FRAMELINE31: THE SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LGBT FILM FESTIVAL CELEBRATES THE BEST IN LGBT CINEMA

5/22/2007
For Immediate Release

Media contact:
Larsen Associates—Karen Larsen
415.957.1205 or larsenassc@aol.com
(Number not to be published.)


San Francisco, CA—Frameline, the world’s premier showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cinema, proudly announces Frameline31, the 31st anniversary of its annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. This year’s Festival runs June 14-24 at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Film Center (3117 16th Street) and the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street) in San Francisco, as well as at Oakland’s Parkway Theater (1834 Park Boulevard). Frameline’s renowned Film Festival offers 11 days of the newest and best in LGBT film from around the world for audiences of 70,000 from the Bay Area and beyond.

Frameline31 will feature more than 230 feature and short films—from narratives and documentaries to experimental and animated works—representing the most artistically innovative, thematically rich and socially relevant LGBT images and ideas from more than two-dozen countries.

Opening Frameline31 on June 14 at the Castro Theatre is the North American Premiere of The Witnesses, the latest film from French auteur André Téchiné (Wild Reeds). Set in Paris in 1984, the elegant film tells the story of a series of relationships, both romantic and platonic, tested by the onslaught of AIDS. Frameline’s popular Opening Night Gala, the unofficial launch of San Francisco’s annual LGBT Pride celebration, will take place at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria following the screening.

For its Centerpiece Film, Frameline31 welcomes back Israeli director Eytan Fox (Yossi and Jagger). With The Bubble, Fox creates a sexy, modern and queer Romeo and Juliet set in Tel Aviv, focusing on the relationship that blossoms between two young men – one Israeli and one Palestinian – among a group of politically active young people.

Closing Night at the Castro Theatre wraps up Frameline31’s stellar 11-day run with the return of festival favorite Jamie Babbitt’s newest film Itty Bitty Titty Committee, a fast paced tale of love and activism starring Melonie Diaz, Nicole Vicius and Daniela Sea. Each year Frameline honors a selected figure whose outstanding accomplishments and contributions to

LBGT cinema deserve recognition. On June 24 at the screening of Itty Bitty Titty Committee, Frameline will proudly bestow the film’s producer, Andrea Sperling, with the distinguished 2007 Frameline Award. Having produced more than 17 feature films, including Babbitt’s previous efforts, But I’m a Cheerleader and The Quiet, as well as the earliest films of previous Frameline Award winner Gregg Araki, Sperling has established herself as one of the strongest forces in queer and independent cinema.

In addition to the Frameline Award, the Festival proudly presents two juried awards: the Michael J. Berg Documentary Award for excellence in documentary filmmaking, and the Frameline First Feature Award for first narrative features screening at Frameline31. The awards offer unparalleled cash prizes in the LGBT film festival circuit and serve as testament to Frameline’s champion support of LGBT filmmakers. Winners will be announced at the Closing Night Party, as will the winners of the Festival’s Audience Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Documentary and Best Short Film. Frameline will offer cash awards to all three films selected by Festival audiences as the Best of the Festival.

Showcase screenings will highlight current trends in international LGBT cinema with eight exciting, diverse films from around the globe. Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother tracks a member of the famed Arquette acting clan (which includes Patricia, Rosanna and David) as she transitions from male to female in the glare of the celebrity spotlight. Argentine director Alexis Dos Santos delves into budding adolescent sexuality in Glue, while Taiwan’s Spider Lilies (Dir. Zero Chou) explores the intense relationship between a tattoo artist and an internet webcam girl. Romance springs forth from Out at the Wedding, the latest by award winning director Lee Friedlander (Girl Play), and Nina’s Heavenly Delights, 1993 Frameline Award winner Pratibha Parmar’s film of love centered around an Indian restaurant in Glasgow. The queen of all drag queens, RuPaul plays a supermodel/secret agent in the riotous, raunchy Starrbooty. World Premieres Showcase screenings include a first look at LOGO’s upcoming animated series Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World, directed by Festival veteran Q Allan Brocka (Eating Out, Boy Culture), and Shelter, Jonah Markowitz’s tale of sexual awakening and surfing in Southern California.

