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Queerty: Bottoms, bops, and baby bears: 10 must-see titles from San Francisco’s Frameline47 film fest

Four movies stills from the Frameline47 festival.Image Credits, clockwise from Top Left: ‘Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music.’ ‘The Trace Of Your Lips,’ ‘Glitter And Doom,’ ‘Bottoms’ | Frameline47

Get ready to see and be scene at the highly anticipated Frameline47.

Yes, it’s almost time to raise the curtain once again on the Frameline International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the Bay Area’s largest annual film event. Organized by the San Francisco-based queer media arts foundation Frameline, the event returns this June 14 – 24, showcasing nearly 90 genre-spanning titles from all over the world.

As always, the festival lineup is an embarrassment of riches—a jaw-dropping collection of world premieres, centerpiece screenings, shorts programs, and so much more.

The 47th edition of Frameline welcomes film lovers from all over to the Bay Area, but will also offer up national streaming encores from June 24 to July 2 for many of its titles so that you can catch the best and the queerest of international cinema no matter where you are.

With that in mind, Queerty has assembled a preview of Frameline47, highlighting some of the most exciting films to screen at this year’s fest that you won’t want to miss. We have a feeling you’ll be hearing a lot more about these titles soon, so be sure to add them to your watch list!

Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe

A still from 'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe'Image Credit: ‘Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,’ Frameline47

A beloved YA novel comes to the big screen in this long-awaited coming-of-age feature from director Aitch Albano. After bonding over their unique names, Mexican-American teens Aristotle (Max Pelayo) and Dante (Reese Gonzales) become best friends over the summer of 1987 in El Paso, TX. But when Dante moves away, their pen pal letters make it clear one of them has lingering romantic feelings the other’s unsure about. Scored by pop hits of the era and co-starring Eva Longoria and Eugenio Derbez, this one’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Screening Saturday, June 17.

Big Boys

Another charming story of youthful self-discovery, Big Boys has already been praised by our sister site, INTO. From first-time feature filmmaker Corey Sherman, it follows the teen “bear cub-in-training” Jamie (Isaac Krasner in a winning breakthrough performance) on a fateful camping trip with family. Though he’s initially irked that his favorite cousin brought her older boyfriend Dan along, Jamie realizes he may have judged the guy too quickly, and soon begins his relatable journey of figuring out, “Do I want to be him, or do I want to be with him?”

Screening Saturday, June 17, and streaming virtually from June 24 – July 2.


Image Credit: ‘Bottoms,’ Frameline47

Bottoms is the tops—and we guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. Re-teaming with Shiva Baby director Emma Seligman, Rachel Sennott (Bodies Bodies Bodies) links up with fellow comedic scene stealer Ayo Edebiri (The Bear) for this outrageous queer dark comedy. Unpopular seniors PJ and Josie (Sennott and Edebiri, respectively) scheme their way into starting a fight club at their high school—all in the hopes that it’ll help them hook up with cheerleaders. The only problem: They don’t know how to fight.

Screening Friday, June 16.

Casa Susanna

Back at a time when “cross-dressing” was a criminal offense in most parts of the country, a little hideaway for trans women and nonbinary folk came to be in the Catskill Mountains. Throughout the mid-’50s and early ’60s, Casa Susanna was a haven to hundreds who flocked there to live freely, if even for a weekend, indulging in dinner parties, performances, and other festivities they could otherwise only dream about. Sharing footage and touching first-person accounts, this eye-opening doc recounts a crucial corner of queer history.

Screening Sunday, June 18, and streaming virtually from June 24 – July 2.

Chocolate Babies

After a successful festival run in the mid-’90s (including the 21st Frameline), this story of radical resistance struggled to secure wider distribution. Now, it’s been restored for its 25th anniversary, returning to Frameline so that this rare gem of the New Queer Cinema movement can be discovered anew. Filmmaker Stephen Winter’s electrifying debut tags along with a group of Black, queer activists and drag queens as they take to the streets of New York City and fight for their rights—by any means necessary—at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Receiving a special Juneteenth screening at the Castro Theatre on Monday, June 19, and streaming virtually from June 24 – July 2.


A still from 'Fairyland'Image Credit: ‘Fairlyand,’ Frameline47

Adapted from Alysia Abbott’s memoir, Fairyland marks a perfect opening night presentation for Frameline47, as it tells a touching family story set against the backdrop of the LGBTQ+ liberation movement in San Francisco in the 1970s. When she was just 8 years old, Alysia moved to the city with her father Steve (Argo’‘s Scoot McNairy) and came of age among the city’s rapidly growing gay population. Directed by Andrew Durham, the film also stars Emilia Jones, Cody Fern, Maria Bakalova, and rock star Adam Lambert in a rare dramatic role.

Screening Wednesday, June 14.

Glitter And Doom

A still from 'Glitter & DoomImage Credit: ‘Glitter & Doom,’ Frameline47

The music of Grammy Award-winning duo the Indigo Girls (you’re humming “Closer To Fine” right now, aren’t you?) provides the soundtrack to this original movie musical about two aspiring artists in love. Doom (Alan Cammish) has rockstar ambitions, while Glitter (Filipino pop star Alex Diaz) is a free-spirited circus performer, but they share an undeniable spark that makes this colorful romantic fantasy sing. Ming-Na Wen and Missi Pyle co-star, with cameos from queer icons like Peppermint, Tig Notaro, Lea DeLaria, and—yup!—the Indigo Girls.

Screening Thursday, June 22.

The Mattachine Family

After an incredible year, partners Thomas (Younger‘s Nico Tortorella) and Oscar (Mamma Mia‘s Juan Pablo Di Pace) are devastated when their foster son returns to his birth mother. Forced to confront what they want out of their relationship—and out of a family—the couple leans on their close-knit circle of friends, including Thomas’ oldest and best friend Leah (Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire), who recently miscarried and is dealing with a loss of her own. The Mattachine Family is directed Andy Vallentine and co-written with his husband, Danny.

Screening Thursday, June 15, and streaming virtually from June 24 – July 2.

Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History Of Popular Music

A still from 'Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History Of Popular Music'Image Credit: ‘Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History Of Popular Music,’ Frameline47

Following in the footsteps of Talking Heads’ groundbreaking concert doc Stop Making Sense, this entrancing film invites us into the theater where artist Taylor Mac and a team of musicians staged an all-day performance honoring the grand tradition of pop music. Harkening back to the days of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” up through Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” and beyond, Mac uses drag, elaborate costumes from Machine Dazzle, and dynamic staging to take us on a one-of-a-kind journey through musical history—like only the queers can.

Screening Saturday, June 24.

The Trace Of Your Lips

A still from 'The Trace Of Your Lips'Image Credit: ‘The Trace Of Your Lips,’ Frameline47

Mexican director and Frameline alum Julián Hernández returns with this erotic and provocative drama about the limits of sex and love during a time of intense caution. Set during an unnamed pandemic that recalls both the AIDS crisis and the more recent COVID-19 quarantine, B-movie actor Román (Hugo Catalán) and dancer Aldo (Mauricio Rico) are neighbors who find themselves closer than ever before when everyone’s suddenly thrust into lockdown. Seeking any kind of connection even their attempts to stave off loneliness become taboo.

Screening Saturday, June 17.

Even More Frameline47 Films To Look Out For

Beyond what we’ve highlighted above, Framline47 will be screening a number of exciting features we’ve previously mentioned in other festival previews, or covered when their trailers have dropped. Details for each are below with links to where you can read more about them on Queerty:

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