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Director: Shaz Bennett
2017 | USA | 83 min Friday, October 13; 7:00pm
Expected Guest: Director Shaz Bennett
Writer-director Shaz Bennett has expanded her memorable short film of the same name into a rousing and crowd-pleasing debut feature that is the queer lovechild of Rocky and Hedwig. Tough, but diva fabulous, Leo, an aspiring drag superstar, is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. He and his twin sister are trapped in the monotony of fist fights and fish guts. Out of necessity, Leo learned to fight back, which catches the attention of the local boxing coach. When a new boy moves to town and wants to be his sparring partner, Leo has to face the real reason he’s stuck in Alaska.
Director: David France
2017 | USA | 107 min
Saturday, October 14; 1:30pm
Who killed Marsha P. Johnson? When the beloved, self-described “street queen” of NY’s Christopher Street was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992, the NYPD called her death a suicide. Protests erupted but the police remained impassive and refused to investigate. Now, twenty-five years on, Academy Award® nominated director and journalist David France (How to Survive a Plague) examines Marsha’s death—and her extraordinary life— thanks to the work of a dynamic activist named Victoria Cruz.
Marsha teamed up with Sylvia Rivera, the radical duo fought arrests, condemned police brutality, organized street kids, battled the intolerant majority within the gay community, and helped spearhead the Stonewall Riots. In 1970 they formed the world’s first trans-rights organization, STAR (Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries). Marsha and Sylvia ignited a powerful and lasting civil rights movement for gender nonconforming people. (Last year we screened S.T.A.R., a documentary short about Marsha and Sylvia)
Director: Jennifer M. Kroot; Editor/Co-Director: Bill Weber
2017 | USA | 91 min
Saturday, October 14; 4:00pm
THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN examines the life and work of one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, following his evolution from a conservative son of the Old South into a gay rights pioneer whose novels have inspired millions to claim their own truth. Jennifer Kroot’s documentary about the creator of Tales Of The City moves nimbly between playful and poignant and laugh-out-loud funny. With help from his friends (including Neil Gaiman, Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, Sir Ian McKellen and Amy Tan), Maupin offers a disarmingly frank look at the journey that took him from the jungles of Vietnam to the bathhouses of ‘70s San Francisco to the front line of the American culture war.
Director: Jennifer Reeder
2017 | USA | 82 min
Saturday, October 14; 7:00pm
SIGNATURE MOVE is a comedic and heartfelt look at modern families and the complexities of love in its many forms. Zaynab (Fawzia Mirza) is a Pakistani, Muslim lawyer living in Chicago who begins a new romance with Alma (Sari Sanchez), a confident Mexican-American woman. Zaynab’s recently widowed mother Parveen (Shabana Azmi) has moved in and spends her days watching Pakistani TV dramas while searching for a potential husband for her only daughter. Alma’s mother is a former professional Luchadora, which Zaynab finds fascinating, as she has recently taken up lucha-style wrestling with a former pro wrestler. Zaynab tries to keep her secrets from her mother, who knows more than she lets on. (SIGLFF audiences will remember Fawzia in last year’s short Spunkle, and her raucous Q&A after feature film Jamie and Jess are Not Together in SIGLFF20.)
Director: Vincent Gagliostro
2017 | USA | 100 min
Saturday, October 14; 9:15pm
AFTER LOUIE follows Sam (Alan Cumming), an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS—a man scarred and still struggling with survivor’s guilt. Cemented into an oppressive past, he is bewildered by a younger generation of carefree gay men with their uninhibited use of social media, sexting, and seeming political indifference. But when he meets the seductive young Braeden (Zachary Booth) at a bar late one night, their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam’s ossified guard. As the pair become increasingly intimate, an intergenerational relationship blossoms between them-one capable of reawakening Sam’s artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart.
Director: Josh Howard
2016 | USA | 78 min
Sunday, October 15; 6:30pm
Expected Guest: Josh Howard
The Lavender Scare is the first documentary film to tell the little-known story of an unrelenting campaign by the federal government to identify and fire all employees suspected of being homosexual. In 1953, President Eisenhower declared gay men and lesbians to be a threat to the security of the country and therefore unfit for government service.
