Frameline, the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, has announced its lineup for its 43rd edition which includes several Latin American titles, showcasing queer Latinx voices and experiences in a wide array of narrative features, documentaries, and short films from across the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking worlds many of them in their North American premiere. The festival will also welcome guest artists from Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, and Colombia during the 11-day run.
Highlights include the Teddy Award-winning fable Brief Story from the Green Planet from Argentina; the burning hot romance End of the Century by first-time director Lucio Castro; and the World Cinema Centerpiece Tremores / Temblores, a powerful drama from Guatemala by director Jayro Bustamante (Ixcanul).
The hot-button issues of sanctuary and the treatment of undocumented LGBTQ+ immigrants come to the fore in the award-winning doc from Sundance, The Infiltrators; while the delicate story of an older teacher and her rebellious young student grounds the Mexican drama History Lessons.
The complete Latin American and U.S. Latinx selection of the festival:
Tremors / Temblores
(Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala/France/Luxembourg)
When confident, sophisticated Pablo reveals that he is going to leave his wife and children to live with the man he loves, his affluent evangelical family in Guatemala is ripped apart: soon Pablo’s conservative parents, wife, employer, pastor, and his entire world seem bent on reforming, “converting,” or destroying the errant man. Jayro Bustamante’s (Ixcanul) powerful drama is both one man’s wrenching story and a searing commentary on the impact that religious and social prejudice still wreaks on queer lives.
End of the Century / Fin de siglo
(Lucio Castro, Argentina)
What starts as a brief hookup in Barcelona between handsome Ocho and Javi turns into an expansive, time-bending rumination on romance and relationships, a tale that moves over decades and borders in this fascinating, funny and sexy feature debut by Lucio Castro.
Brief Story from the Green Planet / Breve historia del planeta verde
(Santiago Loza, Argentina/Germany/Brazil/Spain)
In Buenos Aires, feisty trans performer Tania takes on a bizarre mission: to deliver her grandmother’s extra-terrestrial companion to its home. With her two childhood friends, Tania travels through rural Argentina on a journey where they will discover hidden strengths in themselves and one another. Winner of the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, this poetic film fable explores the themes of selfhood, friendship, and the meaning of otherness.
History Lessons / Clases de historia
(Marcelino Islas Hernández, Mexico, US Premiere)
High school teacher Vero moves through her days with slow deliberation, weighed down by chains of habit and ill health. However, when an electric encounter takes place with the new rebellious student Eva, the incident sparks an unconventional relationship that’s both transgressive and twisted as these two variant souls course-correct their lives.
A Girl’s Band / Una banda de chicas
(Marilina Giménez, Argentina, North American Premiere)
From ‘80s punk to modern-day synth pop, rocking Argentinian queer women artists are chronicled in this ecstatic documentary by bassist-turned-filmmaker Marilina Giménez. Ultimate insider Giménez pushes musical boundaries in a male-dominated space as well as the boundaries of activism, as they fight for women’s rights and rock it out in this extraordinary discovery piece of stomping girl-led music in Argentina.
(Daniel Nolasco, Brazil)
In 2017, Brazil held its very first Mr. Leather competition, offering an exciting opportunity for the burgeoning fetish community. Mr. Leather focuses on the second pageant, following five men as they compete for the title. Guided by a wry, leather-clad narrator, this sexy doc takes a playful look at the culture while probing its subjects with questions of personal history, gender politics, and queer visibility in a politically turbulent nation.
Second Star on the Right
(Ruth Caudeli, Colombia)
While her best friends get married, have kids, and flourish in their careers, thirtysomething aspiring actress Emilia lives her life through Britney Spears references, shots of whatever alcohol is closest, and late-night hook-ups. When her free-spirited ways start to catch up to her, how will she respond to the pressures of growing responsibilities and expectations placed upon her?
(Alexandre Moratto, Brazil)
A 15-year-old boy living on the fringes of São Paulo seeks a better life despite social and economic hardship after his mother suddenly dies in Alexandre Moratto’s electrifying debut. Navigating tough streets and a steamy romance with a reckless older boy, Socrates’ story—collaboratively produced and scripted with Brazilian youth filmmakers—is of gritty survival, earning the film multiple Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Family Members / Los miembros de la familia
(Mateo Bendesky, Argentina, North American Premiere
Gay teen Lucas and his older sister Gilda haven’t gotten along for years, but now they find themselves stranded in a sleepy Argentinian coastal town by a bus strike. While they’re supposed to be paying respects to their recently deceased mother, their rocky reunion causes buried secrets and surprising revelations to emerge in this refreshingly original, poignantly funny and touching coming-of-age tale about grief, forgiveness, and first crushes.
