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    The Year’s Best Queer Cinema at Frameline40

    Frameline’s mission–to change the world through the power of queer cinema–was born out of a political climate that demanded visibility during a time when the LGBTQ community was actively made invisible. It is as strong and relevant in today’s contentious social and political climate as it was in the past.

    Social Justice & Identity

    As part of a special initiative supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Frameline40 presents In Whose Image? LGBTQ Storytelling 1977–Today, a series of film screenings and panel discussions that reflect upon and contextualize a powerful body of filmmaking from the founding year of the festival through today.

    Highly anticipated new films in the social justice category include the Opening Night Film Kiki; Centerpiece Documentary Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four; The Trans List; Out Run; and Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story. Retrospective screenings include landmark documentaries from the 70s (Gay USA), 80s (Tongues Untied), and 90s (Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis@100 and The Celluloid Closet), while two panel discussions dive into current topics energizing LGBTQ filmmaking today.

    Fresh Perspectives on Youth & Teens

    Frameline40 includes a look at a beautiful spectrum of teen and youth-driven depictions that go beyond coming-of-age stories or opposition from parents or society. These fully-fleshed depictions of youth allow for complex and nuanced storytelling. Highlights include Opening Night Kiki; Centerpiece World Cinema Being 17; Showcases Rara and Growing Up Coy; and World Cinema selections Closet Monster and I Promise You Anarchy.

    A Flourishing of New Filmmakers

    The festival prides itself on introducing audiences to remarkable new talent and filmmaking artists, serving as both an incubator for emerging artists and as a platform for fostering dynamic storytelling. For Frameline40, 21 first feature filmmakers are stepping into the spotlight, showcasing their evolving voices and stories. Most of those films will be contenders for Frameline40’s First Feature Award, a $7,500 juried award proudly underwritten by the Wells Fargo Foundation, which will be announced at the Closing Night Party on June 26.

    Diverse Black Stories & Experiences

    Frameline continues to highlight outstanding Black films and filmmakers with numerous remarkable and often untold stories. As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline40 features 26 films created by, for, or about Black, African, and/or African American LGBTQ communities. Featuring stories of expression through both community and individuality (Kiki, Tongues Untied, The Trans List), lives examined over decades (Living with Pride: Ruth C. Ellis@100, Strike a Pose), sobering examinations of oppression and criminalization of Black and trans bodies (Check It, Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story), desire and friction (Her Story: Season One) and dark comedy featuring Bay Area characters (Pushing Dead), Frameline40 continues to highlight the breadth of Black LGBTQ movements and ideas.

    Expanding Latino/Latina Voices at Frameline

    This year’s festival unveils an impressive slate of films that highlight Latino/Latina stories and filmmakers. As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline40 features 29 films created by, for or about the Latino and Latin American LGBTQ communities. Overflowing with stories of dangerous passions (Bruising for Besos, From Afar, I Promise You Anarchy), family struggles and manifestations (Daddy’s Boy, Kiki, Rara, You’ll Never Be Alone), tragic and unjust consequences (Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four) and fresh voices from Cuba (Horses), Frameline40 provides a sensational feast of Latino/Latina experiences for every palate.

    Endearing & Powerful Asian Films

    Frameline40 explores a collection of phenomenal Asian and Asian American films. As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline40 features 19 films created by, for, or about the Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Asian American LGBTQ communities. Flourishing with moments of passion and discovery versus cultural traditions (Front Cover, Loev, Spa Night), individuals challenging mainstream and political norms (Inside the Chinese Closet, Irrawaddy Mon Amour, Out Run) and the wax and wane of celebrity (Strike a Pose), Frameline40’s impressive slate continues to celebrate Asian and Asian American stories.

    Women Filmmakers Showcase Their Craft

    Frameline continues to explore and highlight films from women mediamakers. As a world-renowned stage for the newest and most exciting voices in independent cinema, Frameline40 features 59 films created by women filmmakers–including 50 percent of this year’s feature-length documentaries and 42 percent of narrative features in the program–representing a continuing growth trend from Frameline39, and percentages greatly exceeding mainstream industry standards of women represented in filmmaking. With stories of family dysfunction (The Intervention, Rara), desire versus conflict (Summertime, Her Story: Season One, Women Who Kill), Hollywood glamour (Women He’s Undressed) and proudly having “Kick-Ass” ovaries (Ovarian Psycos), phenomenal women, both Frameline veterans and fresh faces, have crafted an extraordinary range of films at Frameline40.

    East Bay Programming Sees Robust Increase

    Frameline40 has announced a longer festival run in the East Bay with seven days of screenings at the Rialto Cinemas® Elmwood (Sunday, June 19–Thursday, June 23) and the Landmark Theatres Piedmont (Thursday, June 23–Saturday, June 25). The Elmwood will now open on the Festival’s first Sunday night and the Piedmont will feature a full day of Saturday screenings during the festival’s second weekend.

    Frameline’s programming team has bolstered the East Bay schedule with repeat screenings of signature programming including Centerpieces, Showcases, and Opening Night film selection Kiki. With the palpable migratory shift of LGBTQ community members residing in the East Bay, Frameline is thrilled to reconfigure its East Bay offerings and to provide weekend screening options to cinephiles on both sides of the Bay Bridge.

    2016 Frameline Award Goes to Robert Hawk

    Robert “Bob” Hawk is the recipient of the 2016 Frameline Award. In Frameline’s 40th year of recognizing and celebrating pioneers in the film and LGBTQ communities, Bob Hawk shines as a curator, consultant, mentor, producer and independent film guru. The award will be presented to Hawk by acclaimed filmmaker Cheryl Dunye at the June 18 screening of Film Hawk, a new documentary about Hawk’s life by JJ Garvine and Tai Parquet.

    Hawk’s credits run long, and his career accomplishments run deep. He fell in love with the arts through theater at a young age, when he also embraced and celebrated his sexuality with the support of his family and minister father, despite their conservative community. His activism in the gay community drew him from theater to film when he arrived to San Francisco in the 70s. A work-in-progress screening of the seminal gay documentary, Word Is Out, propelled him to consult on the production with filmmaker Rob Epstein, and then to assist him with fundraising and the development of the Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk.

    In 1985, he founded San Francisco’s Film Arts Festival, a showcase for local independent filmmakers. He worked as a researcher on acclaimed documentary The Celluloid Closet (Frameline40 retrospective screening). He has been attending and supporting Frameline since the second festival in 1978, serving on Frameline’s Board of Directors and Screening Committee, and helping establish the festival as it is known today. He was on the Advisory Selection Committee of the Sundance Film Festival for over a decade, and currently serves on the advisory boards of Independent Film Week (IFP/NY) and The Legacy Project (a collaboration of Outfest and the UCLA Film and Television Archives). At 78, Hawk’s pace has not slowed. He recently made his directorial debut with the short film, Home from the Gym (Frameline38), for which he received Outfest’s Emerging Talent Award in 2014.