Frameline43’s Robust Full Slate Unveiled: 59 US Premieres, Including 22 World Premieres

 Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, is proud to announce the full program for its 43rd annual Festival after unveiling its first 12 titles last month. Frameline43, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, takes place June 20-30, 2019 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. This year’s slate includes 59 films screening for the first time in the US, including 22 world premieres, 8 international premieres, 12 North American premieres, and 17 US premieres. The lineup also contains a record-breaking 22 first narrative features.
With last year’s audience reaching over 62,000, Frameline43 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. Thirty-eight countries will be represented, including China, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Italy, Romania, Vietnam, India, Guatemala, and Indonesia. Frameline will also welcome a number of high-profile guests during its 11 days of programs, including Trixie Mattel, Angelica Ross, Carol Lynley, Mike Doyle, Bruce Vilanch, Nicole Maines, Brendan Scannell, and Robert Anderson Clift.
“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.”
“I’m ecstatic with this year’s exceptional slate, that the outstanding Programming team has put together,” adds Paul Struthers, Frameline’s Director of Exhibition & Programming. “There are so many discovery titles and an astounding 22 first narrative features at the Festival this year. We are proud to be showing over 50 films that have never been screened in the US, including HISTORY LESSONS, an exquisite dramedy from Mexico about an unusual student-teacher friendship; BIT, which stars transgender superstar Nicole Maines in an LGBTQ+ vampire story; and from Argentina, Berlin International Film Festival fave FAMILY MEMBERS, a beautiful film about siblings and first love that will be making its North American premiere with us. We can’t wait to share our lineup of 174 films from 38 countries with Bay Area audiences in June.”
Links for film stills, Frameline branding, and press kits can be found via Dropbox.

  • 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, OrlandoVita & 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, joined by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, 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, where it won the Audience Award for Documentary.

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

  • 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

  • Directed by Hannah Pearl Utt
  • First Feature Film
  • Expected Guests: Director/Star Hannah Pearl Utt, Writer/Actor Jen Tullock
  • 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

  • Directed by Jayro Bustamante
  • Expected Guests: Actor Juan Pablo Olyslager
  • When confident, sophisticated Pablo (Juan Pablo Olyslager) 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

  • Directed by Kim Oyegan
  • Written and Created by Sidra Smith
  • Expected Guests: Creator/Writer Sidra Smith, Actor Sheria Irving
  • 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 Vanessa Williams and Leon, this sexy show is a must watch.

Frameline will present its most prestigious honor, the 2019 Frameline Award, to visionary filmmaker Rodney Evans, whose films both in narrative fiction and documentary form have explored the histories and worlds of African Americans negotiating sexuality, and the calling of art. We will present a 15th anniversary screening of Evans’ landmark film BROTHER TO BROTHER (a contemporary homage to the Harlem Renaissance) and the award itself will be presented on June 26 at 4:00pm at the Castro Theatre, prior to the screening of Evans’ latest documentary, VISION PORTRAITS, an appreciation of several visually impaired artists. 


