March 16, 2017
Directed by Shaleece Haas
72 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
*Post-film Skype Q&A with subject of the film Bennett Wallace.
Bennett Wallace is a charismatic teenager on the brink of adulthood. As he navigates the ups and downs of gender transition and grapples with a history of substance abuse, Bennett embarks on a journey to find his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man. Filmed over four years, Real Boy follows the evolution of Bennett’s relationship with his mother Suzy, who has deep misgivings about his transition. As Suzy struggles to come to terms with his decision, Bennett is taken under the wing of his idol Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician fighting his own demons. Through observational storytelling that is alternately poignant and humorous, Real Boy explores the complexity of addiction, the healing power of music, and the importance of family, both given and chosen.
Winner: Audience Award Documentary–Frameline40 San Francisco LGBTQ Film Festival; Best Documentary–2016 Giffoni Film Festival; Audience Award–2016 Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
Damn These Heels Year-Round generously supported by
February 16, 2017
Directed by Stephen Dunn
90 min | 2015 | Canada | Not Rated
Cast: Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, and Isabella Rossellini
Closet Monster is a fresh and highly original take on the coming-of-age story. In his feature film debut, director Stephen Dunn uses masterful tone and visual authority to create a film that moves in and out of reality.
Oscar is an aspiring special-effects makeup artist finishing his last year of high school in a small town in Newfoundland. Oscar hangs out with his best friend, Gemma, who shares his dream of breaking into the big time in New York City. Oscar’s only other friend is his pet hamster, Buffy (voiced by Isabella Rossellini). Since he lacks nothing in ambition or talent, Oscar’s biggest obstacles are dangerously unresolved issues from his childhood. Buffy sums up the situation best as she comforts Oscar: “I was born in a factory farm to an overweight rodent who tried to eat me. It doesn’t mean my life can’t be different.”
Trapped in a mind-numbing job at a home-improvement store, Oscar meets his new and effortlessly sexy coworker, Wilder, whose tattooed heedlessness triggers a hormonal tsunami. Oscar is forced to confront the sexuality that he has been conditioned to regard as unsafe—something that must be hidden.
An intriguing mix of touching drama and whimsical fantasy, Closet Monster is a treat for the senses as it blends macabre horror with playful innocence. Dunn’s film plays with perspective and style, but all the flash never obscures its deep emotion and heart.
Winner: Best Canadian Feature–2015 Toronto International Film Festival; Official Selection: 2016 Damn These Heels Film Festival
December 20, 2016
Directed by Eddie Rosenstein
86 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
*Post-film panel with the film’s director Eddie Rosenstein, and Utahn’s who fought for marriage equality: Jennifer Fraser Parrish (legal team of Kitchen v. Herbert), Kody Partridge and Laurie Wood (plaintiffs), Derek Kitchen (plaintiff), and John Mejia (ACLU of Utah Legal Director).
Over the last four decades, same-sex marriage has gone from a ‘preposterous notion’ to one of the most successful civil rights campaigns in the world. The Freedom to Marry is a “War Room” style feature documentary about the same-sex marriage movement, from the final frenetic months of the legal and grassroots campaign.
One of the most surprising things about the same-sex marriage movement is that, actually, it was carefully planned and orchestrated over decades. The Freedom to Marry goes behind-the-scenes to reveal the inner workings and key players of this historic civil rights battle. This is a riveting ride alongside Evan Wolfson, the man known as the architect of the movement, civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto, and their key colleagues as they wage their climactic battle before the United States Supreme Court, providing a fresh perspective on the movement’s history along the way. This is a primer for social change and an inspirational tale of how people can actually make a difference.
Screening is presented to celebrate the 3-year anniversary of the ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in Utah.
Official Selection: 2016 Frameline 40–San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival
December 1, 2016
Directed by Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe
83 min | 2015 | Australia | Not Rated
Screening presented in partnership with Utah AIDS Foundation as part of World AIDS Day.
In the 1970s, at a prestigious Catholic boys school in Melbourne, arty and flamboyant Tim Conigrave fell madly in love with the star of the school’s football team…
Remembering the Man is a feature length documentary that uncovers the true story of these star cross‘d Romeos: their awkward schoolboy romance; their parents’ efforts to keep them apart; temptation, infidelity and separation; how they came back together stronger than before; and finally the courage they had to find when they learnt they were both HIV positive.
Through Tim’s voice and intimate interviews with friends and colleagues and unprecedented access to archival footage and family photos, Remembering the Man paints a raw, gritty and intimate picture.
Remembering the Man is the story of love, loss and AIDS from a uniquely Australian perspective.
Winner: Best Documentary–2015 Adelaide Film Festival, Best Documentary–2016 Melbourne Queer Film Festival
Directed by Steve Hoover
92 min | 2013 | USA | Not Rated
Screening presented in partnership with Utah AIDS Foundation as part of World AIDS Day.
