equal rights, marriage equality, and the trans movement to present day. We've come a long way, but we've still got a long way to go. This is OUR HISTORY.
THE QUEENS: As society grapples with issues of transgender acceptance and understanding, 'The Queens' takes viewers out of the politics and onto the stage with an exclusive look inside the first beauty pageant to ever allow transgender female impersonators to participate. Using the 38-year-old Miss Continental pageant as its backdrop, 'The Queens' explores this complex and relatively unknown subculture of transgender life, and delves into the whys and hows and dangers of the physical alterations many competitors have made to their outer bodies (silicone injections, breast implants, facial reconstruction, etc.), their inner bodies (hormone therapies), and their decisions to refrain from following through with gender confirmation surgery
TransGeek: TransGeek brings together the stories of transgender people working in the tech industry and existing within geek culture. The film introduces the audience to people who risked their careers and their lives to be their authentic selves - people who still persevere in an industry that undervalues women, LGBT folk, and people of color. TransGeek lets transgender people tell their own stories in their own voices. The film uses in-depth interviews conducted over a period of several years to explore the lives, hobbies, politics, careers, and thoughts of transgender geeks, and features an original score composed by Zoë Blade, a British electronic musician and transgender woman.
WebOUT: Deja View: After the success at last year's festival, arts blogger Kevin M. Thomas, @ReelKev, returns with the best of last year. Enjoy new episodes on popular shows such as "Daddyhunt," "Where the Bears Are" and "HerStory" (featuring Angelica Ross from "Pose"). We also get to continue our love for "Gay Husbands of San Francisco," see a lot of 1970s TV icons in "Child of the 70s," and we get a battle of the brunches of West Coast with "Old Dogs & New Tricks" vs. East Coast's "The Boys Who Brunch." Besides learning a secret about Asian men with "Coffee House Chronicles," musical web series return for an encore with "City of Dreams" and "Break," featuring Brian Justin Crum from "America's Got Talent" as well as a music video from "Dyke Central."
WebOut: Stories from our 20s, 30s, 40s and the Oval Office: Arts blogger Kevin M. Thomas, @ReelKev, has been watching web series since last year's festival and found some great brand new shows - as well as some wonderful shows he didn't discover until recently. Friends at various ages are profiled in this program including shows "Twenty," "The New 30" and "West 40s." And, "Now What?!" and "The Outs" explores wtf? at any age. Big stars show up for this segment as well with Loni Anderson co-starring in "My Sister is So Gay" and Sandra Bernhard as a driving force behind the Emmy nominated "Secs & EXES." We may learn a few secrets from the White House thanks to "Jared & Ivanka" and to make sure the L word isn't forgotten, the program features "Karly & Alex" and the REVRY original "Barbelle." Comedies also make a big splash with the riotous "Sunday Funday" and "Tough Love" and we're happy to report that "Don't' Suck" doesn't suck!
Who Will Save the Roses: Who will save the Roses is the melting love story between two old men. One of them is sick and is confined to his bed all day. The other is a gambler who takes care of him, visits with him, and shops for them both despite his own poor health. The gambler also has a hard relationship with his daughter, whose own son dotes over the old man. Sometimes love is the only solution, but sometimes we realize it when it's too late. A poignant look at aging, love, family relationships and the ultimate ties that bind us together as humans.
Wild Nights with Emily: With sly wit, the always wonderful Molly Shannon embodies poet Emily Dickinson, portraying her as a driven writer, a target of obsessive envy, an ardent lover, and a woman who suffered no fools. This tart and hilarious account of creative passion and longing, from Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins; Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same), tells only the truth but tells it with an ingeniously subversive slant. Unreliable narrator Mabel Todd (Amy Seimetz) misrepresents Emily Dickinson as an unrequited spinster and shut-in. Meanwhile, her true vibrant nature, known best by Emily’s lifelong lover and sister-in-law Susan (Susan Ziegler), shines through. Throughout this gleefully anachronistic biopic, Olnek joyfully tromps on the manufactured images of Dickinson as a tragic virgin recluse with an overactive imagination. This Dickinson is intrinsically connected with her family and community but has the discipline to put her creative solitude and writing first. Yet she is never truly alone in her work. Her muse, first reader, and champion remains Susan, a no-nonsense partner-in-crime who keeps the poet safe from the overbearing critiques of male publishers.