Saturday, June 03, 2017

Realness & Revelations (shorts program)

Realness & Revelations” (shorts program), total runtime 85 min. 👏
Friday, June 16, 7:00pm, Roxie Theatre
Wednesday, June 21, 7:00pm, Elmwood Theatre (East Bay Screening)
Note: 7 shorts: 4 world premieres, 1 US premiere, and 2 Bay Area premieres!

Intersection, dir. Angela Tucker, 2017 USA, 9 min. World Premiere 🏁

The Frameline blurb says, “A road trip forces a young woman and her two besties to examine their identities and place in the American South, in this smart and poignant film that explores friendship, ally-ship, and intersecting identities.”

Unfortunately, Intersection was not available for advance review. Check back later. • IMDb page

More Love, Less Prepackaged Bullshit, dir. Neelu Bhuman, 2017 USA, 1 min. Bay Area Premiere 🏁
More Love, Less Prepackaged Bullshit

The Frameline blurb says, “Created as part of the 2017 Outfest Fusion One Minute Movie Competition, this short is an invocation calling in Assata Shakur, Chuck D, and Angela Davis.”

Unfortunately, More Love, Less Prepackaged Bullshit was also unavailable for advance review. Check back later. • website

Encuentro, dir. Florencia Manóvil, 2016 USA, 17 min., in English and in Spanish with English subtitles, Bay Area Premiere 👏

Claudia (Stephanie Castillo, pictured right) is “MoC” (Masculine of Center); she and her friends are at a bar, talking about, among other things, why Claudia doesn’t seem very interested in finding a girlfriend. Claudia goes to the bar to get another beer and sees a mysterious and intriguing figure, Isabel (María F. León, pictured left). The two chat a bit in broken Spanish and broken English, unveiling in Claudia the glimmer of interest in the idea of connecting with someone. My only knock against this short is that the conversation of the friends before Isabel appears, came across as a little bit stilted, but when the action focuses on the two leads, the film finds its footing. You may not recognize the name Florencia Manóvil, but you may have seen her work, particularly in Dyke Central (Frameline 36, 38, and 39). Highly recommended for all audiences (yes, even jaded gay men!). • IMDb page

Walk for Me, dir. Elegance Bratton, 2016 USA, 12 min. US Premiere 👏
Walk for Me

Hannah Kendricks is a young drag queen, about to make her debut on the stage at New York’s Femme Queen competition, but family complications intervene. Will Hannah hew to her birth family or her drag family? Can she reconcile the two? This well-made short film presents a compelling watershed moment in the life of someone destined for fabulousness. Well worth seeing. Highly recommended. • IMDb page

BobbyAnna, dir. Jackson Kroopf, 2016 USA, 20 min. World Premiere 👏

Bobby (Legacy Bailey, pictured) is eking out a life on the fringes, living in her van and busking for a little spending money. She meets up with Anna, a blonde suburbanite trying, among other things, to live down her white privilege. Bobby’s van gets trashed, depriving him of both shelter and transportation, and Anna’s attempts at solidarity and empathy end up looking more like a bad case of noblesse oblige.  There is very little screen time given to stories of the marginally housed, but this gritty short gives a glimpse into the experience. Highly recommended. • IMDb page

Al otro lado (The Other Side), dir. Rodrigo Álvarez Flores, 2016 Mexico, 15 min., in Spanish with English subtitles, World Premiere 💖
The Other Side (Al otro lado)
Felipe (Eduardo Gómez, left) and Claudio (Juan Pablo Muro) are more than just friends, living somewhere in Baja California del Norte. (Filming was in Tijuana, Mexicali, and Ensenada.) They hook up, despite Claudio’s parents’ obvious disapproval, but then Claudio vanishes, leaving Felipe to try to make it al otro lado (to the other side — of the U.S. border) in the hope of somehow returning to his lover’s embrace. The writing, acting, directing, and technical aspects are all top notch, and the editor gets props for keeping just the right amount of detail, leaving us wanting more. MUST SEE. • IMDb page

Lady Eva, dirs. Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson, 2017 Tonga/USA, 11 min. World Premiere 👏
Lady Eva

First, a little factoid for you: most Americans see T-O-N-G-A and pronounce it “TONG-guh,” but the correct pronunciation is closer to “TONG-uh,” without the doubling of the ‘g’ sound.

Eva Baron (née Anderson Mafi) is a leiti (short for fakaleiti; roughly, transwoman or cross-dresser; similar to Tongan fa’afafine) involved in the pageant scene in Tonga. Unfortunately, Tonga is quite conservative on social issues, heavily influenced by the Mormons, and so Eva is given an ultimatum to either drop out of the pageant or move out of the family home, but she survives and has a smile on her face in spite of those travails. Faamanuiaga ma le alofa ia te oe, leiti matagofie!

The filmmakers are the same pair who brought us Kumu Hina (Frameline 38), a documentary about a Hawai’ian transwoman who, incidentally, is dating a Tongan man. Lady Eva is another standout documentary about LGBT Pacific Islanders. Highly recommended. • IMDb page

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