Lights. Camera. Take Action. Frameline42 Features 52% Women Filmmakers and Cutting-Edge Stories from 39 Countries

Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, is excited to announce that Frameline42: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival will take place June 14-24, 2018 in the San Francisco Bay Area.

With an expected attendance of 60,000, Frameline42 will draw film lovers, media artists, and LGBTQ communities from the Bay Area and all across the globe to discover the latest slate of queer cinema. With 52% of all films directed by women, 39 countries are represented, including Brazil, Japan, Lebanon, Norway, Paraguay, Kosovo, South Africa, and Malaysia. The lineup—featuring 153 narratives, documentaries, episodics, and short films—also includes 25 World Premieres.

“Frameline is thrilled to return for our 42nd year, serving as a platform for the world’s finest in LGBTQ content and a lightning rod for fresh, radical ideas and stories,” says Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace. “Film has always been used as a vehicle of change, and our tagline this year—Lights. Camera. Take Action.—speaks directly to our mission to change the world through the power of queer cinema. Also a new addition to Frameline this year is our Director of Exhibition & Programming, Paul Struthers. Struthers comes with a commitment that is unmatched, in terms of artistic vision, an energy focused on social justice content, and a dedication to extend audience and queer representation. His appointment to Frameline is in perfect alignment with the organization’s trajectory to increase the impact of queer media worldwide.”

“Frameline is an organization that has always inspired me in their world-leading approach to showcasing queer cinema,” Struthers says. “I’m thrilled with this year’s diverse and enriching slate that our exceptional Programming team has curated. This includes a rousing collection of films focused on dance and performance among QTPOC (queer & trans people of color) scenes, and many major film festival award winners from around the globe. We look forward to sharing over 150 stories representing the breadth of the queer communities’ experience with Bay Area audiences in June.”


  • Directed by Fiona Dawson & Gabriel Silverman
  • West Coast Premiere
  • Expected Guests: Fiona Dawson, Gabriel Silverman, producer Jamie Coughlin, subject Laila Ireland, subject Debbie Reim
  • The U.S. military is the nation’s largest employer of transgender people. But now, the careers of some 15,000 transgender military personnel are in peril. This captivating documentary—fresh off its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival where it won the Audience Award—tells the inspiring stories of four transgender troops who are the visible front lines of America’s fight for LGBTQ rights. Supported by the Frameline Completion Fund, TRANSMILITARY is also the first feature film to receive funding from GLAAD Media Institute.

Immediately following TRANSMILITARY, Frameline42’s festivities continue at the Opening Night Gala at Terra Gallery in SoMa. Enjoy signature cocktails and snacks, take star-studded selfies, and talk up everything in store for Frameline42.


  • Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
  • Bay Area Premiere
  • Expected Guest: Matt Tyrnauer
  • You’ve heard of Studio 54. But do you know what went on behind the velvet rope? Strap on your dancing shoes, feather your hair, and prepare to get down with this electrifying documentary, which premiered at Sundance, about the most famous disco of all time. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage and photos as well as candid interviews with co-founder Ian Schrager, STUDIO 54 is one of two feature-length documentaries from director Tyrnauer at Frameline42; Toronto International Film Festival favorite SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD will also screen in the Documentary section.

After the program, boogie on over to the disco-themed Frameline42 Closing Night Party at Oasis, where we’ll announce the Frameline42 Festival Awards and feature exciting performances.

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY  – Centerpiece US Feature

  • Directed by Madeleine Olnek
  • Bay Area Premiere
  • Expected Guests: Madeleine Olnek, actor Amy Seimetz, actor Susan Ziegler, actor Jackie Monahan
  • With sly wit, Molly Shannon embodies poet Emily Dickinson as a driven writer, a target of obsessive envy, an ardent lover, and a woman who suffered no fools. This delightful account of creative passion and longing tells only the truth but tells it with an ingeniously subversive slant. Following its world premiere at SXSW, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is the latest from Frameline alum Madeleine Olnek (The Foxy Merkins, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same), who will also be a part of a special In Conversation With… at Frameline42.

AND BREATHE NORMALLY – Centerpiece World Cinema

  • First feature from director Ísold Uggadóttir
  • West Coast Premiere
  • Expected Guest: Ísold Uggadóttir
  • Lara is a struggling single mom whose life unexpectedly collides with that of a female refugee in this intensely moving drama from Iceland. As the two women find themselves falling outside society’s safety nets, they turn to one another to find a way out of their predicaments. Winner of the Best Director – World Cinema prize at Sundance.

