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The LGBT Films of Sundance 2015

The LGBT Films of Sundance 2015


Here are 21 features, documentaries, and shorts that LGBT festivalgoers will not want to miss.


Tickets go on sale today for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, which runs from January 22 to February 1. This year's festival has a lot to offer the LGBT moviegoer. From documentaries on Larry Kramer and Tig Notaro to an ex-gay drama starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto to a Pop-Up Porno, here are some of the queer highlights from Sundance 2015.

Sundance-2015-01The Amina Profile / Canada (Director: Sophie Deraspe)

During the Arab revolution, a love story between two women -- a Canadian and a Syrian-American -- turns into an international sociopolitical thriller spotlighting media excesses and the thin line between truth and falsehood on the Internet.

Sundance-2015-02Beaver Trilogy Part IV / U.S.A. (Director: Brad Besser)

A chance meeting in a parking lot in 1979 between filmmaker Trent Harris and a young man from Beaver, Utah, inspired the creation of an underground film that is now known as Beaver Trilogy. But the film itself is only part of the story.

Sundance-2015-03The D Train / USA (Directors and screenwriters: Jarrad Paul, Andrew Mogel)

With his 20-year reunion looming, Dan can't shake his high school insecurities. In a misguided mission to prove he's changed, Dan rekindles a friendship with the popular guy from his class and is left scrambling to protect more than just his reputation when a wild night takes an unexpected turn. Cast: Jack Black, James Marsden, Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, Kyle Bornheimer.

Sundance-2015-04Dope / USA (Director and screenwriter: Rick Famuyiwa)

Malcolm is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek to being dope to ultimately being himself. Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoe Kravitz, A$AP Rocky.

Sundance-2015-05Followers / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Tim Marshall)

Lynn, an elderly woman stricken with grief after her husband's death, finds solace in an apparition of Jesus on the swimming trunks of a young gay man at her adult swimming class.

Sundance-2015-06Girlhood / France (Director and screenwriter: Celine Sciamma)

Oppressed by her family, dead-end school prospects, and the boys' law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of free-spirited girls. She changes her name and dress, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping to find a way to freedom. Cast: Karidja Toure, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Marietou Toure, Idrissa Diabate, Simina Soumare.

Sundance-2015-07Grandma / USA (Director and screenwriter: Paul Weitz)

Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a daylong journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, Sam Elliott.

Sundance-2015-08Hot Girls Wanted / USA (Directors: Jill Bauer, Ronna Gradus)

Hot Girls Wanted is a first-ever look at the realities inside the world of the amateur porn industry and the steady stream of 18- and 19-year-old girls entering into it.

Sundance-2015-09How to Dance in Ohio / USA (Director: Alexandra Shiva)

In Columbus, Ohio, a group of teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum prepare for an iconic American rite of passage -- a spring formal. They spend 12 weeks practicing their social skills at a local nightclub in preparation for the dance.

Sundance-2015-10I Am Michael / USA (Director: Justin Kelly, Screenwriters: Justin Kelly, Stacey Miller)

The controversial true story of a gay activist who rejects his homosexuality and becomes a Christian pastor. Cast: James Franco, Zachary Quinto, Emma Roberts.

Sundance-2015-11It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise / USA (Director: Matt Wolf)

This portrait of Hilary Knight, the artist behind the iconic Eloise books, sees him reflecting on his life as an illustrator and his relationship to his most successful work. The film also premieres March 23 on HBO.

Sundance-2015-12Larry Kramer in Love and Anger / USA (Director: Jean Carlomusto)

Author, activist, and playwright Larry Kramer is one of the most important and controversial figures in contemporary gay America, a political firebrand who gave voice to the outrage and grief that inspired gay men and lesbians to fight for their lives. At 78, this complicated man still commands our attention.

ThemaskyouliveinThe Mask You Live In / USA (Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom)

Is there a "boy crisis" in America? Is our male population suffering due to our emphasis on power, dominance, and aggression? The Mask You Live In explores how our narrow definition of masculinity is harming our boys, men, and society at large and unveils what we can do about it.

Sundance-2015-13Nasty Baby / USA (Director and screenwriter: Sebastian Silva)

A gay couple try to have a baby with the help of their best friend, Polly. The trio navigate the idea of creating life while confronted by unexpected harassment from a neighborhood man called The Bishop. As their clashes grow increasingly aggressive, odds are someone is getting hurt. Cast: Sebastian Silva, Tunde Adebimpe, Kristin Wiig, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Denis O'Hare. World Premiere

Sundance-2015-14The Royal Road / USA (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson)

This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican-American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo -- all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes. Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. World Premiere

Sundance-2015-15The Summer of Sangaile / Lithuania, France, Holland (Director and screenwriter: Alante Kavaite)

Seventeen-year-old Sangaile is fascinated by stunt planes. She meets a girl her age at the summer aeronautical show, near her parents' lakeside villa. Sangaile allows Auste to discover her most intimate secret and in the process finds in her teenage love the only person who truly encourages her to fly. Cast: Julija Steponaityte, Aiste Dirziute.

Sundance-2015-16Take Me to the River / USA (Director and screenwriter: Matt Sobel)

A naive California teen plans to remain above the fray at his Nebraska family reunion, but a strange encounter places him at the center of a long-buried family secret. Cast: Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Richard Schiff, Ursula Parker, Azura Skye. World Premiere

TigTig / USA (Directors: Kristina Goolsby, Ashley York, Screenwriter: Jennifer Arnold)

This documentary explores comedian Tig Notaro's extraordinary journey as her life unfolds in grand and unexpected ways, all while she is battling a life-threatening illness and falling in love.


Sundance-2015-17Actresses / USA (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Hersh)

The film follows the relationship between a young, aspiring actress and an established off-Broadway star.

Sundance-2015-18One Year Lease / USA (Director: Brian Bolster)

In a story told almost entirely through voice-mail messages, Brian, Thomas, and Casper endure a year with Rita, their cat-loving landlady.

Sundance-2015-19Pop-Up Porno: m4m / Canada (Director: Stephen Dunn)

A lonely traveler on a business trip to New York finds himself in a heated Grindr chat with his worst nightmare.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.