The Frameline festival— the annual SF queer film happening synonymous with Pride Month — was postponed this year, promising to return in the fall. Soon, you can catch all of Frameline44's screenings online (which will begin next month), making it the "world's largest" virtual LGBTQ film festival.
The fall of 2020 is, admittedly, going to look a lot different than what we were hoping and wishing for earlier in the spring and summer months. COVID-19 cases continue to mound in SF... as bars, clubs, and various cultural centers still stay closed; everything from September's Folsom Street Fair to most of BroadwaySF's fall programming has been either canceled, postponed, or morphed into a digital event. (Flying to visit family over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays remains up in the air for many.)
On sale now! Join #Frameline44 from home September 17—27, for the best new #LGBTQ+ films from around the world including 10 WORLD PREMIERES! Browse the full program and get your tickets now at https://t.co/LcbUNjx7uq ✨ #EngageActGrow #FL44 pic.twitter.com/HbUehiMzyc— Frameline (@framelinefest) August 27, 2020
However, Frameline44 is set to offer some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy next month with an 11-day film festival — which will be made available entirely online. The entire virtual shindig is slated to start September 17 and will last until September 27.
Over the course of the week-plus-long happening, ticket holders will have the opportunity to view ten world premieres, four international premieres, three North American premieres, and one US premiere; new narrative features, documentaries, episodic storytellings, and shorts programs are also included in the scheduling.
“Frameline remains the largest virtual LGBTQ+ film festival in the world,” says James Woolley, Frameline Executive Director in a press release. “As trailblazers in the industry for over four decades, Frameline continues raising the bar through virtual and interactive programming ensuring important LGBTQ+ stories are being told to a wider audience. Building on the success of our virtual Pride Showcase in June, we have assembled a lineup of films that promise to engage, inspire, and entertain film lovers across California.”
Centerpiece screenings this year include Shit & Champagne — which, much like one documentary feature in this year’s Framline44 Pride Showcase, will only be screened at the West Wind Solano Drive-In in Concord — a film directed by and featuring SF's own D'Arcy Drollinger as the infamous stripper Champagne, the psychological thriller Through the Glass Darkly, and a very poignant film, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson... which tells the tale of a gay Black teenager who keeps waking up on the last day of his life before it was taken by "killer cops."
Frameline44 will also present a free community screening of the Pixar short film, OUT, followed by a live panel with writer-and-director Steven Clay Hunter, producer Max Sachar, and members of the filmmaking team to discuss queer storytelling in an animated film.
All in all, this year's 39 documentaries and shorts programs span cinema representing 25 countries, touching on on a variety of themes (like the BLM) and common denominators of everyday life for LGTBQ individuals — all while celebrating the power of queer storytelling.
Forewarning: the screenings are geo-blocked... so you can only stream them in California. (Read: don't be surprised if you run into some technological hiccups while trying to watch the films.)
See a few trailers from the featured films, below:
Image: Courtesy of Frameline