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13 Frameline Films You Can't Miss

13 Frameline Films You Can't Miss


The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival opens Thursday.

Frameline-films-x968_0Frameline39: The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival opens Thursday and runs through June 28, with a dizzying variety of films screening in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland. The films include narrative features, documentaries, and short subjects, with a special focus this year on works by women filmmakers.

Here are but a few highlights among the films that will screen at this year's festival.

Star Power and Queer Stories:

I Am Michael -- USA

James Franco and Zachary Quinto star in director Justin Kelly's controversial film based on the true story of Michael Glatze, a former San Francisco-based gay rights activist who renounced homosexuality and became (and remains) an antigay born-again Christian. (Thursday, 7 p.m., Castro Theatre)

54: The Director's Cut -- USA

Director Mark Christopher finally gets to release the sexually frank film he set out to make in 1998, when the film was hacked up and sanitized. Ryan Phillippe, Salma Hayek, Breckin Meyer, and Mike Myers star in this tale of Studio 54, the disco epicenter of 1970s decadence. (June 26, 9 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Women's Narrative Films:

The Summer of Sangaile -- Lithuania, France, Netherlands

Director Alante Kavaite creates a compelling tale of a brooding teen, her sexual awakening, and her first love. (Tuesday, 7 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Bare -- USA, Canada

Glee's Dianna Agron stars with Paz de la Huerta in director Natalia Leite's tale of seduction and intrigue. (June 28, 7 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Liz in September -- Venezuela

Director Fina Torres's film tells the story of a tight-knit group of lesbian friends who are vacationing in the Caribbean when a beautiful straight woman crashes their party. (Friday, 7 p.m., Castro Theatre)


Out to Win -- USA, Canada

Director Malcolm Ingram's film explores the lives and struggles of LGBT sports legends including Martina Navratilova, David Kopay, Jason Collins, Brittney Griner, and Billy Bean. (June 24, 6:30 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Do I Sound Gay? -- USA

Director David Thorpe's film gives voice to the question of whether or not people "sound gay." It includes interviews with Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, Don Lemon, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, and George Takei. (Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Larry Kramer in Love and Anger -- USA

Jean Carlomusto's film explores the life and times of legendary AIDS activist, author, and playwright Larry Kramer (The Normal Heart). (June 27, 3:30 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story -- USA

Michael Stabile's film tells the seldom-heard story of Falcon Studios founder Chuck Holmes, who revolutionized the gay porn industry and went on to become one of the gay community's most influential philanthropists. (Sunday, 9:15 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Sachet -- The Movie -- USA

This short film by director Nick Jiminez profiles San Francisco's most beloved hostess, performer, community leader, fundraiser, and drag icon, Donna Sachet. (Sunday, 11 a.m., Victoria Theatre)

Stories of Our Lives -- Kenya

From director Jim Chuchu and a 10-person artist collective comes an anthology of narrative short films based on true stories about queer life in Kenya, where homophobia is institutionalized. (Monday, 7 p.m., Landmark Theatres, Piedmont, and June 27, 1:30 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Desert Migration -- USA

Daniel Cardone's film, making its world premiere, explores the lives and challenges of HIV-positive men who've found a safe haven in Palm Springs, Calif. (June 25, 4 p.m., Castro Theatre)

Tab Hunter Confidential -- USA

Director Jeffrey Schwarz's film details the life and times of Tab Hunter, the great movie and pop-star heartthrob of the 1950s -- and his struggle to keep his homosexuality a secret. (TheAdvocate's exclusive interview with Tab Hunter is coming soon.) (June 20, at 4 p.m., Castro Theatre)

In true San Francisco drag queen style, Frameline39's official trailer takes you over the rainbow:

For a complete list of Frameline39 films, dates, and events, and to purchase tickets, go to

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