Ahead of the Curve

Director: Jen Rainin
2020 | USA | 97m
GENRE: Activism | Biography/History | Jewish | Lesbian | Local Interest/Subjects | Person with a disability
SECTION: Documentary Features | Famous Faces
Expected Guests: Features Q&A with Curve Magazine founder Franco Stevens, director Jen Rainin, author Jewelle Gomez, and educator Kim Katrin; moderated by Author Andrea Pino-Silva.


What made Curve magazine (first published in 1990 as Deneuve) ahead of its time wasn’t just the radical choice to boldly print “lesbian” on the cover next to out and proud figureheads such as Melissa Etheridge, Wanda Sykes, and k.d. lang. Curve was filled with unapologetic images and stories that radiated community and dignity from cover to cover, quickly becoming a cornerstone of lesbian culture. So in 2019 when founder Franco Stevens heard that the magazine might go out of print, she was left with two questions: Was a lesbian magazine still important for lesbian visibility? And, how had visibility changed over three decades

In Ahead of the Curve, director Jen Rainin and co-director Rivkah Beth Medow craft a personal journey that follows Stevens’ process grappling with questions of community and legacy. Linking lesbian histories with contemporary viewpoints, the film moves between interviews with LGBTQ+ tastemakers, “celesbians” (including Jewelle Gomez, Kate Kendell, and Lea DeLaria) and rich archival footage. Rainin lovingly uplifts the personal and political struggles, adventure, and community that birthed an institution, honoring its visionary legacy while exploring whether a groundbreaking print publication remains relevant in a digital age.


Buying Note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am Thursday, September 17 and 11:59pm Sunday, September 27.

Showtime Networks Inc.

Curve MediaThe Film Collaborative