OPENING NIGHT!

Tuesday, October 9th | Woodland Theater

 

CALL HER GANDA

7 PM | PJ RAVAL | Documentary |USA, Philippines | English and tagalog with english subtitles | 93 min.

Follow Filipina-American journalist Meredith Talusan as they return to the Philippines to investigate the death of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipina woman who was viciously murdered by a U.S. Marine in 2014. Although the US's colonial rule over the Philippines formally ended in 1942, Raval's gritty documentary exposes the U.S. military's residual power. Call Her Ganda demands justice for Jennifer Laude, and interrogates the Philippines' right to self-determination. Winner of InsideOut Toronto LGBT Film Festival's Best Documentary Audience Award. 

This film contains a repeated photograph depicting transphobic violence.  

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PJ Raval

PJ Raval is the award-winning filmmaker who created Call Her Ganda, EQFF’s opening night documentary. Raval, born to immigrant parents, grew up in California’s Central Valley. After working with photography and media installation, he turned to film and video.

According to Raval’s website, his filmography centers around “overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community.” Past works include Before You Know It (which earned Raval the 2016 NGLJA Queer Journalist Excellence in Documentary award), Trinidad, and Fourplay.

His efforts have garnered recognition over the years. Raval was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 new faces of independent film” and Out Magazine’s “OUT 100.” He was a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, and a 2017 Robert Giard Fellow.

Raval will introduce his film and lead a discussion following the film.

 

Wednesday, October 10th | Woodland Theater

SHORTS: BECOMING UNBOXED
12 PM l 65 Min.

How do we become more self-accepting and confident? These shorts explore the relationship between pride and vulnerability.

Unboxed (eps. 3 & 4) takes us where gender meets art when two artists reflect on their creativity and the validation it brings. A social media influencer struggles with having an online public presence while remaining closeted amidst their family in Share. A year after the Pulse nightclub shooting, in Masks a woman’s date goes horribly awry. In Femme a gay man learns to accept his femme side with the help of a co-worker and a drag queen (Aja from RuPaul's Drag Race).

Unboxed
Director Sam Matthews | 2018 | Australia | 12 Min.
Share
Director Barna Szász & Ellie Wen | 2018 | USA | 13 Min.
Masks
Director Mahaliyah Ayla O | 2018 | USA | 22 Min.
Femme
Director Alden Peters | 2017 | USA | 18 Min.
THE REST I MAKE UP
5 PM | Director Michelle Memran | Documentary | USA | 79 Min.


Queer dramatist and Cuban American Maria “Irene” Fornes wrote over 40 plays in her lifetime. Despite being nominated for the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, she is not well-known outside of New York's literary circles. This documentary challenges traditional rules as queer filmmaker Michelle Memran places herself in the film, telling a story about Fornes and her creative process that takes place over a decade. While Fornes struggles with memory loss, her vitality is ever-present. The Rest I Make Up was nominated for “Best Documentary” at the Miami Film Festival. This documentary breathes with warmth, humanity and humor.

WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY
7 PM | Director Madeleine Olnek | Feature | USA | 84 Min.


Famed poet Emily Dickinson was not a heterosexual spinster as she is often remembered. After conducting archival research, director Madeleine Olnek's fictional film reveals the queer truth of this posthumously published poet. With unmistakable spunk and her trademark humor, Olnek's Dickinson (Molly Shannon) is a poet inspired by her love for a woman (Susan Ziegler), who was married to her brother (Kevin Seal). Dickinson’s lyrical poetry is present throughout the movie via floating text and gentle voiceovers. FilmOut Festival awarded Molly Shannon "Best Actress” for her lead performance in this engaging film that has played at over 20 film festivals.

Thursday, October 11th | Woodland Theater & Schofield Auditorium

SHORTS: BECOMING OURSELVES
12 PM | 75 Min.

“Becoming” reflects the beginning of being, a process of existence and presence — of transformation — and an awareness of a change that is constant in our lives. These shorts tell the stories of self-empowerment, love, community spaces and collectivity — showcasing coming out and coming into ourselves and our identities.