Rocky Braat was dissatisfied with his life in America, and traveled to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children living at an orphanage for those infected with HIV, he decided to stay and devote his life to them. Despite formidable challenges, his playful spirit and determination in the face of despair proves to be an invaluable resource.
Winner: Grand Jury Prize Documentary – 2013 Sundance Film Festival; Audience Award Documentary – 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Audience Award – 2013 Hot Docs Film Festival
Directed by Chris Columbus
135 min | 2005 | USA | PG-13
Screening presented in partnership with Utah AIDS Foundation as part of World AIDS Day.
Cast: Taye Diggs, Rosario Dawson, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Indina Menzel, Jesse L. Martin, Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, and Tracy Thomas.
A special “sing-a-long’ screening of the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about a group of Bohemians in New York City and their struggles with sexuality, drugs, paying their rent, and life under the shadow of AIDS. Mark (Anthony Rapp), an aspiring filmmaker, and Roger (Adam Pascal), an HIV-positive musician, scramble for money to pay rent to their landlord and former roommate, Benny (Taye Diggs). Meanwhile, their friend Tom (Jesse L. Martin), a professor, has fallen for Angel (Wilson Jermaine Heredia), who is slowly dying of AIDS. Based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème and featuring six of the original Broadway cast members.
November 17, 2016
Directed by Eric Juhola
82 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
*Post-film discussion with Candice Metzler, Executive Director of Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah, Susan Reimers, Attorney/MSW, and Darcy Page, parent co-facilitators for Trans PAC (Parents & Caregivers): Adult Allies of Trans and Gender Exploring Youth.
Growing Up Coy is a feature-length documentary that centers around a young Colorado family who engages in a highly publicized legal battle and landmark civil rights case, as they fight for their 6-year-old transgender daughter Coy Mathis’s right to use the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school. The Mathis family’s landmark case in 2013, was the first in the United States to decide in favor of a transgender youth using the bathroom facility that corresponds with their gender identity. The film asks a universal question that any parent could face: “How far would you go to fight for your child’s equal rights?”
Official Selection: 2016 Frameline 40 – San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival; 2016 Human Rights Watch Film Festival
“…could not be timelier” — New York Times
“A sympathetic, of-the-moment doc…” — The Hollywood Reporter
“…urgent viewing” — The Guardian
“…provocative, enlightening” — OUT
Presented in partnership with the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah.
Post-film panel participant bios:
Candice Metzler, Executive Director of Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah
Candice is a Certified Social Worker (CSW) and Doctoral candidate nearing the completion of a PhD in Social Work at the University of Utah. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work and Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her area of research is clinical practice with LGBTQI populations. Candice is also the Executive Director of Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah. She has guest lectured on college and university campuses throughout Utah and works as a volunteer with the U.S. Department of Justice training local and regional law enforcement.
Susan Reimers, Attorney/MSW
Susan completed a dual degree in law and social work (JD/MSW) at the University of Utah in 2015. During college, she was a regular contributor to the Rainbow Law Clinic and the OutLaws (an LGBT student group at S.J. Quinney College of Law), and did her first-year practicum at the Utah Pride Center. Susan currently serves on the boards of Equality Utah, TEA of Utah, the National Federation of the Blind and the Mayor’s Disability Council, and has a strong interest in queer legal advocacy and trans-focused therapy.
October 20, 2016
Directed by C. Fitz
85 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
Jewel’s Catch One documents the oldest Black owned disco in America and establishes the legacy of businesswoman, activist, and healer, Jewel Thais-Williams, who stood up against hate and discrimination for 42 years. The story of Jewel and “The Catch” celebrates four decades of music, fashion, celebrity, and activism that helped change the course of our country by breaking down racial, social, and cultural barriers. One of the original safe spaces for both the LGBT and Black communities, The Catch also served as a refuge for many during the AIDS crisis. As her club grew to become known as the “unofficial Studio 54 of the West Coast,” Jewel became a national model for how to combat discrimination and serve the less fortunate.
The film is a lush visual and musical journey highlighted by exclusive interviews with Sharon Stone, Thelma Houston, Evelyn “Champagne“ King, Madonna, Sandra Bernhard, Thea Austin, Jenifer Lewis, Representative Maxine Waters and Bonnie Pointer. CCH Pounder narrates this historically important film.
Official Selection: 2016 Outfest, 2016 Provincetown International Film Festival
September 15, 2016
Directed by Scott Sheppard
86 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
This gripping documentary follows Rev. Frank Schaefer as he was put on trial in the United Methodist Church for officiating his son’s same-sex wedding. The Schaefer family was pulled into a movement for LGBTQ equality in the nation’s second largest protestant denomination. An Act of Love follows Rev. Schaefer’s journey from small-town minister to outspoken advocate, as well as the ongoing debate in the United Methodist Church over LGBTQ inclusion.