(Lara Jean Gallagher, USA,
A serene rural lake is the setting for a volatile connection between two women following a messy and painful breakup. Karen, the cast-aside muse of an older successful artist, invades her ex’s lake house in order to lick her wounds only to unexpectedly cross paths with Lana, a baby-faced blonde from across the lake whose intentions gradually come into focus in this sharply-observed minimalist melodrama, which had its world premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
(Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera, USA)
Seamlessly and unforgettably blending documentary footage with scripted dramatizations, members of an activist group of undocumented youth risk everything to free the inmates of a Florida detention center in this real-life prison-break-in nail-biter. Conspiring with their cohorts on the outside including gay DREAMer activist Mohammad Abdollahi, two members on the inside find themselves in over their heads, fighting against the clock in this feature that garnered standing ovations and dual awards at Sundance.
Fireflies / Luciérnagas
(Bani Khoshnoudi, Mexico/USA/Greece/Dominican Republic)
Ramin is a lost soul, an Iranian man who has escaped persecution and wound up in the Mexican port of Veracruz. Though he pines for a boyfriend he left behind, he is drawn to Guillermo, an inscrutable ex-con with a body full of bullet holes. A sensitive portrait of a gay man in exile, Fireflies shows us a world where borders can’t always be crossed and our scars tell our stories.
The Daughters of Fire / Las hijas del fuego
(Albertina Carri, Argentina)
An inventive and erotic sexual odyssey, Argentinian director Albertina Carri’s award-winning sizzler is a one-of-a-kind queer experience centering on this rebellious band having sex at every turn. One part poetic expedition, one part pornographic adventure, this free-flowing film follows a long-term polyamorous couple who pick up a wide array of lovers on a wild road trip.
This Is Not Berlin / Esto no es Berlín
(Hari Sama, Mexico)
As the country prepares to host the World Cup, two teenage boys discover Mexico City’s hedonistic punk and art scene circa 1986, as well as their own budding sexualities in this Sundance Film Festival sensation. Bored with their private school peers, Carlos and Gera follow Gera’s feminist/anarchist older sister to her synth band’s concert in an underground gay club, which provides the gateway to an enticing world of illicit drugs, naked art protests, and queer revelations.
(Samantha Buck & Marie Schlingmann, USA)
Famed evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson has disappeared! While the LAPD and her devoted followers search for answers, Aimee, swept up in her lover’s daydreams about Mexico, heads south of the border, accompanied by their guide Rey, a mysterious, hard-as-nails Mexican woman hired to smuggle them over the border. This screwball romp through the 1920s Southwest is based on a true story—but mostly, cheerfully made up.
We Are the Radical Monarchs
(Linda Goldstein Knowlton, USA)
In revolutionary Oakland, queer activists Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest created the Radical Monarchs, a social justice leadership program for girls of color. These kickass women and girls find and express their identity, strength, and sisterhood through community activism. The Radical Monarchs are spreading their wings in the Bay and beyond. The future is female, and the future is now.
One Taxi Ride
(Mak Ck, Mexico/Singapore)
On his 17th birthday, Erick found his life forever altered when he was sexually assaulted by a group of men on his taxi ride home. Riddled with shame and guilt, he avoided seeking help. After a decade of silence, Erick must come to terms with his trauma and put himself and his loved ones on a path to healing. This harrowing documentary won the prize for best LGBTQ+ film at the Guadalajara International Film Festival.
The Garden Left Behind
(Flavio Alves, USA/Brazil,
Tina is an undocumented trans Latina, struggling to provide for herself and her grandmother by driving a cab. As she begins transitioning, Tina faces daunting obstacles, including medical costs, the rocky relationship with the man she's been seeing, and her immigration status. But her doting abuela and a tight-knit group of trans advocates are there to support Tina in her pursuit of happiness. Winner of the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.
The 43rd edition of Frameline will take place June 20-30 in San Francisco, California.