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    The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival Returns Online This Month!

    Film fans rejoice: the 24th San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) returns online this November 11–14—offering up seven new programs celebrating cutting-edge transgender and gender nonconforming filmmaking. And this year, all tickets start at $0+ sliding scale (donations are welcome)! All films will be Closed Captioned for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing audiences.

    SFTFF was founded in 1997 as the world’s first transgender film festival. It continues to blaze a path independent from mainstream festivals by holding true to its DIY, quirky, community-based social justice, and artist-driven roots.

    “This year’s films feature trans and gender-non-conforming communities’ resilience, strength, talents, resilience, sexuality, friendship, humor, and courage,” says Artistic Director Shawna Virago. From thrillers, music videos, rom-coms, and documentaries, to animation and social justice themed films, this year’s festival literally has something for everyone.

    Even though San Francisco movie theaters have re-opened, SFTFF recognizes that many communities still do not feel safe squeezed in shoulder-to-shoulder at indoor theaters. Virago says, “We’re super committed to making the festival as safe as possible for all our communities, especially those that are immunocompromised, and as long as any threat of COVID-19 remains, we know that offering our festival online remains the only way to stay truly safe!”

    Virago adds, “In the face of ongoing national legislative attacks against trans people’s rights, along with the long line of cisgender comedians, writers, and politicians who express transphobic ideas, SFTFF offers a joyful, powerful antidote and injection of love and hope.”

    Indeed, SFTFF is celebrated for featuring truly brave, innovative filmmaking that thrives outside the glossy mainstream.

    SFTFF 2021 Highlights

    Program 1 (Shorts program)
    Queen Tone aka BLACK RAGE
    Filmed in a makeshift, plastic-covered room during COVID-19 quarantine, Queen Tone aka BLACK RAGE responds explosively to the constant demand for Black queer and trans women and femmes to ignore or set aside their anger—arguing that Black joy and Black rage are not, and must not, be mutually exclusive. Black rage is Black joy. Directed by LeahAnn “Lafemmebear” Mitchell.

    Program 2 (Shorts program)
    On the anniversary of the day his sister died, Nimzo decides to confront the retired air traffic controller responsible for the plane crash. Starring acclaimed Los Angeles-based trans actor D’Lo. Directed by Adelina Anthony.

    Program 3 (Must be 18+ to watch) (Shorts program)
    Shaving Shorn brings the sensuality of the shaving ritual with an array of array of sound and image to almost a coital frenzy. Shot in black and white, Shaving Shorn’s rustic textures and dramatic lighting give off a slight horror vibe. Directed by Lorin Murphy.

    Program 4 (Shorts program)
    Kyler O’Neal is in a state of limbo, grieving the relationship and the image of heteronormative bliss. Luka Fisher and Celeste X emerge from a magical dimension to combine forces and bring Kyler back to her power in a feminist resurrection ritual, leading to the rebirth of Kyler. Directed by Alan Amaya.

    Program 5 (Shorts program)
    Put the Brights On
    A look at transgender people who choose to live outside the city. This film is part of the larger conversations around the rural/urban divide. Directed by Ray Rea.

    Program 6 (Shorts program)
    Ni Aquí/Ni Allá
    Centering on a conversation with their mother, the movie by filmmaker Ley Comas charts their struggle to find a middle ground between them and their family with respect to their gender identity. Directed by Ley Comas.

    Program 7 (Shorts program)
    An homage to the emotions that dance allows to leak and bloom. Starring NEVE, this film is NEVE’s yawp on how much we have endured, and how much more we have to face. It is a meditation on freedom, expression, embodiment, and what it means to survive. Directed by Victoria Duflot and the Global Media Lab.

    What: 2021 San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF)

    When: November 11–14, 2021
    All seven Programs are available for viewing November 11–14, 2021
    (Please note that Program 3 is an 18+ program.)

    Where: Online (All films are Closed Captioned for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing audiences)

    Tickets: Pay-what-you-can at:

    Published on November 4, 2021