FRAMELINE35 — LGBT Film Festival Winners Announced

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Sean Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The world’s largest and longest-running festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender films and filmmakers, FRAMELINE35, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, closed Sunday, June 26, with Geoffrey Sax’s highly anticipated film CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND, followed by a Closing Night party and awards ceremony at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The Festival drew together an audience of over 56,000 for its 35th anniversary Festival celebrating the LGBT, independent film, and media arts communities for eleven days of exciting, diverse, innovative, and socially relevant cinema.

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MATT SMITH (Christopher) and IMOGEN POOTs (Jean)
Christopher and His Kind

Esteemed guests at the landmark showcase festival included filmmakers from around the world, along with cinema stars and famous guests such as Esai Morales, Judy Reyes, Chaz Bono, Don Bachardy, and Chely Wright.  The Festival screened 231 films in eleven days from June 16 through June 26 at the Castro Theatre, the Roxie Theatre, the Victoria Theatre, and the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley, with attendance this year topping 56,000 guests.

Frameline35 announced its two juried awards for Outstanding First Feature and Outstanding Documentary, plus two honorable mentions. The Frameline35 Outstanding First Feature Award went to the French film THE EVENING DRESS directed by Myriam Aziza, a tale about sexual awakening and obsession.  Honorable mention went to Madeleine Olnek’s CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME, the hilarious, crowd-pleasing tale of the trials and tribulations of intergalactic romance.

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Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Taking home the Frameline35 Outstanding Documentary Feature Award was Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf’s WISH ME AWAY, chronicling Chely Wright’s journey as the first Nashville country music star to come out. Honorable Mention went to P. David Ebersole’s HIT SO HARD for its portrayal of Patty Schemel, the openly gay drummer of Courtney Love’s seminal rock band ‘Hole.’

Jury members for Outstanding First Feature were Steve Jenkins, Deputy Director of San Francisco Film Society; Charlie Boudreau and Katharine Setzer, Executive Director and Director of Programming respectively of Montreal’s image+nation; and Lewis Tice, Producer of  LONGHORNS and BEAR CITY. Jury members for Outstanding Documentary included Jason Plourde, Programming Director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema; Vivian Kleiman, teacher, director and producer; and Connie Flores, Director of Film Programming for the Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival.

Frameline AT&T Audience Awards were the Festival’s most crowd-pleasing hits. The Frameline AT&T Audience Award for Best Feature was awarded to the French film TOMBOY directed by Céline Sciamma.  Local director Stu Maddux was awarded the Frameline35 AT&T Audience Award for Best Documentary for GEN SILENT, a moving exposé on LGBT elders. The Best Short Film went to the popular Norwegian musical comedy BALD GUY, directed by Maria Block.

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HARMONY SANTANA and ESAI MORALES
Gun Hill Road

Many films of the Frameline35 festival were honored with standing ovations, gripping question and answer sessions with the filmmakers and cast, and laughter and cheers throughout. Among the festival hits were Opening Night film, GUN HILL ROAD, attended by director Rashaad Ernesto Green and stars Esai Morales, Judy Reyes and Harmony Santana; J.B. Ghuman Jr’s directorial debut coming-of-age-film SPORK, Tom Tykwer’s THREE, and the 20th anniversary retrospective screening of PARIS IS BURNING. Standing ovations were at WISH ME AWAY, WITH YOU, GEN SILENT, GONE, and CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND.

The popularity of the oldest LGBT film festival in the world continued in Frameline35, as many films played to sold-out audiences, including: GUN HILL ROAD, WEEKEND, I AM, ONLY IN SAN FRANCISCO, COMING OUT, GENERATIONS: YOUTH & ELDERS MAKING MOVIES, CHO DEPENDENT, THREE, WE HAVE TO STOP NOW, SEASON 2 , FLUIDITY – BISEXUAL SHORTS, GONE, LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR, THE ONE, CHRISTOPHER AND HIS KIND.

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MARGARET CHOCho Dependent

Audiences were thrilled throughout the festival by the attendance of high-profile directors and stars who led intimate discussions following the films, attended parties, and stayed to watch other films. Among some of Frameline35′s many guest attendees were BECOMING CHAZ’s star Chaz Bono, WISH ME AWAY’s star Chely Wright and LEAVE IT ON THE FLOOR’s director Sheldon Larry and star MissBarbie Que.

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CHAZ BONOBecoming Chaz

Special programs this year for Frameline35 included a series of panels and retrorspective screenings at the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center of the San Francisco Public Library. Also for the 35th anniversary, there was a spotlight focus on transgender films. A meet the filmmaker panel at the Victoria Theatre was featured titled Frameline Green Room: A Conversation with Filmmakers Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper, which was a behind scenes look at the making of PARIAH.

Frameline35′s annual Frameline Award went to comedian, actor, author and all-around entertainer Margaret Cho for providing the LGBT community with a public voice through an artistic medium. Publicly supporting gay rights issues such as marriage equality and transgender rights, Cho has branched out as an activist while continuing to excel as an entertainer.

The Frameline Volunteer of the Year Award went to Bob Sullivan, who has been volunteering with Frameline for 18 years.  After screening over 50 programs to make his selection he chose WEEKEND to receive a $2,500 grant, made possible by The Small Change Foundation.

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WEEKEND

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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