Films / Programs

Documentaries

The best documentaries capture the richness of our communities. We're proud to bring you the best of this year's LGBTQ documentaries from the U.S. and around the globe!

Al Nisa: Black Muslim Women in Atlanta’s Gay Mecca

65M

Eight Black Muslim lesbians speak out against crippling isolation arising from religious and community homophobia. The women are thrilled to discover each other in the making of this film and create a growing radical community bridging faith and queer identity.

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Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy

USA, 2013, 78M

America’s “Gaysian Sweetheart,” actor and comedian Alec Mapa (Ugly Betty), sparkles onstage with spot-on incisive and flirtatiously filthy stand-up. In Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy, Mapa’s high-paced, award-winning off-Broadway show is coupled with touching backstage scenes with his husband and their child, whom they adopted through foster care.

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Back on Board: Greg Louganis

USA, 2014, 86M

This touching documentary catches up with Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis in 2011, when he is far from the public eye and struggling to pay the mortgage. Can a comeback as a USA Diving team mentor help preserve his legacy?

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Born to Fly

USA, 2014, 82M

What happens when you cross postmodern dance with Evel Knievel? As this intimate portrait makes clear, you get New York choreographer Elizabeth Streb, whose Extreme Action Company draws on both sources to craft a unique style of high-flying, high-impact, dare-all contemporary dance.

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Broken Heart Land

USA, 2013, 81M

An Oklahoma city council meeting unleashes homophobic and AIDS-phobic vitriol. A week later, a gay teen with a secret commits suicide. Zack’s death forces his grieving family to break their silence and connect with an activist community—and with a greater purpose.

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Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda

Russia, 2014, 78M

This lucid documentary primer on LGBT discrimination in Russia features frank interviews with Russians on the worsening situation for their country’s queer citizens. Directed by outspoken political activist (and gay porn mogul) Michael Lucas, a Moscow native.

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The Case Against 8

USA, 2013, 112M

A riveting inside account of the epic legal battle to overturn Proposition 8, this film follows the four plaintiffs and their legal team from San Francisco to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Circle

Switzerland, 2014, 102M

Seamlessly combining a thriller narrative with a documentary love story, The Circle is the astounding true tale of Switzerland’s 1940s–1960s magazine of that name—and the network of friends and lovers that formed around it, becoming one of the world’s first homophile societies.

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Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank

USA, 2013, 87M

This fascinating documentary explores the life of our country’s most prominent out gay politician to date: the inimitable Barney Frank, a staunch defender of civil rights and “small-d” democratic principles for 32 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Derby Crazy Love

81M

For both roller derby novices and the most seasoned jammers out there, this film offers an in-depth look at both the history of women’s roller derby and a portrait of a hard-as-nails team from Montréal called The New Skids on the Block.

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The Dog

USA, 2013, 100M

Immortalized by Al Pacino in the 1970s classic Dog Day Afternoon, unlikely gay-liberation icon and unrepentant ex-con John Wojtowicz, who attempted to rob a bank to finance his lover’s gender-reassignment surgery, is the complex and charismatic subject of this riveting documentary, filmed over more than a decade.

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Folsom Forever

77M

What could be more fun than 400,000 sweaty leatherfolk packed in tight and having the time of their lives? Leatherman documentarian Mike Skiff (Kink Crusaders) takes to the street for this look at the Folsom Street Fair’s history as it turns 30.

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Kidnapped for Christ

USA, 2014, 85M

In this riveting must-see exposé (produced by Lance Bass), a young evangelical documentary filmmaker is granted access to a controversial Christian behavior-modification school for troubled teens. The shocking secrets she learns and the people she meets inevitability change her life.

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Kumu Hina

USA, 2013, 74M

This powerful film documents the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture within the westernizing society of modern day Hawai’i. It is told through the lens of Hina Wong-Kalu, an extraordinary Native Hawaiian woman who is both a proud mahu, or transgender person, and a respected kumu, or teacher.

