This year, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2019 is pleased to, once again, partner with OUTwatch, Wine Country’s LGBTQI Film Festival, offering a slate of films curated by their producers as part of our program.
OUTwatch began as a day of LGBTQI films at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in 2012 and has grown into a robust and well-attended festival of its own. Its producers curate the best of LGBTQI film in both narrative and documentary formats and bring it to the North Bay to entertain and educate the community at large.
As such, we are proud to co-present three documentaries their curating team hosts under the OUTwatch Banner: 2 wonderful features, The Rest I Make Up and Leitis In Waiting and the short, A Great Ride. Look for the OW icons in the program.
The Rest I Make Up
Friday March 29, 4pm Rialto Cinemas® #9
Maria Irene Fornes is one of America’s greatest playwrights and most influential teachers, but many know her only as the ex-lover of writer and social critic Susan Sontag. At the vanguard of the nascent Off-Off Broadway experimental theater movement in NYC, the visionary Cuban-American dramatist constructed astonishing worlds onstage, writing over 40 plays and winning nine Obie Awards. When she gradually stops writing due to dementia, an unexpected friendship with filmmaker Michelle Memran reignites her spontaneous creative spirit and triggers a decade-long collaboration that picks up where the pen left off. Theater luminaries such as Edward Albee, Ellen Stewart, Lanford Wilson, and others weigh in on Fornes’s important contributions. What began as an accidental collaboration becomes a story of love, creativity, and connection that persists even in the face of forgetting.
A Great Ride (Short Program #3)
Saturday 3/30, 12:45-2:45 pm Rialto Cinemas® #7 and 4-6pm Rialto Cinemas® #9, Sunday 3/31, 2pm Rialto Cinemas® #9
“A Great Ride” is a documentary about older lesbians aging with dynamism and zest for life.
When they were young these women forged a social movement to come out as true to themselves. Now they are pioneers once again as they face the next daunting challenge: growing old, which can come with frailty, loneliness, and the death of dear friends. In this group portrait, these women are courageous role models for aging, which they do with determination, engagement, an independent and irreverent spirit and a heartening delight in living.
Features Rainbow Women of Oakmont Village, Sally Gearhart & the Women of the Willits Women’s Land, and Brenda Crawford in Vallejo.
Leitis In Waiting
Friday March 29, 7:30pm Rialto Cinemas® #7
Leitis in Waiting is a raw yet tender portrait of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in their South Pacific Kingdom. With unexpected humor and extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, this emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking your culture and traditions.
Other LGBTQI films at the festival: Holly Near: Singing For Our Lives, Derby Crazy Love, The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, From Baghdad to the Bay, The Racer (Short Program #3), Madame Mars: Women and the Quest for Worlds Beyond (Short Program #3), I Have Something To Tell You (Short Program # 1 & opening short)
Holly Near: Singing For Our Lives
Friday March 29 4:15-5:45 Brent Theater – Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Singer, songwriter, and social activist Holly Near has been performing for well over 50 years and in the process created what Gloria Steinem called, “the first soundtrack of the women’s movement.” From small-town Northern California to sold-out shows on some of the most iconic stages to million-person peace marches, Singing for Our Lives documents the story of the activist and her art. It also serves as an important testament to a time—a time of protest and coalition building, and the weaving of a multicultural consciousness always rooted in contemporary activism. Featuring Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, the late Ronnie Gilbert, and the late Tom Hayden with appearances by Pete Seeger, and others, this film, directed by Jim Brown (The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time!), elevates Near to her deserved status of iconic artist and activist, and speaks to anyone who believes in peace, justice, feminism, and humanity.
Derby Crazy Love
Sat March 30 1:45-3:15p Brent Theater – Sebastopol Center for the Arts
A bad ass documentary about the third wave feminist revival of roller derby, featuring NY’s Gotham Girls, UK’s London Roller Girls and Montreal’s New Skids On The Block. This is not your Mom’s Roller Derby. These Derby women are modern, young and totally committed to the sport. Their names are crazy and they may be quirky but they are hard working athletes who go all out to win. This film captures the spirit, danger and excitement of today’s rough and tumble Roller Derby as the team struggles to win against the top ranked Derby women in the world.
Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcetd17-x3s
The Woman Who Loves Giraffes
Saturday March 30, 5-6:30p Rialto Cinemas® #7
Dr. Anne Innis Dagg re-traces the steps of her ground-breaking 1956 journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild. Now, at 85 years old, Anne sees a startling contrast between the world of giraffes she once knew and the one it has become. Weaving through the past and present, her harrowing journey gives us an intimate look into the factors that destroyed her career and the forces that brought her back. Directed by Canadian filmmaker Alison Reid.
From Baghdad to The Bay
Sunday March 31, 2-4pm Rialto Cinemas® #7
“From Baghdad to The Bay” is a personal look at one man’s harrowing journey to be true to himself amidst adversity. This award winning film follows the epic journey of Ghazwan Alsharif, an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the U.S. military. Wrongfully accused of being a double agent, tortured by the U.S. military and ostracized from family, Ghazwan struggles to rebuild his life in the San Francisco Bay Area while coming out as an openly gay activist.
Short Program 1 – I Have Something to Tell You
Friday March 29, 4-5:30pm Rialto Cinemas® #9, 7:30-8:45pm Rialto Cinemas® #7
Saturday March 30, 11:15-12:15pm Rialto Cinemas® #9
A fine art photographer employs his craft to heal old wounds and ease his anxiety about sharing his HIV/AIDS diagnoses with his loved ones, creating an acclaimed portrait series in the process.(Note: Not a typo, “Adrain” is his birth name.)
Short Program #3 – Along with A Great Ride, these are several other shorts in program #3 of interest to LGBTQI.
Saturday 3/30, 12:45-2:45 pm Rialto Cinemas® #7 and 4-6pm Rialto Cinemas® #9
Jodie lives and breathes motorcycling. But the road to reaching the top is paved with difficulties, if it wasn’t for her dad’s unwavering support.
Madame Mars: Women and the Quest for Worlds Beyond
Madame Mars: Women and the Quest for Worlds Beyond reframes the story of space exploration as a feminist issue, connecting the original space age that denied opportunities to women to current Mars initiatives that still lack a full commitment to diversity. The powerful narrative taps into public enthusiasm over proposed human missions to the red planet and argues for a more inclusive spacefaring future. Dr. Jan Millsapps spent four years finding and amplifying the stories of women who have worked in the shadows of more prominent and visible men – female engineers, scientists, coders, doctors, technicians – and of aspiring Martians, women preparing today to live and work on Mars. Madame Mars is populated by accomplished, intelligent and curious women who not only share the dream of finding one’s own place in space, but also a commitment to the ensuring that humanity will represent itself accurately and completely as we take our next big step out into the universe.