With dynamism and zest, A Great Ride documents a community of aging lesbians living in Northern California. My Own Wings explores intersex identities. The documentary Angela Wilson: A Butcher’s Story captures the challenges of operating a community-centered business amidst gentrification in San Francisco. In Sweet and Sour, Wei brings his boyfriend to meet his mother at their Chinese restaurant. Cooper shares her experience as a trans teenager living in rural Pennsylvania in the documentary The Toothmans. An unexpected twist is thrown into the mix when Hanna’s brother brings his girlfriend to dinner in Children Alike. A family secret is revealed after a young woman comes out to her grandmother in Grace and Betty.

A Great Ride
Director Deborah Craig & Veronica Deliz | 2018 | USA | 28 min.
My Own Wings
Director Carla Moral & Katia Repina | 2016 | Spaine, Ukraine, USA | 9 min.
Angela Wilson: A Butcher's Story
Director Gaby Scott | 2018 | USA | 7 min.
Sweet and Sour
Director Ann Sun | 2017 | USA | 6 min.
The Toothmans
Director Hansen Bursic | 2017 | USA | 8 min.
Children Alike
Director Julia Boström | 2017 | Sweden | 5 min.
Grace and Betty
Director Zoe Lubeck | 2016 | USA | 12 min.
MAN MADE
5 PM | Director T Cooper | Documentary | USA | 93 Min.


Man Made focuses on four trans men as they prepare for Trans Fitcon, a body building competition. One of the contestants, Dominic, is a young rapper from St. Paul. Director, co-writer and cinematographer T Cooper, a trans man himself, showcases compelling stories about the athletes, their partners and families. Man Made has screened at film festivals including Out Here Now in Kansas City, Frameline42 in San Francisco, QDoc in Portland, Outfest in Los Angeles, and thus far has garnered four awards.

Dominic Giovon Chilko, “Dom,” is one of the subjects of the documentary Man Made (Directed by T Cooper). Chilko, a DJ and rapper, lives in St. Paul. He is one of four main subjects in Man Made, which follows athletes training for Trans FitCon, a body building competition. Chilko, who previously won third place in the event, returns to compete after undergoing top surgery.

Chilko will introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening.
ALONE IN THE GAME
7 PM Schofield Auditorium | A film by David McFarland | Directors Natalie Metzger & Michael Rohrbaugh | Documentary | USA | 95 Min.


From Creator and Executive Producer, David McFarland comes 'Alone In The Game' a feature-length documentary that follows a group of elite athletes and iconic figures from the biggest stages in sport, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NCAA, among others, to explore the ongoing struggles LGBT athletes are facing at the professional, collegiate and Olympic levels. An exploration of the big business of sports exposes a culture of exclusion, bigotry and discrimination which keeps these athletes in the closet and living in silence. Subjects include three closeted athletes who share their personal journeys, as well as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, former ESPN President John Skipper, NBA center Jason Collins, NFL linemen Ryan O'Callaghan, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, and Olympic medalists Gus Kenworthy and Megan Rapinoe.
 

Friday, October 12th | Woodland Theater

SHORTS: BECOMING VOCAL
12 PM | 74 Min.


What does it take to become vocal and communicative within our communities? These shorts call on us to address problems in our society, providing starting points for educational and constructive conversations.

I Live Here unpacks issues of racial profiling and police violence, following Stevie as he navigates moving to the Bay Area. The PrEP Project uses fast-paced humor to offer a bold, sex-positive approach to HIV prevention. In The Things You Think I’m Thinking, Sean, an African American burn-survivor and amputee, puts aside his self-criticism and doubt to seek intimacy on a date. In the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting, in Masks a woman is outed to her family after a date to a gay club goes horribly awry.

I Live Here
Director Shane Watson | 2017 | USA | 18 min.
The PrEP Project
Director Robyn Kopp & Chris Tipton-King | 2017 | USA | 19 min.
The Things You Think I'm Thinking
Director Sherren Lee | 2017 | Canada | 15 min.
Masks
Director Mahaliyah Ayla O | 2018 | USA | 22 min.
THEY
4 PM | Director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh | Feature | USA, Qatar | 80 Min.

