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    San Francisco Transgender Film Festival Features Brave Filmmaking and Imagination

    Film fans rejoice: the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) returns to the historic Roxie Theater November 7–10 with an expanded festival. This year’s festival includes 2 programs with ASL interpretation and closed captions for Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

    Founded in 1997 as the world’s first transgender film festival, SFTFF continues to lead the pack when it comes to innovation, risk-taking, and imagination.

    “Our goal has never been to become a giant, glossy festival; we don’t aspire to join corporate Hollywood,” explains SFTFF Artistic Director Shawna Virago. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We’re proud of the complex, intersectional trans and gender-nonconforming lives, histories, and communities we showcase.”

    Virago continues, “We reject corporate assimilation; instead, we joyfully embrace under-represented voices, DIY-aesthetics, and are proud to present truly brave filmmaking, super-queer quirkiness, and wild imagination.”

    Festival Director Eric Garcia agrees: “This year’s filmmakers are incredibly brave—and inspiringly innovative. One of the many beautiful things about SFTFF is that we center films and stories that more mainstream LGBT festivals shy away from.”

    This year’s festival features 6 different programs—all at The Roxie Theater—that illustrate trans and gender-non-conforming communities’ magic, street smarts, sass, resilience, sexuality, community organizing, friendship, and courage. From falling in love to building a movement, from animation to hard-hitting documentaries, the 2019 SFTFF has something for everyone.

    Unlike most other festivals, SFTFF prioritizes and presents films that are made by trans and gender-nonconforming directors and filmmakers. “It is profoundly important that trans people tell our own stories, instead of cisgender people telling our stories for us—and getting it wrong,” explains Virago, “In an era when so many cisgender people are getting funding to making films about trans people, and when so many cisgender actors are ‘playing trans’—a dangerous and harmful practice—SFTFF continues to celebrate work by and from trans communities.”

    StormMiguel Florez, SFTFF’s Access Coordinator says, “We’re really in love with this year’s films: they’re visually stunning, emotionally powerful, and there’s a great balance of humor, heartbreak, and inspiration.”


    This year’s Opening Night Film is TRANSFINITE (Thursday, November 7 @ 7 pm – ASL Interpreted). Making its highly-anticipated Bay Area premiere, this sci-fi omnibus feature film is composed of seven standalone magical short stories where supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight, and thrive. Directed by Neelu Bhuman.

    I-57 (Saturday, November 9 @ 7 pm) – A mother tries to support her son and his gender identity by inviting a stranger to dinner. Featuring Pasean Wilson (F Word Documentary, Gotham, Striptease) and Cess Jones (Orange Is the New Black). Directed by Livia Huang.

    To Be With You (Saturday, November 9 @ 9 pm) – Alex is in Los Angeles for 24 hours to reclaim their father’s ashes. Along the way, Alex finds an old love, a beauty in the city, and a final connection to the past. Directed by Elliott Feliciano.

    This Is For Us (Saturday, November 9 @ 9 pm)A choreographed visual film of resilience that centers Black Queer Femme radical joy and intimacy between friends. The film expresses cultivated magic and healing through tea, glitter, whiskey, and a good belly laugh. “Come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.” Directed by Shanel Edwards.

    (Sunday, November 10 @ 4pm) – Tender tells the story of three black trans women, their inextricable connections to San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, and the tensions caused by San Francisco’s gentrification and housing crisis. Directed by Daryl B. Jones.

    RUN! (Sunday, November 10 @ 6 pm) – Is a mythography of nuclear technology, pesticides, and the question of transgender people fighting in the U.S. military. Filmed at the Trinity Site where the first atomic bomb was detonated, along the edges of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and at the abandoned Black Hole Museum of Nuclear Waste. Directed Malic Amalya.

    The 2019 San Francisco Transgender Film Festival runs Thursday through Sunday November 7–10. Program details and tickets are available at:

    Thursday, November 7 @ Roxie Theater: 7 pm Opening Night – ASL Interpreted
    Friday, November 8 @ Roxie Theater 8 pm  – ASL Interpreted       
    Saturday, November 9 @ Roxie Theater: 7 pm
    Saturday, November 9 @ Roxie Theater: 9 pm 
    Sunday, November 10 @ Roxie Theater: 4 pm
    Sunday, November 10 @ Roxie Theater: 6 pm

    WHERE: Roxie Theater: (3117 16th Street @ Valencia, San Francisco)                   

    TICKETS:  $12–15 sliding scale