The 30th annual San Francisco International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival, or Frameline30 for short, has started. The program this year includes about 300 films from over 40 countries, with 11 films making their world premières. The logo for the 30th festival is "XXX," but most of the films are rated somewhere in the PG to R range.
At the opening night film, the chairperson of the festival's board of directors led us 30 years down memory lane. In 1976, San Francisco was preparing for its 7th gay pride parade, marking the 7th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City. A few days later we marked the Bicentennial. But there was no gay film festival that year.
In 1977, the gay community faced high-profile attacks from the likes of Anita Bryant, spreading the hatefully spurious notion that homosexuals were trying to "recruit" children into the "gay lifestyle." (The following year, the Briggs Initiative tried to ban homosexuals from teaching in California.) But also a small group of locals crammed into a single room to watch a collection of zero-budget Super-8 movies in the first gay and lesbian film festival anywhere in the world.
The political climate is quite different in 2006 from 1977. Yes, the bigots are trying to pass a constitutional amendment to enshrine oppression into the enduring fabric of our government, and the so-called conservatives are still on the ascendant, even with their beloved President facing approval ratings rivaling 1974 Richard Nixon. At the same time, though, the California Assembly passed a resolution honoring Frameline for its contribution to our state and to our culture. Signs for the festival are prominent throughout the city, with major corporations queueing for sponsorship slots.
It's time to celebrate the diversity of our community. On the longest day of the year, sit in a darkened theatre watching movies!
Technorati tags: LGBT, GLBT, Frameline, Frameline30, Gay Film Festival