  • BIT – Directed by Brad Michael Elmore – US Premiere – A summer vacation in LA quickly turns into a fight to survive for Laurel (Nicole Maines from TV’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. Expected Guests: Director Brad Michael Elmore, Actor Nicole Maines.
  • BRIEF STORY FROM THE GREEN PLANET – Directed by Santiago Loza – In Buenos Aires, feisty trans performer Tania takes on a bizarre mission: to deliver her grandmother’s extra-terrestrial companion to its home. With her two childhood friends, Tania travels through rural Argentina on a journey where they will discover hidden strengths in themselves and one another. Winner of the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, this poetic film fable explores the themes of selfhood, friendship, and the meaning of otherness. Expected Guests: Director Santiago Loza.
  • BUTTERFLY – Directed by Alessandro Cassigoli & Casey Kauffman – US Premiere – Irma ‘The Butterfly’ Testa spent her childhood training to achieve her dream: to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, escaping the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Naples. But when the most pivotal fight of her life leaves her facing failure, Irma must find a way back to herself—and decide whether life outside the boxing ring can fulfill her dreams as much as life within it.
  • CHANGING THE GAME – Directed by Michael Barnett – Tightly edited and searingly emotional, Changing the Game zeroes in on the explosive fight for trans rights occurring on high school athletic fields across the United States. From racetracks in Connecticut to wrestling arenas in Texas, Michael Barnett’s documentary paints a devastating portrait of bigotry against trans athletes, but it also finds hope in the unlikely allies and advocates who rally fiercely by their sides. Expected Guests: Director Michael Barnett, Subject Mack Beggs.
  • CLEMENTINE – Directed by Lara Jean Gallagher – A serene rural lake is the setting for a volatile connection between two women following a messy and painful breakup. Karen, the cast-aside muse of an older successful artist, invades her ex’s lake house in order to lick her wounds only to unexpectedly cross paths with Lana, a baby-faced blonde from across the lake whose intentions gradually come into focus in this sharply-observed minimalist melodrama, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Expected Guests: Director Lara Jean Gallagher, Actor Otmara Marrero.
  • END OF THE CENTURY – Directed by Lucio Castro – What starts as a brief hookup in Barcelona between handsome Ocho and Javi turns into an expansive, time-bending rumination on romance and relationships, a tale that moves over decades and borders in this fascinating, funny and sexy feature debut by Lucio Castro. Expected Guests: Director Lucio Castro.
  • HISTORY LESSONS – Directed by Marcelino Islas Hernández – US Premiere – High school teacher Vero moves through her days with slow deliberation, weighed down by chains of habit and ill health. However, when an electric encounter takes place with the new rebellious student Eva, the incident sparks an unconventional relationship that’s both transgressive and twisted as these two variant souls course-correct their lives. Expected Guests: Director Marcelino Islas Hernández, Actors Verónica Langer and Renata Vaca.
  • STRAIGHT UP – Directed by James Sweeney – World Premiere – Panicking over the thought of spending his whole life alone, Todd turns his back on dating men and dives headlong into a relationship with aspiring actress Rory, his intellectual soulmate. But can a (probably) gay man and a straight woman become a truly happy couple? Quick-witted (with even quicker dialogue) and featuring charming performances from Katie Findlay and writer-director James Sweeney making his feature debut, Straight Up mines the depths of our collective anxieties around loneliness, relationships, and love for the perfect modern thinking-person’s date night movie. Expected Guests: Director/Star James Sweeney, Actors Katie Findlay and Brendan Scannell.
  • STRAY DOLLS – Directed by Sonejuhi Sinha – Two young women stuck living and working at a squalid motel will do whatever it takes to escape their suffocating surroundings. However, they may have gone too far when they hatch a plot to rip off their nefarious drug-dealing boss (a deliciously wicked Cynthia Nixon), igniting an avalanche of violence and suspense in this explosive queer buddy crime drama that marks the promising feature debut of acclaimed short film director Sonejuhi Sinha. Expected Guests: Director Sonejuhi Sinha.
  • THIS CLOSE: SEASON 2 – Directed by Stephen Cone & Jordan Firstman – World Premiere – Written with a potent mixture of humor and heartache by Deaf creators and leads Joshua Feldman and Shoshannah Stern and co-starring Nyle DiMarco, Millicent Simmonds, Cheryl Hines, and Marcia Cross, season 2 of This Close offers a universal language of infectious humor and deeply relatable (and often very gay!) drama for the Deaf and hearing communities alike. Join the series creators for an exclusive screening of—and discussion about—the wonderful second season of this beloved and groundbreaking television series. Expected Guests: Creators/Stars Shoshannah Stern and Joshua Feldman.
  • TO THE STARS – Directed by Martha Stephens – In a small Oklahoma farm town in the 1960s, two teenage girls who never quite fit in, strike up a friendship that shocks the whole town and alters their lives forever. A Sundance favorite, beautifully shot in black-and-white, To the Stars gives the grand cinematic treatment to the coming-of-age stories of two young women who grapple with accepting themselves in a town that refuses to. Expected Guests: Director Martha Stephens.
  • UNSETTLED: SEEKING REFUGE IN AMERICA – Directed by Tom Shepard – This powerful documentary from acclaimed director Tom Shepard (Scout’s Honor) follows four LGBTQ+ refugees who have fled homophobic violence sanctioned in their home countries. Yet successfully escaping to San Francisco is only one step in a challenging journey to achieve the stability and safety so deeply yearned for. Will each navigate their unique circumstances and ever-mounting odds to not only stay, but thrive? Expected Guests: Director Tom Shepard, Subjects Cheyenne Adriano, Junior Mayema, Subhi Nahas, and Mari N’timansieme.

