Anyone living in the San Francisco area–or anyone outside of it with internet access–can take part in this year’s festival allowing more people to participate in the Frameline festivities than ever before. This year will also feature special screenings at San Fran’s Oracle park to kick off the festivities with two much-anticipated musicals. More on them in a moment.
Eager cinephiles note: we’ve a feeling this will not be the last you hear of these titles, many of which will also screen at other film festivals, or that have already gained buzz on the festival circuit.
In the Heights
The much-anticipated (and much delayed) big-screen version of the Broadway smash finally arrives with a special screening. Follow a diverse group of friends living in New York City’s Washington Heights as they grapple with love, life and the American Dream. Featuring songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a cast that includes Anthony Ramos, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jimmy Smitts and Stephanie Beatriz, it’s one Hell of a way to kick off Frameline and the summer festivities.
Screens June 11.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Speaking of long-delayed (thanks COVID), much-anticipated releases, Frameline will also host a special screening of the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The film follows the titular character (played by Max Harwood), a teenager who dreams of growing up to become a famous drag queen. With the help of his best friend (Lauren Patel) and a local drag star (Richard E. Grant), Jamie sets his sights on bringing the glamour of drag to high school.
Screens June 12.
Summer of 85
Director François Ozon (Swimming Pool, By the Grace of God) returns with his latest film, a drama/thriller about two men in love. A freak accident brings together the teenagers Alexis and David (Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin), and the pair forms an immediate bond. As their friendship grows, deeper passions begin to surface in a story that details the line between love and obsession.
Screens June 16.
Potato Dreams of America
Director Wes Hurley blends comedy, surrealism and human drama in this story of a closeted Russian boy. Young Potato endures life under the Soviet Bloc, longing for the America he’s seen in the movies. As he comes of age, both his mother and the school bullies begin to sense Potato is gay, which puts his life in danger. Potato’s mother then launches a scheme to become a mail-order bride in hopes of spiriting him away to the US. It’s a tale of family love, identity, and life’s endless absurdities. If we tell you Jonathan Bennett (of Mean Girls) plays Jesus, we think you’ll get the picture.
Screens June 15.
This doc chronicles the phenomenon of the titular, San Francisco-based all-male revue. Extensive interviews with the show creators—and performers—may well make this one of the most visually festive films of the year. Take that as you will.
Screens June 20.
No Straight Lines
Queer geekdom may have moved into the mainstream, but that doesn’t mean queer comics have. No Straight Lines traces the rise of unapologetic LGBTQ comics from the hyper-sexual underground into the light, and how creators changed the world simply by drawing their own community on the page. Featuring interviews with Alison Bechdel, Howard Cruse, Rupert Kinnard and more, the film explores how queer comics have changed with the community, and pointed the way to the future.
Screens June 27.
This Sundance film defies description. It depicts a diverse group of LA teens moving through life, expressing themselves through poetry, rather than dialogue That includes a group of queer teens determined to live life on their own terms. Director Carlos López Estrada stages the poetry reads like old-time Hollywood musical numbers, which makes for a thrilling—and unique—viewing experience.
Gay director Todd Stephens returns with his most accomplished and tender film yet. Udo Kier stars as an aging hairdresser confined to a nursing home. When he’s offered $25,000 to come out of retirement to style the hair on a corpse, he embarks on a journey across town on foot…and into his own hunted memories. Featuring appearances by Jennifer Coolidge, Linda Evans and Michael Urie, it’s a hilarious—and moving—romp.
This new documentary biopic recounts the life of gay choreographer Alvin Ailey, and how his revolutionary new form of dance changed the performance landscape. Told through a combination of archive footage, personal testimony and dance, the film highlights the life of a queer artist whose contribution should not go unnoticed.
Screens June 19.
Ma Belle, My Beauty
This French drama explores homoerotic polyamory as an aging cluster confronts one another over lost love and lingering jealousies. We’re not quite sure what to expect from a premise so dramatic and complicated, though who better to explore it than the French?
Note: This article contains portions of previous articles published here on Queerty.