At the tail end of the “Satanic ritual abuse panic” of the 1990’s, four Latina lesbian women in San Antonio, Texas were accused and wrongfully convicted of a heinous sexual assault. Known as ‘The San Antonio Four’, these women, after serving over a decade in prison, refuse to stop fighting to prove their innocence in this heart-wrenching examination of the criminal justice system.
In the 1970s at a prestigious Catholic boys’ school in Melbourne, arty and flamboyant Tim Conigrave fell madly in love with the star of the school’s football team. From the awkward schoolboy romance to their parents’ efforts to keep them apart — temptation, infidelity and separation — the story evolves. What grips the screen is a raw, gritty and intimate picture as the men reunite stronger than before and eventually realize their courage when they learn both are HIV positive.
Bennett Wallace is a charismatic teenager navigating the ups and downs of gender transition. As he seeks his true voice — as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man — the boy is taken under the wing of his idol Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician fighting his own demons. The film explores the complexity of addiction, the healing power of music, and the importance of family, both given and chosen.
This is Alejandro’s testimony as a gay priest. Father Alejandro knows many of his colleagues are gays or lesbians who will not openly express affection for fear of expulsion from the Church. He lives Christianity as a religion of happiness and joy, not punishment and suffering. In that light, he lives openly gay without guilt.
Mobilizing working-class transgender hairdressers and beauty queens, the dynamic leaders of the world’s only LGBT political party wage a historic quest to elect a trans woman to the Philippine Congress.
Jheri Jones is the 74-year-old transgender matriarch of a unique Mississippi Bible Belt family. Reconciled after years of estrangement, and now living with two of her four sons in her trailer park home, Jheri embarks on a new path to reveal her true self to her grandchildren, while her son Trevor begins a surprising journey of his own, in this compelling documentary about an unorthodox family and the deeply complex personal bonds that make or break us.
Andy devotes his days and nights to looking for a lesbian wife of convenience who could possibly bear his child. From online searches to underground marriage markets he finally meets Cherry. She has already married a gay man but the quest for a baby proves to be a far more complex challenge. As they sort things out, the couple clash with their parents’ hopes and their own love partners, revealing the challenges that confront gay people in China today.
Over the last four decades, the concept of same-sex couples marrying went from a ‘preposterous notion’ to national law. The Freedom to Marry movement is one of the most successful civil rights campaigns in modern history. That said, its victory was carefully planned and orchestrated over decades. Take a riveting ride alongside Evan Wolfson and Mary Bonauto, architect and key litigator of the movement – from the earliest days to their final frenetic dash to the US Supreme Court.
SDFF 2016 Critic's Award: Feature Documentary
Amina, a lesbian in Syria, has a blog called ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’ during the pre-civil war Arab Spring. She becomes involved in an online relationship with a Canadian lesbian. Soon after, she disappears. The international community starts searching for her. Is this a lesbian love story? Syria? The Internet? An international thriller? “The Amina Profile” shows us that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
“Reinventing the Reel” is about contemporary independent filmmakers’ attempts to change the portrayal of LGBT characters in film. Beginning with a historical perspective of the big-studio Hollywood treatment of LGBT characters, and how that portrayal has changed, it is followed by an inside look into independent filmmakers who use tools like crowdfunding to create films where characters happen to be gay rather than that be their only reason for existing in the film.
“Reel in the Closet” brings to light a trove of historical footage from an era when LGBT life was mostly left undocumented. These home movies offer fascinating and often poignant moving images from the 1930s through the AIDS epidemic, which are at risk of being lost to history without the efforts of the archivists who work to find, preserve, and catalog them.
Paulo, a performance artist from Brazil, is internationally famous in the underground scene for his alter-ego Gazelle and his publication GAZELLAND, a documentation of the gay nightlife community of London, New York and São Paulo. Paulo is also HIV-positive, and with the sudden death of his partner Eric, he embarks on a conscious transformation by filtering what matters in his life. The film brings us into Paulo’s search for a meaningful way to deepen Gazelle’s life.
In 1966, a young dancer and choreographer from San Francisco made an unconventional solo which became a decisive moment in the history of contemporary dance. Then she began experimenting with film. At the age of 56 she came out as a lesbian, and in 1997 she won the Teddy Award. Today, aged 80, she is still working on the stage, after Mikhail Baryshnikov persuaded her to make a belated comeback as a choreographer. This is the story of Yvonne Rainer: choreographer, filmmaker, intellect, and feminist and the equally remarkable times that shaped her creative practice.
“Clan” is the story of James Saunders, an Australian Aboriginal gay man. James goes to boarding school on a scholarship where he realizes that he is different. After he graduates, he is rejected by his father and stepfather and left on his own. Struggling with depression and suicide, James decides to come out. He finds a new family with a gay rugby team, the Convicts, and with them goes on to win two rugby world cups.