WHEN THE BEAT DROPS – Centerpiece Documentary

  • Directed by Jamal Sims
  • West Coast Premiere
  • Expected Guests: Jamal Sims, producer Jordan Finnegan, subject Anthony Davis
  • Famed and prolific choreographer Sims directs this bold, energetic documentary exploring “bucking,” a dance subculture popular within the black LGBTQ community in the South, from its beginnings at historically black colleges and universities, through its evolution at underground clubs, and on to fierce competitions at large venues.

BONDING – Centerpiece Episodic

  • Directed by Rightor Doyle
  • North American Premiere
  • First ever Episodic Centerpiece for Frameline42, and eligible for Frameline’s inaugural Episodic Audience Award this year.
  • Expected Guests: Rightor Doyle, actors Brendan Scannell, Zoe Levin, Matt Wilkas
  • Struggling to pay his rent, a shy, aspiring stand-up comedian teams up with his best friend—who moonlights as a dominatrix—in this hysterical, touching, and kinky new episodic. BONDING made its world premiere at the inaugural Cannes International Series Festival in April.

For the first time ever, the 2018 Frameline Award will be bestowed posthumously to Academy Award-winning filmmaker Debra Chasnoff (1957-2017), whose extraordinary work as a Bay Area documentarian and activist for LGBTQ rights helped change the nation’s understanding and acceptance of diverse, queer families. The award will be accompanied by a screening of her seminal documentary, IT’S ELEMENTARY: TALKING ABOUT GAY ISSUES IN SCHOOL, as part of the Frameline42 Retrospectives, and a sneak peek from her work-in-progress, Prognosis. The award, established in 1986, is given every year to a person or entity that has made a major contribution to LGBTQ representation in film, television, or the media arts.

In addition to over 1000 submissions, the Programming Team traveled the globe, curating queer highlights riding the festival wave, beyond SXSW Audience Award winner TRANSMILITARY for Opening Night.

