Q & A with subject Jordan Bryon and Tim DuRoche, Director of Programs
WorldOregon followed screening.
* Audience Award - Human Rights Film Festival, 2023 *
* Tim Hetherington Award - Sheffield Doc Fest 2023 *
As a trans man and filmmaker deeply embedded in Afghanistan's conflict, Jordan Bryon faces an ethical dilemma when granted unparalleled access to the Taliban. For over half a decade, Jordan has documented the Afghan turmoil, witnessing the Taliban's resurgence firsthand. TRANSITION chronicles Jordan's journey as a trans man in Afghanistan, working closely with Afghan filmmaker Teddy and Iranian photojournalist Kiana. While a unique opportunity allows Jordan and Teddy intimate insights into a Taliban stronghold, Jordan grapples with the moral complexities of forging authentic bonds with those curtailing many freedoms, all while concealing aspects of his identity. The narrative offers a riveting exploration of preserving personal integrity amid life-threatening circumstances.
* Hero image courtesy of © NEIL BRANDVOLD
THE LETTER LEAGUE
Director and Producers Michelle Boyaner and Barbara Green, and subject Heather Spooner were in attendance.
THE LETTER LEAGUE tells the story of queer artist Heather Spooner and the adult pen pal program she created during the 2020 pandemic, featuring the poignant and humorous stories of connection and humanity that came from it.
NOT QUITE THAT
Writer, Director and Producer Ali Grant, and Subject Sarah White were attendance.
As a Jewish woman, a mother, and a butch lesbian, Sarah White is no stranger to the confused judgements of others. After finding out that she carries a genetic mutation predisposing her to breast cancer, Sarah is faced with a rush of feelings associated with possible surgery and illness, as well as questions of identity. NOT QUITE THAT is an intimate and insightful exploration of how we are seen, how we see ourselves, and why it matters.
Q&A with Director, Writer and Subject Michael V. Smith followed screening.
* Director’s Choice Award, Cinema Diverse Film Festival 2023 *
In this intimate self-portrait, Michael V. Smith’s The Floating Man sources his art practice to examine a lifetime of untrue stories about his body. Beginning with interviews in his hometown, and moving forward through mentors (such as queer filmmaker John Greyson) and then students of his own, Smith explores the kaleidoscope of a body’s relationship with gender.
Running parallel in a second through-line is footage from a disastrous art project Smith attempted in 2005: dressed as Peanut the Dancing Clown, Smith hitch-hiked from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast over the Canada Day long weekend, in search of celebrated artist Joni Mitchell.
Bringing together Smith’s photography, performance, and film practice, The Floating Man unpacks Smith’s gender journey, with his signature vision of iconic imagery.
* Audience Award Winner - Calgary International Film Festival *
Tucked away in Alberta, Canada's forests is Camp fYrefly, a summer haven for LGBTQIA2S+ adolescents, providing an escape from the prevailing political challenges to queer expression and gender identity. SUMMER QAMP chronicles the journey of campers from their daily lives to the liberating atmosphere of an exclusive queer youth summer camp. From the beginning, the film captures the anticipation and anxiety of entering an all-queer environment, forging connections, and seeking guidance from queer mentors. This touching documentary portrays the camp as an essential sanctuary for queer youth, offering a space where they can unapologetically be themselves.
TWO-TIME GRAMMY®-NOMINATED, MULTI-PLATINUM ARTIST & ACTIVIST MARY LAMBERT JOINED US AS OUR GUEST TO PERFORM A VERY SPECIAL LIVE PERFORMANCE OF HER ORIGINAL SCORE FOR THE FILM!
* DOC NYC - Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award Winner *
* Palm Springs International Festival - Best Of Fest *
* Cleveland International Festival - Audience Choice Award *
1946: THE MISTRANSLATION THAT SHIFTED CULTURE is a riveting documentary that uncovers how a profound Bible mistranslation in 1946 became the bedrock for Christian anti-gay sentiment. Through a groundbreaking discovery at Yale University, it unveils shocking insights, challenging the biblical justification for LGBTQIA+ discrimination. With learnings and opinions from esteemed scholars, opposing clergy, and the film's creators' personal journeys, "1946" goes beyond addressing the symptoms of church-based homophobia, targeting its root cause: Biblical Literalism. This film promises to be a transformative and enlightening experience.
From visionary art director Sam Shahid, HIDDEN MASTER: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes delves into the life of acclaimed photographer George Platt Lynes, best remembered for his groundbreaking celebrity and fashion imagery. Beneath this acclaim, Lynes harbored a profound passion for capturing evocative male nudes — images of lovers, friends, dancers, and anyone willing to unveil themselves before his camera. This immersive documentary shines a light on the multifaceted artist who leveraged his charisma, innate talent, and unyielding ambition for both artistic genius and personal intimacy.
Set against a backdrop of a burgeoning gay arts community in the 1930s-50s, the film paints a rich tapestry of Lynes' professional and personal life, highlighting his lasting influence as one of the first openly gay American artists. His deep-rooted friendships with cultural luminaries like Gertrude Stein and Alfred Kinsey provide further depth to his story. Featuring a stunning collection of Lynes' photographs, including some that have remained relatively obscure, HIDDEN MASTER passionately argues for his place among the premier photographic maestros of the 20th century.
* North Carolina Gay & Lesbian Film Festival - Audience Award, best Documentary *
* Long Beach QFilm Festival - Best Documentary Editing *
* Out At The Movies - Best Documentary * FilmOut San Diego - Freedom Award *
* Jury Award Nominee - Austin Film Festival *
From 1974-1994, Studio One and its adjoining live music venue, The Backlot, became symbols of hope and community for gay men during tumultuous times. Amidst the rise of gay rights, disco's heyday, and the devastating AIDS crisis, the club offered sanctuary from rampant homophobia and police oppression. It was where legends like Liza Minnelli and Eartha Kitt performed, and rising stars like Roseanne Barr and Rosie O'Donnell ignited their careers.
Fast forward 26 years, and as West Hollywood faces the demolition of this iconic building, a community uproar emerges to preserve its history. Through personal accounts, the documentary delves into Studio One's story against the backdrop of a progressing gay liberation clashing with 80s conservatism and the escalating AIDS nightmare. It's a testament to an era, immortalizing the club's legacy for future generations.
* Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival - 2023 Winner Golden Alexander Award*
Producer Marc Smolowitz was in attendance.
Katalin Oláh, a renowned filmmaker based in Budapest, has been crafting award-winning documentaries and short films since 2012. Celebrated by The Hungarian Film Academy, her portfolio boasts notable films like "The Bar Mitzvah Boys" and "Conquering Time – Ágnes Keleti." In her latest cinematic creation, NARROW PATH TO HAPPINESS, she delves into the lives of Gergo and Lenard. As a young gay duo in Hungary's most deprived Roma community where their love is deemed taboo, they dream of narrating their story through a musical film. With aspirations of wider recognition, they consider relocating to Budapest—a city bustling with a vibrant LGBTQ+ scene and teeming with artist collaborations. Yet, when tragedy strikes with Gergo’s mother's sudden passing, their narrative takes a heartfelt turn. Drawn back to the very family that ostracized them, they embark on a quest for reconciliation and acceptance in this poignant film—a testament to their resilience and quest for joy.
EQUAL THE CONTEST delves into the journey of the Australian Mt Alexander Falcons football club, formed in 2021 specifically for women and gender-diverse individuals. Through the eyes of Mitch, a non-binary recruit and filmmaker, viewers gain an unprecedented perspective into community football, exploring the game through a unique lens. Despite meeting all criteria, the Falcons face rejection from AFL Central Victoria. Yet, widespread support from the community, media, and even AFL HQ propels them. With an ethos of inclusivity, the club attracts a diverse roster, challenging AFL traditions.
Off the field, they combat a system steeped in gender bias, while on it, players master techniques and confront personal gendered limitations. A historical parallel emerges when Mitch stumbles upon the 1948 Castlemaine Woollen Mill Women's team, with 93-year-old survivor Mavis Thompson's tales echoing the Falcons' challenges. A testament to contemporary gender inequality, the documentary culminates as the Falcons reapply for league inclusion, raising the pivotal question: Will they be allowed in the game?
Q&A with Director Madeleine Lim followed screening.
