FRAMELINE31 OFFERS EXCITING SLATE OF LATINO FILMS

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(Number not to be published.)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—With a dynamic lineup of films and videos from all around the world, Frameline31, the 31st San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, offers a number of features and shorts by or about Latino and Spanish-speaking people. The Festival takes place June 14-24, 2007, at the Castro Theatre, Roxie Film Center, and Victoria Theatre in San Francisco, and at Oakland’s Parkway Theater.

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 that features Raising Victor Vargas’ Melonie Diaz as its heroine, a young woman whose meek and mousy demeanor evolves into bad-ass bravado with a little help from a radical activist group.

Of the Festival’s eight Showcase screenings, one comes from South America: the visually and sonically striking Glue, in which Argentine director Alexis Dos Santos delves into budding adolescent sexuality. Backed by an excellent soundtrack that includes a number of the Violent Femmes’ most beloved songs, Dos Santos’ film tracks 15-year-old Lucas as he and his male best friend pursue a cute girl – and grow closer than expected in the process.

Also from Argentina comes Sebastian Cordoba’s powerful documentary Through Thick and Thin, which examines the trials of gay and lesbian bi-national couples as they struggle against US immigration laws. It focuses in particular on a couple in which one party is a Venezuelan citizen.

Led by new Frameline Distribution title Odd People Out (Dir. Manuel Zayas), a biographical examination of beloved Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Cuba has a particularly strong showing at this year’s Festival. 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.

The gay Latino American experience gets a funny, poignant and bold look in Carlos Portugal’s debut feature, East Side Story, which follows Diego, a Chicano in East Los Angeles who must deal with forbidden romance, gentrification, and old world racial and sexual prejudices.


The rough and tumble (and very gay) world of roller derbies is profiled in Mark Woollen’s documentary JAM, in which one of the key players is Alfonso Reyes, roller derby star and gay Latino San Franciscan. Water Flowing Together (Dir. Gwendolen Cates) traces the life of acclaimed ballet dancer Jock Soto, who was raised on a reservation in Arizona by a Navajo mother and a Puerto Rican father. Trained in the Ways of Men (Dir. Shelly Provost) pieces together the tragic death of transgendered Alameda County Latina teen Gwen Araujo. The Spanish documentary Miracle (Dir. Clarissa Gonzalez) captures the passion and excitement of the Spanish gay community, basking in their country’s progressive policy towards same-sex marriage.

Keeping up with a recent trend, Spain provides a handful of compelling LGBT features. Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s DarkBlueAlmostBlack follows best friends Jorge and Israel, the latter of whom begins questioning his sexuality after seeing his father serviced by a male masseuse. El Calentito (Dir. Chus Guitierrez) takes its audience back to the heady activist punk scene that spawned artists like Almodovar, centering on a cabaret that covers every facet of the LGBT spectrum. The playful bisexual musical comedy Two Sides of the Bed (director Emilio Martinez Lazaro’s sequel to his 2002 hit, The Other Side of the Bed) throws its characters into a variety of sensual combinations and complicated scenarios, many accompanied by a pop song and a peppy dance number.

In addition to these outstanding feature films, Frameline31 presents a number of excellent Latino/Spanish-language short films and videos from the Bay Area and beyond. Local hero Aya De Leon gets profiled in Definition: Aya De Leon. Set in the Pantanal area of Western Brazil, and paying tribute to Brokeback Mountain, Cowboy Forever tells of the traditional, conservative life of Latino cowboys. In Lauren’s Call, a Cuban immigrant couple fights to make their relationship work in the midst of a sexual identity crisis. Latino and Spanish-language films are scattered throughout Frameline31’s 20 shorts programs, proving that Spanish-language films represent some of queer cinema’s most innovative, vibrant offerings.

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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