In addition to Rick & Steve and Shelter, four other narratives make their World Premiere at Frameline31. Holding Trevor (Dir. Rosser Goodman) follows a beautiful young man trying to balance a pair of relationships – one with a troubled drug addict and one with a handsome medical intern – with his own needs and those of his two best friends. Like an invented Three’s Company for those who thought That ’70s Show lacked a certain je ne sais gay, Lez Be Friends (Dir. Glenn Gaylord) is a rollicking homage to the sitcoms that shaped many of us, for better or worse. Local filmmaker David Lewis’ Rock Haven traces the awakening of a devout young Christian left confused by his friendship to the handsome boy next door. From Sam Zalutsky (Smear, Frameline22) comes You Belong to Me, a Hitchcockian first feature about a young man who moves into his reluctant lover’s building, leading to a suspenseful atmosphere in which no one’s motivations are quite what they seem.

Other highlights among Frameline31’s US features include Hollywood chameleon Alan Cumming’s solo directorial debut, Suffering Man’s Charity, a malevolent comic bow to the Grand Guignol that stars Cumming, who will attend the Festival, as a failed music composer with a weakness for impoverished young men with great aspirations. The Curiosity of Chance (Dir. Russell P. Marleau) is like a loopy, gay Pretty in Pink, while Outing Riley, the second feature from Project Greenlight winner Pete Jones, is a thoughtful coming out comedy that doesn’t demonize its heterosexist Irish Catholic characters.

Always a mainstay of Frameline’s Film Festival, documentaries will once again be front and center – with four making their World Premiere at the Festival. John Ireland’s 2 Mums and a Dad shows the complicated relationship between an Australian lesbian couple and the gay Englishman who supplied the sperm for their child. Queer history gets resurrected in Fall of ’55 (Dir. Seth Randal), a recollection of a gay sex scandal that gripped Boise over 50 years ago and still resonates today. A vibrant subculture gets its due in Love Man Love Woman, Nguyen Trinh Thi’s film about Vietnam’s Dao Mau temples, where the spiritual leaders are effeminate gay men who act as mediums for female spirits and the Mother Goddess. Sean Kaminsky’s Gifted and Challenged: The Making of Shortbus makes a worthy climax to the shorts program Genderific! , showing the world how Frameline favorite John Cameron Mitchell and his remarkable cast gamely created the multi-faceted sexual masterpiece Shortbus.

Led by Frameline Distribution title Odd People Out, a biographical examination of beloved Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Cuba has a particularly strong showing in Frameline31’s Documentary Section. Free Havana (Dir. Eliezer Perez Angueira) explores the past and present experiences of various members of the Cuban gay community, while German filmmaker Christian Liffers presents memorable portraits of five gay men and one transsexual woman living in and around Havana in Two Homelands: Cuba and the Night. Red Without Blue (Dirs. Brooke Sebold, Benita & Todd Sills) follows a pair of identical twins as one transitions from male to female, and Freeheld, in the Rights and Wrongs shorts program, documents the struggle of Lieutenant Laurel Hester to leave her pension to her life partner.

The rough and tumble (and very gay) world of roller derbies is profiled in Mark Woollen’s JAM, while the hefty and hairy of the gay world vie for the title of Mr. International Bear in music video director Marc Klasfeld’s Bears. Andrea Meyerson’s Laughing Matters…The Men profiles the cream of the gay standup comedy crop, including variety television joke writer Bruce Vilanch. In Trust and Love (Dir. Michala Herze) celebrates the landmark legal partnership ceremony between actor/singer Pavel Vitek (the Czech Hugh Jackman) and his longtime lover-cum-manager, while Sebastian Cordoba’s Through Thick and Thin examines the trials of gay and lesbian bi-national couples as they struggle against US immigration laws. Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey (Dir. Vince DiPersio) follows the evolution of Lance Corporal Jeff Key, a patriotic gay marine stationed in Iraq who begins to question both the occupation and the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

LGBT cinema from throughout the world comes together at Frameline 31, with over 25 countries represented. Buoyed by Opening Night film The Witnesses, France offers a particularly strong slate of features, which include The Man of My Life, Zabou Breitman’s bright and seductive story of a married man who discovers his gay sexuality while on vacation with his wife and family, and Another Woman, a TV drama by Jerome Foulon about an MTF doctor struggling to heal old emotional scars with her family. Other features from throughout Europe include a pair of strong offerings from Germany: Chris Kraus’ Four Minutes and Vivere, the triumphant return of Angelina Maccarone, whose Unveiled captivated audiences at Frameline30. Swiss director Lional Baier (Garcon Stupide, Frameline29) comes back with the whimsical Stealth, and Marco Simon Puccioni’s sophisticated drama Shelter Me represents Italy.

