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 US and around the globe!

The Celluloid Closet

109M

Exactly twenty years after its theatrical release, San Francisco-based documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s monumental film remains an indispensable—and profoundly moving—record of the way Hollywood depicted gays and lesbians throughout the 20th century.

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Check It

USA, 2016, 90M

Desperate to survive state and police violence, a group of black gay and trans teens form a gang to protect one another. In a country where blackness is criminal, forming a gang is a radical act of resistance.

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Conversations with Gay Elders: An Intergenerational Film Project

USA, 2016, 60M

In this project-in-progress screening, director David Weissman (We Were Here, The Cockettes) brings viewers inside the experiences of gay men of the pre-Stonewall generation via filmed conversations, which are in turn edited by young gay filmmakers in a unique cross-generational collaboration.

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Femme Brutal

Austria, 2015, 70M

When all the world’s a stage, crafting identity and desire is a performance that develops with and without an audience. In this Austrian documentary, the seven queer- and lesbian-identified performers of Club Burlesque Brutal discuss their experiences with identity and power.

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Film Hawk

USA, 2015, 75M

Curator. Consultant. Mentor. Producer. Independent film guru. Bob Hawk is all that and much more. For 40 years, he has championed and discovered new film talent. Friends, admirers, and protégés share their love for the great impresario as he celebrates his 75th birthday.

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The Freedom to Marry

USA, 2016, 86M

Last year’s landmark Supreme Court decision upholding same-sex marriage was the culmination of decades of groundbreaking, uphill work. This inspirational documentary traces the surprising history of the cause, profiling Evan Wolfson and Mary Bonauto, the “godparents” of marriage equality.

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Fursonas

86M

Through a furry fray of intimate dramas and dilemmas, the fascinating individuals and universal longings of furries—or folks who don anthropomorphic body suits for role-play—come into snuggly view.

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Growing Up Coy

USA, 2016, 86M

In a highly conservative Colorado town, a pink-loving, pig-tailed six-year-old girl named Coy becomes the unlikely poster child for transgender rights, in a landmark case that is reverberating in state courts across the country.

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Inside the Chinese Closet

Netherlands, 2015, 72M

Caught between a new gay consciousness in China and deeply rooted family pressures, Andy and Cherry attempt to maintain the illusion of heterosexual family life. Their efforts to resolve this conflict have a quiet but unshakable integrity.

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Irrawaddy Mon Amour

Italy, 2015, 58M

In this colorfully immersive documentary, trans activist and shaman Myo Nyunt dares to organize a marriage ceremony in a unique gay-friendly village in the heart of Myanmar/Burma, where the brutal military junta severely penalizes same-sex relationships.

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The Joneses

USA, 2015, 80M

Jheri Jones is the 74-year-old transgender matriarch of a unique Mississippi Bible Belt family. After years of estrangement, she lives with two of her four grown sons in her tidy trailer park home, where challenges abound but love conquers all.

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Kiki

USA, 2016, 94M

More than two decades after Paris Is Burning, filmmakers Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garçon’s vibrant documentary fast-forwards to the ballroom scene of today: an unapologetically flamboyant and political subculture centered on LGBTQ youth of color, for whom dance is far more than performance.

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Last Men Standing

74M

The emotional history of San Francisco’s gay community unfolds in the lives of long-term survivors who have found their own profoundly personal ways to celebrate, heal, love, and thrive in the aftermath of the devastation of the early AIDS crisis.

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Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis @ 100

67M

Filmmaker Yvonne Welbon’s breakthrough documentary provides exceptional insight into the life and times of activist and centenarian Ruth C. Ellis, who shows us—with undeniable charm, humor, and joy for life—that a life lived with pride is a life well lived.

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Out Run

USA, 2016, 75M

Documentarians S. Leo Chiang and Johnny Symons turn an incisive international lens on the only LGBTQ political party in the world—the Ladlad Party of the Philippines, where beauty salons become campaign chapters and dubious party alliances are the norm.

