Come out, come out, whoever you are.
It’s almost time to raise the curtain once again on the Frameline International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the Bay Area’s annual celebration that proudly claims the title of the “world’s largest queer film fest.” Organized by the San Francisco-based queer media arts foundation Frameline, the event returns this June 16-26, showcasing more than 125 films from over 30 countries in some of the city’s best venues—including the historic Castro Theatre, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer.
As always, the festival lineup is an embarrassment of riches, a jaw-dropping collection of world premieres, centerpiece screenings, shorts programs, and so much more. There’s even some television this year, with a presentation of the new Queer As Folk reboot, and and opening night gala showing of the upcoming A League Of Their Own series featuring a Q&A with some surprise guests.
Under the theme “The Coast Is Queer,” the 46th edition of the festival welcomes film lovers from all over to the Bay Area, but will also offer up national streaming encores for many of its titles so that you can catch the best and the queerest of international cinema no matter where you are.
With that in mind, Queerty has assembled a preview of Frameline46, highlighting some of the most exciting films to screen at this year’s fest that you won’t want to miss. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about these titles, so be sure to add them to your watch list!
All Man: The International Male Story
We love a nostalgic documentary just as much as we love hunky men, so All Man: The International Male Story hits that perfect sweet spot. From directors Bryan Darling and Jesse Finley Reed, the film re-traces the funny and surprisingly touching history of the iconic “jock sock” catalogue that changed the world of men’s fashion and inspired more than a few sexual awakenings. All Man assembles former models and editors—as well as famous faces like Carson Kressley and Tony Ward—to tell its unbelievable story.
In this Sundance award-winning feature, filmmaker Chase Joynt delves into the archives of the UCLA Gender Clinic to breathe fresh life into the seldom-told stories of transgender men and women from the 1950s and ’60s. In a hybrid format that blends fiction and nonfiction, Framing Agnes invites Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Silas Howard, and other contemporary trans artists to reenact historic interviews for a look at the past through a lens of unparalleled compassion and nuance.
Another warmly received debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Girl Picture is an irresistibly sweet queer coming-of-age tale of three young women finding themselves and each other in modern-day Finland. With a “seductive soundtrack and dreamy atmosphere,” this crowd-pleaser draws you into the worlds of Mimmi (Aamu Milonoff), Rönkkö (Eleonoora Kauhanen), and Emma (Linnea Leino) with whip-smart dialogue, a refreshing matter-of-factness, and lots and lots of smoothies.
New drag queens are born every day, but it’s not often we get to watch them say goodbye on their own terms. A Frameline world premiere, documentary Last Dance chronicles the six months leading up to the farewell show of legendary drag artist, Vinsantos, also known as Vincent DeFonte. The performer has charmed audiences far and wide, and shepherded the next era of queens via their New Orleans Drag Workshop, but now DeFonte is ready to lay Vinsantos to rest in this intimate portrait of art, artist, and the pursuit of creative fulfillment.
From La Croisette of the Cannes Film Festival comes C.B.Yi’s directorial debut, Moneyboys, a celebrated, gritty drama about a young man who moves to the city and begins hustling to make ends meet, reluctantly mentoring another “moneyboy” who harbors feelings for him. Filmed in Tawain to “avoid official entanglements,” the film offers a rare, bracing look at clandestine homosexual life in China, ultimately telling a universal story about our longing for a sense of home, and the lengths we’ll go to find it.
Peter Von Kant
Just last year, François Ozon’s drama Summer Of ’85 was one of our can’t-miss Frameline recommendations. This year, the gay director returns with Peter Van Kant, a gender-flipped reimagining of the landmark queer film, The Bitter Tears Of Petra Van Kant, from one of his cinematic heroes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds) stars as the titular filmmaker, Peter, who finds a new passion for his work after meeting a handsome young actor (Khalil Ben Gharbia) in this lurid tale of lust and obsession. Fassbinder’s original Petra will also screen at the festival, in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary.
Please Baby Please
A newlywed couple (Birdman‘s Andrea Riseborough, Harry Potter‘s Henry Melling) walks into a bar and has their lives changed after meeting the sexy Teddy (Karl Glusman), the leader of a queer, leather-clad biker gang—an encounter that has them questioning the confines of monogomy, gender, and just about everything else. Citing influences like John Waters and Kenneth Anger, Amanda Kramer’s Please Baby Please is a wild, unpredictable, and neon-soaked “pastiche of queer sensibilities” that also features unforgettable turns from Demi Moore and the hysterical comedian Cole Escola.
The Bold Type‘s Aisha Dee stars as a self-help social influencer whose traumatic past rears its ugly head when she’s invited to the bachelorette weekend of an old friend. With its dynamic lead performance and a wicked sense of humor, the always-surprising Sissy plays like a horror film doused in glitter. Described as a modern take on Stephen King’s Carrie, the Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes-directed feature offers up loads of laughs, gross-out moments, and a keen sense of how social media distorts our relationships and our self-perception.
The Sixth Reel
From longtime festival favorite Charles Busch (Psycho Beach Party and Die, Mommie, Die!) comes an oddball comic caper imbued with a love for Old Hollywood. When the fabulous but broke Jimmy Nichols (Busch) happens on a mysterious and long-presumed lost reel of film, a zany adventure is set in motion, one that brings a whole coterie of quirky characters into his orbit, played by the likes of Tim Daly, Margaret Cho, and Broadway legend Andre Dé Shields.
Two-spirit filmmaker Bretten Hannam’s Wildhood has already wowed audiences up north, earning a Canadian Screen Award—the country’s Oscar equivalent—for newcomer Joshua Odjick’s supporting performance, as well as a whole slew of nominations. Now the queer coming-of-age story arrives at Frameline before landing on Hulu later this month, inviting audiences along on a road trip as Link (Phillip Lewitski) and his younger half-brother Travis (Avery Winters-Anthony) set out in search of the former’s native Mi’kmaw mother who was long thought dead.