As always, the Frameline43 lineup is chock-full of famous names and faces. Beginning with Elizabeth Debicki, Gemma Arterton, and Isabella Rossellini in the opening night feature VITA & VIRGINIA, the Festival will see the likes of Judith Light, Cynthia Nixon, Jeff Daniels, Patricia Clarkson, Angelica Ross, Alec Baldwin, Colin Morgan, and Kate Walsh grace the screens over 11 days.

  • STRAY DOLLS (see Showcase Titles above)
  • SELL BY – Directed by Mike Doyle – US Premiere – Actor Mike Doyle makes his feature directorial debut with this sharp, engaging modern-day romantic comedy about a cute gay influencer couple and their BFFs trying to balance their relationships and careers (or lack thereof) in New York City. The fabulous cast—which includes Kate Walsh and the always-enchanting Patricia Clarkson—will have you laughing out loud and pondering the convoluted realities of growing up, selling out, and following your dreams. Expected Guests: Director Mike Doyle.
  • GUEST ARTIST – Directed by Timothy Busfield – A misanthropic, gay, alcoholic New York City playwright (Jeff Daniels) descends upon a small town in Michigan to mount his new work but gets hung up at the train station when his driver, an aspiring writer, challenges his jaded outlook in this razor-sharp and moving adaptation of Daniels’ play. Over the course of a snowy Christmastime evening, the two generations face off, trading acerbic, witty dialogue while dissecting each other’s views on art and life. Expected Guests: Producers Michael Alden and Michael Ferdie.
  • BENJAMIN – Directed by Simon Amstell – In this uproarious comedy set in hipster London, an up-and-coming indie filmmaker feels the pressure to live up to his early-career promise as he scrambles to finish his (possibly very bad) second film—sending his self-confidence into a nosedive. But when awkward Benjamin (Colin Morgan) meets and falls for an enchanting French musician, he finds his insecurities may torpedo his one chance at happiness. Like its title character, Benjamin is funny, charming, and bittersweetly romantic. Expected Guests: Director Simon Amstell.
  • KING ESTER – Directed by Dui Jarrod – In the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, Ester, a Black trans woman in New Orleans, is searching for a way out: out of the sex work that leaves her emotionally and physically broken, out from under the judgmental gaze of those she grew up with, and out of Pigeon Town, a neighborhood rife with violence. Beautifully shot with strong ensemble performances, including Pose’s Angelica Ross and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s Janet Hubert, King Ester showcases a gifted storyteller on the rise. Expected Guests: Producer/Star Angelica Ross, Director Dui Jarrod.

From Hollywood legends and drag superstars to fashion vanguards and visionary performance artists, Frameline43 will feature a wide array of portraits of artists of varying disciplines. In addition to Judy Garland (who can be seen in the Centerpiece Documentary), documentary profiles of the likes of Montgomery Clift, Barbara Hammer, Trixie Mattel, David Wojnarowicz, Eileen Myles, and Jean Paul Gaultier will make their way to the Festival.

