Frameline, the world’s longest-running and largest showcase of queer cinema, is proud to announce the full program for the Frameline44 Pride Showcase taking place Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of San Francisco Pride. Presented in partnership with the Castro Theatre, this four-day virtual event features 12 world premieres, one international premiere, three North American Premieres, and two U.S. premieres, including new narrative features, documentaries, and shorts programs, along with special live and pre-recorded intros, Q&A’s, and other unique programming to evoke the live festival experience Frameline is known for.
“Pride Month has begun with riots and protests in the face of systemic injustice. The LGBTQ+ community is no stranger to these issues and we honor and support all those raising their voices in dissent and demanding equality,” said James Woolley, Frameline Executive Director. “Frameline has featured inspiring, thought-provoking cinema for more than 40 years and created a festival atmosphere that fosters community engagement and discourse, and we are proud to continue this tradition with our Pride Showcase.”
“Frameline believes that the courageous act of sharing your story can change the world. We are honored to present a lineup of films during the Pride Showcase that upholds our mission of providing a platform to showcase diverse voices,” said Paul Struthers, Frameline’s Director of Exhibition & Programming. “Two presentations highlight this in especially timely ways: Sue Williams’ ‘Denise Ho-Becoming the Song,’ which chronicles the iconic musician’s career from pop star to activist in Hong Kong and the power of art to address social unrest; and SHOWTIME’S ‘The Chi,’ where some of our field’s most creative and talented Black artists are not only featured but leading the production—including creator and executive producer Lena Waithe and writer Marcus Gardley. It’s a portrait of a community–Chicago’s South Side–and exemplifies that Black stories matter. We are humbled by the opportunity we have to engage, act, and grow with our audiences this month.”
Highlights include the world premiere of Sue Williams’ documentary DENISE HO – BECOMING THE SONG; Jessica Swale’s SUMMERLAND featuring Gemma Arterton, who will be participating in a live Q&A following the film; Thom Fitzgerald’s valentine to San Francisco STAGE MOTHER, which will also include a live Q&A with Jacki Weaver, Mya Taylor, and Jackie Beat who star in the film; a special presentation of Jen Rainin’s world premiere documentary AHEAD OF THE CURVE at Concord’s West Wind Drive-In Theater; Isabel Sandoval’s LINGUA FRANCA and P. David Ebersole’s and Todd Hughes’ HOUSE OF CARDIN, which played at the Venice Film Festival; Ray Yeung’s TWILIGHT’S KISS (SUK SUK) and David France’s WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, which played at the Berlin International Film Festival; and perennial favorites “Fun in Boys Shorts,” “Fun in Girls Shorts,” and “Transtastic” short film programs, which will include the world premiere of ISLAND QUEEN. Directed by Zackary Grady and Jenn Harris, this short features Rachel Dratch and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who will be featured in a Q&A following its premiere.
The Pride Showcase kicks off Frameline’s 2020 festival offerings and allows the organization to continue its tradition of celebrating Pride each June while prioritizing the safety of its audience, staff, filmmakers and community partners. As previously announced, the larger Frameline44 Festival has been postponed until this Fall.
Directed by Mike Mosallam
Cultures clash and passion blooms in this lively and insightful romantic comedy. Mo, a gay Muslim in West Hollywood, is suddenly single and searching for love in a sea of partying and hook-ups. When a new romance blooms, Mo carefully navigates through an exciting and complicated new reality. This funny, thoughtful film tackles issues of faith, friendship, and sexuality with upbeat energy and a big heart.
Directed by Pablo Larraín
In the latest from visionary filmmaker Pablo Larraín, director of Jackie and producer of the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman, newcomer Mariana Di Girolamo electrifies the screen in the titular role of Ema, a young, unhinged, bisexual dancer who embarks on a difficult journey to regain custody of her adopted son. This dazzling, uniquely cinematic experience, which left audiences spellbound at both the Venice and Sundance Film Festivals, is one that will linger long after the credits roll.
