50 Years of Fabulous

Director: Jethro Patalinghug
2018 | USA | 82m
GENRE: Activism | Documentary | Gay | Latino/a | Leather/Kink | Lesbian | Local Interest/Subjects
SECTION: Documentary Features
Expected Guests: Director/Writer, Jethro Patalinghug, Subject, Khmera Rouge, Producer, Marc Smolowitz, Executive Producer, David Lassman


Brimming with stunning San Francisco energy and the enlightened effervescence of determined drag queens, this fascinating documentary captures what makes the City a unique, powerful, and heartwarming home for the LGBTQ community. Filmmaker Jethro Patalinghug documents the vibrant history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBTQ charity organization in the world.

Founded in San Francisco by activist and drag queen José Sarria, the first openly gay man to run for political office in the United States, in 1961, the Council has helped shape LGBTQ life and history in San Francisco. Each year, the colorful Council crowns an Emperor and Empress who become the fabulous faces of the non-profit group. Celebrating unity, pride, and an unadulterated dedication to helping others, the Imperial Council advocates for human rights, hosts rousing events, and generates tons of cash for Bay Area charitable organizations.

Combining captivating historical footage and photos with contemporary interviews and delightful performances, 50 Years of Fabulous is an exhilarating chronicle of the City’s gay culture that conveys the group’s epic impact, as well as some of the challenges it currently faces. You’ll leave the theater smiling, crying, and feeling proud to live in a place where people take care of each other, know how to have fun, and—most importantly—are able to be themselves.


Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Imperial Council of San Francisco Inc. / CSFAF Elizabeth Taylor 50-PLUS Network / The GLBT Historical Society

  • Premiere Status: Bay Area