Guide to the Festival

The Frameline40 AT&T Audience Awards

Since 1984 our audience has been responsible for selecting the Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film of the Festival. Putting the power in the audience's hands, the Frameline40 AT&T Audience Awards offer cash prizes to the favorite Feature ($1000), Documentary ($1000) and Short ($500) in the festival. Audience members will be able to vote via text message from any text-enabled mobile device.

If you love a film, simply text the film's voting code to 55333 within six hours of the start of the screening. To find the film's voting code, look on-screen after the show, visit the film's Frameline40 online description, check out the Frameline40 Mobile Film Guide, or ask a staff member or a volunteer. And remember: you get just one vote per film per mobile device. Standard messaging rates may apply (a small price to pay to support LGBTQ filmmakers).

The Frameline Award

Established in 1986, the Frameline Award is given every year to a person or entity that has made a major contribution to LGBTQ representation in film, television, or the media arts. Past honorees range from film historian and author Vito Russo, to Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan, avant-garde lesbian filmmaker Barbara Hammer, drag artiste extraordinaire Divine, actor-activist George Takei, producer Christine Vachon, long-time leader of the Festival and the organization Michael Lumpkin, and producer/distributor Marcus Hu.

This year, Frameline's Board and Staff are proud to present the Frameline Award to Robert Hawk.

It is no exaggeration to say that the world of independent film would be a decidedly less dynamic place without the unrelenting efforts of Bob Hawk. You won’t find him standing in the spotlight; you may not even notice his name in the film credits. But his work as a consultant, advisor, mentor, producer, and festival programmer has had a tremendous impact on both independent film and independent queer film for nearly four decades.

Hawk’s credits run long, and his career accomplishments run deep. In 1985, he founded San Francisco’s Film Arts Festival, a showcase for local independent filmmakers. He has been attending and supporting Frameline since the second Festival in 1978, serving on Frameline’s Board of Directors and Screening Committee in its formative years, and helping to establish the Festival as it is known today. He was on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for over a decade. And Bob currently serves on the advisory boards of Independent Film Week (IFP/NY) and The Legacy Project (a collaboration of Outfest and the UCLA Film and Television Archives).

But it is not just his deep engagement with the film community that has made Hawk’s work so meaningful to so many—it is his dedicated care and nourishing of the people who make the films. He is the paterfamilias of indie film who has launched, nurtured, and supported the careers of dozens of filmmakers, from early indie breakouts Kevin Smith and Edward Burns to a slew of trailblazing LGBTQ artists, including Rob Epstein, Barbara Hammer, Ira Sachs, and Kimberly Reed. Having Bob Hawk in your corner can be a game changer for an aspiring filmmaker—his astute eye for talent, ear for storytelling, and passionate pursuit of perfection all offered unsparingly in service to their creative endeavors. The depth of these professional-but-also-quite-personal relationships is well documented in JJ Garvine and Tai Parquet’s Film Hawk, featured in this year’s Festival.

Hawk’s love for the arts started young, when he discovered an interest in the theater and a surprising ability to overcome a childhood stutter while performing on stage. Hawk’s awareness of his sexuality also came early, an identity he embraced and celebrated, with the support of his family, including his minister father, despite the conservative nature of their community. When he arrived in San Francisco in the ’70s, his activism in the gay community is what ultimately drew him from theater to film, after a work-in-progress screening of the seminal gay documentary Word Is Out propelled him to consult on the production with filmmaker Rob Epstein, and then to assist him with fundraising and the development of the Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk. Bob also worked as a researcher on acclaimed documentary The Celluloid Closet (a Frameline40 retrospective screening).

At 78, Hawk’s pace has not slowed. He recently made his directorial debut with the short film Home from the Gym (Frameline38), for which he received Outfest’s Emerging Talent Award in 2014.

For our 40th-anniversary Festival, we are honored to present the Frameline Award to Bob Hawk, the son of a preacher who became a high priest of the queer film art world.

Join Frameline and acclaimed filmmaker Cheryl Dunye as we present Bob Hawk with the 2016 Frameline Award at the June 18 screening of Film Hawk at the Castro Theatre.

Frameline's Juried Awards

Frameline has a long history of supporting outstanding films and filmmakers, and we continue that tradition with our juried awards for First Feature and Best Documentary of Frameline40!