DIRECTOR: Arthur J. Bressan, Jr.

1977 was a watershed year in the world of lesbian and gay visibility in the United States, no more so than here in San Francisco, where, among other landmark events, Harvey Milk became California’s first openly gay elected official, and a group of eclectic gay artists and filmmakers hung up a white sheet in a community center on Page Street and projected a collection of Super 8mm short films that marked the first edition of what has become Frameline, the largest and longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the world. That same year, gay documentarian Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. (Artie, to his friends) commissioned filmmakers around the country to document the burgeoning pride marches and the emerging gay-lesbian culture that was taking shape in major U.S. cities, creating his seminal, if rarely seen, Gay USA.

In tribute to Frameline’s 40th anniversary, this program presents a freeze-frame of that remarkable, visionary year, bringing together some of the groundbreaking film images and voices that launched a new era in LGBTQ visibility. In addition to Gay USA, we will screen one of the short films originally shown at the first “Gay Film Festival of Super-8 Films,” Marc Huestis’s campy Hollywood send-up Miracle on Sunset Boulevard; and we’ll hear fresh recollections of the first festival in Zeitgeist 1977, excerpted by longtime Bay Area filmmaker Lauretta Molitor from Impresario, her upcoming documentary about Huestis.

Followed by a conversation with Marc Huestis, Lauretta Molitor, Bob Hawk, and participants in Frameline’s formative years, moderated by Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace.

— Peter L. Stein

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!