Women Filmmakers Take Center Stage at Frameline 39

Frameline, the world’s largest LGBTQ media arts nonprofit organization, is proud to feature a full slate of films made by women. As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline39 boasts an astounding 63 films created by female filmmakers—from those helmed by celebrated auteurs like Jamie Babbit (FRESNO), Jean Carlomusto (LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE AND ANGER), Jenni Olson (THE ROYAL ROAD), and Barbara Hammer (WELCOME TO THIS HOUSE, A FILM ABOUT ELIZABETH BISHOP), to the beguiling Centerpiece THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE by Alanté Kavaïté and provocative Closing Night presentation BARE, directed by first time feature filmmaker Natalia Leite.


ALL ABOUT E / DIR Louise Wadley / 2015 / Australia / 93 min

On the run after finding a bag full of cash, E, a sexy but closeted DJ and daughter of Lebanese immigrants, and her gay best mate seek refuge with E’s ex-girlfriend. Set in Sydney’s nightclub scene and Australia’s stunning outback, this sexy crime caper is about finding yourself while living between worlds.

BARE / DIR Natalia Leite / 2014 / USA / 88 min Closing Night

Sarah is trapped in nowheresville Nevada when the worldly drifter Pepper blows into town and opens her eyes to life’s possibilities. But is Sarah being seduced by a wily user, or is she herself using Pepper to break free?

DYKE CENTRAL EP. 6-10 / DIR Florencia Manovil / 2015 / USA / 105 min

From new tensions in old friendships to sex scenes that will make you gasp and bite your lower lip, this Oakland webseries gives you everything you want—and everything you didn’t realize you craved until you watched this show.

FLOATING! / DIR Julia C. Kaiser / 2014 / Germany / 86 min

Jana and Katha are ready to join their lives together, but the raucous bachelorette parties their closest friends arrange for them will test the bonds of their relationship and the true strength of their commitment.

FRESNO / DIR Jamie Babbit / 2015 / USA / 85 min Showcase

In this dark comedy, two co-dependent sisters who work as hotel maids—one a lesbian and the other a sex addict—use burglary, a bar mitzvah, and lots of purple dildos to dump the body of a hotel guest they accidentally kill.

LIZ IN SEPTEMBER / DIR Fina Torres / 2014 / Venezuela / 92 min Showcase

A tight-knit group of lesbian friends are enjoying their annual vacation on a beautiful Caribbean beach when Eva, a straight stranger, crashes the party. On a dare, the group’s heartbreaker Liz launches a seduction, with results that surprise them both.

LOVE ISLAND / DIR Jasmila Žbanic / 2014 / Bosnia & Herzegovina / 86 min

Love is mad in paradise! A lush getaway to a gorgeous haven on the Adriatic Sea leads to romantic antics, frisky business, and a few rhapsodic musical interludes for amiable party-boy Grebo, his very pregnant wife Liliane, and mysterious local dive master Flora.

MARGARITA, WITH A STRAW / DIR Shonali Bose / 2014 / India, USA / 100 min

Laila is a talented young composer-songwriter from India whose cerebral palsy is only a minor hurdle to overcome in the fulfillment of her desires—which she finds in an unexpected source when she transfers to an American university.

PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST / DIRS Christina Zeidler & John Mitchell / 2014 / Canada / 82 min

This clever, sophisticated Canadian dyke romcom centered around a forty-something Toronto TV producer is thoughtful and fresh—spinning a new groove into the old tune that we can’t always get (back) what we want.

S&M SALLY / DIR Michelle Ehlen / 2015 / USA / 80 min

In this fresh romcom, cuddling and picking out curtains are quickly replaced by flogging and safe words, as lesbian couple Jamie and Jill spice up their sex life by venturing into the leather scene.

STUFF / DIR Suzanne Guacci / 2015 / USA / 98 min

After 14 years together, Deb and Trisha are miles apart—emotionally and in their king-size bed. An attractive mom at their daughter’s preschool temporarily alleviates Deb’s loneliness but forces the couple to confront their shared reality.

THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE / DIR Alanté Kavaïté / 2015 / Lithuania, France, Netherlands / 88 min Centerpiece

Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is obsessed with stunt planes and struggling in her adolescence, but when she meets vivacious, outgoing Auste at an aeronautics show, her life changes. This is a sumptuously shot, subtly told story of the transformative power of first love.

SWORN VIRGIN / DIR Laura Bispuri / 2015 / 90 min

A young Albanian woman, chafing against her culture’s strictures on female behavior, chooses to live and work as a man. Years later, questioning his choice, he leaves his remote village and embarks upon a journey of self-discovery.

TWO 4 ONE / DIR Maureen Bradley / 2014 / Canada / 80 min

After a surprising one-night stand that rekindles their previous relationship, ex-partners Adam and Miriam make a most unusual discovery: they are both pregnant. TWO 4 ONE is a refreshing trans romcom.

WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING / DIR Catherine Stewart / 2015 / 72 min

A lesbian couple realizes how far they’ve strayed from the radical ideals of their youth, as they navigate infidelity, aging, class issues, and the complexities of gay life in post-Apartheid South Africa.


THE AMINA PROFILE / DIR Sophie Deraspe / 2014 / Canada / 84 min

Catapulting viewers from intimate love story to international mystery, this markedly modern doc exposes the fluid reality of cyber life. Its questions about the unadulterated exhilaration of virtual love and cultural divides will leave you talking for days.


Filmmaker Deb Simone takes us backstage as LA trans youth prepare for a runway show and calendar launch fundraiser—these young people are also engaging in an intentional process of becoming visible, having a voice, and claiming a future as vital community members.

DEEP RUN / DIR Hillevi Loven / 2015 / USA / 75 min

Young transman Cole and his girlfriend Ashley seek spiritual refuge in a welcoming church—a daunting challenge in rural North Carolina, where conservative Christianity rules. What ultimately saves them is deep love for themselves, each other, and their God.

FINDING PHONG / DIRS Swann Dubus & Tran Phuong Thao / 2015 / Vietnam / 92 min

Phong is a young transwoman from a village in Vietnam beginning her medical transition. Over the course of a year, she finds her place in the world and among her family, learning that becoming a woman involves more than she expected.

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD / DIR Sharon Shattuck / 2015 / USA / 79 min Showcase

When Sharon Shattuck was still in middle school, her dad came out to her family as transgender and changed names from Michael to Trisha. Now preparing for her own wedding, Shattuck returns home to better understand her parents’ relationship.

LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE AND ANGER / DIR Jean Carlomusto / 2015 / USA / 82 min Showcase

A gripping, warts-and-all tribute to one of our most important gay activists, this documentary is a compelling account of the onset and terrible escalation of the AIDS crisis in the United States, an epidemic that came to define Kramer’s life and work.

THE ROYAL ROAD / DIR Jenni Olson / 2015 / USA / 65 min

A road movie like no other, Jenni Olson’s cinematic essay is part memoir, part history lesson, part travelogue—and entirely original. Confessional narration about butch identity and long-distance longing is layered over mesmerizing 16mm images of California landscapes in this engrossing meditation on memory and nostalgia.

THE SAME DIFFERENCE / DIR Nneka Onuorah / 2014 / USA / 78 min

Self-identified studs Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (THE WIRE), AzMarie Livingston (EMPIRE), and many others discuss hypocrisy in terms of gender roles and performative expectations within the Stud/Aggressive community. From stud-on-stud relationships to dressing femme for pay, no topic is left untouched.

SCRUM / DIR Poppy Stockell / 2015 / Australia / 54 min

Three gay rugby athletes are vying for a spot on the elite Sydney Convicts team, competing for the 7th Annual Bingham Cup. Can they put behind their past struggles and win the prize? This is a steamy, pulsating documentary about acceptance, sportsmanship, and male camaraderie.

VISIBLE SILENCE / DIR Ruth Gumnit / 2015 / USA / 42 min

A delicate but probing look at “tom” and “dee” lesbians in Thailand, as they confront expectations to conform to a rigidly gender-assigned society. Silent but visible within it, they speak to us from a rich variety of experience.


Elizabeth Bishop pursued women her whole life, while “kicking around the coastlines of the world” and winning laurels for her poetry. Filmmaker Barbara Hammer creates a complex, layered portrait of a passionate woman.

A WOMAN LIKE ME / DIRS Elizabeth Giamatti & Alex Sichel / USA / 85 min

After finding out she has terminal breast cancer, co-director Alex Sichel confronts this hard truth through her filmmaking, concocting a magnificent hybrid that weaves the real and the imagined, “truth” and performance, life and a fierce desire to go joyfully toward death.

THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE / DIR Ellen Brodsky / 2014 / USA / 68 min

Boston LGBTQ youth troupe True Colors: Out Youth Theater produces and performs a play that tackles the difficult topic of love. This inspiring doc celebrates the powerful work of a troupe that believes, above all else, the show must go on!

THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING / DIRS Laura Nix, Andy Bichlbaum & Mike Bonanno / 2014 / 92 min

The Yes Men are back! Legendary prankster protesters Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum chronicle their latest efforts to expose corporate greed and political malfeasance—from Uganda to Copenhagen—while in the midst of their own midlife crisis.


11 LIFE LESSONS FROM AN AWESOME OLD DYKE / DIR Allison Khoury / 2015 USA / 8 min

Meet Dorothy, a tough-as-nails butch who kicked ass and took names (including the names of a few lovers) gives an abridged history lesson and offers up a perspective only possible with a PhD from the School of Life.