In doing so, he triggered the longest witch hunt in American history. The Lavender Scare is a compelling story of one man’s fight for justice. And it is a chilling reminder of how easy it can be, during a time of fear and uncertainty, to trample the rights of an entire class of people in the name of patriotism and national security.
Friday, October 13; 9:15pm *content is for mature audiences
Director: Jacintho Muinos
2015 | Australia | 16 min
A late-night Internet hook-up between a housebound gamer and a relentless party boy runs overtime. But the morning arrival of Andrew’s grandma turns things a bit awkward in this charming Aussie romance.
Director: Ryan White
2016 | USA | 13 min
Whatever happened to Wohler Beach? Oral histories and spectral pornography resurrect memories of a once legendary Russian River gay beach in this sexy short.
Director: Louisa Bertman
2015 | USA | 5 min
Quite simply, this is a powerful animated short about tits.
Queer Ghost Hunters: Part 1
Director: Stu Maddux
2017 USA 10 min
In this first episode of director Stu Maddox’s Queer Ghost Hunters, join the team on the hunt for lesbian nun ghosts!
2016 | USA | 5 min
A bickering husband-and-wife catering team (or is it husband-and-beard?) is shooting a cheesy TV ad, and we get to see the hilarious outtakes.
Directors: Wes “Potato” Hurley & Nathan Miller
2016 | USA | 9 min
Imagine Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” retold by Tom of Finland, and throw in an homage to early gay erotic films, and you get the artful Rusalka, set to the music of Antonín Dvořák’s opera of the same name and starring burlesque icons Luminous Pariah and Chris Harder.
The Blondes (Las rubias)
Director: Carlota Martínez Pereda
2016 | Spain | 17 min
Blonde, pretty. and delinquent: nothing stands in the way of Marta and Pepa…except another blonde. Inspired by real events and the style of Almodóvar. In Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Danny DeVito
2016 | USA | 17 min
A potty-mouthed octogenarian in an assisted living facility gets a big-time surprise engineered by his daughter, in this funny and endearing sketch directed (and with a delightful cameo) by Danny DeVito.
Sunday, October 15; 3:30p
Boys in the Street #pride
Director: Louisa Bertman
2016 | USA | 4 min
This gorgeous animated music video addresses growing up surrounded by homophobia.
Directors: Paige Gratland & Sam McWilliams
2015 | USA, Canada, UK | 11 min
Deana McGuffin is a third-generation New Mexico bootmaker, hand-crafting wearable pieces of art. When she is approached by a Canadian artist and an SF tattoo artist to create a gay-themed cowboy boot, a story unravels of a unique collaboration that takes them to the heart of cowboy country in Texas.
Britney-Holics Anonymous – A Spear-itual Awakening
Director: Jerell Rosales
2015 | USA | 10 min
A delivery man stumbles upon an unusual support group where cheerful devotees addicted to a certain pop star meet in solidarity.
Director: Francy Fabritz
2016 | Germany | 14 min
An accidental meeting in an elevator at a department store leads two older women to their limits and forces them to improvise. In German with English subtitles
Director: Bobby Yan
2016 | USA | 12 min
A childhood friendship is put to the test after a fleeting encounter stirs up uncomfortable feelings that neither is equipped to answer.
Director: Jake Graf
2017 | UK | 15 min
Writer-Director Jake Graf (Dawn) returns with a beautiful rumination on self-perception and lasting love set in 1950s England.
Director: Florencia Manóvil
2016 | USA | 17 min
Claudia is in for a spark-filled evening when she encounters the captivating foreigner, Isabel, who challenges her perceptions of Latinos and of herself in this beautiful short.
Director: Wes “Potato” Hurley & Nathan Miller
2016 | USA | 14 min
This visually fascinating autobiographical short (a Jury Prize winner for Best Short Doc at SXSW) is about a gay boy growing up in the Soviet Union, his gutsy mail-order-bride mom, and their dream of escaping to America.