JEWELLE: A Just Vision by acclaimed director Madeleine Lim chronicles the life of Jewelle Gomez, an Ioway and Wampanoag, African American, Cape Verdean, femme lesbian artist. From Black Power to Marriage Equality, Jewelle stood at the forefront, co-founding impactful social justice organizations. As a Lambda Literary Award-winning author, her novel "The Gilda Stories" pioneered Afro- and Indigenous futurisms, spanning from the 1850s slavery era to a 2050s climatic dystopia. Through plays, she revived the legacies of queer Black icons like James Baldwin, and her poetry in "Still Water" (2022) offers insights into Native American identity.
This documentary captures Jewelle's world with evocative visuals, powerful performances, intimate moments, and insightful interviews. Its haunting soundtrack, echoing African American and Native American traditions, features Grammy nominee Melanie DeMore, singer Allegra Bandy, and other luminaries. An intimate dive into art and activism, JEWELLE: A Just Vision stands as a testament to enduring hope amidst societal upheavals.
THERE ARE THINGS TO DO
Urvashi Vaid, a vocal immigrant, lesbian, and woman of color, stands as a pioneering figure in the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Her visionary approach provides a blueprint for activists, equipping them against growing anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. In this documentary Director Mike Syers delves into Urvashi's life in Provincetown, MA, highlighting her enduring 34-year bond with partner Kate Clinton. It underscores the profound idea that the journey towards equality and community-building begins at home.
APAYAUQ chronicles Inupiaq trans woman Apayauq Reitan's trailblazing journey in the Iditarod, a grueling 1,000-mile Alaskan sled dog race. As she faces the wilderness's challenges, the film interweaves her personal battles with societal prejudices, highlighting resilience, self-acceptance, and the profound bond with her sled dogs against Alaska's unforgiving backdrop.
2. CHOKEHOLE: DRAG WRESTLERS DO DEUTSCHLAND
This documentary delves into the captivating world of the drag wrestling troupe, Chokehole, as they electrify Germany with their performance. Through intimate narratives, the cast confronts challenges of racism, queer identity, and America's stifling artistic climate, challenging gender norms along the way.
MnM is an exuberant portrait of chosen sisters Mermaid and Milan, two emerging runway divas in the drag ballroom community. Celebrating their joy, siblinghood, and unapologetic personas, the film explores the power and beauty of being nonbinary in a community that prizes gender ‘realness.’
4. I MUST TRESPASS
This film provides a candid portrayal of the challenges faced by queer people of color growing up in Britain’s rural landscapes. It offers a glimpse into navigating queer
relationships in locales that, due to their remote nature, often lack a sense of access and
5. PRIVATE VIEW
Two renowned UK talents, Sadie Lee, a lesbian portrait artist, and Libro Levi Bridgeman, a non-binary author, share the same birthday. Their paths cross when they decide to work together on a portrait of Libro, delving into their personal histories from the 1980s onward. This captivating documentary traces their unique bond and the outcome of their artistic endeavor. The portrait stands as an unprecedented piece in art. Significant for LGBTQ+ advocacy it offers an unparalleled perspective into a facet of queer identity seldom seen before.
Special live performance by Portland-via Philly poet little blue preceded film screening.
* Sundance - Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary *
* Frameline - Jury Prize, Outstanding Documentary Feature *
* Blackstar Film Festival, Audience Award, Best Documentary Feature *
* Freep Film Festival, Best of Festival *
Delving into the intricate tapestry of American history — from the fervor of the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements to the impassioned cries of today's Black Lives Matter campaigns — this documentary, honored with the Sundance Grand Prize, meticulously unravels the life and legacy of the esteemed poet Nikki Giovanni. Directors Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster artfully interweave archival footage with contemporary scenes, crafting a rich and unfiltered depiction of Giovanni. Their portrayal captures her essence: audacious, intrepid, and resolutely true to herself. The film's innovative storytelling approach not only pays homage to Giovanni's indomitable spirit but also breaks conventional biographical boundaries.
Like Giovanni, this documentary stands out in its daring and audacious depiction, offering audiences a profound glimpse into the journey of a trailblazing artist who has forever marked the landscape of American literature and activism.