The 2017 Frameline Completion Fund Award Winners

Feb 1, 2018

Frameline announces six awardees of the Frameline Completion Fund: 1985; CALL HER GANDA; DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION!; FREELANCERS ANONYMOUS; LEITIS IN WAITING, and TRANSMILITARY.

"This year's award recipients boldly highlight LGBTQ voices, from the history of queer cinema and the strong, talented women who made it happen, to the worldwide fight of transgender folks against a backdrop of waning political and social acceptance," said Paul Struthers, Frameline's new Director of Exhibition & Programming. "At its core, each film amplifies experiences of underrepresented communities."

The six grantees were chosen out of 124 submissions that included features and shorts in documentary, narrative, and episodic forms. Two of the grantee projects, 1985 and TRANSMILITARY, will be premiering as official selections of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

A total of $25,000 was awarded in this 2017 Completion Fund cycle. Since 1990, Frameline has awarded more than $515,000 to 149 film projects by and about the LGBTQ community.

"Now, more than ever, Frameline forges ahead, supporting these stellar projects and media creators," said Frances Wallace, Frameline's Executive Director. "These storytellers bring diverse perspectives and broad representation of LGBTQ content to a worldwide audience, ensuring that dialogue and change continue."

An independent jury including award-winning documentary filmmaker Jennifer Kroot (THE UNTOLD TALES OF ARMISTEAD MAUPIN - Frameline41, TO BE TAKEI - Frameline38), Sacramento International LGBTQ Film Festival programmer Jennifer Hatton, and media consultant and former HBO executive David Castro selected this year's grant recipients:

Directed by Yen Tan | Narrative Feature | USA

From filmmaker Yen Tan (PIT STOP - Frameline37), based on his 2016 SXSW Special Jury Prize winning short by the same name. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York, Adrian visits Texas to celebrate Christmas with his family. As he reconnects with his religious family and an estranged childhood friend, he is determined to hide the truth from them, in spite of the devastating consequences. Starring Corey Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Aidan Langford, and Jamie Chung.

Directed by PJ Raval | Documentary Feature | Philippines, USA

From director PJ Raval (BEFORE YOU KNOW IT). Grassroots activists in the Philippines are spurred into action following the brutal murder of a local transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, at the hands of a U.S. marine on "liberty leave." As they demand answers and a just trial, hidden histories of U.S. colonization and abuse come bubbling to the surface in this visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical investigative exposé.

Directed by Caroline Berler | Documentary Feature | USA

First feature from filmmaker Caroline Berler. Lesbians didn't always have a way to see themselves on screen, but between Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, they built voice and visibility, and transformed the social imagination about queerness. Explore the history of queer cinema from the women who made it happen. Featuring filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, and film critic B. Ruby Rich.

Directed by Sonia Sebastián | Narrative Feature | USA

From director Sonia Sebastián (GIRL GETS GIRL - Frameline40). Billie, desperate for a change, quits her soul-sucking job just months before her planned wedding. Now she's faced with balancing the upcoming nuptials and the launch of a new tech start-up company with a bunch of misfits called Freelancers Anonymous. Starring Lisa Cordileone, Natasha Negovanlis, Megan Cavanagh, and Alexandra Billings.

Directed by Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson | Documentary Feature | USA, Tonga

From directors Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson and creator Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu (KUMU HINA - Frameline38). The story of Joey 'Joleen' Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism in their South Pacific Kingdom. This emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking who you are.

Directed by Fiona Dawson, Gabriel Silverman | Documentary Feature | USA

First feature from directors Fiona Dawson and Gabriel Silverman. Four transgender service members, forced to live double lives and conceal their gender because of military policies, face systemic discrimination at work while discreetly fighting to lift the ban, and confidentially meeting with top Pentagon officials. Ultimately the ban is lifted, but with the current political sea change they fear their futures in both civilian and military life are in jeopardy once more.

About the Frameline Completion Fund
The Frameline Completion Fund was established in 1990 to provide support to filmmakers whose work represents the forefront and future landscape of queer content, and brings much needed financial assistance to groundbreaking LGBTQ media arts projects.

Past recipients of the Frameline Completion Fund include Dee Rees' PARIAH, Jeffrey Schwarz's VITO, Desiree Akhavan's APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR, Cynthia Wade's Oscar-winning FREEHELD, and David Weissman's WE WERE HERE.

Submissions are accepted for documentary, narrative, experimental, animated, and episodic projects about LGBTQ people and their communities. The Fund also seeks to bring new work to underserved audiences; with this in mind, applications by women, people of color, and transgender persons are especially encouraged.