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Ovarian Psycos

USA, 2016, 72M

In the midst of persistent sexism and violence against women of color, East LA’s Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade builds on the legacy of the Chicanx civil rights movement through support, sisterhood, and having big-ass, kick-ass ovaries.

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The Pearl

USA, 2015, 95M

Four transwomen navigate the second half of life in this vérité-style documentary, which illuminates their individual triumphs and analogous struggles against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.

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Political Animals

USA, 2015, 90M

This is the eye-opening story of four out lesbian politicians—Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden, Jackie Goldberg, and Christine Kehoe—who took the LGBT civil rights struggle from the streets to California’s state capitol.

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Real Boy

USA, 2016, 72M

Bennett Wallace is 19, a musician, and in recovery. On a journey to find his own way as a trans man, Bennett bonds with his friend and mentor, musician Joe Stevens of Coyote Grace, while navigating the difficult terrain of his familial relationships.

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The Revival: Women and the Word

91M

In a congregation of Black, queer women artists, the Holy Trinity of “the poet, the people, and the poem” is the heart of a tour centering on the power, inspiration, and real-talk of five poets. This project will leave you saying “amen.”

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Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

USA, 2016, 91M

At the tail end of the “Satanic ritual abuse panic” of the 1990s, four Latina lesbian women were accused and wrongfully convicted of a heinous sexual assault. After serving over a decade in prison, the women won’t stop fighting to prove their innocence, in this heart-wrenching examination of the criminal justice system.

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Strike a Pose

Netherlands, 2016, 83M

In 1990, seven male dancers joined Madonna on her taboo-busting Blond Ambition tour—which blew the roof off of global pop culture, raised AIDS awareness, and turned the dancers into sudden celebrities. This empathetic yet probing portrait revisits that era and traces the dancers’ paths from youthful exuberance to complicated adulthood.

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Suited

USA, 2016, 77M

Brooklyn-based tailors Bindle & Keep specialize in bespoke suits for the LGBTQ community. This poignant documentary focuses on the individual stories of their clients on the trans spectrum, showing how something as simple as a well-tailored suit can be identity- and dignity-affirming.

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Tongues Untied

68M

Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 seminal documentary used poetry, personal testimony, and performance to examine homophobia and racism through images of gay bashings, voguing, and protest marches.

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The Trans List

USA, 2016, 60M

Boasting an impressive assemblage of transgender luminaries—including Buck Angel, Laverne Cox, and Shane Ortega—this riveting documentary highlights the distinct individuality and diverse outlooks of its subjects, while simultaneously evoking the collective power of an indomitable community.

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Two Soft Things, Two Hard Things

88M

In this moving story of an ancient future coming alive for LGBTQ people and their allies, Inuit and LGBTQ communities in Nunavut unite and heal—repairing the devastating effects of relocation, re-education, and Christianization of nomadic Inuit people.

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Uncle Howard

103M

Acclaimed filmmaker Howard Brookner (Burroughs: The Movie), who died of AIDS in 1989, is the subject of this captivating documentary directed by his nephew Aaron, who aims to preserve his uncle’s cultural legacy for a new generation.

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Upstairs Inferno

USA, 2015, 96M

An unsettling snapshot of what is considered to be the largest mass murder targeting gays in American history, this documentary gets inside the hearts and minds of a handful of vibrant people who are connected by tragedy and compassion.

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Who's Gonna Love Me Now?

Israel, 2015, 90M

In this intimate and revealing documentary, a forty-year-old gay Israeli man living with HIV in London must confront his looming fears and attempt to resolve long-simmering differences with his conservative Jewish family.

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Women He's Undressed

Australia, 2014, 100M

This glitzy, dishy documentary traces the rise and fall and rise again of one of the most prolific costume designers of Hollywood’s golden age (and an early boyfriend of Cary Grant): three-time Academy Award winner Orry-Kelly. It’s a must-see for classic-film buffs.

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