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Arts & Entertainment

Frameline Film Festival 2023: Movies with Billy Porter, Indigo Girls on tap

"Fairyland" | Courtesy Frameline Film Festival

The Frameline Film Festival, the world’s largest and longest-running LGBTQ+ film festival, returns to the Castro Theatre June 14 through 24 for a full slate of programming. 

Highlights of the festival include an adaptation of the bestselling young adult romance novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, a documentary about the Indigo Girls and the Billy Porter-starring drama Our Son, about a gay couple going through a divorce. 

The opening night screening of Andrew Durham’s Fairyland will include an in-person appearance by producer Sofia Coppola. Two other marquee presentations include the Oakland Centerpiece film, Cora Bora, with breakout comedian Megan Stalter, and the Pride Kickoff film, God Save the Queens, featuring drag legend Alaska, who will be performing at an Oasis after-party.  

"God Save the Queens" | Courtesy Frameline Film Festival

Frameline will honor its 47th season by hosting 47 screenings at the historic Castro Theatre—making for an average of four screenings per day throughout the 11-day festival. The full program includes nearly 90 film screenings, including 12 world, 16 North American and nine U.S. premieres.  

The bountiful schedule—what organizers assert makes it the largest film festival in Northern California—comes in the wake of ongoing controversy surrounding Another Planet Entertainment’s plans for renovating the Castro Theatre, a project that has drawn criticism from film lovers who believe the new management signals an exodus of film programming at the theater. 

Yet in January, the executive director of the festival, James Woolley, came out in support of Another Planet’s plans, calling the improvements to accessibility “very exciting” and saying the new seats had “sightlines ideal for film.”  

“It will always be our home,” Woolley said of the Castro Theatre. 

It’s not the only venue for this year’s festival, which will also host screenings at CinemaSF’s Balboa Theater, 4-Star Theater and Vogue Theater, as well as the New Parkway Theater in Oakland. The full program will be available for streaming June 24-July 2. 

"Chasing Chasing Amy" | Courtesy Frameline Film Festival

Frameline47’s program also highlights the legacy and impact of LGBTQ+ cinema by pairing a screening of Kevin Smith’s 1997 cult classic Chasing Amy with Sav Rodgers’ directorial debut, Chasing Chasing Amy. The boy-meets-lesbian trope and its modern-day commentary are designed to provoke conversations around dealing with a cultural past that is both formative and damaging, according to Allegra Madsen, director of programming at Frameline. 

“There is nothing like seeing a great film at the cinema—sharing an experience in the same moment as friends and strangers alike,” Woolley said. 


🗓️ June 14-24, streaming encore June 24-July 2 
📍 Various Bay Area Venues 

Julie Zigoris can be reached at