  • MAKING MONTGOMERY CLIFT – Directed by Robert Anderson Clift & Hillary Demmon – Legendary movie star Montgomery Clift’s life is often painted as tragedy: closeted sexuality, drug and alcohol addiction, that brutal car crash, and his untimely death at age 45. But in this eye-opening new documentary, Clift’s nephew works to dispel the myths surrounding the complicated, exceedingly handsome, and mysterious actor. Revealing previously unseen archival footage, Making Montgomery Clift reexamines the life and work of one of Hollywood’s greatest icons. Expected Guests: Robert Anderson Clift and Hillary Demmon.
  • TRIXIE MATTEL: MOVING PARTS – Directed by Nick Zeig-Owens – 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. Expected Guests: Subject Trixie Mattel, Producer David Silver.
  • QUEER GENIUS – Directed by Chet Catherine Pancake – World Premiere – A deep, affectionate look at the life and work of five remarkable queer artists: the late, legendary filmmaker Barbara Hammer; the inimitable poet, Eileen Myles; Rasheedah Phillips & Camae Ayewa (aka Moor Mother) of the revelatory multimedia Black Quantum Futurism collective; and wildly innovative performance artist Jibz Cameron (aka Dynasty Handbag). Expected Guests: Director Chet Catherine Pancake, Subject Florrie Burke.
  • JEAN PAUL GAULTIER: FREAK & CHIC – Directed by Yann L’Hénoret – In this high-energy backstage extravaganza, visionary fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier offers an all-access pass into the creation of his lavish and sexy Paris cabaret Fashion Freak Show—a vibrant, eye-popping homage to the icon’s life and work. Joined by such stars as Madonna, Catherine Deneuve, Marion Cotillard, and his longtime muse Rossy de Palma, Gaultier looks back on his upbringing, his inspirations, and his creations: a heartfelt journey through his provocatively fabulous world.
  • SELF-PORTRAIT IN 23 ROUNDS: A CHAPTER IN DAVID WOJNAROWICZ’S LIFE, 1989-1991 – Directed by Marion Scemama – In his brief, notorious life, David Wojnarowicz shook up the art world with explicit sexuality and raw dissections of toxic American culture. His powerful works earned the wrath of fundamentalist right-wingers in the years before his 1992 death from AIDS. Marion Scemama’s simmering portrait captures the serious, goofy, anguished, outraged, and horny sides of an essential artist and activist giving voice to unapologetic queerness at the end of the 20th Century.

Frameline continues its leadership role in showcasing queer Latinx voices and experiences in this year’s stunning array of narrative features, documentaries, and short films from across the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds. In addition to the Centerpiece World Cinema feature TEMBLORES (TREMORS) from Guatemala, Frameline43 will feature over 20 films from Latin America and the US addressing the Latinx queer experience.

  • END OF THE CENTURY (Argentina) (see Showcase Titles above)
  • SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT (Colombia) – Directed by Ruth Caudeli – While her best friends get married, have kids, and flourish in their careers, thirtysomething aspiring actress Emilia lives her life through Britney Spears references, shots of whatever alcohol is closest, and late-night hook-ups. When her free-spirited ways start to catch up to her, how will she respond to the pressures of growing responsibilities and expectations placed upon her? Expected Guests: Director Ruth Caudeli, Writer/Actor Silvia Varón.
  • HISTORY LESSONS (Mexico) (see Showcase Titles above)
  • SOCRATES (Brazil) – Directed by Alexandre Moratto – A 15-year-old boy living on the fringes of São Paulo seeks a better life despite social and economic hardship after his mother suddenly dies in Alexandre Moratto’s electrifying debut. Navigating tough streets and a steamy romance with a reckless older boy, Socrates’ story—collaboratively produced and scripted with Brazilian youth filmmakers—is of gritty survival, earning the film multiple Independent Spirit Award nominations.
  • THIS IS NOT BERLIN (Mexico) – Directed by Hari Sama – As the country prepares to host the World Cup, two teenage boys discover Mexico City’s hedonistic punk and art scene circa 1986, as well as their own budding sexualities in this Sundance Film Festival sensation. Bored with their private school peers, Carlos and Gera follow Gera’s feminist/anarchist older sister to her synth band’s concert in an underground gay club, which provides the gateway to an enticing world of illicit drugs, naked art protests, and queer revelations.

