TransMilitary set to open Frameline Film Festival in June; first 10 films of lineup revealed

Lights. Camera. Take Action.

Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer media, is pleased to announce its first slate of high-profile programs and pre-sales—including Opening and Closing Night films and Centerpiece selections — for Frameline42: San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, which takes place June 14-24, 2018 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. The complete Frameline42 program will be unveiled on Tuesday, May 22.

“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 film.

Frameline42 will open with TRANSMILITARY, a powerful documentary which shines a light on transgender people who currently serve in the U.S. military, now under very precarious conditions. Frameline has always prided itself to be at the forefront of LGBTQ social change, and the strength of this film — which was supported by the Frameline Completion Fund — goes to the very heart of our work.” Paul Struthers, Frameline’s new Director of Exhibition & Programming, selected 10 films to announce early and begin pre-sales to Frameline Members and the public. “I'm thrilled with this year’s diverse and enriching slate that our exceptional Programming team has curated, for my first festival as Director of Exhibition and Programming.”

Struthers says. “These ten features offer an exciting glimpse into the exceptional program for Frameline42, which will present over 150 stories representing the breadth of the queer communities’ experience with Bay Area audiences in June.”


TRANSMILITARY - Thursday, June 14
● First feature from directors Fiona Dawson and Gabriel Silverman
● West Coast Premiere
● 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 the 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.

Studio 54STUDIO 54 - Sunday, June 24
● Directed by Matt Tyrnauer
● Bay Area Premiere
● 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.

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 EmilyWILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY - Centerpiece US Feature - Wednesday, June 20
● Directed by Madeleine Olnek
● Bay Area Premiere
● 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 ).

And Breathe NormallyAND BREATHE NORMALLY - Centerpiece World Cinema - Tuesday, June 19
● First feature from director Ísold Uggadóttir
● West Coast Premiere
● Lara is a struggling single mom whose life unexpectedly collides with that of a female refugee in this intensely moving drama—a Sundance award winner—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 DropsWHEN THE BEAT DROPS - Centerpiece Documentary - Monday, June 18
● Directed by Jamal Sims
● West Coast Premiere
● 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.

BondingBONDING - Centerpiece Episodic - Thursday, June 21
● Directed by Rightor Doyle
● North American Premiere
● First ever Episodic Centerpiece for Frameline42, in addition to the inaugural
Episodic Audience Award this year.
● 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 had its world premiere at the inaugural Cannes International Series Festival in April.


high fantasyHIGH FANTASY - World Cinema - Sunday, June 17
● Directed by Jenna Cato Bass
● Northern California Festival Premiere
● Captured by four friends with smartphones, a camping trip deep in the South African wilderness takes a sharp turn toward the weird when they wake to discover they have switched bodies with one another, in this high-energy riff on sexuality, gender, and race.

Man in an Orange ShirtMAN IN AN ORANGE SHIRT - World Cinema - Friday, June 15
● Directed by 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.

mapplethorpeMAPPLETHORPE - Showcase - Thursday, June 21
● Directed by Ondi Timoner
● West Coast Premiere
● Starring Matt Smith, 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.

Of Love and LawOF LOVE & LAW - Documentaries - Saturday, June 23
● Directed by Hikaru Toda
● West Coast Premiere
● With their Osaka law firm, openly gay life partners Fumi and Kazu blaze new trails, as they promote expanded human rights for outsiders suffering in Japan’s strictly conformist society while building their own family. An award winner at both the Tokyo and Hong Kong International Film Festivals.

Head to to see more information on the 10 films available for pre-sale.

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. 

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