Winner: Audience Award–2016 San Luis Obispo International Film Festival
August 18, 2016
Directed by Piotr J. Lewandowski
99 min | 2016 | Germany | Not Rated
In this powerfully beautiful film from Germany, Jonathan is a young man who is caring for his terminally ill father, Burghardt. When Burghardt is stricken with cancer, Jonathan must put his dreams aside to be his father’s caretaker and become responsible for managing the family farm with his conservative and deeply religious Aunt Martha. Estranged from her brother, but aware that Jonathan can’t do everything alone, Martha hires the lovely and mysterious Anka as a nurse to care for Burghardt. Jonathan falls in love with Anka and finds a brief respite from the responsibilities that weigh so heavily on him.
But when Burghardt’s long-lost friend, Ron, arrives, everything turns upside down. Jonathan can’t understand why Martha despises Ron, why she refuses to speak to her dying brother, or why his father has so much affection for this stranger. Long-buried family secrets come to light as the characters explore the complicated, sometimes heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting dynamics of life, death, love, loss, family, and acceptance.
Winner: Audience Award – 2016 Damn These Heels Film Festival; Official Selection: 2016 Berlin Film Festival
July 21, 2016
Directed by Silvia Chiogna
68 min | 2014 | Germany | Not Rated
Enlightening and entertaining, Mirco addresses the complexity of living an authentic gender-queer life straight on. Director Silvia Chiogna seeks to expose the challenges gender-queer people face in performing even the most basic everyday activities.
“Sting operations” and staged interactions featuring the director and her main subjects expose society’s fixation on pronouns and the dichotomy in the perspective on male/female gender identities.
As we watch how fluidly the people in the film transform from male to female and then back again, the need for labels begins to disappear, and the viewer is able to connect with the subjects on a deeper level. These endearing characters appear in candid interviews that expose their personal frustrations and coping mechanisms for achieving what some have described as the new wave in gender-neutral equality. Their unwavering determination to be viewed as whole human beings and not be defined by a set of chromosomes raises a crucial question: why does society feel the need to classify people according to their genetic makeup, rather than their individual, unique characteristics?
July 15, 2016
Join us for the 13th annual and the regions only LGBT film festival!
July 13, 2016
A Damn These Heels and Through the Lens Special Event:
An Evening with Dionne Warwick
Spend a unique evening featuring a conversation with Grammy Award®-winner Dionne Warwick and Academy Award®-winning director Ellen Goosenberg Kent based around film clips that highlight Warwick’s life, career, and activism, that will form the foundation for the upcoming documentary in early production for PBS’s American Masters series. Following the conversation moderated by KUER RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio, Dionne, accompanied by a pianist, will perform a couple of her greatest hits.
–Tickets now on sale–
$25 – Utah Film Center Member and Damn These Heels Passholder
$35 – Non-Member/Non-Passholder
$75 – VIP Meet-and-Greet Tickets
Members and DTH Passholders received an email on Friday, June 10th with their discount code.
May 19, 2016
Directed by Fina Torres
100 min | 2014 | Venezuela | Not Rated
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
Based on the play, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, by Jane Chambers, Liz in September is a lush look at loss, love, freedom, and friendship. Set in a tropical paradise, this film focuses on Liz as she faces terminal cancer. Fiercely independent, Liz is a notorious womanizer who is afraid to let anyone get too close. Hiding her illness from her cadre of friends, she stubbornly tries to deal with the reality facing her on her own—until Eva arrives.
Having recently suffered the loss of her young son to cancer, Eva is on her way to meet her husband for a tropical vacation. When her car breaks down, the mechanic sends her to Margot’s Inn—a lesbian utopia. At first the women resent the presence of a straight woman, but after Liz wins a wager that she can’t seduce Eva into sleeping with her, the friends find the stranger far more interesting. Working through each other’s grief and breaking down emotional barriers, Liz and Eva build a simmering, sensual romance.
With its combination of fascinating women, solid acting, and an incredible setting, Liz in September is an amazing celebration of sisterhood, love, healing, closure, and identity.
Winner: Audience Award for Best Feature—2015 Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival; Official Selection: 2015 Damn These Heels Film Festival
April 21, 2016
Directed by Andrew Nackman
86 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
Adam, Chris, Ortu, and Nick have been friends since childhood. They live in a small town and work blue-collar jobs. They play poker, drink beer, and hang out at local bars. On Adam’s 24th birthday, he has a secret he needs to tell them that he’s afraid will change everything—he’s gay. Trying to plan the perfect moment to reveal his news, he instead blurts it out quite suddenly, much to the surprise of his pals.