In continuing Frameline’s mission to showcase upcoming talent and new voices, this year’s Festival presents a record-breaking 22 narrative feature debuts from a diverse group of filmmakers. This year’s Centerpiece US Feature, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, as well as showcase titles STRAIGHT UP, STRAY DOLLS, CLEMENTINE, and END OF THE CENTURY, are among the films vying for Frameline’s annual First Feature Award, proudly underwritten by Wells Fargo.

  • SONG LANG – Directed by Leon Le – Set in atmospheric 1980s Saigon, Song Lang is a gritty underworld noir hiding a romantic heart. Hunky, brooding Dung—a debt collector for a local loan shark—finds himself mysteriously drawn to a charismatic young performer in a Vietnamese folk opera troupe. Their bond will lead them into an emotional vortex of operatic proportions in this stunning feature debut, featuring rich scenes from a fading but potent art form. Expected Guests: Director Leon Le.
  • MONSTERS. – Directed by Marius Olteanu – North American Premiere – Unfolding like a mystery in three distinct chapters over the course of 24 hours, Monsters. introduces us to a married couple testing the boundaries of their splintered relationship by seeking connections with strangers. Their encounters—hers with an irritable cab driver, his on an awkward Grindr hookup—will influence their inevitable reunion, when painful decisions must be made in this profoundly incisive, exquisitely acted, and visually dazzling feature debut.
  • CARMEN & LOLA – Directed by Arantxa Echevarría – Good Roma girls don’t smoke, have cell phones, or date; and they definitely don’t fall in love with other girls. Carmen and Lola’s powerful attraction to each other puts them on a collision course with their repressive community outside Madrid in Arantxa Echevarría’s golden-hued romance which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Best New Director Award at the Goyas, Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars.
  • ZEN IN THE ICE RIFT – Directed by Margherita Ferri – Teenage hockey standout Maia adamantly prefers to be called Zen. Sporting androgynous looks, Zen competes on the boys’ team; off the ice, though, Zen is forced to build a wall of isolation to shield the ever-growing onslaught of bullying. But a deepening friendship with beautiful Vanessa threatens to thaw Zen’s ice shell, as new feelings—even new identities—gradually seem possible. This sensitive debut feature is anchored by newcomer Eleonora Conti’s exquisite performance. Expected Guests: Actor Eleonora Conti.
  • MEILI – Directed by Zhou Zhou – North American Premiere – In this transfixing portrait of love and loneliness in a changing China, we follow impulsive Meili, toiling at a dry cleaner’s, cuddling and quarreling with her girlfriend, exploding at her money-hungry brother-in-law. She yearns to escape her stifling—and sometimes violent—everyday. But after her girlfriend abandons her, Meili soon finds herself jobless, friendless, and pushed to the edge of rage. Intimately shot and powerfully performed, Meilireveals one woman’s struggle to hang on to hope.

Putting a fresh, decidedly queer spin on genre, an exciting collection of horror/sci-fi/thrillers featuring LGBTQ+ characters come to Frameline43. Sexy feminist vampires take center stage in Showcase title BIT, while these additional feature films utilize mystery, suspense, an extraterrestrial, and even Freddy Krueger himself to tell their queer stories.