Directed by Isabel Sandoval
When Olivia (Isabel Sandoval), an undocumented Filipina trans woman in Brooklyn, becomes the caregiver for an elderly Jewish woman (Lynn Cohen, Sex and the City’s Magda), the last thing she suspects is for romantic and sexual tensions to arise with Olga’s black sheep grandson (The Witcher’s Eamon Farren). A timely and heartfelt tale of lost souls finding each other, with chilling reminders of ICE raids and deportations looming in the background.
Directed by Thom Fitzgerald
If you cross Sister Act with Sordid Lives and add a dash of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you’d wind up with Stage Mother. Two-time Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver plays Maybelline, a Texas church choir director whose life is turned upside down when she unexpectedly inherits a San Francisco drag club from her estranged son. Lucy Liu, Adrian Grenier, and Tangerine’s Mya Taylor also star in this moving and quick-witted valentine to San Francisco.
Directed by Jessica Swale
During the throes of the London Blitz, solitary writer Alice (Gemma Arterton, Vita & Virginia) is irritated to learn that a child evacuee, Frank, is to be placed in her cliffside cottage. But his gentle openness sends her ruminating on a passionate love story that Alice buried long ago; as she excavates these memories, the pair form an unlikely bond. This sweeping drama, steeped in folklore and the power of memory, proves love just might come back around.
*Please note that SUMMERLAND will only be available to view June 27–28.
Directed by Olivia Peace
While attending the funeral for one of her classmates, sheepish Carrie (Madeline Grey DeFreece) unexpectedly sparks her queer awakening after a practice lip-lock with her horny and hetero Hebrew-school bestie Hannah (Rachel Sennott). Over the course of the day, the two teens wrestle with their complicated feelings of mortality, social ranking, and desire in director Olivia Peace’s uproarious and incisive generational debut.
TWILIGHT’S KISS (SUK SUK) (North American Premiere)
Directed by Ray Yeung
The challenges facing aging gay men are dramatized with great warmth in this Hong Kong-set portrait of a new love affair from director Ray Yeung (Front Cover, Frameline40). Each a father to adult children, Hoi and Pak have both acknowledged their sexuality late in life. As their developing affection and camaraderie potentially turn to love, the question of what each man is willing to give up becomes a pressing matter.
AHEAD OF THE CURVE (World Premiere)
Directed by Jen Rainin
From its start in 1990, Curve magazine was a visionary and unapologetic celebration of lesbian life from cover to cover. Facing the magazine’s possible demise in 2019, director Jen Rainin and Curve founder Franco Stevens explore contemporary questions of lesbian visibility and legacy through interviews with contemporary LGBTQ+ tastemakers, “celesbians” including Melissa Etheridge, Jewelle Gomez, Denice Frohman, Kate Kendell, and Lea DeLaria, along with rich archival footage recounting the formation of a lesbian cultural institution.
In addition to the online presentation, a special screening of AHEAD OF THE CURVE will take place at the West Wind Solano Drive-In Theater in Concord, California (1611 Solano Way, Concord, CA) on Saturday, June 27 at 9 p.m. Tickets range in price from $23–$25 and are available now.
DENISE HO – BECOMING THE SONG (World Premiere)
Directed by Sue Williams
At the peak of her musical career, Hong Kong’s Cantopop diva Denise Ho was performing in lavish costumes at packed stadium concerts. Her eccentric performances garnered audiences, but it was her brave lyrics that resonated with a city in turmoil. In Sue Williams’ uplifting documentary, the filmmaker chronicles Ho’s career from pop star to activist and the parallels to Hong Kong, a city in constant transformation.
HOUSE OF CARDIN
Directed by P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes
In a film as bubbly and vibrant as its subject at hand, filmmaking duo P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes (Mansfield 66/67) shift their cameras toward self-made fashion genius Pierre Cardin. Including interviews with Naomi Campbell, Sharon Stone, Dionne Warwick, and Jean-Paul Gaultier, House of Cardin celebrates the designer’s influential career, including his pioneering attempts to diversify the catwalks of Paris with women of color modeling his signature looks.
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA
Directed by David France
A prizewinner at both the Sundance and Berlin International Film Festivals this year, the latest documentary feature from Oscar-nominated director David France (How to Survive a Plague) highlights an undercover team of LGBTQ+ activists in Russia, desperately trying to save their vulnerable queer community from further persecution and even death as homophobic attacks surge in Chechnya.
