Frameline is the nation’s only nonprofit organization solely committed to the funding, exhibition, distribution, and promotion of LGBTQ media arts; on Thursday, January 30, the organization announced this year’s recipients for its annual Frameline Completion Fund.
Recipients listed below.
The chosen recipients were selected by a prestigious panel of judges, including independent filmmaker Mary Guzmán; Lucho Ramirez, the director of San Francisco Latino Film Festival Cine+Más; and independent filmmaker Alice Wu.
Submissions hit a record high of 112 this year, a 30 percent increase from 2013’s record. Frameline Executive Director Frances Wallace said this growth demonstrates the importance of supporting independent queer artists.
“The exponential growth in the number of applications and total funds requested…continues to speak to the urgent need of supporting independent queer mediamakers and artists,” said Wallace. “It is especially important to support these groundbreaking works in their final stages.”
Frameline was founded in 1977 with a mission to change the world through the power of queer cinema; in 1990, the Frameline Completion Fund was created. Since then, it has granted over $400,000 to 125 LGBTQ film projects, either created by or about the community.
Director of Exhibition and Programming Des Buford credits the projects and artists they have supported for the success of the organization, including those selected for this year’s grants.
“These seven phenomenal projects feature exquisite filmmaking craft and refreshingly bold voices in LGBT cinema,” said Buford. “It is a thrill for the organization to support such a talented crop of dynamic filmmakers which includes both new artists and veteran mediamakers in this cycle of funding.”
Courtesy of Frameline, the following is a list of the 2014 Frameline Completion Fund recipients along with their descriptions:
“Appropriate Behavior” (Narrative Feature) directed by Desiree Akhavan
For Shirin, being part of a perfect Persian family isn’t easy. Acceptance eludes her from all sides: her family doesn’t know she’s bisexual, and her ex-girlfriend, Maxine, can’t understand why she doesn’t tell them. Following a family announcement of her brother’s betrothal to a parentally approved Iranian prize catch, Shirin embarks on a private rebellion involving a series of pansexual escapades, while trying to decipher what went wrong with Maxine.
“AWOL” (Narrative Feature) directed by Deb Shoval
Days before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey, 19, comes home to rural Pennsylvania for Christmas, with big dreams of running away to Canada. AWOL is a rural love story, and a lesbian love story, and a story about the choices that young people in this country have—and don’t have.
“The Joneses” (Documentary Feature) directed by Moby Longinotto
This feature documentary follows the search for true love by transgender trailer park matriarch Jheri Jones and her two adult sons in Bible belt Mississippi. Trevor is a 34-year-old virgin, Brad was born with brain damage, and mom Jheri Rae Jones, now 70, was formerly their father. Now, as three single adults living under one trailer park roof in small town Mississippi, they are each ready to embark on a journey to find love outside this reunited, close-knit family unit.
“Kuma Hina” (Documentary Feature) directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
KUMU HINA is a powerful film about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the westernized society of modern day Hawai’i. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident mahu, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader.
“Out Run” (Documentary Feature) directed by Johnny Symons and S. Leo Chiang
OUT RUN is a feature documentary that follows a transgender Filipina woman who fights hostility, discrimination and persecution in her quest to become the Philippines’ first openly LGBT elected official. The film chronicles the rise of charismatic leaders in places where positive LGBT role models rarely emerge.
“Radical Love” (Documentary Feature) directed by Hillevi Loven
Cole, a young transgender Christian man growing up in rural North Carolina, is in a loving relationship with a young Christian woman, Ashley. Together they struggle to be accepted for who they are, in a conservative Bible belt community that is struggling to come to terms with the changing values of Christian youth.
“Sticks and Stones” (Documentary Short) directed by Silas Howard
“Every street has a story.” Sticks & Stones is an intimate, short documentary about a song, a street, and a diva. Bambi Lake, a notorious San Francisco transgender performer and entertainer, takes us on a stroll down Polk Street, sharing anecdotes and the history behind her song “Golden Age of Hustlers,” which was written about her time as a street hustler in the mid-70’s. Now 62, still living near Polk street and performing in small bars, she remains larger than life. Her status as an outsider with a legacy is evidenced by her music, stories and unique perspectives spanning histories of queer/trans people, sex work, rock ‘n’ roll, and over four decades of underground art/music scenes in San Francisco.