Dykes, Camera, Action!

Director: Caroline Berler
2018 | USA | 58m
GENRE: Asian/Pacific Islander | Biography/History | Black/African American | Documentary | Lesbian | Middle Eastern
SECTION: Documentary
Expected Guests: Director, Caroline Berler, Subjects, B. Ruby Rich & Yvonne Welbon, Producer, Rebecca Benson


Lovers of lesbian film unite! Dykes, Camera, Action! examines queer women’s cinema from the mid-twentieth century through today, including Frameline Award winner Barbara Hammer’s Superdyke, Rose Troche’s Go Fish (Frameline18), and Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior (Frameline38). Dykes, Camera, Action! is also a joyous trip down memory lane for any film lover. 

Academics like B. Ruby Rich and Sarah Schulman contextualize the history of queer women’s films, from the 1960s through the 1990s’ New Queer Cinema, and all the way to the lesbian pop froth of the 21st century. The historical intersection of experimental film and queer film is examined, as well as the role of activism in lesbian artist circles, and the never-ending battle against the male gaze and the patriarchy. But just as importantly, filmmakers from Su Friedrich (Damned If You Don’t, Frameline15), Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, Frameline20), Jenni Olson (The Joy of Life, Frameline29), to Yoruba Richen (The New Black, Frameline37) talk about their own personal experiences of queer women’s cinema.

Featuring the ultimate array of filmmakers and thinkers from the past century, this documentary functions as an updated—but much more modern and far less bleak—The Celluloid Closet. It’s a ton of fun to spend time with the dozens of women who helped to create the cinema that has shaped so many lives, and, in the process, learn about how we all got here.

Followed by a free panel discussion, Lights. Camera. Take Action: Queer Women Documentarians in the Spotlight, Tuesday June 19 · approx. 5:00 pm · Castro Theatre


Dykes, Camera, Action! is a recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund Grant.

Alternative Mortgage Sources

WFilm Institute

  • Premiere Status: World