Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, this year’s fourth annual LGBTQ+ Spectrum Film Festival will be held as a “virtual festival” from Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3 with six different LGBTQ+ films all available for patrons to watch from the health-safety and security of their own homes.
The variety of feature films to be shown this year includes narrative films about traditional dancers in the country of Georgia, teen girls in 1961 Oklahoma and a Peruvian folk artist who teaches his son about the religious. Documentary subjects range from high school transgender athletes to a concert tour through the American South by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
2020 Spectrum Film Festival Film Program
AND THEN WE DANCED
A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the ultraconservative confines of modern Georgian society, AND THEN WE DANCED follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli–gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak–throws Merab off-balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family.
Todd is a hyper-articulate, obsessive compulsive gay twentysomething whose fear of dying alone leads him to a baffling conclusion: he might not be gay after all. When he meets Rory, a whip-smart struggling actress with her own set of insecurities, the two forge a relationship that’s all talk and no sex. Writer-Director-Star James Sweeney delivers a razor sharp rom-com that’s equal parts Classical Hollywood and distinctly 21st century, exploring just how elastic our definitions of love and sexuality can get.
14-year-old Segundo lives with his parents in a village high in the magnificent mountains of Peru. His father Noé is a respected artist and Segundo’s role model. Noé hand-crafts altarpieces, decorated shrines for church and home, and is teaching Segundo the necessary skills to carry on in his footsteps. But cracks have developed in their close relationship because Noé is keeping a dark secret. With brutal honesty and saturated colors, the film peeks behind the facade of a seemingly intact village community where homophobic attitudes enforced by patriarchal laws are carried out with remorseless violence. It sketches a visually powerful panorama of a world in which a young artist is searching for his niche.
TO THE STARS
In a god-fearing small town in 1960s Oklahoma, bespectacled and reclusive teen Iris endures the booze-induced antics of her mother and daily doses of bullying from her classmates. She finds solace in Maggie, the charismatic and enigmatic new girl at school, who hones in on Iris’s untapped potential and coaxes her out of her shell. When Maggie’s mysterious past can no longer be suppressed, the tiny community is thrown into a state of panic, leaving Maggie to take potentially drastic measures and inciting Iris to stand up for her friend and herself.
GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South.Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir; the tour brings a message of music, love and acceptance, to communities and individuals confronting intolerance. Over 300 singers travelled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma. They performed in churches, community centers and concert halls in hopes of uniting us in a time of difference. The journey also challenges Tim and other Chorus members who fled the South to confront their own fears, pain and prejudices on a journey towards reconciliation. The conversations and connections that emerge offer a glimpse of a less divided America, where the things that divide us; faith, politics, sexual identity are set aside by the soaring power of music, humanity and a little drag.
CHANGING THE GAME
This intimate story takes us into the lives of three high school athletes from across the US – all at different stages of their athletic seasons, each sharing their lives as transgender teens. Our main character, Mack Beggs, made headlines last year when he became the Texas State Champion in girls wrestling — as a boy. Fighting Texas State policy and drawing international media coverage, he was heralded as a hero by some while receiving hate and threats from others. The tumultuous press surrounding his success continues to pull Mack in multiple directions as he and his family navigate the media and this year’s State wrestling tournament, all while trying to graduate high school. Each story is led by the brave and individual voices of these students, allowing extremely personal and vulnerable access into their journeys. These courageous kids offer us the opportunity to see the world through their eyes — and share their struggles and successes along the way.