  • AND BREATHE NORMALLY (dir. Ísold Uggadóttir) — Winner: Best Director – World Cinema Dramatic, Sundance. (See Centerpieces, above)
  • THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (dir. Desiree Akhavan) — Winner: Grand Jury Prize – U.S. Dramatic, Sundance. Desiree Akhavan’s exquisite follow-up to Appropriate Behavior follows a teenage orphan (Chloë Grace Moretz) whose guardians send her off to a Christian “gay conversion” camp after she’s caught with her girlfriend after a school dance. Expected Guest: actor Emily Skeggs.
  • NIGHT COMES ON (dir. Jordana Spiro) — Winner: NEXT Innovator Award, Sundance. NIGHT COMES ON is a raw and lyrical coming-of-age tale about a resourceful 18-year-old trying to find her sister, get a gun, and take down her murderous father.
  • WE THE ANIMALS (dir. Jeremiah Zagar) — Winner: NEXT Innovator Award, Sundance. In this award winner that’s been called the Moonlight of 2018, a shy young boy comes into his own amidst the wild and unsettled landscape of his working-class small town in upstate New York.
  • THE HEIRESSES (dir. Marcelo Martinessi) — Winner: Best Actress, Alfred Bauer Prize, Teddy – Reader’s Award, Berlinale. Living in faded elegance but facing mounting money problems, reclusive Chela has her world turned upside-down when her longtime partner, Chiquita, is sent to debtor’s prison. As Chela reluctantly starts working as a private driver, she finds new avenues to independence, and to thrilling contact with young, beautiful Angy.
  • HARD PAINT (dir. Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon) — Winner: Teddy – Best Feature Film, Berlinale. In this moody, sensual drama, Pedro makes his living doing webcam shows while smearing his naked body with neon paint. When a mysterious performer begins copying his signature act, Pedro confronts him and finds something unexpected. Expected Guests: Filipe Matzembacher, Marcio Reolon.
  • BIXA TRAVESTY (dir. Kiko Goifman & Claudia Priscilla) — Winner: Teddy – Best Documentary Film, Berlinale. This documentary is a captivating, revealing view into the life and political artistry of Linn da Quebrada, a transgender Brazilian singer and performance artist whose daring, powerful style matches her equally daring social message of resistance and inclusion.
  • RETABLO (dir. Alvaro Delgado Aparicio L.) — Winner: Teddy – Newcomer Award, Crystal Bear – Special Mention, Berlinale. A renowned artisan of intricate altarpieces known as retablos, Noé prepares his teenage son Segundo to carry on the family craft. But Noé’s clandestine homosexual life fractures their father-son bond within a conservative patriarchal culture where alleged crimes are met with brutal ostracism. Expected Guest: Alvaro Delgado Aparicio L.
  • CLOSE-KNIT (dir. Naoko Ogigami) — Winner: Teddy – Special Jury Award, Berlinale. When 11-year-old Tomo’s mother abandons her, she seeks refuge with her uncle and his new girlfriend, a transwoman with a strong maternal instinct. In this poignant and affirming story, the three characters must weave themselves into a family, despite forces that strive to unravel them.
  • REINVENTING MARVIN (dir. Anne Fontaine) — Winner: Queer Lion, Venice. Bullied at school, handsome Marvin flees his boorish family for drama school in Paris, where he is nurtured by a variety of mentors (including Isabelle Huppert!) and begins to reinvent himself, in Anne Fontaine’s powerful new film about the making of an artist.
  • PRE-DRINK (dir. Marc-Antoine Lemire) — Winner: Best Short Film, Toronto. Two twentysomethings—newly transitioned Alexe and her gay best friend Carl—pregame at their apartment before meeting a group of old friends out on the town, not realizing the overflowing glasses of wine will lead them to a new stage in their relationship. Playing as part of WORLDLY AFFAIRS shorts program.
  • ISLANDS (dir. Yann Gonzalez) — Winner: Queer Palm, Cannes. With a highly evocative soundtrack that features Oneohtrix Point Never and Stars of the Lid, the latest provocation from France’s resident garçon terrible Yann Gonzalez (You & the Night) blurs the lines between wet dream and lucid nightmare as a macabre, erotic stage performance sends a ripple of lustful desires through its audience and performers. Playing as part of DARK TWISTED FANTASIES shorts program.
  • WOULD YOU LOOK AT HER (dir. Goran Stolevski) — Winner: Short Filmmaking Award – International, Sundance. In this prize-winning short from Macedonia, a hard-headed tomboy spots the unlikely solution to all her problems in an all-male religious ritual. Playing as part of WOULD YOU LOOK AT HER shorts program.

Frameline42 will feature a rousing collection of films focused on dance and performance among QTPOC (queer & trans people of color) scenes.

  • WHEN THE BEAT DROPS (see Centerpiece Titles above)
  • UNSTOPPABLE FEAT: THE DANCES OF ED MOCK (dir. Brontez Purnell) — San Francisco’s own Ed Mock finally gets his due in local director Brontez Purnell’s heartfelt doc, chock-full of archival footage of the avant-garde dance legend. Interviewees describe his classes and performances as something akin to attending church, in this moving homage to the life and art of a gone-but-not-forgotten black ambisexual SF icon. Expected Guest: Brontez Purnell.
  • NARCISSISTER ORGAN PLAYER (dir. Narcissister) — From crotch-baring TMZ appearances with Marilyn Manson to an Absolutely Fabulous shout-out to museum exhibitions, performance artist Narcissister is quite the provocateur. But this fascinating documentary and performance art hybrid about her life reveals the multifaceted artist behind the spectacle. Expected Guests: Narcissister, producer Bernard Lumpkin, producer Taryn Gould.
  • SHAKEDOWN (dir. Leilah Weinraub) — Craving their own space, a group of black queer women start a party that dominated LA’s underground black lesbian strip club scene for decades. This provocative, touching, and sexy film celebrates this unique time and place. Expected Guests: Leilah Weinraub, subject Egypt.
  • BIXA TRAVESTY (see Award Winners, above)
  • WHITE RABBIT (dir. Daryl Wein) — In this refreshing dramatic comedy, a quirky Korean American performance artist bikes around LA yelling into her microphone about race-related issues while wearing a wig and a onesie, and falls for an earthy yet glamorous Ghanaian American photographer. Expected Guests: Daryl Wein, actor Vivian Bang.
  • MY HOUSE — Frameline42 is proud to present a special screening of Viceland’s New York City vogueing and ballroom extravaganza MY HOUSE. We’ll be recapping all the previously aired episodes before showing the world premiere of the season’s final two episodes. Expected Guests: producers Giselle Bailey, Elegance Bratton, Sean Johnson, Nneka Onuorah.
  • FOLLOW ME (dir. Jasper Rischen) — Frameline42 is thrilled to present the first two episodes of World of Wonder’s groundbreaking new series, an in-depth, no-holds-barred portrait of some of RuPaul’s Drag Race’s most beloved—and most controversial—contestants: Gia Gunn and Aja.
  • NOTHING TO LOSE (dir. Kelli Jean Drinkwater) — A troupe of queer dancers of size makes a big splash at Sydney Festival 2015 with the unexpected hit NOTHING TO LOSE. This intimate portrait by their artistic associate follows the performers reclaiming abundant bodies for pleasure, grandeur, and power.