Episode 302 “Brewfurd”
Written by Oakland native Marcus Gardley, Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green
Frameline is thrilled to present a very special sneak preview episode from the upcoming season of the SHOWTIME® series THE CHI in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride month. Produced entirely in its namesake city, season three of THE CHI finds a maturing Emmett (Jacob Latimore) trying to alter the way his mother Jada (Yolonda Ross) sees him, going from unmotivated teen to full-fledged businessman. Created and executive produced by Emmy® winner Lena Waithe, the hit drama series is executive produced by Justin Hillian, Aaron Kaplan, Common, Derek Dudley and Shelby Stone of Freedom Road Productions, Rick Famuyiwa and Jet Wilkinson. THE CHI is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.
Directed by Ronald Chase
This film of the very first Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco was believed to be lost for almost 50 years. This was actually the first “official” gay parade, organized with permits by the city. The very first parade was held a year after the Stonewall Riots (1970) on Folsom Street, organized by the rock group Black Sabbath as a promotional event for a number of emerging bands. This parade followed a year later (1971), with a very small attendance and a lot of very brave people. Notice the turnout was sparse (only two blocks of well-wishers turned out to watch), but the atmosphere was electric. Chase felt that gay people should make their own case to the public, and this film was made in hope it might be helpful in changing attitudes in the straight community.
This short is presented in partnership with SF PRIDE in celebration of their 50th anniversary.
TRANSTASTIC SHORT FILMS
MAKING SAMANTHA — Directed by T Cooper
KAPAEMAHU — Directed by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
DANCE, DANCE, EVOLUTION — Directed by Jules Rosskam
BIND — Directed by Emory Chao Johnson
WISHES — Directed by Amy Jenkins
THE NAME OF THE SON — Directed by Martina Matzkin — (North American Premiere)
DUNGAREES — Directed by Abel Rubinstein — (North American Premiere)
SHÉÁR AVORY: TO BE CONTINUED — Directed by Abram Cerda
FUN IN BOYS SHORTS
MATT & DAN: GRINDR — Directed by Will Gordh (World Premiere)
WHEN IN ROME (PAESE CHE VAI) — Directed by Luca Padrini (World Premiere)
GO GO, BOY! — Directed by Oriana Oppice
PETE CAN’T PLAY BASKETBALL — Directed by Nicolas Borenstein (World Premiere)
ABOUT A SHORT FILM — Directed by Kevin Yee
BLOW JOB — Directed by Jeffrey Braverman (World Premiere)
ISLAND QUEEN — Directed by Zackary Grady, Jenn Harris (World Premiere)
THE DICK APPOINTMENT — Directed by Mike Roma (World Premiere)
SHORT CALF MUSCLE — Directed by Victoria Warmerdam
THE SHAWL — Directed by Sara Kiener
FUN IN GIRLS SHORTS
WERE YOU GAY IN HIGH SCHOOL? — Directed by Niki Ang (World Premiere)
I KNOW HER — Directed by Fawzia Mirza
DINETTE SEASON 2 EPISODE 1 & 2 — Directed by Shaina Feinberg (World Premiere)
PEACH — Directed by Sophie Saville & Rowan Devereux (International Premiere)
THE SECRET GARDENER — Directed by Lorena Russi (U.S. Premiere)
BREAK IN — Directed by Alyssa Lerner (World Premiere)
CC DANCES THE GO-GO — Directed by Erin C. Buckley (World Premiere)
6:23AM — Directed by Geoffrey Breton (U.S. Premiere)
You can buy your tickets at frameline.org. Tickets are $8 – 10 per screening and year-long passes start at $250. Ticket holders will be able to tune in live to each screening or access any film at any time during the four-day event.
The Frameline44 Pride Showcase is made possible with generous support from returning Premier Partners GILEAD SCIENCES, INC., SHOWTIME®, BANK OF AMERICA, and MONIKER. Additional funding is provided by THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, WELLS FARGO FOUNDATION, AT&T, WARNERMEDIA, ARNOLD & PORTER, BANK OF THE WEST, BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES, and SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY.