Executive Producer David Lassman, Director Jethro Patalinghug & Producer Marc Smolowitz in attendance.
50 YEARS OF FABULOUS recounts the rich history of the Imperial Council, the oldest LGBT charity organization in the world. Founded in San Francisco by renowned activist, drag queen and performer Jose Sarria, the SF Council has helped shaped LGBT life and social history in San Francisco and beyond throughout the past five decades. The film captures the full scope of the organization’s historical evolution up to its contemporary struggle in finding relevance - both in the wake of the social progress it has helped foster, and in light of a recently empowered political coalition committed to rolling back a half-century of civil rights achievements.
Subjects Jeralyn Dee O'Brien, Monica Hamm, Lindsay Earl Paulk & Landon Shimek in attendance.
Before September 2011, no person who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender could serve openly in the United States military. Those who did serve were forced to do so secretly, at great risk to themselves and their families. In 2011, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, making it legal for LBG Americans to serve openly without fear of official reprise or discharge. In June 2016, the ban keeping transgender Americans from serving openly was also lifted (temporarily). Shortly thereafter, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs began to record the stories of veterans and service members from across the state who were forced to serve in silence. BREAKING THE SILENCE captures the experiences of these proud Oregonians, who put themselves at tremendous risk so they could serve the country they love.
Winner of Audience Award for Best Film - Outview Film Festival.
Subject and QDoc alum Lynn Breedlove in attendance.
Dissatisfied with "bourgeois" aspects of the gay rights movement and machismo in the 1980s punk scene, young Canadians Bruce LaBruce and G.B. Jones introduced the world to the rapidly growing Toronto queer, punk scene through homemade zines and scrappy films. Before the internet, there was no way of knowing that “queercore” consisted of just two people and soon enough, their subversive creation spread beyond their bedrooms to attract actual adherents, spawning a radical underground subculture and social movement. The zines challenged the position of the new wave of punk rock that was embracing homophobic songs and excluded LGBTQ people and instead embraced radical ideas and pornography giving the reader the perception that queer punks were an international phenomenon.
Filmmaker and QDoc alum Yony Leyser (WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN) documents the development of this anarchistic, alternative punk/gay culture through archival footage and interviews with an extensive participant list including Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Waters, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Lynn Breedlove, Silas Howard, Pansy Division, Penny Arcade, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Deke Elash, Tom Jennings, Team Dresch and many more.
Winner of the 2018 Teddy Award for Best Documentary - Berlinale Film Festival.
Linn da Quebrada is a black trans woman from the impoverished outskirts of São Paulo, she is also a pop performer who raises her voice for queers of color from the slums. Accompanied by her childhood friend and partner in crime, black trans woman and singer Jup do Bairro, her concerts are nothing short of dazzling. Aided by exorbitant costumes and plenty of twerking, her performances are onslaughts of electro against Brazil’s white heteronormative gender order and the machismo of the country’s funk scene.
Private moments and archival home videos reveal her gentler side; as she showers with friends or cooks with her mother, the talk turns to love, racism and poverty. We begin to realize that Linn uses radical nudity as a means to undermine accepted gender roles. Dramatized radio interviews reveal how she powerfully espouses her convictions about feminism and her transsexuality. She’d rather be a woman with a penis, whose gender identity is not bound by her genitalia, but is in a permanent state of flux.
Antonio Lopez was a brilliant Puerto Rican fashion illustrator whose drawing skill was admired and envied by many including David Hockney and Andy Warhol. He was also, by all accounts, a beautiful and charismatic man, a party animal, a superb dancer, a wonderfully generous friend, a bi-sexual, and a keen-eyed professional who launched the modeling careers of Jessica Lange, Grace Jones, Jerry Hall and many others.
SEX FASHION & DISCO is a feature documentary-based time capsule of Paris and New York between 1969 and 1973 viewed through the eyes of Antonio, and told through the lives of his colorful and sometimes outrageous milieu. Featuring: Jessica Lange, Grace Jones, Bob Colacello, Jerry Hall, Grace Coddington, Patti D’Arbanville, Karl Lagerfeld, Juan Ramos, Bill Cunningham, Jane Forth, Yves Saint Laurent, Donna Jordan, Paul Caranicas, Joan Juliet Buck, Corey Tippin & Michael Chow.
“Given the elements of race, ethnicity and sexuality that Antonio injected into fashion, this film needed to be produced now at a moment when Latino, African-American and LGBTQ rights and issues are still being contested and underrepresented in dominant media and culture."
James Crump, Director
Winner of the Audience Award - FCFilm.
Editor and QDoc alum Bill Weber in attendance.
LEITIS IN WAITING is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalize the leitis' lives.
With extraordinary access to the Kingdom's royals and religious leaders, Joey’s emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition. Emmy Award-winning directors and QDoc alums Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson (KUMU HINA) along with story creator Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, herself a Polynesian transgender woman who once won the crown in Joey's beauty pageant, bring unexpected humor and insight to the inspiring story of Pacific people who must be true to themselves no matter the cost.
Winner of Jury Award for Best Documentary - Atlanta Film Festival.
Director T Cooper & subject Mason Caminiti in attendance.
In MAN MADE, director T Cooper, himself born and raised female, takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. Four trans men take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world. MAN MADE is a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, as well as a unique narrative on social justice. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves, both figuratively and literally.
The strength on display in MAN MADE transcends the physical: Rese is a young father struggling with periods of homelessness; Dominic seeks out his family of origin, confronting an alternate history for himself; Kennie admits to himself and his loved ones who he is for the first time in his life; and Mason, a loving husband who struggles with mental illness, works daily to be the man he's always wanted to be - on both the inside and out. For the men of MAN MADE, it's not about winning - it's about being seen.
Director Leilah Weinraub in attendance.
Created from more than 400 hours of footage director Leilah Weinraub has been collecting for the past 15 years, SHAKEDOWN explores the history and culture of the Los Angeles underground black-lesbian strip club scene from which the film gets its name.
Chronicling the explicit performances and personal relationships of the party’s dancers and organizers, SHAKEDOWN provides an intimate look into the world of Ronnie-Ron, Shakedown Productions’ creator and emcee; Mahogany, the legendary “mother” of the community; Egypt, their star performer; and Jazmine, the “Queen” of Shakedown.
As one of only a few spaces for lesbian subculture, the backstage interviews reveal that Shakedown was more than just a strip club, it was a space that galvanized a community of queers of color. Using exclusive archive material, posters and fliers, the film takes a personal look at female desire that is rarely presented on the big screen.
EVERY ACT OF LIFE profiles the life and career of Terrence McNally, one of the world’s most honored and risk-taking playwrights (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Master Class, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman).
Documenting his personal journey, the film offers a portrait of the evolution of the American theater; the struggle for LGBTQ rights; personal battles; the cycle of passion, loss, and love; and the relentless pursuit of creative inspiration. Full of footage and photos, the film features personal interviews and performances with: Chita Rivera, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Audra McDonald, Larry Kramer, Edie Falco, F. Murray Abraham, Billy Porter, Tyne Daly, John Slattery, Rita Moreno, Christine Baranski and many more.
“Terrence is so deeply human and vulnerable and open. He gets to the truth and makes you laugh and cry and turn on a dime in all different areas: drama, comedy, and musical theater. I defy you to name another playwright who can do that. You cannot tell the history of American theater without celebrating his life and work.” - Audra McDonald
Winner of Best Documentary - Chicago International Film Festival & Human Rights Award - Sarajevo International Film Festival.
Mr. Gay Syria follows gay Syrian refugees trying to rebuild their lives in Turkey, under the constant tension between hoping for a future with a permit to live in a safe European country, and wrestling with the values of their traditional backgrounds.
Using a pageant as a means of escape from political persecution, a pageant organizer Mahmoud, already given asylum in Berlin, hopes to offer the winner a chance to travel as well as bring international attention to the life-threatening situations faced by LGBT Syrians. What brings the subjects together is a dream: to participate in an international beauty contest as an escape from their trapped lives, and an answer to their invisibility.
In focusing her attention on the competitors of Mr. Gay Syria, director Ayse Toprak shatters the one-dimensional meaning of “refugee.” Her conviction in filmmaking comes from her wish to tell the stories of people who have different ways of looking at the world, each unique in their own ways.
Co-Director Jared Ruga and Subjects Peter Christie & Beverly Stoddard in attendance.
QUIET HEROES tells the story of infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristen Ries and her partner (in both medicine and life) Maggie Snyder, who ran the only practice to care for HIV/AIDS patients in Utah.
In Salt Lake City, the religious monoculture severely complicated the AIDS crisis, where patients received no support from — or were cast into exile by— the political, religious, and medical communities. Further, Mormon culture encouraged gay men to marry women and have a family to cure themselves of their “affliction,” counsel which led to secret affairs and accidental marital transmissions of HIV. In the entire state and intermountain region there was only one doctor to serve all HIV/AIDS patients. This is the story of her fight to save the lives of a maligned population everyone else seemed willing to just let die.
Directors Donal Mosher & Michael Palmieri in attendance.
In THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA, love, faith and civil rights collide in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes. Gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show!
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is the home of the Christ of the Ozarks statue, commissioned in 1966 by the far-right, anti-Semitic American clergyman Gerald L.K. Smith, and the host to the Great Passion Play, a recounting of the persecution, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s also the home to Eureka Live Underground, a drag and dance bar run by a pair of flamboyant and Christian gay men. Rather than pit these communities against each other, Portland documentary all-stars Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri explore the complex and surprising relationships that emerge, and approach all their subjects with curiosity and a stylishness that eschews convention.
Narrated by Mx Justin Vivian Bond, and with soundtrack contributions from Sharon Van Etten, Mosher and Palmieri take a personal, and often comical look at negotiating differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership.