SAN FRANCISCO — Frameline, the world’s largest LGBT media arts nonprofit organization, is proud to announce Frameline38: the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.
This year’s internationally renowned showcase for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) cinema runs June 19-29, with San Francisco screenings at the historic Castro Theatre (429 Castro St.), Roxie Theater (3117 16th St.) and the Victoria Theatre (2961 16th St.), and in Berkeley at Rialto Cinemas Elmwood (2966 College Ave.).
With an expected attendance of 65,000, the 11 days of Frameline38 bring together film lovers, media artists, and LGBTQ communities from the Bay Area and all across the globe to behold the best in queer cinema from nearly 800 film submissions. More than 30 countries are represented, including Germany, Venezuela, Slovenia, Mexico, Finland, France, and a spotlight on “LGBT Films in Today’s Russia.”
As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline38 features 23 films that examine queer life in films created by, for or about the Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian and Asian American LGBT communities.
• “Anita’s Last Cha-Cha” / dir Sigrid Bernardo / Philippines
As a tough armed forces reservist prepares to visit her childhood village, she flashes back to the sweet innocence of being a 12-year-old and the first time she fell in love with a beautiful and mysterious woman.
• “Dyke Central” / dir Florencia Manovil / USA
Watch delicious drama unfold in “Dyke Central,” a lighthearted dramatic comedy that delves into the diverse cultures of queer Oakland. Oaktown folks who like their produce and film local will relate to “Dyke Central’s” queers as they traverse the boundaries between friendship and romance.
• “Lilting” / dir Hong Khaou / United Kingdom
Exploring matters of lost love, memory, and cultural barriers with sensitivity and emotional truth, “Lilting” tells the story of a Chinese mother and her son’s British lover attempting to move on after the death of their beloved.
• “Quick Change” / dir Eduardo Roy, Jr. / Philippines
Walking a legal and moral tightrope, transwoman Dorina administers beautifying (but illegal and dangerous) collagen injections to her friends and beauty pageant contestant clients in Manila’s transgender community.
• “Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy” / dir Andrea James / USA
America’s “Gaysian Sweetheart,” actor and comedian Alec Mapa (“Ugly Betty”), sparkles onstage with spot-on incisive and flirtatiously filthy stand-up. In “Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy” Mapa’s high-paced, award-winning off-Broadway show is coupled with touching backstage scenes with his husband and their child, whom they adopted through foster care.
• “Kumu Hina” / dirs Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson / USA
This powerful film documents the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture within the westernizing society of modern day Hawaii. It is told through the lens of Hina Wong-Kalu, an extraordinary Native Hawaiian woman who is both a proud mahu, or transgender person, and a respected kumu, or teacher.
• “Limited Partnership” / dir Thomas G. Miller / Australia and USA
In 1975, Filipino American Richard Adams and Australian Tony Sullivan became one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry — and the first to be denied legal immigration status. This documentary tells the story of a pioneering bi-national couple who paved the way to defeat DOMA.
• “Purple Skies: Voices of Indian Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transmen” / dir Sridhar Rangayan / India
This upbeat Indian documentary details the work of organizations that have sheltered and advocated for lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. As Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes same-sex behavior, is ruled unconstitutional and then revived, LGBT Indians react with joy — and then rage and determination to live open lives.
• “To Be Takei” / dir Jennifer M. Kroot and editor/co-dir Bill Weber / USA
The stellar centerpiece documentary of Frameline38 celebrates the “Star Trek” legend, the marriage-equality advocate, the spokesperson for Japanese Americans imprisoned in internment camps during World War II, Facebook phenomenon (with nearly 7 million fans), and the recipient of this year’s Frameline Award: superstar George Takei. (Frameline Award presentation on Tuesday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Castro Theatre. Rush tickets may be available at the screening.)
• “Casey’s Hope” / dirs Sanjay Chhugani, Viet Hoang and Casey Huynh / USA
A queer Chinese-Vietnamese refugee shares the intimate challenges of starting a family of her own.
• “Dawn” / dir Leon Le / USA
Two strangers — one African American, the other Asian American — have a dangerous, racist encounter on a subway, but they may have more in common than they thought. A tightly wound, deftly shot drama that packs a punch.
• “Dirty Boots (He Don’t)” / dir Adam Baran / USA
A sexually charged day in the life of a diverse gay biker gang in Brooklyn leads to unexpected outcomes in this music video for Gainesville indie-band Holopaw’s queer song “Dirty Boots (He Don’t).” Narrated by Peter Berlin.
• “Dream Date” / dirs Andromeda Godfrey and Diana Juhr De Benedetti / United Kingdom
Two women check into a hotel for a night of fun, but is all as it seems on this dream date?
• “FU377” / dir Neelu Bhuman / United Kingdom
While the Indian Supreme Court tries to outlaw homosexuality, an adorable mother has her knowledge of “gay sex” in mint condition, wheeling out a tidbit or two for her heartbroken queer daughter in an effort to cheer her up.
• “Happy Birthday Cindy Wei” / dir Tsveta Lozanova / United Kingdom
The film follows 15-year-old school underdog Cindy Wei as she takes her first steps towards building up confidence and overcoming her lack of cultural identity by the discovery of her mysterious cousin Michael’s well-kept secret.
• “History of SFWAR” / dir QWOCMAP Productions / USA
Tracing their 40-year history, this moving documentary honors the role that San Francisco Women Against Rape plays in the fight to end sexual assault.
• “Jellyfish” / dir Rosie Haber / Malaysia
Set in a Muslim fishing village in Borneo, “Jellyfish” is the coming-of-age story of Danice, a 14-year old fisherwoman who tastes first love with Riya — an alluring transgender woman who arrives in the village one day.
• “Lilies” / dir Yudho Aditya / USA
Past and present coincide when a chance meeting reveals a love story as intricate as origami.
• “Ordinary Family” / dir HyunJu Lee / South Korea
Su-young plans to go on the first vacation with her girlfriend, Young-mi, but Su-young receives the news that she must visit her father, with Young-mi in tow.
• “Possibly” / dir Tracy Nguyen / USA
Two queer Asian American women, Cass and Des, run into each other everywhere, so what could possibly be their connection?
• “Prinsesa” / dir Drew Stephens / USA
Rey, a young Filipino American father, recalls the Singkil folk dance tale to his children to calm them after an earthquake, but his young boy seems to identify more as the princess than the prince. Should Rey “straighten out” the boy to prove his own masculinity to his friends?
• “Trucker Kitty” / dir Alice Choe / USA
Kitty Liang is a badass Asian American woman trucker who shows off her driving skills.
• “Under Ground” / dir Sha Huang / China and USA
Xuan, a talented young Chinese musician who lives in NYC, dreams of touring the world as an indie-rock star — not only because she loves music, but to her it seems the only way she can reveal her relationship to her family.
The Frameline Box Office is located inside The HRC Action Center and Store, (575 Castro St. between 18th and 19th streets). Box office hours are 1 to 7 p.m. daily. Tickets are also available 24 hours daily online (www.frameline.org/festival).