Harmony Santana (left) plays Michael/Vanessa and Esai Morales is Enrique in Frameline's opener, 'Gun Hill Road.' GUN HILL ROAD.

Frameline Announces Titles in 2011 Festival

Susan Gerhard/Michael Fox May 25, 2011

K.C. Price and Jennifer Morris, executive and festival directors, respectively, of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, announced the 2011 program Tuesday at the Castro Theatre. The festival, running June 16-26, opens with Rashaad Ernesto Green’s debut feature, Gun Hill Road, starring Esai Morales, and closes with Christopher and His Kind, a BBC-produced realization of novelist Christopher Isherwood's 1976 memoir. Its Centerpiece programs are Tom Tykwer’s Three, described as an atmospheric story of bisexuality, love and longing in cosmopolitan Berlin, and Wish Me Away, a portrait of Chely Wright, the first Nashville singer to come out as gay.

Frameline's directors noted with a smile that for the first time in its 35-year history, the “L,” “G,” “B” and “T” of the festival’s title are covered in its four highlighted films (opening, closing and centerpieces).

A total of 231 films (80 features, including 17 first features and 47 by San Francisco Bay Area makers) are being shown, and a highight will certainly be Margaret Cho receiving the Frameline Award. Said Morris, “She's always been there for us. She's an amazing woman and one of the Bay Area's best.”

Susan Stryker and Jenni Olson present a clip show as part of a special focus on transgender media; it’s titled "We Who Are Sexy: A Whirlwind History of Transgender Images in Cinema."

Guests of note include Chaz Bono, his partner Jennifer and directors Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey, who will attend the "encore" screening of Becoming Chaz, which has already aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The always popular Bruce LaBruce will be at the festival with L.A. Zombie; there's also a doc about him in the festival, The Advocate for Fagdom.

Frameline35 screens a film that debuted at Sundance, was made in Australia, but has its origins here in Shut Up, Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. For those who don’t know the story of Eddie and Mitch who moved to San Francisco in the mid-’80s and found themselves living next door to two loud alcoholics, it’s an education in city living, late-20th-century style.

Local filmmakers in the festival are many, and those with features are Scott Gracheff, whose With You tells the story of Flight 93 passenger Mark Bingham and his mother, Alice; David Lewis with Longhorns, a comedy about “beers, steers, and a couple of queers”; Dain Percifield offering Running in Heels: The Glendon “Anna Conda” Hyde Story, about San Franciscan Anna Conda’s campaign to be the first drag queen to become city supervisor.

Also discussed: Frameline announced the news that it's donated a huge library of preview tapes to the Hormel Center at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Pubic Library. The collection is launching in June with a series of free noon screenings, an exhibit of fest memorabilia and a couple panels. The festival also announced a new “no-cost digital delivery” initiative in Frameline Voices, which allows 60-70 films to be made available via YouTube and Vimeo.

Reporting by Michael Fox.

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