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.