watch Bears trailer


USA, 2007, 90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Bear, Documentary, Gay
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Marc Klasfeld

Take Spellbound, the documentary about kids preparing for and competing in the National Spelling Bee, repopulate it with large, hairy gay men selling long strips of raffle tickets using the “boots to balls” method, and you’ve got Bears. Director Marc Klasfeld jumps from the world of music videos — where he worked with musicians such as Beyoncé and Eminem — to follow seven contestants as they prepare for the Mr. International Bear Contest, held in San Francisco each February.
The action kicks off with a look back at the first contest held in 1992, with John Caldera, the contest’s first winner, describing the rise of bear culture to the newbies in the audience. Then let’s meet our fine contestants: from wide-eyed Mr. Kentucky Bear to PR-savvy Mr. So Cal Bear, from bagpiping Mr. New York Bear to our own Dave Hayes, Mr. San Francisco Bear.
The contestants quickly get to work meeting and greeting the thousands of bears converging on San Francisco, hoping to get their support and their vote. Who will be the crowd favorite? Is Mr. So Cal Bear campaigning too hard? What is “boots to balls”? And the big question: Who will be the next Mr. International Bear? Whether you’re a bear yourself, a bear chaser or just bear-curious, Bears is a fabulous introduction to this vibrant subculture. And with “American Idol” off the air for another year, watching this high-stakes competition will fill the bill until “Project Runway” returns! — COREY EUBANKS


Bears of San Francisco, Castrobear Presents and San Francisco Movie Bears


Bud Light

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