FRAMELINE31’S QUEER ASIAN PROGRAMMING OFFERS CHALLENGING VISIONS

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(Number not to be published.)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 annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. This year’s Festival runs June 14-24 at the historic Castro Theatre, Roxie Film Center and the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco and at the Parkway Theater in Oakland. The Festival includes the best new queer films from Asia and the Asian diaspora, as well as new queer films from Asian American filmmakers.

Several of the Asian features in this year's festival offer fresh takes on romance and its discontents. Spider Lilies, one of Frameline31's showcase films and the second narrative feature by talented Taiwanese filmmaker Zero Chou (Splendid Float), is a visually seductive exploration of the intersections of memory and lust among a community of online sex workers and those who watch them. Actress Isabella Leong and Taiwanese pop singer Rainie Yang sizzle in this magical realist tale of tattoos, web cam affairs and sartorial surprises.

Eternal Summer, another Taiwanese feature, sensitively essays the ineffability of budding teenage desire. Shy Jonathan feels compelled to constantly be close to his classmate, the roughish, basketball star Shane, though he can't exactly say why. The two boys' already ambiguous friendship is further complicated when a new girl enters the picture. Leste Chen (The Heirloom) turns a seemingly rote story of a high school love triangle into an understated portrait of youth at the crossroads between the uncertainty of adolescence and having to claim an identity still in formation. Desire is just as ephemeral in Kevin Choi's accompanying short Dissolution of Bodies, in which two strangers attempt to defy the fleeting nature of their union.

South Korean filmmaker Leesong Hee-Ill's beautiful feature film debut No Regret similarly explores the conflict between societal demands and personal desire. The closet isn't such an open and shut phenomena in the lives of Su-Min, a day laborer turned high class rent boy, and Jae-Min, the closeted and spoiled son of a prominent business man, who embark on a passionate but tumultuous affair. Love for sale is also at the heart of the sexy Filipino drama Twilight Dancers, which follows male strippers Dwight and Alfred in a corrupt city where their chances of survival are proportional to the amount of skin bared on stage.

Dancing of a more jubilant variety can be found in returning Frameline favorite and 1993 Frameline Award recipient Pratibha Parmar's (Khush, Jodie: An Icon) delicious, Bollywood-inflected romance
Nina's Heavenly Delights. "Iron Chef" meets lesbian love in this Showcase feature when closeted Nina embarks on a quest to save her family business by entering a local curry cook-off. When sparks fly with the enlisted help, Nina's old schoolmate Lisa, Nina feels torn between flame and family. But as both she and her mildly eccentric Scottish-Indian relatives come to learn, reconciliation is a dish best served warm. Similarly, 2006 Point Foundation Scholar Harjant Gill's Milind Soman Made Me Gay, part of the "Mixed Fruit" shorts program, weaves the filmmaker's personal experience with those of other South Asian men who reconcile sexuality, religion and culture into a beautiful dance.

From Canada comes the The Doctor’s Daughter or The Secret and the Lie, a fresh and unconventional love story from director first-time feature director Janine Fung. A Chinese Canadian who was born in Trinidad but grew up in Toronto, Fung wrote, directed, and stars in this beautifully honest and raw film, which traces the passionate and sometimes volatile relationship between two women whose lives are forever intertwined. Preceding Fung’s film is the Chinese short Tears of the Goddess (Dir. Wang Hui Yue), a tragic tale of forbidden love that reverberates with centuries of Chinese legend.

Women filmmakers contributed much of the selection of Asian and Asian American documentaries and shorts at Frameline31. Trinh Thi Nguyen's feature length Love Man Love Woman looks at Vietnam's Dao Mau temples as spaces in which alternative expressions of gender are allowed to flourish within this traditionally conservative country. Nguyen offers a heartening portrait of the effeminate, brilliantly-costumed male mediums who serve in these unusual centers of worship and the communities and rituals they have forged together. Rachel Clift's sweet accompanying short Remi's Secret, meanwhile, introduces us to a warm-hearted trans Thai performer who yearns to transcend her cabaret singer status and pass within society as a woman. Shorts program "Loving Transgressions – Queer Women of Color Shorts," curated by Singapore-born filmmaker Madeleine Lim, features work by API Americans which also touches on faith, belonging and the temptations of flesh. The mysterious messages received from a spiritual ancestor by a queer Filipina form the heart of Pagsalig/Faith. Another Filipina is moved to leave everything she knows and look beyond boundaries in to transgress: a meditation. The sensuous spirit of Spider Lilies seems to perfume the air shared by two Chinese lesbians in Infinite Breath. Talking About Amy, also in "Mixed Fruits," is an animated homage to anti-authoritarian Japanese pop artist and New York transplant Emi Iijima.

From romances, both edgy and buoyant, to stylistically bold debuts and engaging documentary visions, Frameline31's selection of films from across Asia and the Asian diaspora continues to enlarge the scope of Asian representation on the lavender screen.

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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