Judy Garland Comes to Frameline43 in World Premiere Documentary, Plus Gala Selections Revealed

Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, is pleased to announce its first slate of high-profile programs and pre-sales—including Opening Night feature VITA & VIRGINIA, Closing Night feature GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, and Centerpiece selections including the World Premiere of SID & JUDY—for Frameline43: San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, which takes place June 20-30, 2019 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. The complete Frameline43 program will be unveiled on Tuesday, May 21.

“Frameline is thrilled to return for our 43rd year, serving as a platform for the world’s finest in LGBTQ+ content. I’m always invigorated by the film artists who present a fresh slate of astounding storytelling each year that continues to educate and inspire us all,” says Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace. “People question the place of film festivals in a now media-saturated culture, but the Festival is about communities: bringing everyone together to celebrate and expand our knowledge of the world around us, as well as ourselves. Frameline’s Festival attendance increased in 2018, and we predict a continued expansion of our audience this year. The LGBTQ+ world has never been quiet; they show up in droves, stomp their feet, and cheer. Frameline43’s outstanding program will continue to demonstrate that there will always be queer film to stomp about!”

Paul Struthers, Frameline’s Director of Exhibition & Programming, selected 12 films to announce early and begin pre-sales to Frameline Members and the public. “Alongside the exceptional Frameline Programming team, we have curated a Festival that really has films about and for all of the LGBTQ+ communities,” Struthers says. “These twelve features offer a perfect appetizer for what Frameline43 has in store. We will be screening over 170 stories from all over the world, including award-winning titles, exciting world premieres, and some very special presentations…”


VITA & VIRGINIA – Thursday, June 20

  • Directed by Chanya Button
  • Sensational star turns by Elizabeth Debicki as Virginia Woolf and Gemma Arterton as Vita Sackville-West bring to dazzling, erotic life one of the great lesbian love affairs of the 20th century in this enchanting blend of literary biography and romantic intrigue—a shimmering costume drama that also features a strong supporting turn from Isabella Rossellini as Vita’s mother.  As the two remarkably different novelists begin exploring each other’s minds and bodies, the relationship sparks a creative surge in Woolf, who uses her androgynous lover, Sackville-West, as the muse for one of her greatest novels, Orlando. Vita & Virginia premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

Following VITA & VIRGINIA, join us for our glittering Opening Night Gala at Terra Gallery (511 Harrison Street at First Street). Feast on the sights, sounds, and flavors of the Festival while celebrating with mediamakers, community leaders, industry professionals, and filmgoers alike.



  • Directed by David Charles Rodrigues
  • To combat the reemergence of anti-LGBTQ+ laws and hate crimes brought upon by the Trump era, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus boldly toured areas of the southern United States, bringing their message of love and inclusion for everyone. Juxtaposing chorus members’ modern-day encounters with historical perspectives, director David Charles Rodrigues chronicles this intense and inspirational journey. Fueled by fantastic music, this dynamic documentary captures the heart and soul of a contemporary civil rights movement. Gay Chorus Deep South premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

Following GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, celebrate the wrap of Frameline43 and Pride 2019 at our Closing Night Party at Oasis (298 11th Street at Folsom Street). Enjoy delicious bites from Curryous Catering and smooth Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktails as we announce the winners of the AT&T Audience Awards and the First Feature Award, proudly underwritten by Wells Fargo. Enjoy dazzling live performances by legendary SF drag impresario Heklina, and dance the night away with our Frameline family!


SID & JUDY – Centerpiece Documentary – Wednesday, June 26

  • Directed by Stephen Kijak
  • World Premiere
  • June 2019 marks 50 years since the death of the extravagantly talented and tragically short-lived entertainer Judy Garland, whose perseverance and powerful charisma have made her a gay icon for generations. This revelatory and poignant new portrait, rich with spectacular film clips and rare concert footage, is told through the memoirs—only recently published—of the man who, for a tumultuous decade, was her confidant, producer, and husband, Sid Luft.

