Frameline turns 39 this year and in spirit, the fest has programmed an ambitious showcase of hot circuit titles, world premieres and retrospectives, with juried and audience awards to follow. In total there are 180 films lined up from 33 countries, including 18 first features and 64 films directed by women. For San Francisco movie lovers, Frameline offers a wonderful West Coast counterpart to LA’s Outfest in July.
On June 18, the world’s longest-running LGBT film fest opens with Justin Kelly’s 2015 Sundance premiere “I Am Michael,” a compassionate portrait of gay activist turned born again heterosexual Michael Glatze (James Franco) and his strained relationship with his longtime partner (Zachary Quinto). The festival closes with writer/director Natalia Leite’s Tribeca “Bare,” a rural lesbian romance set in nowheresville Nevada that premiered at Tribeca this year.
In between, we’ll see Sundance winner Alanté Kavaïté’s “The Summer of Sangaile” and Malcolm Ingram’s gay athlete doc “Out to Win” in Frameline’s centerpiece slots. Other US and world highlights include the Bay Area premiere of Peter Greenaway’s “Eisenstein in Guanajuato,” “54: The Director’s Cut,” SXSW hit “Naz and Maalik,” “Larry Kramer in Love and Anger,” Sundance’s “Fresno” and the Bay Area premiere of juicy Hollywood doc “Tab Hunter Confidential,” whose director and queer cinema figurehead Jeffrey Schwarz receives the 2015 Frameline Award.
But perhaps most exciting, for cinephiles, is a retrospective screening at the glorious Castro of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s steamy and sumptuous “Querelle.” This 1982 Jean Genet adaptation stars Brad Davis (who died battling AIDS in 1991) as a hirsute-chested sailor tangled up in a lusty French port town, where Jeanne Moreau rules as the madam of a local brothel. The screening accompanies Danish filmmaker Christian Braad Thomsen’s “Fassbinder: To Love Without Demands,” a documentary tribute to the tireless German filmmaker who would’ve been 70 this year. Head to Frameline for the full 2015 lineup.
Ryan Lattanzio is the staff writer for TOH at Indiewire. Follow him on Twitter.