Frameline 44, part 1: A festival at your fingertips

Sept. 22, 2020, 7:09 p.m.

Frameline, also known as the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, is one of the largest LGBTQ+ film festivals in the U.S. Other large queer film festivals include Outfest, BFI Flare and the Hamburg International Queer Film Festival (see past coverage here, here and here). 

This year’s edition of Frameline is entirely online, but still contains a great slate of films. Over the next few weeks, the Arts & Life section will be releasing coverage of films ranging from indie U.S. features to international shorts. The Daily is planning coverage of films from all over the world, including Brazil, Germany, Taiwan and Chile. From both emerging and established filmmakers comes a slate of very exciting films detailing and narrativizing the past, present and future of queer folks around the world. These films also come from large film fests around the world and straight into your (digital) backyard.

In the landscape of LGBTQ+ films today, Frameline’s lineup is particularly exciting. For this year’s edition, films that have been attracting lots of attention include “Alice Júnior” (Gil Baroni, Brazil), “No Hard Feelings” (original German title: “Futur Drei,” Faraz Shariat, Germany), “Shiva Baby” (Emma Seligman, U.S.) and “Cocoon” (Original German title: “Kokon,” Leonie Krippendorff, Germany). These are stories of self-discovery, coming out, reconciling with a past partner, finding one’s place in a new environment and more.

Frameline 44, part 1: A festival at your fingertips
A still from “Keyboard Fantasies.” (Courtesy of LUCA)

Although LGBTQ+ young adult and coming-of-age stories are particularly common, Frameline44 also offers films depicting older queer life and love, including “Forgotten Roads” (original Spanish title: “La Nave del Olvido,” Nicol Ruiz Benavides, Chile), “Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story” (Posy Dixon, U.K.) and “Two of Us” (original French title: “Deux,” Filippo Meneghetti, France). Including both narrative fiction features and documentaries, these films show that queer love and LGBTQ+ strength can thrive at any age.

LGBTQ+ history is also thoroughly represented with “Killing Patient Zero” (Laurie Lynd, Canada), “Ahead of the Curve” (Jen Rainin and Rivkah Beth Medow, U.S.) and “Cured” (Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon, U.S.). These films provide a much-needed look into the hidden history of structural and innate homophobia within American and North American institutions as well as the story of “Curve,” perhaps the most famous lesbian magazine.

Frameline 44, part 1: A festival at your fingertips
A still from “Alice Júnior.” (Courtesy of Moro Filmes)

Additionally, family stories are no less present with “Cowboys” (Anna Kerrigan ’04, U.S.), “Gossamer Folds” (Lisa Donato, U.S.) and “Taiwan Equals Love” (Yan Zhexuan, Taiwan). Embracing stories rich with love and acceptance while acknowledging the reality of extant homophobia today, these films are an especially great place to start if you’re looking for a heartfelt film to watch with family and loved ones.

Running the gamut of stories today, Frameline’s virtual festival program is just as robust as an in-person festival. If you’re looking for films to watch as you stay at home, start with these initial recommendations above or learn more at the Frameline44 website.

And, of course, check back soon for our reviews!

Frameline44 runs Sept. 17 to 27. As a film festival in California, streaming films are geoblocked to California. Readers interested in getting tickets to films can learn more here.

Contact Olivia Popp at oliviapopp ‘at’

Olivia Popp was a managing editor of Arts & Life for volumes 251 through 254 and the editor-at-large for The Stanford Daily's board of directors for volumes 254 and 255. She hails from Michigan and enjoys science fiction TV shows, independent film festivals, and the Bay Area theater scene.

Login or create an account