50% / DIR Alexandra Herstik / 2015 / USA / 5 min

This quirky, campy autobiographical short explores intersectionality and identity with the lighthearted confidence of being true to oneself.

ABSENCE: NO FATS, NO FEMMES, NO ASIANS / DIR Celeste Chan / 2014 / USA / 7 min

An experimental documentary contemplating race/racism, queerness, fat, femininity, and belonging, ABSENCE is a fiercely honest quest—for community, for visibility, for that queer fat API femme utopia.

BE HERE NOWISH: EPISODE 2 / DIRS Natalia Leite, Alexandra Roxo / 2014 / USA / 6 min

A girl gets way more than she bargained for when her one-night stand refuses to leave.

BEAT / DIR Tricia Hagoriles / 2015 / Canada / 15 min

A glowing heartbeat takes on an active role in this delightful story of young blossoming lesbian love.

THE BIRTHDAY / DIR Daniela Lucato / 2014 / Germany, Taiwan / 16 min

Young Taiwanese German immigrants Ron and May show that love can persist under the grey skies of Berlin in THE BIRTHDAY.

BLOOD AND WATER / DIR Emily Iason / 2014 / USA / 12 min

BLOOD AND WATER finds lust awash in neon on the streets of NYC’s dive bars, as a young student falls for her professor.

CARINA / DIR Sandra Concepcion Reynoso Estrada / 2014 / Mexico 11 min

Carina is 8 years old and likes rock and roll music. Her life takes a complete spin when she believes her new teacher is the same woman from her dad’s pin-up magazine.

CHARLOTTE / DIR Angel Kristi Williams / 2015 / USA / 11 min

Alex, excited to have befriended the popular girl at school, will do anything to stay in her good graces. When her new friend wants to play house, Alex innocently plays along and develops feelings she doesn’t understand.

CODE ACADEMY / DIR Nisha Ganatra / 2014 / USA / 16 min

Nisha Ganatra (CHUTNEY POPCORN, Frameline23) returns with CODE ACADEMY a futuristic sci-fi short peeking into the inner world of adolescence, gender identity formation, and the role of cyberspace in this tumultuous time of growth.

THE DANCER AND THE CROW / DIR Iris Moore / 2014 / Canada / 4 min

When one man takes a closer look at his inner self, he discovers the beauty he has been hiding from the world.

F*GGOT / DIR Marian Sobrino / 2014 / Mexico / 18 min

In 1990s Mexico, little Arturo is being bullied at school for girlish ways he can’t help. A rich fantasy life helps him cope and build a connection with his handsome uncle, who is struggling himself with HIV in an era of intolerance.

FEMALE MASCULINITY APPRECIATION SOCIETY / DIRS Jac Nunns and Angie West / 2014 / UK / 11 min

Follow Cookie and Foxy Ven in their quest to reach the arm-wrestling finals, discover the reason behind Rubyyy’s ginger moustache, and judge for yourself the standards in Dapper wear.


At 92, Robina Asti, a World War II veteran and pilot, tells her story of living as a transgender woman since 1976 and her fight to be treated like any other widow

HAPPY & GAY / DIR Lorelei Pepi / 2014 / Canada / 11 min

Two couples go out for a rollicking night on the town in this subversive, revisionist, 1930s black-and-white cartoon musical misadventure

I LOVE HER / DIR Darya Perelay / 2013 / Ukraine / 4 min

Lesbian love in Ukraine takes on the charming melodic overtones of a street musician.

MAMIS: A FAMILY PORTRAIT / DIR Virgina Fuentes / 2013 / Cuba, UK, Spain / 19 min

In Cuba, where their access to adoption and assisted reproduction is prohibited, lesbians who want to be mothers face extra challenges as they try to realize their dreams. Exploring ideas of personal rebellion, MAMIS reveals that there is often a way to get around the rules.

MINDTEASE / DIR Iris Moore / 2013 / Canada / 4 min

The accidental reveal of a burlesque dancer’s true identity leads to a moment of self-questioning for the audience, and for one voyeur in particular, some deeper self-exploration.

PAPER THIN / DIR Nataly Lebouleux / 2014 / UK / 19 min

Part horror, part magical realism, PAPER THIN is a subversive take on psychiatry, religious fundamentalism, and the power of fairy godmothers.

PLAYING WITH BALLS / DIR Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir / 2014 / Iceland / 8 min

As tempers rise between a couple on the tennis court, a group of older lesbians become intrigued with the goings-on in PLAYING WITH BALLS.

PUT THE NEEDLE ON THE RECORD / DIR Shine Louise Houston / 2014 / USA / 10 min

Remember that high school babe that everyone wanted to get down with, but no one dare try? For these four friends that person was Samantha, and as they light up and spin vinyl in this erotic short, one of them claims to remember her a bit better than the others.

