Tickets and passes on-sale now
Three Dollar Bill Cinema has announced the full lineup of films and events for the 24th Annual Seattle Queer Film Festival (SQFF24). The largest festival of its kind in the Pacific Northwest opens Thursday, October 10 and runs through Sunday, October 20.
SQFF24 features the most recent in queer cinema from 28 countries, including Argentina, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, France, Germany, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. The lineup of 66 programs includes 155 films, 43 feature-length films, and 106 shorts. Of the 155 films, 58% are directed by women, and they include 96 transgender filmmakers and creatives.
“Throughout this year’s festival, we reflect on the last 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, where queer rights are today, and the vast amount of work we have to do for the future,” said Ben McCarthy, executive director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema. “We’re proud to bring to Seattle a variety of authentically queer stories that would otherwise go unseen without this festival. It’s important, now more than ever, to provide a space for the LGBTQ2+ community to come together to see themselves reflected on screen, especially when our rights and protections are being threatened daily at home and all over the world.”
"We are excited to bring a wide spectrum of LGBTQ2+ stories from near and far, with local films like GOOD KISSER and SEATTLE’S QTPOC MUSIC SCENE. For SQFF24 we are featuring a record number of films from Latin America and twelve short film programs, including QUEER YESTERYEAR, which reflects upon queer history,” said SQFF24 Festival Director Kathleen Mullen. "We have something for everyone – from the world premiere of Seattle-made film NO DOMINION: THE IAN HORVATH STORY to the Queer Palm winner and Cannes Film Festival Best Screenplay, the sumptuous PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE."
The festival will take place mainly on Capitol Hill this year, bringing the festival back to its roots in Seattle’s historically queer neighborhood.
• The full festival program and online ticket sales launch September 10 at seattlequeerfilm.org.
• Tickets and passes also available through the festival box office located at SQFF24 HQ at Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center at 517 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA 98122. Pre-festival box office hours are:
o Wednesdays, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2: 4:00–8:00 p.m.:
o Saturdays, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5: 11:00am–3:00 p.m.:
o Monday, 10/7 through Wednesday, 10/9: 4:00–8:00 p.m.
• Film venues include Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, the Northwest Film Forum, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP).
GALAS & CENTERPIECES
Opening Night: SID & JUDY
• Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Stephen Kijak; USA; 2019
• Northwest Premiere
• Expected guests: Director Stephen Kijak
• Opening Night Gala Party following the film at the Rainier Chapter House
Director Stephen Kijak (WE ARE X, NEVER MET PICASSO) has uncovered never-before-seen recordings, photographs, and insights from the archives of Judy Garland’s third husband, producer Sid Luft (A STAR IS BORN and “The Judy Garland Show”), based on his memoir “Judy & I: My Life with Judy Garland.”
First-person accounts of Garland’s career and Sid and Judy’s tumultuous marriage are narrated by Emmy winner Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Academy Award nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh (THE HATEFUL EIGHT, “Atypical”) in this documentary from Showtime. Judy Garland’s status as an icon for the whole LGBTQ2+ community – her death may even have partly inspired the Stonewall riots – is highlighted through her queer following, including transgender activist and Stonewall veteran Miss Major. The SQFF24 Opening Night Film & Party is sponsored by Vulcan Productions.
Closing Night: PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
• Sunday, October 20, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Céline Sciamma; France; 2019
• Seattle Premiere
• Closing Night Gala Party following the film at Queer/Bar
Desire can be a powerful force, capable of consuming the heart like a roaring fire. Set in 18th-century France, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE follows Marianne, a young painter commissioned to undertake the wedding portrait of reluctant bride-to-be, Héloïse. Pretending to be her companion, Marianne discreetly observes her muse by day and secretly paints her by night. The intimate moments they share during their daily walks along the beach spark the flames of a passionate romance that defies their fate, which has been imposed on them by the norms of their conservative and repressive society.
Winner of the Queer Palm and the Best Screenplay prizes at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, out lesbian director Céline Sciamma (WATER LILLES, GIRLHOOD, AND TOMBOY, Best Narrative, SQFF 2011, and co-writer of BEING 17) wraps us in an elegant and seductive canvas, where each frame of the film becomes a stunning work of art, thanks to its breathtaking cinematography. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel deliver monumental but nuanced performances, freely inhabiting the fascinating female-centric world Sciamma constructs. An arresting and provocative drama, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is one of the most beautiful and fervent romances in recent years, one that everyone will fall in love with.