English-language films comprise a substantial portion of Frameline31’s World Cinema section, including a pair of powerful Canadian features. Finn’s Girl (Dirs. Dominique Cardona & Laurie Colbert) offers an examination of family values, reproductive rights and pre-teen angst, while The Doctor’s Daughter, or The Secret and the Lie (Dir. Janine Fung) explores the sometimes deceptive and fickle aspects of love and individuality. The UK offers Surveillance (Dir. Paul Oremland), a political thriller about the Royal Family, the intelligence community and hidden sexuality; Tick Tock Lullaby, Lisa Gornick’s witty exploration about the search for sperm; and Vampire Diary (Dirs. Mark James & Phil O’Shea), like The Blair Witch Project spiced up with smoking–hot Sapphic sexual awakenings. From Australia comes This Kiss, Kylie Eddy’s take on the complications of deep friendship, and Tan Lines (Dir. Ed Aldridge), a story about a hot homosexual relationship that springs from the homophobic surfing community.

Korean cinema continues to be among the world’s most daring and vibrant, as evidenced by Leesong Hee-il’s No Regret, a romantic melodrama about a beautiful male prostitute and the wealthy young man who wants him.

Frameline is equally supportive of the short film genre, as evidenced by the nearly 155 scheduled domestic and international short films. The Festival has a history of showcasing up-and-coming filmmakers, and this year is no exception. Many of these filmmakers can be found in two of the Festival’s most popular programs: the testosterone-laden Fun In Boys’ Shorts and the bold, sexy, female-centric Fun In Girls’ Shorts. The many faces of bisexuality are explored in Bi Request, while local artists strut their stuff in Homos by the Bay and Loving Transgressions – Queer Women of Color Shorts, which features works created by the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project. LGBT solidarity transcends any generation gap in Generations: Youth and Elders Making Movies Together, while young people show us the future of queer cinema in Young, Loud and Proud. In an acknowledgement to the influential rise of viewer created content, Frameline31 presents Queer and Current: New LGBT Films from Current TV.

Following last year’s popular screening of The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, Frameline31 welcomes back everyone’s favorite honey-loving bear in Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (Dir. Frank Nissen), a film that teaches kids and adults alike that perceived differences shouldn’t be feared, but celebrated.

In addition to being THE place to see the latest and best in international queer cinema, Frameline’s annual event attracts LGBT film professionals from across the globe and serves as the “unofficial” kick-off for San Francisco’s annual Pride Celebration activities. From the Festival’s Opening Night Gala to the Closing Night Party where the Festival’s awards are announced (the richest annual awards on the LGBT fest circuit), Frameline presents many opportunities for audiences, filmmakers and film professionals to meet and mingle at parties, receptions and theatres.

Frameline31: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, screening June 14-24, 2007 at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Film Center (3117 16th Street) and the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th Street) in San Francisco and the Parkway Theater (1834 Park Boulevard) in Oakland.

Advance tickets go on sale May 25 at the Frameline Box Office located inside Superstar Satellite, 474 Castro Street (between Market and 18th). Box Office hours are 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm daily beginning Friday, May 25 (for Frameline members) and Friday, June 1 (for general public). Tickets are also available online (www.frameline.org) and by fax (415-522-5543). Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $10 general, $9 members; and $8 general, $7 members for matinee screenings, starting at 5:00 pm or earlier. Castro Passes, good for admission to all screenings at the Castro Theatre other than Opening Night and Closing Night, are available for $200. Weekday Matinee Passes, good for admission to all weekday matinee screenings at the Castro Theatre starting at 5pm or earlier, are available for $35. For more information, visit www.frameline.org.

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival is presented by Frameline, a nonprofit LGBT organization whose mission is to strengthen the diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and further its visibility by supporting and promoting a broad array of cultural representations and artistic expression in film, video and other media arts.


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