QUEER HABITS / DIR Drew Denny / 2015 / USA / 13 min

Sister Frances A Sissy, Sister Sparkle Plenty, and Sister Wilma Titzgroe, of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence’s Russian River order provide insight into a unique community in which fearless drag queen nuns broke down a dangerous gay/redneck divide by committing consistent acts of love and charity.

ROADS / DIR Denisse Quintero / 2013 / Mexico / 10 min

When the adventurous free-spirited Abril comes across quiet Carmela in the countryside of Mexico, things are bound to change.

SEPARATE, TOGETHER / DIR Amanda Vigil / 2015 / USA / 8 min

When Alma discovers she has feelings for her best friend Jena, she’s confronted with all the usual, unanswerable coming-of-age questions—plus some—in this experimental narrative snapshot of fluid attraction and identity.

SEX, POLITICS & STICKY RICE / DIR Tina Takemoto / 2014 / USA / 8 min

Protests, potlucks, and three-ways are just the “tip of the rice bowl” for five Asian American lesbians recounting their adventures in sex, love, and queer activism in the San Francisco Bay Area since the 1980s. Featuring: Crystal Jang, Gisele Pohan, Lia Shigemura, Zee Wong, and Helen Zia.

SHAMELESS / DIR Geeta Malik / 2013 / USA / 4 min

A woman on trial turns the tables on her accusers.

SIREN / DIR Louise Cooke / 2014 / United Kingdom / 14 min

Elizabeth, a perfect English rose, falls for Sirena, a sensuous Spanish visitor, but Elizabeth’s on-again, off-again relationship with Tom complicates her new romance in this lusciously risqué look at the nature of desire and the drama of self-discovery.

STEVIE / DIR Chloe Jury-Fogel / 2014 / USA / 18 min

Stevie, a small-town tomboy, experiences romance for the first time when an attractive brother and sister move into the neighborhood. Stevie’s mixed feelings of attraction take her by surprise after they all spend a night out together.

SUGARHICCUP / DIR Lisa Donato / 2014 / USA / 16 min

A neurotic journalist searches through digital clues trying to decipher a cryptic message left by her fiancée right before she disappears for the next 48 sleepless hours. SUGARHICCUP shows how nonsensical data, social media, and distrust can all add up to destructive decision-making.

SUPERNATURE / DIRS Kittie Krivacic, Jessica Vo, and Alan Pham / 2014 / USA / 7 min

An African American man with Down syndrome comes out as gay and finds support from his drag queen heroes as well as the amazing staff at The ARC of San Francisco.

TRUE WHEEL / DIR Nora Mandray / 2014 / France, USA / 9 min

Fender Bender, a women/trans/queer bike workshop collective, assembles the first bike-sharing program of Detroit and builds community one bike at a time.

THE TYPIST / DIR Kristine Stolakis / 2014 / USA / 7 min

A gay Korean War Veteran reflects on his time as the office clerk tasked with writing the discharges of outed gay seamen in this gorgeous historical doc.

V IS THE WARMEST COLOR / DIR Anna Margarita Albelo / 2015 / USA / 2 min

Playing with the tropes of Cannes Film Festival winner BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, this spoof trailer presents a retelling of the tale staring a vagina.

WHATEVER WE WANT TO BE / DIR Stephanie Williams / 2014 / USA / 14 min

Pansexual playgirl Dylan is forced to question her free-spirited, poly lifestyle when enchantingly seductive Sam turns her world on its head.

About Frameline39: The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

Frameline39: There’s No Place Like Here… the 39th San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival celebrates an exceptional experience that unites diverse communities across an evolving cinemascape for 11 days of innovative and socially relevant film. Commemorate legendary filmmakers, discover emerging talents, and join the inimitable community of festivalgoers that distinguish the world’s oldest and largest celebration of queer cinema. Frameline39 pays tribute to LGBTQ experiences through revelatory documentaries, captivating features, enchanting shorts, cinematic classics, and more.

Frameline39 runs June 18-28, 2015, with San Francisco screenings at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street), and Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street), in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (2966 College Avenue), and new this year, in Oakland at Landmark’s Piedmont Theatre (4186 Piedmont Avenue). The Festival showcases international imports from Kenya, Venezuela, Lithuania, Thailand, France, and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as local gems.

The Frameline Box Office, presented by Showtime, located inside The HRC Action Center and Store, (575 Castro Street between 18th and 19th Streets) opens Friday, May 22 for Frameline member ticket sales, and Friday, May 29 for the general public. Box Office hours are 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily. Box Office is closed Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day. Tickets are also available 24 hours daily online (www.frameline.org/festival) and via fax (415-861-1404).

– See more at: http://ticketing.frameline.org/festival/news/detail.aspx?NID=193&FID=52&year=2015#sthash.k8ShlGba.dpuf