Documentary Centerpiece: FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
• Sunday, October 13, 7:00 p.m., SIFF Cinema Egyptian
• Director: Daniel Karslake; USA; 2019
• Seattle Premiere
• Expected guests: director Daniel Karslake and other special guests
• Centerpiece Gala Reception to precede the film at a TBA location
FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO weaves together stories on the national political stage and in the homes of four families caught in the crossfire to show how both church and state distort doctrine to justify continued resistance to LGBTQ2+ equality. Equal parts tear-jerking and affirming, this update of his award-winning 2007 feature FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance; Audience Award for Best Documentary; SIFF), documentarian Daniel Karslake summarizes the last twelve years of conservative Christian efforts to undermine LGBTQ+ rights.
Narrative Centerpiece: END OF THE CENTURY
• Wednesday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Lucio Castro; Argentina; 2019
• Seattle Premiere
• Expected guest: director Lucio Castro
• Centerpiece Gala Reception to precede the film at Poquitos Capitol Hill
Ocho (Juan Barberini), a thirtysomething Argentinian poet, is cruising the streets and beaches of Barcelona when he spots Javi (Ramón Pujol), a brawny Spaniard living in Berlin. A series of chance encounters leads to a revelatory one-night stand, Javi discloses something that causes the film to dive into the past. Through fascinating temporal shifts, the film explores the possibilities of what was, what could have been, what is, and what might be. END OF THE CENTURY (Jury Prize for Best First Feature, Frameline) delivers an emotional and erotic exploration of relationship what-ifs driven by the uncertainties of romantic connection, the challenges of long-term commitment, and the allure of personal freedom.
• Friday, October 18, 7:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Mike Doyle; 2019; USA
• Guests scheduled to attend
• Northwest Premiere
Does every relationship have an expiration date? Adam (Scott Evans, “Grace and Frankie”) and Marklin (Augustus Prew, “Special”) appear to be the perfect couple on social media. But after five years, their relationship has succumbed to financial disagreements, career path arguments, and a lack of sex, leading to questions about commitment and trust. Meanwhile, their support network crumbles around them as Cammy (Michelle Buteau, “Tales of the City”) and Elizabeth (Kate Walsh, “Grey’s Anatomy”) navigate guy issues of their own. Through it all, hope persists as the group put the pieces of their lives back together. Actor Mike Doyle makes his feature directorial debut with this engaging, relatable, modern-day romantic comedy with an ensemble cast that features Patricia Clarkson and Zoe Chao.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT: A TRUE NEW ZEALAND LOVE STORY
• Saturday, October 12, 6:45 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Nikki Si’ulepa; 2019; New Zealand
• West Coast Premiere
This charming romantic comedy follows single mom and actor Rachel, who is immediately smitten when she meets Samoan filmmaker Nikki at a small indigenous film festival where they both happen to have entries. Usually confident and accustomed to being pursued – primarily by men she is not interested in – Rachel bumbles through new territory as she attempts to woo Nikki. Hilariously awkward yet relatable situations ensue, highlighted by the palpable chemistry between actresses Robyn Patterson and Hannah Martin, as well as a strong supporting cast. This fun romp, based on the real relationship between writer-director Nikki Si’ulepa and producer Rachel Aneta Wills, is full of Kiwi and Pacific Islander humor that’s sure to delight.
GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
• Monday, October 14, 1:30 p.m., Museum of Pop Culture
• Directors: David Charles Rodrigues; 2019; USA
• Seattle Premiere
They’re bringing heart to the heartland! Galvanized by the 2016 election and a resurgence of faith-based anti-LGBTQ laws, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus sets out on a one-week, 25-performance tour through the Bible Belt. Though they know they can’t change an entire region in just seven days, they hope to use their musical talents to find common ground with the communities some members escaped from long ago. “We can sing, and we can love,” says artistic director Tim Seelig in this uplifting documentary, winner of the Audience Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.
• Thursday, October 17, 7:15 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Audrey Jean-Baptiste; 2019; France
• Northwest Premiere
Originally from French Guiana, Lasseindra learned voguing, runway walking, and body-dropping dance battling from her found family in New York City’s underground, before moving to Paris to establish her own House of Ninja and foster the French ballroom scene. In this documentary addressing overlapping struggles regarding race, religion, culture, and queerness, director Audrey Jean-Baptiste captures Lasseindra’s return to her rigidly gendered home country, where she teaches voguing workshops to LGBTQ+ youth. Her determination to live an authentic life on her own terms proves inspirational to her students, who, through dance, learn to love themselves and be proud, confident, and fabulous.
