Films / Programs

New Storytelling in LGBT Cinema

Like our own Northern California terrain, the landscape of LGBT media has undergone rapid and sometimes earth-shaking transformation in the digital age—not only by new technologies that have changed how audiences find and experience LGBT cinema, but also by new approaches to telling queer stories and by the changing role of women filmmakers. As part of a special initiative supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the folks who bring you the Oscars®), Frameline38 features an exceptional series of screenings and discussions exploring these new directions in LGBT storytelling, with special free panels on digital distribution, new cinematic approaches to gay history and biography, and the growth and support of queer women filmmakers. Join us for these illuminating screenings and conversations.

Appropriate Behavior

USA, 2013, 86M

In this dry comedy, a semi-closeted bisexual Persian American tries to live up to her family’s ideals and traditions while going through a breakup, navigating Brooklyn’s dating scene with both men and women, and figuring out what to do with the rest of her life.

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Boys Don’t Cry

USA, 1999, 118M

With its indelible lead performance by Hilary Swank as a young Brandon Teena and its unstinting portrait of the violent undercurrent of the blue-collar Midwest, Boys Don’t Cry retains its power to stir the emotions fifteen years after its original release.

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Change Makers: In Conversation with Women Filmmakers

2014, 90M

Frameline is proud to gather a dynamic group of established artists and emerging new talent to discuss how the contributions of women filmmakers have impacted changes in queer cinema and storytelling. The conversation will also highlight the trajectory over the past two decades of dynamic growth and development in new LGBTQ feature films that are being helmed by queer women filmmakers.

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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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Edward II

UK, 1991, 90M

Unfolding in elegant tableaux, Derek Jarman’s bold version of Marlowe’s 400-year-old play focuses on the king’s obsessive love for the low-born Gaveston. Tilda Swinton is marvelous as his neglected, revengeful queen in this new digital restoration marking the 20th anniversary of Jarman’s death.

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Go Fish

USA, 1994, 83M

Produced at the height of the New Queer Cinema movement, director Rose Troche’s debut feature first created a buzz 20 years ago as Frameline18’s Opening Night selection. This 1990s will-they-or-won’t-they rom-com tells the story of Max and Ely—and the friends who try to set them up.

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Past (Im)perfect: Filming Queer History

2014, 90M

Secret lives, hidden communities and suppressed imagery have made telling queer history on film a challenging task. This panel brings together filmmakers who have been dedicated to enlivening the queer past. The discussion will address proven and emerging cinematic approaches to LGBT history and biography, including hybrid documentary forms and creative narrative and visual strategies.

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Regarding Susan Sontag


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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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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France, 2013, 139M

Emmanuelle Devos tears up the screen in Martin Provost’s (Séraphine) brilliant biopic of tormented lesbian writer, Violette Leduc, whose unbalanced relationship with Simone de Beauvoir was key to her eventual success.

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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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