World's Oldest and Largest Queer Fest Gears Up for "Mommie" and "Rock & Roll"
by Brian Brooks
June is gay month like it or not and queer fests in major U.S. cities are gearing up for their annual events including San Francisco, site of the world's largest and oldest LGBT festival. Opening this year's 27th edition of the Frameline San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is Mark Rucker's "Die Mommie Die" at the Castro Theatre on June 12th. The film, which won a special jury prize at Sundance this year, stars Charles Busch (also the film's writer) as a fading singer who kills her husband to be with her young lover and her children's plot for murderous revenge. Busch along with fellow cast members Jason Priestley and Frances Conroy are expected to attend the screening which will be followed by an opening night gala at the San Francisco Ferry Building.
The festival will include 77 feature films and 194 shorts from 32 countries during the eighteen-day event. Swedish film "Don't Worry, It Will Probably Pass" by Cecelia Neant-Faulk about lesbians coming out in the Scandinavian country will have its world premiere at Frameline, along with "Mango Kiss" by Sascha Rice about a lesbian couple who go to San Francisco to pursue their dream of being performance artists. Also world premiering is Jeffrey Schwartz's "People Like Us: Making Philadelphia," a doc on the '90s film "Philadelphia" starring Tom Hanks and Antonio Banderas. Rounding out the world premieres is Jennifer Kroot's "Sirens of the 23rd Century," set in a world in which "exaggerated femininity is outlawed."
Directing duo Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato ("Party Monster," "The Eyes of Tammy Faye") will be the recipients of this year's 2003 Frameline award on June 28th for their work in gay media. The festival will screen two new docs from their World of Wonder Productions and will host a sit down interview on June 25th moderated by critic Margo Jefferson. Additionally, their latest feature, "Party Monster," based on the novel "Disco Bloodbath" by James St. James will screen at the festival.
"Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato are continually turning gay culture into pop culture," commented Michael Lumpkin, Frameline executive director in a festival release. "By producing work that appeals to both queer and mainstream audiences alike, they have been able to put our stories and images out there where they will have the greatest impact and the widest exposure."
Closing the festival June 29th is Alex Steyermark's hard-rocking "Prey for Rock & Roll." The film is based on Bay Area rocker Cheri Lovedog's autobiographical play of the same name. It stars Gina Gershon and Drea De Matteo. Following the screening at the Castro, a closing night party will be held under the stars.
Frameline works to forward the visibility of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by supporting and promoting a broad array of cultural expression through film, video and other media arts.
[For more information, visit: http://www.frameline.org.]