NO DOMINION: THE IAN HORVATH STORY
• Saturday, October 12, 12:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Margaret Mullin & Nel Shelby; 2019; USA
• Expected Guest: director Margaret Mullin scheduled to attend
• World Premiere
This documentary salutes the life and accomplishments of the late dance champion and AIDS activist Ian (Ernie) Horvath. After a successful career as a professional dancer and founding artistic director of the Cleveland Ballet, he became a fierce advocate for creating a more secure future for American dancers and their companies. Horvath was also a passionate AIDS awareness activist during the crisis of the ’80s, most prominently by helping arts organizations with employees suffering from the disease. The virus tragically claimed his life in 1990. As a tribute to Horvath, dancers from across the country collaborated to perform his last choreographic work for this film, restaged in Seattle by Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist (and the film’s co-director) Margaret Mullin and Paul Gibson.
INDIGENOUS SHOWCASE: FORCES OF NATURE
• Saturday, October 19, 4:45 p.m.; Northwest Film Forum
Explore the resilience and strength of two-spirit and LGBTQ identities. Curated in collaboration with Longhouse Media.
SPECIAL EVENTS, PANELS, AND WORKSHOPS
QUEERING THE SCRIPT
• Sunday, October 13, 1:00 p.m., Northwest Film Forum
• Director: Gabrielle Zilkha; 2019; Canada
• Seattle Premiere
From queer subtext in the ’90s to explicit girl-on-girl romances in the present day, QUEERING THE SCRIPT charts the history of television portrayals of queer women. Award-winning director Gabrielle Zilkha (STOP CALLING ME HONEY BUNNY) interviews the creators and stars, who are integral to queer representation, and the fangirls, whose enthusiasm and activism sustain it. Featuring conversations with Ilene Chaiken (“The L Word”) and Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”), this documentary celebrates LGBTQ+ TV fandoms, while calling for increased visibility for all queer women (particularly women of color) and battling tired tropes.
QUEER CASTING: PANEL DISCUSSION
Following QUEERING THE SCRIPT, stay for what is sure to be a lively panel discussion tackling queer casting in film and television. Should Hollywood cast only queer actors in queer roles? What does it mean to have fans as part of the conversation of storylines and casting? Be a part of the conversation as industry professionals parse this hot-button issue. The panel will be moderated by Jeremy Blacklow, director of media entertainment at GLAAD, and is co-presented by SAG-AFTRA.
HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE ALLY
• Tuesday, October 15, 5:15 p.m., Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
Have you witnessed someone being discriminated against, treated with total disrespect, or blatantly ignored? Do you feel overwhelmed or guilty about not knowing how to help? In this powerful workshop, you will learn techniques and gain the tools needed to become an effective ally to and advocate for those who are targeted because of their race or anyone being treated unfairly or discriminated against, through interactive exercises and discussion. Be sure to bring a notebook!
Anastacia-Renée, who will lead the workshop, is an award-winning, multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She served as the Seattle Civic Poet from 2017 to 2019 and the 2015–17 poet-in-residence at Hugo House. The author of five books, she also teaches poetry and workshops at Hugo House and local libraries, high schools, and universities.
HOW TO BE A TRANS ALLY
• Saturday, October 19, 3:30 p.m., Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
Are you new to transgender concepts? Want to learn how to be a good ally? Join us for two short films, and then stick around for a presentation and discussion with a representative from Gender Diversity, a local organization that provides education about gender-inclusive schools and support groups for families, and produces the Gender Odyssey conferences. Bring all your questions to this educational evening, and come away with a working vocabulary and a more solid understanding of how to be supportive to trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming folks!
IMMERSIVELY QUEER: VR SHOWCASE
• Saturday, October 19, 1:30-4:00 p.m., Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center
• Curated in collaboration with North Bend Film Festival
In this free presentation, SQFF is pleased to partner with the North Bend Film Festival, which has curated a showcase of VR/360 experiences, including some of the best immersive work in the contemporary queer storytelling space.
Started as the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in October 1996, the Seattle Queer Film Festival has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, gaining industry and audience recognition for showcasing the latest and greatest in queer film, from major motion picture premieres to emerging talent. An important venue in the Seattle film scene, the festival provides unique opportunities for visiting and local filmmakers to engage and entertain the Greater Seattle region’s LGBTQ and allied community. For more information, visit threedollarbillcinema.org/seaqueerfilmfest.
Three DollarBillCinema is a nonprofit arts organization that provides access to films by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and a forum for LGBTQ filmmakers to share and discuss their work with audiences. Annual programs include the Seattle Queer Film Festival, Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema, and Reel Queer Youth. For more information, visit threedollarbillcinema.org.
Courtesy of ThreeDollarBillCinema
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