Frameline Opens 28th Fest with a "Touch of Pink"
by Brian Brooks
The grand dame of gay film festivals, Frameline -- the world's first -- has announced the lineup for its 28th edition, opening at the Castro Theatre on June 17th with the romantic comedy, "Touch of Pink." Directed by Ian Iqbal, the film is about a gay Muslim (Jimi Mistry) who attempts to hide his cosmopolitan gay life ahead of a family wedding, with the help of his imaginary friend Cary Grant, played by Kyle MacLachlan. In addition to "Pink," this year's event will include 84 feature films with 10 world premieres and more then 180 shorts from 25 countries. Following the opening night film, a party will be held at San Francisco City Hall, ground zero for the recent gay marriage movement, where couples were wed earlier this year until conservative groups appealed to the California Supreme Court to stop the ceremonies. The topic will also, not surprisingly, be a theme during this year's San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
In addition to screenings at three theaters in San Francisco, Frameline is expanding across the Bay this year to two venues in Oakland. "After 10 years, Frameline is excited to return to the East Bay," commented the event's executive director Michael Lumpkin in a release. "At least 25% of our audience is from the East Bay, and we are thrilled to bring a part of this year's festival to them."
Italian melodrama "Adored" is slated as the festival's centerpiece film on June 22nd at the Castro. Directed by Italian Marco Filiberti, the film centers on a narcissistic porno star who's veil is penetrated to "find what lies beneath," according to a festival description of the film. Additionally, John Greyson and Jack Lewis' "Proteus" as well as SF native Margaret Cho's "Revolution" will have special presentations during the 11-day event, the world's largest and oldest festival of its kind.
West Hollywood's famous Halloween celebration is the backdrop for the world premiere of Paul Etheredge-Ouzts' "Hellbent," while local filmmaker Anita Goulooman presents the quirky drama of two women who meet at a strange roadside cafe in "Beaver Run Cafe" as part of the fest's slate of world premieres. Two feature films about gay marriage make their world debuts at Frameline28 with a look at the political fallout of San Francisco's decision to issue marriage licenses earlier this year in Carmen Goodyear and Laurie York's "Freedom to Marry," while John Keitel's "Just(ly) Married" gives the personal account of couples who were transformed from 'domestic partners' to 'spouses for life' during the recent same-sex marriages in the city. Frameline28 will also screen other films related to this movement for civil rights during the festival.
Once again, Frameline will dispense with the largest cash prizes on the LGBT film circuit, including the $10,000 Levi's first feature award (16 eligible film this year) as well as the $10K "Stu & Dave's Excellent Documentary Award" for best new documentary (20 contenders). Along with film prizes, the festival will recognize director Rose Troche with the 2004 Frameline Award. The annual prize recognizes filmmakers who have "made significant contribution to lesbian and gay media arts." Troche has directed such features as "Go Fish," "Bedrooms and Hallways," and the "Safety of Objects," in addition to Showtime's "The L Word."
Angela Robinson's "D.E.B.S." will close the fest on June 27th, the day of San Francisco's gay pride parade and celebration with a screening of the comedy followed by a party at SOMA hotspot Terra Gallery.
[For a complete line up, go to the festival website at: www.frameline.org/festival/]