Celebrate our Bay Area neighbors with these local documentaries. You’ll meet Jok, the beloved children’s scientist and leather-clad AIDS activist, as well as Penny, a Filipino immigrant and restaurateur working through the pandemic. Wherever you live, these six, unique portraits from our community are sure to resonate.
— DOMINIQUE ONEIL
FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM
DENNIS: The Man Who Legalized Cannabis
DIRECTOR Brandon Moore | 2020 | USA | 20m
Here’s the story of Dennis Peron, a Vietnam War veteran, LGBTQ+ and cannabis activist, who fought to get cannabis to HIV/AIDS patients in 1990s San Francisco. Watch Trailer
Bayanihan & Resilience
DIRECTOR Jocelyn Tabancay Duffy | 2020 | USA | 5m
Penny Baldado, a queer Filipino immigrant and proud owner of Café Gabriela, makes it through the COVID-19 pandemic by giving back to Oakland. Watch Trailer
Blackness Is Everything
DIRECTOR Alba Roland Mejia | 2021 | USA | 5m
This experimental/performative short film celebrates the diversity of the Black diaspora in the Bay Area. Watch Trailer
DIRECTOR Elliot Gordon Mercer | 2021 | USA | 19m | World Premiere
A queer fantasia on the slippages of memory, scholarship, meaning-making, and the transcendental. Created, written, and directed by Elliot Gordon Mercer with Michael Cicetti.
Surviving Voices: The Substance Use and Recovery Community
DIRECTOR Jörg Fockele | 2021 | USA | 15m | World Premiere
Presented by the National AIDS Memorial, the latest installment of this ongoing oral history project provides a unique perspective from the substance use and recovery community.
Beakman & Jok
DIRECTORS Kolmel W. Love & Lex Sloan | 2021 | USA | 25m | World Premiere
Beakman & Jok explores the complex and fascinating life of Bay Area artist, leather man, AIDS activist, and renowned children’s science educator Jok Church. Church revolutionized children’s science education through his internationally syndicated comic strip, bestselling children’s books, and the hit TV show Beakman’s World.
Buying Note: This is an in-person screening for Sun, Jun 27 at the Castro Theatre. For streaming tickets, please click here. Seating is limited, and COVID protocols will be in place.
Bank of the West