This arthouse drama depicts teenager J’s (Rhys Fehrenbach) struggle with their gender identity. They takes us through a weekend in Chicago with their older sister Lauren (Nicole Coffineau), her partner Araz (Koohyar Hosseini), and a gathering with his Iranian family. Cinematographer Carolina Costa tells the story using shallow depth of field to get at the uncertainty that affects each of the main characters. They delves into what it means to be non-binary, and how being in between is not uncommon. Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, the first time director and writer, won the "Emerging Filmmaker" award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

 
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1985
6 PM | Director Yen Tan | Feature | USA | 85 Min.

1985 is a heartbreakingly truthful film about a young man (Cory Michael Smith) who returns home from the big city for the holidays — a visit that could quite possibly be his last after a HIV diagnosis. The film's story was a reality for many people living in the US during the early years of the AIDS crisis. Shot in black-and-white Super 16, 1985 portrays family tension during the perceived “gay plague."

Yen Tan’s 1985 garnered Outfest's award for “Outstanding Screenwriting" and won “Best Feature” from the Barcelona International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Tan’s previous work Pit Stop appeared in our 2013 festival.

MARIO
8 PM | Director Marcel Gisler | Feature | Switzerland | Swiss German with English Subtitles | 119 Min.

What is it like to be an individual with the athletic skills to become a professional-level soccer player, but whose sexual identity may jeopardize their career? Mario (Max Hubacher) and Leon (Aaron Altaras) are two twenty-year-old soccer players who struggle with these challenges. Team leaders tell the players that their coming out would hurt the team’s sponsorships and cost them fans. Swiss director Marcel Gisler depicts a sadly realistic culture of toxic masculinity and homophobia. Mario won "Best International Feature" at this year's FilmOut in San Diego and "Best Actor," "Best Performance in a Supporting Role" for the Swiss Film Prize 2018.

 

FINAL DAY!

Saturday, October 13th | Woodland Theater

SHORTS: BECOMING RESISTANT
2 PM | 60 Min.


Trailblazers are people who resist societal norms and create new ways of being. Andrew Gurza, a self-identified “queer cripple,” plans a sex-positive play party in Picture This. A transfeminine artist lyrically challenges transgender representation by asking What Do You See? In The Things You Think I’m Thinking, Sean, an African American burn-survivor and amputee, overcomes his fears, and goes on a date. A non-binary “dragtavist” challenges gender normativity through their drag king performance in Dani Boi.

Picture This
Director Jari Osborne | 2017 | Canada | 33 min.
What Do You See
Director Michael Bonner | 2017 | Australia | 6 Min.
The Things You Think I'm Thinking
Director Sherren Lee | 2017 | Canada | 15 min.
Dani Boi
Director Logan Mucha | 2018 | Australia | 6 min.

 
CLOSE-KNIT
3:30 PM | Director Naoko Ogigami | Feature | Japan | Japanese with English Subtitles | 127 Min.


Close-Knit is a sentimental Japanese family dramedy about Tomo (Kakihara Rinka), a young girl who finds shelter with her uncle Makio (Kiritani Kenta) after her mom disappears. Makio lives with Rinko (Tôma Ikuta), a transgender woman, who tries to win over Tomo through nurturing acts. This film speaks deeply to how marginalized people get through life — it may elicit both happy and sad tears. Directed by Naoko Ogigami, Close-Knit has won six awards including the Berlin International Film Festival’s "Teddy Jury Award."

BELIEVER
6 PM | Director Don Argott | Documentary | USA | 101 Min.


How does one reconcile their allegiance to their faith with the ideological values of their religion? LGBTQ+ Mormons wrestle with remaining celibate or facing excommunication from the LDS Church. Queer and questioning Mormon youth have high suicide rates. This documentary follows Dan Reynolds, the front man of Imagine Dragons, a Mormon and ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Reynolds organizes the LOVELOUD Festival to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ issues. Featuring the music of Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees, Believer is a passionate plea for the Mormon Church to reconsider its stance on LGBTQ+ discrimination.

 
 
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST
8 PM | Director Desiree Akhavan | Feature | USA | 91 Min.


The Miseducation of Cameron Post won the dramatic category in this year's Sundance Film Festival and "Best Film" in this year's Sydney Film Festival. Director and co-writer Desiree Akhavan tells the story of a teenage girl, Cameron Post (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is sent to “God's Promise” for reparative therapy.

Desiree Akhavan's first feature length film, Appropriate Behavior, screened at our 2014 Eau Queer Film Festival.