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Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

96M

As a decorated U.S. Navy SEAL, Christopher Beck experienced some of the most intense combat known to anyone. But Christopher’s journey to become Kristin Beck, an openly transgendered veteran and civil rights advocate, has proven to be the greatest battle of her life.

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The Last One

USA, 2013, 74M

Begun as a makeshift memorial in San Francisco, the AIDS Memorial Quilt quickly grew into a national symbol. Featuring interviews with the project’s founder Cleve Jones, this documentary asks the question: How are we still diagnosing people at alarming rates?

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Letter to Anita

81M

Dr. Ronni Sanlo’s activist career was launched in 1978, when she came out and lost custody of her young kids in Florida. Sanlo’s pioneering journey leads her into gratitude and forgiveness toward Anita Bryant, who unwittingly catalyzed the LGBT civil rights movement.

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Limited Partnership

Australia, 2014, 74M

In 1975, Richard Adams and Tony Sullivan became one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry—and the first to be denied legal immigration status. This documentary tells the story of a pioneering bi-national couple who paved the way to defeat DOMA.

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Mentor

USA, 2013, 79M

A town with an ironic name promotes the American dream, but cannot escape its shadow, school bullying. Immigrant families and others who are outside this culture of conformity pay the ultimate price, as unchecked bullying leads their kids to commit suicide.

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Mondo Homo: A Study of French Gay Porn in the ’70s

France, 2013, 98M

Bask in the big-screen glory (holes) of classic and très sophistiqué adult entertainment! This sexy and sweetly nostalgic documentary is an ode to hardcore porn films made in France in a bygone era of Nouvelle Vague–inspired camerawork, bushy pubes, and pre-condom abandon. Oh là là!

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Off Road

72M

This engaging, beautifully lensed documentary offers a glimpse into the lives of Beatrice, a transgender auto mechanic and offroad racing champion, and Marianna, the Romanian nurse who won her heart, as they raise their own unique family in Italy.

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Out in the Night

USA, 2014, 75M

Out in the Night is a riveting documentary exploring the notorious case of The New Jersey 4, African American women branded by tabloids as a “Gang of Killer Lesbians!” after an altercation with an aggressive male “admirer” whose advances they rebuffed.

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Purple Skies: Voices of Indian Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transmen

71M

This upbeat Indian documentary details the work of organizations that have sheltered and advocated for lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. As Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex behavior, is ruled unconstitutional and then revived, LGBT Indians react with joy—and then rage and determination to live open lives.

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Regarding Susan Sontag

106M

This new documentary about America’s most glamorous public intellectual is a feast for the eyes and mind. It features a trove of fascinating archival footage of Sontag, along with vivid commentary from her friends and lovers.

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Songs for Alexis

89M

Ryan Cassata is a transgender teen and aspiring singer-songwiter living in the suburbs of Long Island. He is deeply in love with 16-year-old Alexis from California. This skillful, intimate coming-of-age documentary is a love story for the ages—all ages.

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Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

USA, 2013, 92M

Thomas Allen Harris excavates a century and a half’s worth of sublime, mostly black-and-white photographs from family albums and African American newspapers, and etches a poignant, probing portrait of everyday black life that stands in sharp contrast to the stereotypes and racist propaganda of the mainstream press.

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To Be Takei

USA, 2014, 90M

The stellar centerpiece documentary of Frameline38 celebrates the Star Trek legend, the marriage-equality advocate, the spokesperson for Japanese Americans imprisoned in internment camps during World War II, Facebook phenomenon (with nearly 7 million fans), and the recipient of this year’s Frameline Award: superstar George Takei.

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Violette Leduc: In Pursuit of Love

France, 2013, 57M

Lyrically combining archival interviews and the author’s own words, this absorbing documentary offers a rare opportunity to rediscover the taboo-breaking works and life of lesbian writer Violette Leduc.

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