  • 1985 (dir. Yen Tan) — In Yen Tan’s gorgeously realized follow up to his acclaimed Pit Stop, a young man (Gotham’s Cory Michael Smith) returns from New York to his Texas hometown to celebrate Christmas with his conservative family. Struggling to reconcile his past with his present life, he reaches out to his estranged childhood girlfriend and must decide if he’s ready to be honest with his family, in spite of the consequences. Expected Guests: Cory Michael Smith, producer Ash Christian.
  • ALONE IN THE GAME (dir. Natalie Metzger & Michael Rohrbaugh) — Despite the recent acceptance of Olympians like Gus Kenworthy, coming out can still have career-ending consequences for many athletes. This stirring documentary explores the paths of trans, lesbian, and gay athletes through the often hostile terrain of sports. Expected Guests: Natalie Metzger, producer David McFarland, composer Robert Allaire, subject Haley Videckis, subject Layana White.
  • BELIEVER (dir. Don Argott) — Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of the Grammy-winning alt-rock band Imagine Dragons, becomes an unlikely LGBTQ activist when he is forced to come to terms with the harmful impact of the anti-LGBTQ tenets of the Mormon faith in which he was raised.
  • CALL HER GANDA (dir. PJ Raval) — Her mother called her ganda, “beautiful” in Tagalog. Her family and friends called her Jennifer. The U.S. Marine who killed her called her “it.” This piercing and poetic film calls for justice—for Jennifer Laude and for a country still haunted by its colonizers. Expected Guests: PJ Raval, subject Meredith Talusan.
  • FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS (dir. Sonia Sebastián) — Launching an app that matches freelancers with potential employers is an answered prayer for desperate bride Billie. But making her startup happen means lying to both her business partners and her fiancée, in this screwball romp that blends romantic comedy and workplace politics. Expected Guests: Sonia Sebastián, writer-actor Lisa Cordileone, producer Eugene Park, actor Natasha Negovanlis, actor Jennifer Bartels, actor Alexandra Billings.
  • THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA (dir. Donal Mosher & Michael Palmieri) — Narrated by the enchanting Mx Justin Vivian Bond, this documentary focuses on the quaint Arkansas town of Eureka Springs as its residents prepare to vote on a historic LGBT ordinance, against a backdrop of gospel-themed drag shows and the largest outdoor Passion Play in the country. Expected Guests: Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri, narrator Justin Vivian Bond.
  • HARD PAINT (see Award Winners, above)
  • LEITIS IN WAITING (dir. Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, & Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu) — The island nation of Tonga is home to a vibrant community of transgender women known as leitis. Activist Joey Joeleen Mataele guides us through the challenges they face, despite support from the royal family, from anti-LGBTQ Christian fundamentalists, in this poignant portrait of pride and poise. Expected Guests: Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, subject Joey Joeleen Mataele.
  • MAPPLETHORPE (dir. Ondi Timoner) — Starring Matt Smith (The Crown, Doctor Who), this vibrant biography dramatizes the life and legacy of visionary photographer and sexual outlaw Robert Mapplethorpe—from the early days of his friendship with Patti Smith to his success as an artist and provocateur and then to his ultimate struggle with AIDS. Expected Guest: Ondi Timoner.
  • NIGHT COMES ON (see Award Winners, above)