  • KNIVES AND SKIN – Directed by Jennifer Reeder – From the director of Signature Move, with allusions to Heathers and Riverdale, this refreshingly strange and visually compelling coming-of-age drama takes what is expected in a high school movie—jocks and cheerleaders, popularity worries, and fears of dying a virgin—and adds a missing drum majorette, feminist rage, choral arrangements of ‘80s hits, and a lesbian love affair. All these added together culminate in one of the year’s most surreal and surprisingly tender teen mysteries. Expected Guests: Director Jennifer Reeder.
  • SCHOOL’S OUT – Directed by Sébastien Marnier – Exhilarating and surprising from start to unforgettable finish, this cool and menacing thriller which premiered at the Venice Film Festival follows Pierre Hoffman (Elle’s Laurent Lafitte), a handsome gay substitute teacher whose new assignment lands him in an elite private school after one of the teachers departs under unsettling circumstances. When gifted students prove to be difficult and vaguely sinister, Pierre begins uncovering a startling mystery that reveals, above all else, the kids are definitely not alright.
  • SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – Directed by Roman Chimienti & Tyler Jensen – In 1985, Mark Patton landed the lead in the sequel to the blockbuster A Nightmare on Elm Street, thinking he had achieved his dream of becoming a movie star. Instead he found himself, a young closeted gay man, starring in a controversial, subversively queer film, that disappointed audiences and destroyed his career. Thirty years later, Patton comes out of seclusion to embrace the cult film and confront his own demons. Expected Guests: Directors Roman Chimienti and Tyler Jensen, Subject Mark Patton.
  • BRIEF STORY FROM THE GREEN PLANET (see Showcase Titles above)
  • LAST FERRY – Directed by Jaki Bradley – North American Premiere – An introverted lawyer heads to Fire Island to let loose but gets much more than he bargained for when a casual encounter with a stranger leaves him drugged. In his impaired state, he finds himself the only witness to a shocking murder in the desolate Meat Rack and must figure out how to escape before the killer finds him in this mesmerizing gay thriller that’s full of twists and turns, shot on location in the Pines. Expected Guests: Writer/Actor Ramon Torres.

Highlighting stories and films central to San Francisco and the Bay Area has always been a strong focus for Frameline, and this year is no exception. The Festival closes with a powerful documentary about the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH, and features a retrospective of short films from the late Bay Area filmmaker Marlon T. Riggs (Tongues Untied) entitled MARLON RIGGS: NO REGRETS, among other notable films.

  • THANKS TO HANK – Directed by Bob Ostertag – World Premiere – If you’ve ever done anything political and gay in San Francisco—including attend a film at Frameline—you’ve been touched by the life and work of Hank Wilson. In this loving tribute to a man who radically altered LGBTQ+ life and rights in the Bay Area (especially for queer youth in the early days of AIDS), audiences are gifted an impactful and informative glimpse of history changed by Hank’s vision, activism, and organizing. Expected Guests: Director Bob Ostertag.
  • TRANSFINITE – Directed by Neelu Bhuman – Transfinite is a collection of seven locally-shot science-fiction/fantasy short films, skillfully brought to life by a cast of trans and queer actors. Rich with symbolism, the seven stories in this anthology film feature supernatural LGBTQ+ people, from many different cultures, who use magic and supernatural powers to love, teach, fight, and thrive. Beautiful animation and thoughtful camerawork make this omnibus of shorts—filmed in the Bay Area—shine. Expected Guests: Producer Marc Smolowitz.
  • THROUGH THE WINDOWS – Directed by Petey Barma & Bret Parker – World Premiere – With its sky-high windows looking out onto Castro and Market, the landmark bar Twin Peaks stands not only as one of San Francisco’s most beloved establishments but also as a testament to the revolutionary idea that gay people should be seen and celebrated rather than hide in the darkness of alleys and blacked-out windows. Expected Guests: Directors Petey Barma and Bret Parker.
  • WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS – Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton – In revolutionary Oakland, queer activists Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest created the Radical Monarchs, a social justice leadership program for girls of color. These kickass women and girls find and express their identity, strength, and sisterhood through community activism. The Radical Monarchs are spreading their wings in the Bay and beyond. The future is female, and the future is now. Expected Guests: Editor Katie Flint.
  • MARLON RIGGS: NO REGRETS – Directed by Marlon T. Riggs – To mark the 25th anniversary of his passing and the 30th anniversary of his landmark essay film Tongues Untied, Frameline will remember the innovative Bay Area filmmaker Marlon T. Riggs with a screening of his rarely seen short films: AnthemAffirmations, and Non, je ne regrette rien (No Regret).