More than a run-of-the-mill coming-out comedy, Fourth Man Out is a warmhearted story about friendship, family, and acceptance. The chief sources of the comedy are Ortu and Nick; they accept Adam’s homosexuality and mean well when they discover his online dating profile, but they are incredibly awkward about letting their friend know his status as a member of their pack hasn’t changed. They even unintentionally “out” Adam to his über-religious neighbor in one of the film’s more hilarious moments.
Meanwhile, Adam is wading into his small-town dating pool and finding the array of suitors exceedingly limited. After several bad blind dates and an encounter with a mysterious stranger, Adam’s sense of loneliness grows, leading to a drunken misunderstanding with his best friend, Chris.
Although the plot of a gay man coming out is perhaps a bit heavy-handed, the film’s small-town, blue-collar atmosphere and the cast’s perfect comedic timing inject depth and genuineness to Andrew Nackman’s film. Moreover, this delightful romp puts an intriguing spin on the “bromance” genre, bringing it squarely into the LGBT arena. Fourth Man Out will leave audiences of all demographics smiling from ear to ear.
Winner: Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature—2015 InsideOut Toronto LGBT Film Festival; Official Selection: 2015 Damn These Heels LGBT Film Festival, 2015 Seattle International Film Festival
December 17, 2015
Directed by Vincente Minnelli
113 min | 1944 | USA | Not Rated
Meet Me in St. Louis is a classic MGM romantic musical comedy that focuses on four sisters (one of whom is the nonpareil Judy Garland) on the cusp of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The film spotlights the sisters’ education in the ways of the world, which includes, but isn’t limited to, learning about life and love, courtesy of the prototypical boy next door. In the end, love—accompanied by song, dance, and period costumes, all in glorious Technicolor—conquers all. This classic musical is not driven by plot, but more a series of three seasonal vignettes of family life: summer, autumn, and winter. The movie is a lovingly rendered still life of a family (and town) on the brink of great change.
Today’s filmmakers would do well to study Meet Me in St. Louis, which fills its central family’s life with music: they hum, they sing phrases of songs even when no production number is on the way, they play piano. Music feels as natural here as it’s ever felt in a movie. The space between musical performance and acting of the non-singing variety is blissfully blurred.
Upon it’s release, Bosely Crowther’s, 1944 New York Times review encapsulates this classic “holiday” film:
“Vincente Minnelli, in his direction, has got all the period charm out of ladies dressed in flowing creations, gentlemen in straw ‘boaters’ and ice-cream pants, rooms lush with golden-oak wains-coating, ormolu decorations and red-plush chairs. As a comparable screen companion to ‘Life With Father,’ we would confidently predict that Meet Me in St. Louis has a future that is equally bright. In the words of one of the gentlemen, it is a ginger-peachy show.”
November 23, 2015
Please note the updated venue and date
Directed by Alex Berry
90 min | 2014 | USA | Not Rated
Drag Becomes Him provides an intimate glimpse inside the life of the internationally acclaimed drag performer and season five winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jinkx Monsoon. This raw and affectionate film follows the passionate pursuits that transformed a working-class boy in a struggling family to an illustrious performer on a global stage.
November 3, 2015
Directed by Sharon Shattuck
76 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
With her own wedding just around the corner, filmmaker Sharon Shattuck returns home to examine the mystery at the heart of her upbringing: how her transgender father, Trisha and her straight-identified mother Marcia stayed together against all odds. From This Day Forward is a moving portrayal of an American family coping with the most intimate of transformations.
Official Selection: 2015 AFI Docs Film Festival, 2015 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, 2015 Outfest, 2015 Frameline, and 10 other film festivals
Preceded by the short film
Directed by Genéa Gaudet
13 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
In 1974, a Mormon missionary finds his world turned upside down when he falls in love with a handsome Italian Communist. With original 8mm film and fierce storytelling, Tom Clark recounts a love story set against the backdrop of coastal Italy wrought with faith, identity, cigarettes, and Thorazine.
October 15, 2015
Directed by Joey Kuhn
89 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
On Manhattan’s gilded Upper East Side, a young painter, Charlie, finds the man of his dreams in an older pianist from across the globe. If only Charlie weren’t secretly in love with his own manipulative best friend, Sebastian, who is embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of Sebastian’s notoriety, their tight-knit group of friends must confront the new realities of adulthood.
Winner: Best First Feature—2015 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival; Official Selection: 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, Frameline39 San Francisco International LBGTQ Film Festival
September 17, 2015
Directed by Malcolm Ingram
99 min | 2015 | USA/Canada | Not Rated
Out to Win is an overview and examination of the lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes from all over the world. Chronicling the present, framed within a historical context of those that came before, this film highlights the experiences of athletes who have fought and struggled, both in and out of the closet, to represent the LGBT community and their true selves.
Official Selection: 2015 SXSW Film Festival, 2015 BFI Flare, 2015 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2015 Outfest, 2015 AFI Docs, and 2015 Frameline Film Festival