  • IDEAL HOME (dir. Andrew Fleming) — Pink Saturday at the Castro — Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd star as a glamorous foodie couple whose lives are turned upside-down when a secret 10-year-old grandson shows up on their Santa Fe doorstep and threatens to change their lives forever, in this hilarious and endearing comedy. Expected Guest: Andrew Fleming.
  • MAN IN AN ORANGE SHIRT (dir. Michael Samuels) — U.S. Premiere — Produced by the BBC, two connected love stories, set sixty years apart, explore the evolving challenges of gay life for men in England from the post–World War II era to the present day, in this well-crafted, sophisticated drama which stars Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Morris, Laura Carmichael, and Julian Sands. Expected Guest: Julian Morris.
  • NINA (dir. Olga Chajdas) — North American Premiere — When happenstance brings together thirtysomething Nina; her husband, Wojtek; and Magda, a young, out lesbian, what begins as a search for a pregnancy surrogate becomes an increasingly fraught tangle of desire, infidelity, and self-discovery. Expected Guests: Olga Chajdas, cinematographer Tomasz Naumiuk, editor Kasia Adamik.
  • YOURS IN SISTERHOOD (dir. Irene Lusztig) — West Coast Premiere — The letters to Ms. magazine were signed, “In sisterhood”—but never published. Forty years later, women across the U.S. read them aloud and react, on camera, to their secrets, rants, and pleas. The result is an extraordinary history of 1970s feminism: intersectional, personal, political, and stunning. Expected Guests: Irene Lusztig, sound designer Jeremiah Moore, production assistant Emily Chao


  • As part of a special initiative supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Frameline42 is proud to present RISE UP! QUEER WOMEN FILMMAKERS TAKE THE HELM, which shines a spotlight on the historic achievements and current state of queer women in filmmaking, through a robust selection of new films by women directors, a panel discussion on Queer Women Documentarians, and a In Conversation With… filmmaker Madeleine Olnek.

A total of $25,000 was awarded in this 2017 Completion Fund cycle. Since 1990, Frameline has awarded more than $515,000 to 149 film projects by and about the LGBTQ community. Frameline42 presents 8 films that were finished with assistance from the Completion Fund:

  • 1985 (see Showcases, above)
  • CALL HER GANDA (see Showcases, above)
  • DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! (dir. Caroline Berler) — Lovers of lesbian film unite! DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! is a joyous trip down memory lane, featuring the ultimate array of filmmakers and thinkers of the past 50 years as they examine works from Go Fish to But I’m a Cheerleader. Expected Guests: Caroline Berler, producer Rebecca Benson, subject B. Ruby Rich, subject Yvonne Welbon
  • FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS (see Showcases, above)
  • LEITIS IN WAITING (see Showcases, above)
  • THE REST I MAKE UP (dir. Michelle Memran) — This fascinating documentary introduces viewers to award-winning Cuban playwright María Irene Fornés, an integral member of New York’s experimental theater scene and former lover of Susan Sontag. Even as she grapples with memory loss, Fornés radiates inquisitive curiosity and unquenchable creativity.
  • SHAKEDOWN (see QTPOC Performances, above)
  • TRANSMILITARY (see Opening Night, above)

Frameline members are vital to our year-­round work in creating change for LGBTQ people everywhere. When you join as a member, your generous gift supports emerging  filmmakers, our youth education programs to create safer and more accepting communities, and the exhibition of thought­-provoking films documenting LGBTQ lives and experiences both online and at the Festival. By joining the most respected LGBTQ media arts organization in the nation, you invest in our future and also receive an array of exciting benefits. For more information about how you can be a part of the Frameline family, please visit us at

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About Frameline42: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival:
Lights. Camera. Take Action. Frameline42, San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, takes place June 14-24, 2018 in the Bay Area. The 42nd Festival celebrates the spectrum and intersection of identities that make up LGBTQ communities worldwide. Join filmmakers and festivalgoers alike at the largest showcase of queer media on the planet. Info and tickets:


About Frameline:
Frameline’s mission is to change the world through the power of queer cinema. As a media arts nonprofit, Frameline’s programs connect filmmakers and audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the globe. Frameline’s integrated programs provide critical funding for emerging LGBTQ filmmakers, reach hundreds of thousands with a collection of more than 250 films distributed globally, inspire thousands of students through Youth in Motion, which sends free films and curricula to schools across the nation, and create an international stage for the world’s best LGBTQ film through the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival and additional year-round screenings and cinematic events. Learn more at