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT – Centerpiece US Feature – Monday, June 24

  • Directed by Hannah Pearl Utt
  • First Feature Film
  • Exceptionally funny, smart, and heartfelt, Before You Know It welcomes us into the eccentric Gurner family home, perched atop their business: a community theater in downtown NYC. Type A lesbian Rachel’s responsibilities as the stage manager of both their performances and private lives have kept her from having her own life. But sudden tragedy and the discovery that their presumed-dead mother is a soap opera star throw Rachel and her flighty sister Jackie into more than their usual chaos. Co-writers Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt star alongside Judith Light, Mandy Patinkin, and Alec Baldwin in this winning comedy, which places the duo’s superb comic timing front and center. World premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

TEMBLORES (TREMORS) – Centerpiece World Cinema – Tuesday, June 25

  • Directed by Jayro Bustamante
  • When confident, sophisticated Pablo reveals that he is going to leave his wife and children to live with the man he loves, his affluent evangelical family in Guatemala is ripped apart: soon Pablo’s conservative parents, wife, employer, pastor, and his entire world seem bent on reforming, “converting,” or destroying the errant man. Jayro Bustamante’s (Ixcanul) powerful drama is both one man’s wrenching story and a searing commentary on the impact that religious and social prejudice still wreaks on queer lives. Temblores (Tremors) premiered at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival.

A LUV TALE: THE SERIES – Centerpiece Episodic – Thursday, June 27

  • Directed by Kim Oyegan
  • Written and Created by Sidra Smith
  • Reminiscent of the classic ‘90s film Love Jones, this Harlem-set series from writer-creator Sidra Smith follows four stunning queer women of color as they navigate their friendships, love lives, and artistic careers. Armed with a bomb soundtrack, starring sure-to-be new favorites and familiar faces like actors Vanessa Williams and Leon, this sexy show is a must watch.


BIT – Saturday, June 22

  • Directed by Brad Michael Elmore
  • US Premiere
  • A summer vacation in LA quickly turns into a fight to survive for Laurel (Nicole Maines from CBS’s Supergirl), a transgender teenage girl who falls in with a glamorous quartet of queer feminist vampires. Unsure if they want to kill her, eat her, or recruit her, Laurel skeptically tags along with the bloodsucking clique as they rid the streets of predatory men in this wickedly funny, gleefully gory, defiantly postmodern spin on a coming-of-age tale.

END OF THE CENTURY – Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 29

  • Directed by Lucio Castro
  • First Feature Film
  • The mysteries of romantic connection, the challenges of a long-term relationship, the allure of personal freedom—these topics and more are explored in Lucio Castro’s sexy, funny, and moving feature debut. With fascinating temporal shifts and a picturesque Barcelona setting, End of the Century explores the relationship between handsome Ocho and Javi over different decades and, possibly, different realities. The film made its world premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival in New York City. 

KINKY BOOTS: THE MUSICAL – Saturday, June 22

  • Directed by Jerry Mitchell and Brett Sullivan
  • World Premiere
  • Broadway babies and footwear fans rejoice! Come thrill to the world premiere screening of the rousing Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical, in this HD-cinema, live-captured performance from London’s Adelphi Theatre. With a book by Harvey Fierstein and original songs by Cyndi Lauper, the delightful Kinky Boots: The Musical stars original West End sensations Killian Donnelly as shoemaker scion Charlie and Matt Henry as Lola, the feisty drag queen who tries to save the factory with her fabulous fetish-y creations.


  • Directed by Nick Zeig-Owens
  • West Coast Premiere
  • Both funny and illuminating, this behind-the-scenes exposé of RuPaul’s Drag Race star and country music songstress, Trixie Mattel, offers a glimpse into the backstage drama of a drag superstar. Following Trixie through All Stars, a musical world tour, and the genesis of her Viceland series with Katya, Moving Parts showcases the glitz and glamour of fame as well as its pitfalls when you have a legion of fans watching your every move. Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Trixie Mattel (Brian Firkus) will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening. 

YOU DON’T NOMI – Thursday, June 27

  • Directed by Jeffrey McHale
  • West Coast Premiere
  • Local icon Peaches Christ joins a collection of critics, writers, and fans for an enlightening and entertaining reassessment of the once celebrated Hollywood disaster that has risen like a queer phoenix from the ashes: Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls. Is it a misunderstood masterwork, misogynist trash, unintentional camp, or a combination of all three? You Don’t Nomi offers an array of insight and wit as it explores one of San Francisco’s favorite movies. You Don’t Nomi had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Screening hosted by drag sensation Peaches Christ.

KATTUMARAM – Sunday, June 23 and Thursday, June 27

  • Directed by Swarnavel Eswaran
  • West Coast Premiere
  • First Feature Film 
  • In a small Indian village ravaged by a tsunami, Singaram is a fisherman working hard to care for his orphaned niece Anandhi, a local school teacher. Despite constant pressure from her uncle and the conservative society, Anandhi refuses to be married off. It isn’t until a new friendship with a fellow female teacher blossoms that people begin to suspect why.


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 www.frameline.org/join