Monday, June 2, 2008


Frameline 32—San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival—Frameline—is not only a film festival, it's a huge party.

It's no coincident that the festival is held every year overlapping with the annual San Francisco Pride Parade & Celebration. It makes a big difference when a screening is accompanied by hundreds, if not thousands, gay and lesbians. The atmosphere in the crowd can turn a mediocre film into a cheering campy hit. Therefore, it's natural for this year's Frameline 32 to have a slogan:

"I Like to Watch Movies with My Community."

With 103 programs, including 88 feature films and 148 shorts from 36 countries, Frameline 32 runs June 19-29 at Castro Theater, Roxie Theater, Victoria Theater, and Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley.

I consider "Lilies" (Les feluettes, Canada 1996, 95 min.) to be one of the best gay and lesbian films ever made. This year's "Michael Lumpkin Retrospective" provides a great opportunity to see this film one more time on the big screen.


Superbly written and directed by Turkish German director Fatih Akın, "The Edge of Heaven" (Auf der anderen Seite, Germany 2007, 122 min.) tells a compelling story about love, hope, loss, grief, and forgiveness. (See my review written last year.) It was the opening night film at the 13th annual Berlin and Beyond Film Festival earlier this year. Festival goers are fortunate to be able to see "The Edge of Heaven" before its theatrical releases.

The Edge of Heaven (Auf der anderen Seite)

An engrossing documentary "Be Like Others" (Iran/Canada/UK/USA 2008, 74 min.) explores the emotional and physical turmoil of transsexuals in Iran. Homosexual is illegal in Iran. However, the Iranian government is totally supportive about sex-reassignment operations, because once a man is changed to a woman, there won't have any homosexual. The problem is solved. This fascinating documentary won the 2008 Teddy Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Be Like Others

Every year at Frameline, festival goers always enjoy seeing "Fun in Boys' Shorts" and "Fun In Girls' Shorts" (no pun intended). However, this year, "From Singapore to Seoul and L.A. - Gay Asian Shorts" is a short program that will entertain the audiences even more than boys' and girls' shorts.

The Postcard

After the charming "Police Box" (SFIAAFF25, Frameline31), director Josh Kim returns to the festival with his new short film "The Postcard" (USA 2008, 15 Min.). It tells a story about getting the postman's attention by writing messages on a postcard. In fact, "The Postcard" is so delightful that it is programmed into two short programs: "From Singapore to Seoul and L.A. - Gay Asian Shorts" and "Worldly Affairs."

Among Frameline32's films, there are 27 films that "examine queer life through an Asian/Pacific Islander lens." They provide an excellent opportunity for film goers to experience the Asian gay and lesbian cinema.

So come out, join the party, and have fun at Frameline 32.


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