Frameline45, the world’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival, wraps record-breaking 18-day festival with record-breaking attendance!


Held September 10–27, 2021, Frameline45 was the largest and most attended festival in Frameline history

Recipients of the First Feature Award and the Audience Awards announced

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at Frameline and SF Pride’s
Pride Movie Nights at Oracle Park
Photo credit: Barak Shrama

SAN FRANCISCO (June 30, 2021)—With over 134 film screenings, which included 16 world premieres, nine international premieres, 10 North American premieres, and eight US premieres, Frameline45—the world’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival—wrapped its record-breaking 18-day festival with record-breaking attendance, a hybrid of in-person and virtual offerings, a series of thought-provoking talks, and a host of award winners.

“Frameline45 has officially become the largest and most ambitious festival in the history of the organization,” said Frameline Executive Director James Woolley. “We are beyond proud of what we have accomplished this year and look forward to returning to a full in-person festival next year.”

“We are grateful to our supporters in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the United States who continue to support Frameline,” adds Frameline Director of Programming Allegra Madsen. “Throughout the 18-day festival, patrons in 45 states took advantage of our nationwide accessibility. Through this support, Frameline is able to drive forward its mission of changing the world through queer cinema.”

With a hybrid of in-person and virtual offerings—including the first-ever Pride Movie Nights at Oracle Park, four drive-in screenings, special screenings at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre and Roxy Theater—Frameline45 drew record-breaking attendance with over 89,000 patrons nationwide.

(L-R): Frameline Director of Programming Allegra Madsen, “Firebird” actor Tom Prior, “Firebird” director Peeter Rebane, “Firebird” actor Oleg Zagorodnil, Frameline Executive Director James Woolley, and Frameline Board President Nadir Joshua at the Castro Theatre screening of “Firebird” – Photo credit: Barak Shrama

At this year’s festival, Frameline handed out two sets of awards—the First Feature Award and the Audience Awards.
For the second year in a row, Frameline has been proud to partner with the San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle to present the First Feature Award to a notable narrative feature from an emerging voice in LGBTQ+ cinema. This year’s festival featured 11 eligible debut films. The 2021 First Feature Award award went to “Milkwater” from writer/director Morgan Ingari. The jury, comprised of working film critics and journalists, stated that Ingari “created a story that elevates itself above a simple light-hearted tale.” Honorable mentions went to Natalie Morales’ “Language Lessons,” and Peeter Rebane’s “Firebird.

Said Morgan Ingari (writer/director), Molly Bernard (executive producer and lead), and Candice Kuwahara (producer) in a statemet: “This award means so much to all of us, particularly because Frameline was our late executive producer, Ash Christian’s, favorite festival in the world. Before we’d even started principal photography on “Milkwater,” he told us he hoped we’d get to be a part of Frameline, and it’s so incredibly special that we got the chance to. It’s such a gift that so many stories are being told about queer families in their many forms. As we all know, there isn’t just one type of queer person, and there is hardly one type of queer family structure. We’re so honored that this movie meant something to you. Even to be one voice in a chorus of queer narrative is profound. Thank you so much to The Critic’s Circle and Frameline for recognizing us.”

Frameline45 gave audiences the opportunity to weigh in on their personal favorites, issuing the annual Audience Awards in three categories: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, and Short Film. Choosing from the Festival’s eligible films, every ticket holder was able to cast a vote using a star-based rating system in Frameline’s Digital Screening Room.

The Audience Award for Narrative Feature went to Laurent Micheli’s “Lola (Lola vers la mer).” In the Documentary Feature category, the Audience Award went to T.J. Parcell’s “Invisible. Competing with a wide array of exceptional shorts, Faraz Arif Ansari’s “Sheer Qorma” took home the Audience Award for Short Film.

For the first-time ever, Frameline and San Francisco Pride presented Pride Movie Nights at Oracle Park. A natural extension of Frameline and SF Pride’s decades-long, mutually advantageous relationship, and was further strengthened by a partnership with the San Francisco Giants and support from the City and County of San Francisco. Audiences were treated to special screenings of Jon M. Chu’s acclaimed film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, “In the Heights” on June 11, and the film adaptation of the hit, award-winning West End musical, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” on June 12. Over 15,000 guests were in attendance over the course of the two evenings. Pre-movie festivities included a lineup of in-person and virtual appearances, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Cast and creative team members from “Fanny: The Right to Rock” at
the West Wind Solano Drive-In in Concord, CA
Photo credit: Barak Shrama

Frameline45 featured four Drive-in screenings—one at Concord’s West Wind Solano Drive-In and three at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Flix.

Marking the first audiences since the onset of the pandemic, Frameline held two-days of in-person screenings at San Francisco’s Castro Theater. Special guests on the red carpet included cast members and creative teams from four films—two narrative features and two documentaries—as well as two shorts programs. Patrons were treated to the Castro Theatre’s legendary pre-film organ performance. Frameline also hosted two in-person screenings at the Roxie Theater

Frameline45 saw the largest talks series in the history of the festival. Throughout the festival, Frameline curated a series of exclusive talks supported by Variety. All conversations are archived and available to watch on Frameline’s YouTube and Facebook channels. Notable inclusions included a conversation with actor and activist Wilson Cruz and a Raffy Ermac, editor-in-chief of the LGBTQ+ youth-oriented entertainment website Pride; a panel on African American queer representation with Clay Cane, Brittani Nichols, Elegance Bratton, Kat Blaque, Maisie Richardson Sellers, and Nathan Hale WilliamsVariety’s Film & Media Reporter, Angelique Jackson, served as moderator; and a panel on youth on screen moderated by IndieWire’Jude Dry, and featuring Jordan Seamon (HBO’s “We Are Who We Are”), Daniel Barnz (Co-creator of HBO Max’s “Generation”), Javicia Leslie (CW’s “Batwoman”), and Crystal Moselle (HBO’s “Betty”).
Stay tuned for Frameline’s Fall Showcase in November, as well as information on Frameline46.
Frameline45 was made possible with generous support from Premier Partners GILEAD SCIENCES, INC., BANK OF AMERICA, SHOWTIME®, SF PRIDE, and WARNERMEDIA; Premier Airline ALASKA AIRLINES; Premiere Creative TOMORROW PARTNERS; and Premier Hotel HILTON SAN FRANCISCO UNION SQUARE. Additional support is provided by ARNOLD & PORTERBANK OF THE WEST, TiVo, and GIANTS ENTERPRISES. Media Partners for Frameline45 include VARIETY, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTERPRIDE MEDIAOUTand THE ADVOCATE 

Twitter: @framelinefest
Facebook: @frameline
Instagram: @framelinefest
#FL45 #Frameline45

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