Frameline Voices features one film every month that highlights the stories of those in the LGBTQ community underserved by mainstream media.
Frameline Voices originally launched in 2011. From 2011-2016, this program hosted up to 125 films and received more than 3,500,000 hits from every country in the world, while also providing stipends to filmmakers in exchange for their work. The impact was great, but in 2017 Frameline relaunched Voices as a narrowed initiative to focus on just one title per month. Check out our film of the month below or click the link to the right to see all archived films, which remain online thanks to the generosity of these filmmakers.
Film of the Month
The Streets Are Ours: Two Lives Cross in Karachi is a short documentary about two women: Sabeen Mahmud and Fawzia Mirza.
Mahmud and Mirza meet for the first time in Karachi, Pakistan. Mahmud, activist, self-proclaimed geek and founder of the progressive arts cafe The Second Floor (T2F), invites Mirza to screen some of her short films and perform an excerpt of her one-woman play, Me, My Mom and Sharmila at her Karachi-based cafe. Due to the LGBTQ content of Mirza's work, Mirza never imagined performing in her parents' homeland. The response is so positive that Mirza is asked to return to Pakistan to present a three-city tour of the entire play. A one-woman show about a lesbian is unprecedented in Pakistan, and despite her fear, Mirza goes.
The film contains the penultimate interview with Sabeen Mahmud, conducted by writer/actress Fawzia Mirza three months before Mahmud was murdered. The interview footage is woven throughout the film to provide context and allow audiences to spend as much screen time with Mahmud as possible. Mahmud's interview footage imbues Mirza's experiences with meaning as she comes to understand that her purpose in Pakistan is not simply to express herself, but to create spaces, just as Mahmud had, for other people to express themselves - no matter what their story.
Produced by a team entirely made up of diverse women, the film tells the story of Mahmud and Mirza's lives intersecting in a transformational way and how Mahmud's message of peace, empathy and self-expression lives on in Mirza and others, even after her untimely death.