Frameline40: The King of Queer Film Festivals, the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, celebrates its 40th anniversary from June 16-26 with a new look and 11 days of ground-breaking films that reflect the diversity of queer stories from across the globe.
As the world's longest-running and largest LGBTQ film festival, Frameline will screen its slate of 155 stories in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, California, of which 40% percent are made by women directors (including 50% of Documentary Features and 42% of Narrative Features), and an expansion to a full week of programming in the East Bay. With its mission "to change the world through the power of queer cinema", the themes of Social Justice & Identity are as strong and relevant today as they were in the past.
With a focus on Youth & Teens, Frameline40 will look at these communities in ways that go beyond coming-of-age stories or opposition from parents or society. These fully-fleshed depictions of youth allow for complex and nuanced storytelling, beginning with the Opening Night documentary KIKI. (Here is a sampling of Frameline40's lineup.)
KIKI 2016 / USA, Sweden Thursday June 16, 7pm, Castro Theatre: More than two decades after Paris Is Burning, this vibrant documentary fast-forwards to the ballroom scene of today: an unapologetically flamboyant and political subculture centered on LGBTQ youth of color, for whom dance is far more than performance. Kiki reveals a world that is not only a fun safe haven for people who might feel on society's margins, but also an important rallying point for youth development and activism.
POLITICAL ANIMALS 2015 / USA Sunday June 19, 11am, Castro Theatre: In 1994, Sheila Kuehl became the first openly gay member of the California State Assembly. “People think it was earlier,” she says in this eye-opening documentary. “It wasn’t.” She would be joined in short order by Carole Migden, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe, who together took the LGBT civil rights struggle from the streets to the state capitol. Political Animals tells the story of these four pioneering lesbian politicians and the battles they fought to pass a wide range of anti-discrimination laws.
BI CANDY A program of indie shorts. Wednesday June 22, 7pm, Roxie Theatre: Binary-breaking shorts in this year’s batch of Bi Candy range from the adorable and romantic to the real and raw. Viviane meets an attractive stranger while sightseeing, and they discover How to Kiss in Paris. Noam, a young Israeli transman now living in NYC, is anxious to reconnect with his childhood friend Natan in The Friend From Tel Aviv. Male participants in the popular #StillBisexual campaign reveal how they came to accept their identity in Why Should I Give a S#*t about Bisexuals? (and many more)
GROWING UP COY 2016 / USA Saturday June 25, 11am, Castro Theatre: In a highly conservative Colorado town, a pink-loving, pigtailed six-year-old girl named Coy becomes the unlikely poster child for transgender rights, in a landmark case that is reverberating in state courts across the country. Although she was born as a boy in a set of triplets, Coy’s gender identity was evident even as a toddler, leading her parents, Kathryn and Jeremy, to accept her early on as the girl she wished to be.
THE FREEDOM TO MARRY A Frameline40 World Premier! 2016 / USA Saturday June 25, 1:15pm, Castro Theatre: The documentary traces the marriage equality movement’s historic progress through the four decades of work by Evan Wolfson, the architect of the movement (who is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry), and pioneering civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto, who argued the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision. This doc celebrates that momentous day - and with fascinating depth, profiles the LGBT heroes that worked tirelessly for decades to make the dream of marriage equality a reality.
STRIKE A POSE 2016 / Netherlands Saturday June 25, 8:30pm, Castro Theatre: In 1990, Madonna’s taboo-busting Blond Ambition tour blew the roof off of global pop culture and raised AIDS awareness while turning a sudden spotlight on seven male dancers. A quarter century after these intense formative experiences, the extraordinary new documentary Strike a Pose reunites the talented corps of dancers—who dispersed as suddenly as they came together—not only to relive a seminal cultural moment through their eyes, but also to try to make sense of the momentous changes they’ve lived through.
Frameline40 closes with LOOKING, the movie. 2016 / USA Sunday June 26, 7pm, Castro Theatre: Rendered in the same radically real style that made the HBO series a watershed in the presentation of ordinary gay lives, the movie reunites the show’s sexy San Franciscans in a romantic drama that delivers the sweet satisfaction of closure.