The 41st year of Frameline, San Francisco’s legendary international film festival, came to a close on Sunday, June 25. It was a remarkable year for the festival, which screened 147 films during its 11-day run, including features, documentaries and shorts. The festival’s closing night included a screening of one final film, After Louie, at the Castro Theatre, as well as awards presentations and a party at SoMa bar Oasis.
After Louie stars Alan Cumming as Sam, a man still mourning the loss of his partner to AIDS 20 years prior. He’s burdened by the trauma of the epidemic’s early days, and as Frameline’s Curran Nault notes, “channels his ennui into rent boys, cigarettes, and an experimental video project that seems indefinitely stuck on pause.” That all changes when he meets the young Braeden (played by Zachary Booth, Keep the Lights On), who gets Sam to let down his guard.
“An absorbing drama that activist/playwright Larry Kramer rightfully declared ‘needed to be made,’ After Louie radiates with the specificity of a generation that has boldly persevered through adversity,” Nault says. The film also stars David Drake, Justin Vivian Bond, Wilson Cruz and New York performing artist Joey Arias.
Prior to the film’s screening on Sunday, filmmaker and activist Marc Huestis presented Cumming with the 2017 Frameline Award, given each year to an individual who has made a major contribution to LGBTQ representation in film, television or media. Past recipients have included Vito Russo, Divine and actor-activist George Takei.
Following the film, this year’s festival awards were handed out at Oasis, the local bar owned by San Francisco drag legend Heklina. Among this year’s Jury Award recipients were The Wound (the First Feature Award), Strong Island (Outstanding Documentary) and Chavela (Honorable Mention, Documentary), about the Mexican lesbian singer Chavela Vargas. Chavela also won this year’s audience award for Best Documentary.
A short directed by Danny Devito, Curmudgeons, won the Audience Award for Best Short.
Enjoy 10 pics from the Frameline 2017 closing night celebration:
Photographs by Barak Shrama, Jim Norrena and Tommy Lau