Guide to the Festival

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 LGBT 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, producer Christine Vachon, and producer/distributor Marcus Hu.

This year, Frameline's Board and Staff are proud to present the Frameline Award to the long-time leader of the Festival and the organization, Michael Lumpkin.

Michael, who is leaving his post at the end of this year’s event, joined Frameline as a volunteer in 1979. Before he knew it, he was producing the fourth festival. And he never looked back. He would go on to transform the Festival from three days of local films into the eleven-day international event of today and to develop Frameline into the world’s most respected LGBT media organization. This alone would qualify him for this award.

But Michael wasn’t just building a festival all those years (twenty-five in all, allowing for four years off to co-produce the film version of Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet); he was working to create a culture in which LGBT representation in cinema could thrive. His goal was to carve out a space where we could see ourselves onscreen and to encourage the production of films to fill that space. Frameline’s Festival, and all of the others around the world that came after it (most modeled on what Michael had created here), proved there was an audience for LGBT films and did it so well that today we take both the audience and the films for granted.

Now, as Michael leaves to seek new challenges, the Board of Directors is proud to recognize these essential contributions to the growth of LGBT film by presenting Michael Lumpkin with the 2008 Frameline Award.

The Frameline Festival Audience Awards

Since 1984 our festival audience has been responsible for selecting the Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Short Film of the Festival. Each award has a $2,500 cash award attached.

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