  • 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.


  • Frameline co-founder Marc Huestis launches his long-awaited memoir Impresario of Castro Street at this exciting multimedia event. His book covers 45 years of San Francisco gay history and two decades of Castro extravaganzas feting such stars as Debbie Reynolds, Karen Black, Patty Duke, and John Waters. This event includes clips from those legendary evenings and in-person readings from Huestis’ juicy memoir by a star-studded cast including Carol Lynley, Bruce Vilanch, Danny Nicoletta, and more!

Frameline43 is proud to present QUEER THAT SCRIPT! HOW FANDOM IS SHAPING TELEVISION, which explores queer fandom and will feature Angelica Ross and director Gabrielle Zilkha, and TROUBLED SANCTUARY: LGBTQ+ REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS, AND IMMIGRANTS IN THE US, following the screening of UNSETTLED: SEEKING REFUGE IN AMERICA. Director Tom Shepard and the subjects of both UNSETTLED and THE INFILTRATORS will be a part of the panel.

A total of $25,000 was awarded in this 2018 Completion Fund cycle. Since 1990, Frameline has awarded more than $540,000 to 154 film projects by and about the LGBTQ+ community. Frameline43 presents 3 films and episodics that were finished with assistance from the Completion Fund:

  • KISSING WALLS: SEASON 2 – Directed by Zak Payne – In rapidly changing Chicago, two misfit roommates struggle in the local dating scene as they search for happiness. Cameron finds himself pining for one half of a couple he’s sleeping with while James is desperate for love after weathering a bad breakup. Continuing to explore themes of love, sex, and friendship with a queer, POC lens, season 2 of Kissing Walls proves to be twice as addictive and hilarious.
  • QUEERING THE SCRIPT – Directed by Gabrielle Zilkha – International Premiere – Queer nerd alert! Featuring interviews with Ilene Chaiken (The L Word) and Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, herself!), Queering the Script takes us into the cosplay-wearing, fanfic-writing underbelly of queer fandoms. Undeniably passionate, LGBTQ+ fans don’t just attend conventions and gather autographs; they actively are reshaping film and TV narratives into becoming more queer-inclusive. Expected Guests: Director Gabrielle Zilkha, Producer Stephanie Ouaknine, Subject Angelica Ross.
  • VISION PORTRAITS – Directed by Rodney Evans – The compelling stories of four visually impaired artists—photographer John Dugdale, dancer Kayla Hamilton, writer Ryan Knight, and the filmmaker himself Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother, Frameline28)—are uniquely reflected through Evans’ dual status as filmmaker and subject, showing how each artist has been impacted by their diagnosis and how they have creatively thrived. Expected Guests: Director Rodney Evans.

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 Frameline43: San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival:

Frameline43, San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, takes place June 20-30, 2019. Spanning five venues in the Bay Area, the 43rd Festival celebrates the spectrum and intersection of identities that make up LGBTQ+ communities worldwide. Join filmmakers and festivalgoers alike at the biggest 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 integrated programs connect filmmakers and audiences in San Francisco and around the globe. Frameline provides critical funding for emerging LGBTQ+ filmmakers, reaches hundreds of thousands with a collection of over 250 films distributed worldwide, inspires thousands of students in schools across the nation with free films and curricula through Youth in Motion, and creates 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.

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