Still in the midst of the pandemic, Frameline45 remained a mostly virtual Festival, with two films at Oracle Park, four in-person Drive-In screenings, two full days of programming at the Castro Theatre, and one evening at the Roxie Theater. The Festival marked Allegra Madsen's first year as the new Director of Programming.
In conjunction with the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco Pride, the Festival began at Oracle Park with a pair of big screen musicals: Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights and Jonathan Butterell's Everybody's Talking About Jamie. These ballpark events included appearances by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Drag Race stars Rock M. Sakura and Bianca Del Rio.
The 2 Castro Theatre screening days each began with two of Frameline's established shorts programs: Fun in Shorts and Homegrown. Director Peeter Rebane and stars Tom Prior and Oleg Zagorodnii arrived from Europe for the North American premiere of Firebird. Director Vivian Kleiman was in attendance for No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics (a Frameline Completion Fund recipient). The final film of gay icon Cloris Leachman, Phil Connell's Jump, Darling, and TJ Parsell's doc Invisible, about the lesbian legends of country music, rounded out the Castro programs.
The evening at the Roxie kept things local and queer, presenting Monika Treut's Genderation (a sequel to her groundbreaking film Gendernauts) and Joshua Guerci's Baloney, a portrait of the SF boylesque troupe.
Among the in-person highlights, the Festival kicked off with a drive-in screening of Bobbi Jo Hart’s music documentary FANNY: The Right to Rock (a recipient of a Frameline Completion Fund grant), attended by the members of Fanny who drove around the West Wind Solano in a convertible before the film. At Fort Mason Flix, the Festival screened three features: Wes Hurley's Potato Dreams of America, François Ozon's Summer of 85, and Jamila Wignot's Ailey. A doc portrait of the famed dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey, the film marked Frameline's first official Juneteenth screening.
- Frameline45 had an attendance of 90,000.
- Read the launch press release, and the wrap press release.
- View photos from Frameline45 here.
- Watch the Frameline45 trailer here.
- Outstanding First Narrative Feature: Milkwater
- Honorable Mention(s): Language Lessons and Firebird
- Audience Award for Narrative Feature: Lola
- Audience Award for Documentary Feature: Invisible
- Audience Award for Short Film: Sheer Qorma
Frameline45 (2021) Films
In this special screening to mark Juneteenth, the life and work of choreographer Alvin Ailey take center stage. Charting his trajectory from student to globally lauded creative force to his untimely death from AIDS in 1989, this expansive documentary weaves in candid testimonials with breathtaking dance footage from his most revelatory work.
How does one navigate intergalactic polyamory with a broken heart? Can a mouse with man-hands learn to love after loss? With imagination and humor, this revelatory selection of LGBTQ+ shorts takes us on an animated journey through our fantasies, fears, and desires.
Cross-dressing, kidnapping, mysterious disappearances, family feuds: Shakespeare’s classic As We Like It covers a lot of ground, and this striking reworking only ups the ante. Boasting an all-female cast, this radical update of the Bard maintains the whimsical spirit of his original text with a twist, serving as a critique of the exclusion of women in traditional Shakespearean theater.
Come experience the titillating and charming story behind San Francisco's first and only all-male gay revue. A melding of theater, dance, and burlesque, Baloney has become a nightlife staple. In-depth interviews with the co-creators and their colorful, sultry cast provide engaging insight into the world of Baloney's hilarious performances.
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.
“If a bad actor can be president, why not a good drag queen?” In 1992, Joan Jett Blakk made a historic bid for the White House as one of the first openly queer write-in candidates. Today, Terence Smith, the man behind the persona, reflects back on his place in gay rights history at the height of the AIDS crisis.
A Two-Spirit teenager, Sherente has the love and unconditional support of family, yet when s/he begins dancing in the Fancy Shawl “girls” category at Powwows, the broader tribal community responds with quiet, insidious exclusion. Acutely aware of the tribal community’s lack of support, s/he nonetheless draws strength from the preservation and continuation of the language and traditions of the Narragansett tribe.
Based on creator Crystal Moselle’s 2018 Sundance hit Skate Kitchen (Frameline42), Betty will return to HBO for a second season in June. The series follows five young women on journeys of self-discovery against the backdrop of New York City’s male-dominated skateboarding scene. Betty will also be available to stream on HBO Max.
In one of the queer standouts at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, a veteran sex worker Sascha (Katharina Behrens) embarks on a passionate affair with the new girl at her brothel, Maria (Adam Hoya). Anchored by two riveting central performances, Henrika Kull's sensual sophomore feature explores the women's hard-edged world and finds a fresh and surprising intimacy.
Set in one memorable day in Berlin, Boy Meets Boy is a love letter to everything that can happen between two strangers. For Johannes, white and German, and Harry, Black and British, a shared kiss in a nightclub leads to a day spent ambling through the urban landscape. Their immediate intimacy and undeniable chemistry unfold against the ticking clock: Harry is leaving Berlin in a few hours.
During the ravages of AIDS in 1980s New York, two young gay men funneled their love and talent into the formation of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. The impact of the work these men created still sends ripples through the art world today, as so poignantly depicted here.
Based on the incredible true story of Czech herbalist and healer Jan Mikolášek, Charlatan is veteran filmmaker Agnieszka Holland’s handsomely filmed biopic of a little-known icon of 20th-century Europe. A figure of both admiration and ridicule in his time, Mikolášek grappled with a number of internal struggles, not least of which his sexuality and his faith.
A twink Beauty and a kink Beast, Joan Collins, post-gender aliens, naked wrestling, Narcissister and Narcissus, badass women stomping out the patriarchy, an eerie Internet date, a haunted social media investigation, and an elusive, masculine-scented candle collide in this collection of weird, wild, and wonderful queer shorts.