For almost four decades, Frameline: San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival has showcased independent queer cinema. The oldest and the best, it has known highs and lows, and yet always faced gay life head on, eyes and apertures wide open. With an expected attendance of 65,000, the eleven days of this year’s Frameline38 will again bring together film lovers, media artists — and through great work, LGBTQ communities — to celebrate the best from nearly 800 film submissions from all over the world. If there is one notable new development, it’s that this year the programming leans heavily on international artists. The reasons for this appear to be many. LGBT American films are gaining wider acceptance outside of the traditional gay festival circuit – Ira Sachs and Sony Classics’ gay marriage themed feature Love is Strange passed over the gay festivals, heading straight to commercial theatrical. Also, fresh new cinematic voices are emerging from atypical locals – Venezuela, Ecuador, Morocco all have brought to us their own lens through which to view anew what we thought were already well traveled themes such as repression and self-acceptance. And this year Frameline features a special and timely spotlight on LGBT films from today’s Russia.


frameline 2013

You might think, with all the acclaim pouring in for Michael Douglas and Matt Damon’s performances in Behind the Candelabra, that the film industry’s “gay moment” has arrived. The proliferation of LGBT-themed movies achieving wide release now might seem to signal that the credits are rolling on what film historian Vito Russo called the celluloid closet and that the gay genre can now dissolve itself to join the rest of the movies as simply that — movies. But the state of things isn’t actually that far along. Neither Douglas nor Damon are themselves gay, nor are there comparable gay stars who could have led that movie. And even though Behind the Candelabra was directed by Steven Soderbergh and featured blockbuster movie stars, no distributor would buy the film. It had to air on HBO. In reality, though there has been immense progress in the past few years, the LGBT community still has far to come in Hollywood. That’s why the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival is so significant. The oldest and largest film festival in the world devoted to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender programming, Frameline is a showcase for the best work that you still won’t see in the cinemaplex, an opportunity to reflect on the history of our community and its contribution to the movies, and just a gay old time. In its 37th year, the festival runs from June 20th to 30th, ending with Pride, and screens a panoply of fascinating films at the Castro, Roxie, Victoria […]

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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