“Tru Loved” To PLay Frameline 32, the SF International LGBT Film Festival

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Frameline fabulosity
Coming attractions at LGBT film fest
by Roberto Friedman

Frameline Artistic Director Michael Lumpkin and Director of Programming Jennifer Morris sat down with Out There in their offices last week as they prepared to roll out Frameline 32, the SF International LGBT Film Festival coming up June 19-29.

The opening-night attraction will be director Tim Fywell ‘s Affinity, based on Sarah Waters ‘ first novel, a period piece set in a women’s prison. “A bodice-ripper!” blurbed Lumpkin. “We haven’t had a good women’s prison film in a while!” added Morris.

The fest’s centerpiece, XXY from Argentine director Lucia Puenzo, premiered last year at Cannes. It concerns 15-year-old Alex, born intersex, brought up female, and just beginning to explore sexuality.

Closing-night’s film, starring TV hunk Thomas Cavanagh , will be Breakfast with Scot (director Laurie Lynd), described as an “only-in-Canada mix of homos, hockey and family values.”

Showcased films include date-night delight Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!; a restoration of seminal gay doc Word Is Out, complete with a short update; Isaac Julien’s doc on queer film pioneer Derek Jarman , Derek, with Jarman leading lady Tilda Swinton; and When I Knew, directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s exploration of that moment when we knew we were different from other little {boys, girls}. “It sounds hokey, but they do a great job at interweaving stories, not of coming out, but of self-realization.” Filmgoers will be able to record their own WIK story in a video booth at the AT&T Festival Pavilion next door to the Castro.

This year’s fest finds Frameline in transition, as both Lumpkin and Managing Director Matt Westendorf prepare to move on. The deserving winner of this year’s Frameline Award, Lumpkin chose seven films from his 25 years at the fest to present in retrospective, “both films I really love, and films that audiences really loved, that got the kind of response you never forgot — those are few and far between.” The short list: Mala Noche, Law of Desire, Lilies, Big Eden, Karmen Gei, Yes Nurse! No Nurse! and Bound, featuring hot Gina Gershon-on-Jennifer Tilly action. “The Wachowski Brothers sent us a note afterwards saying they’d never watch their film again, because nothing could possibly match the audience at our screening.”

Here’s a quick run-down of a few highlights in feature offerings. In Steam, neighborhood women (including Ally Sheedy, Ruby Dee) meet at their local steam room. In Tru Loved, a high school sophomore founds a chapter of the Gay-Straight Alliance; the cast includes Bruce Vilanch, Alec Mapa, and the first openly gay pro athlete, David Kopay, and a panel will follow the screening. Del Shores ‘ Sordid Lives: The Television Series is a sneak preview of a “prequel” to that cult film.

Intriguing documentaries include Out in India: A Family’s Journey, in which two gay dads with children move to Bangalore; Fairytale of Kathmandu, involving gay Irish poet Cathal O’Searchaigh and charges of sex tourism; and It’s Still Elementary, in which SF filmmaker Debra Chasnoff revisits her groundbreaking work on raising gay issues in grade school. With A Horse Is Not a Metaphor, lesbian-feminist pioneer Barbara Hammer made a movie while battling cancer and undergoing chemo treatment. Then there’s Pageant: “We’ve had a lot of drag pageant films come through the doors,” declared Lumpkin, “but this one is really it. You really get into the heads of the contestants as they prepare for the contest. It’s old-school drag.”

Like road-trip movies? Bi the Way is a feature-length documentary journey through bi America; in Finished Life: No Regrets, a longtime survivor of HIV takes a farewell tour; in Equality U, college-age gay Christians undertake a bus tour of Christian campuses hostile to their cause; and The Kinsey Sicks: Almost Infamous finds the queer a cappella quartet both on the road and ensconced in Vegas.

Eleven Minutes picks up the story of Project Runway winning designer Jay McCarroll, “and we’ve scheduled it in Runway ‘s time slot, Wednesday night at 10 p.m., so fans can get their fix.”

And in honor of their profile-by-documentary Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band, the great early-90s SF rock band fronted by Jon Ginoli will be playing a reunion gig at the venerable South of Market gay bar The Eagle Tavern.

Lots more. Complete information is at www.frameline.org.