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See OUTwatch-Sponsored Films at
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival 2023
March 16-19, 2023



Director: Mercedes Kane

2022, 88 minutes

The documentary film ART AND PEP tells their inspiring story of the long struggle for equality and their fight to love freely. Art Johnston and Pepe Peña are civil rights leaders whose life and love is a force behind LGBTQ+ equality in the heart of the country. Their iconic gay bar, Sidetrack, has helped fuel movements and create community for decades in Chicago's queer enclave. But, behind the business and their historic activism exists a love unlike any other. Filmmakers Attending for post-screening Q&A.


Art and Pep is another film that works as both an intimate personal story and as a broader historical exploration…. The result is a real charmer.” Robert


Click to order tickets:

Fri, Mar 17th, 7:00 PM @ Rialto Cinemas® #9

Also available for streaming March 20-29



Director: Jay Bedwani

2022, 75 minutes

Donna Personna first hit the stage with the legendary Cockettes. Ecstatic lip-synching in San Francisco’s downtown bars was a far cry from Donna’s Baptist upbringing in nearby San Jose. This film is an intimate and candid portrait of this inspiring trans activist, artist and performer. It follows her journey to live authentically as herself and to reconnect with her family. Her story proves: it’s never too late to find your métier and truly blossom.

Filmmaker Attending, Post-Screening Q&A.


“This is a beautiful, poetic piece of work. A true San Francisco story. Donna is very likable. As she says, “When you’re free to be yourself, you can be magnificent.”  QueerGuru


Click to order tickets: Sun, Mar 19th, 2:15 PM @ Little Red Hen – Sebastopol Center for the Arts


Director: Michelle Sahlin Docter

2022, 11 minutes

Set in Sebastopol, Bonnie and Jai own Hope Acre Farm where they grow organic tomatoes and beans. With a flock of animals and a new baby, they bring on more hands with the help of volunteers. Little did they know that farming as a queer couple would create a safe haven for other queer folks to build community with each other and the land.  Filmmakers Attending, Post-Screening Q&A.


Click to order tickets: Sun, Mar 19th, 12:00 PM @ Little Red Hen – Sebastopol Center for the Arts (Environmental Shorts Program)

Also available for streaming March 20-29



Director: Madeleine Lim

2022, 64 minutes

This profile shines a hope-filled spotlight on Lambda Award-winning novelist, activist and philanthropist Jewelle Gomez. From Black Power in late 1960s Boston, AIDS activism in mid-80s New York, to Marriage Equality in early 2010s San Francisco, Jewelle’s amazing contributions have improved all our LGBTQ lives. Amongst her work, The Gilda Stories gave us lesbian vampires when it was published in 1991, and her 2010 play about James Baldwin, Waiting for Giovanni recognizes one of our great black authors. Jewelle Gomez and her wife, Dr. Diane Sabin were among the litigants to sue California for the right to legal marriage. Filmmaker Attending, Post-Screening Q&A.


Click to order tickets:

Sat, Mar 18th, 5:30 PM @ Rialto Cinemas® #9 (with short film The Ruth Brinker Story)



Director: Apo Bazidi

2022, 23 minutes

Retired food-service worker, Ruth Brinker, became a pioneer of HIV care in her community and would become a legend among San Franciscans. Brinker, a woman whose deep compassion became a source of strength for others struggling to cope with the times, began cooking meals in her kitchen to deliver to her neighbors who were too ill to take care of themselves. Her goal was to not only provide meals but to also revitalize the city's sense of community and spend time with HIV/AIDS patients to end the isolation they experienced. Providing meals with love became the hallmark of her mission.Along with her team of volunteers, Ruth founded Project Open Hand, the largest provider of nutrition to the HIV/AIDS community.


 Filmmakers Attending, Post-Screening Q&A for live event.


Click to order tickets:

Sat, Mar 18th, 5:30 PM @ Rialto Cinemas® #9 (with Jewelle: A Just Vision)

Also available for streaming March 20-29



Directors: Julia Cheryl Bookout & Cheri Gaulke

2022, 30 minutes

Inside the Beauty Bubble is a documentary film that follows beauty salon and museum founder, Jeff Hafler, a hairdresser who took his love of history as an opportunity to collect the history of his occupation! We follow him through the seasons leading up to an exciting culminating event at the San Francisco International Airport's new Harvey Milk Terminal, sharing the life and times of Hafler and his Beauty Bubble Salon and Museum situated in Joshua Tree, California.

Filmmakers Attending, Post-Screening Q&A for live event.


Click to order tickets:

Sat, Mar 18th, 1:30 PM @ Rialto Cinemas® #6 (shown with Objects)

Sun. Mar. 19 2:45pm @ Robert Brent Auditorium – Sebastopol Center for the Arts  (Won’t You Be My Neighbor Shorts Program)


Gimme Some Truth:


Director: Magnus Gertten

2022, 92 minutes, with subtitles

Teddy Jury Award, 72nd Berlin International Film Festival


Theirs is the unlikely love story between two women who fell in love on Christmas Eve, 1944, in the Ravensbruck concentration camp, a German camp exclusively for women. Despite being separated in the last months of the war, they manage to reunite and spend the rest of their life together.


“Nelly was a mezzo-soprano and also a member of the French Resistance movement; she was arrested in Paris in 1943 for espionage.  Nadine was the daughter of a Chinese diplomat and in her prime was linked to the “Académie des femmes” in Paris, she helped people escape to Spain by way of the Pyrenées. Each frame of the documentary is a picture in itself, perfectly composed and edited. Off voices add warmth to the narrative and thanks to a skillful selection of photos and Super-8 footage, we know about Nelly and see her through Nadine’s eyes.”  QueerGuru


Click to order tickets:

Sat, Mar 18th, 12:15 PM @ Robert Brent Auditorium – Sebastopol Center for the Arts

There are many other SDFF documentaries that are LGBTQI-themed, including:


A MIDSUMMERS NIGHTS DREAM IN PRISON It's almost like for three hours we weren't in prison… reflects one of the inmates appearing in an Oregon prison-sponsored performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The theater-making process brings out the participant's stories of pain and regret, compassion and hope. The film captures the men as they experience the transformative power of the Arts to challenge and heal.

Sat. Mar. 18 6:45 PM  Rialto Cinema #6

Also available for streaming March 20-29


PROGNOSIS – NOTES ON LIVING In perhaps her bravest act, Oscar-winning documentarian and LGBTQIA+ activist Debra Chasnoff responds to a deadly disease by turning the camera on herself, her wife Nancy Otto, and their chosen family. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Prognosis is an emotionally raw, funny, and profoundly intimate present-tense diary of a life fiercely lived, and a love worth fighting for.

Sat. Mar. 18, 7 PM Robert Brent Auditorium

Also available for streaming March 20-29


For more information, go to:


Coming Attractions ...

We'll be announcing more films soon! Stay Tuned!

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