The 2019 OUTwatch Film Festival Films

Gay Chorus Deep South 
Friday, October 4th at 7:30pm

Director: David Charles Rodrigues

Length: 98 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English

Awards: Audience Award: Documentary TRIBECA Film Festival, 2019

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 traveled from Mississippi to Tennessee through the Carolinas and over the bridge in Selma, performing 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. What emerges is a less divided America, where the lines that divide us—faith, politics, sexual identity—are erased through the soaring power of music, humanity… and a little drag.

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The End of The Century  Saturday, October 5th at 12:00pm
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Director: Lucio Castro

Length: 84 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: Spain

Language: Spanish with English Subtitles

Awards: Jury Award - Best First Feature: FRAMELINE San Francisco International Film Festival, 2019

From writer-director Lucio Castro, End of the Century is a dreamy, unhurried unfolding of love & destiny between two men who encounter one another in Barcelona only to realize that they had met before, twenty years earlier. Spanish poet Ocho, visiting Barcelona from his home in New York, spends a day of unfruitful cruising where he exchanges wanting looks with a man in a KISS t-shirt. When Ocho spots him from the balcony of his AirBnB later that evening, he works up the nerve to invite the man upstairs, who says his name is Javi. The two spend a passionate evening together (after making an emergency pit stop for condoms), and when Ocho gets a text from Javi the next evening to meet up again, Javi reveals to him beneath the lavender Barcelona twilight that this is not their first encounter. What follows is an exploration of the two characters and their relationship to the evolution of love and sex over time, asking questions of fate and freedom. While Javi and Ocho practically ooze with charm and chemistry, Castro's non-linear storytelling paired with indulgent shots of the Spanish skyline at sunset make End of the Century a unique journey that goes down smooth, slow, and easy.

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Kattumaram  Saturday, October 5th at 2:30pm

Director: Swarnavel Eswaran

Length: 73 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: India

Language: Tamil with English Subtitles

“One of the rare attempts at queer cinema from South India.” 
High On Films, London

Swarnavel Eswaran makes his feature film debut with the lovingly crafted film, Kattumaram. Suvivors find ways to go on in a small South Indian fishing village despite having been ravaged by a devastating tsunami. Kattumaram tells the story of a family thrown together by loss, when newly-made patriarch Singaram finds himself responsible for his orphaned niece Anandhi and nephew Mani. Desperate to find a match for Anandhi, who teaches at the local school, Singaram faces pressure from the village and from his own conscience to marry her off into a life of security and comfort. Unknown to her uncle, Anandhi finds herself drawn to the new photography teacher at school, Kavita, who has also experienced loss in the death of her lesbian partner and struggles with her own father's pressures for marriage as well. As Anandhi and Kavita find comfort and affection in one another, so too do the eyes and ears of the closely-knit fishing village begin to take notice of their burgeoning love. Soon Singaram is faced with a decision: he must either give in to the expectations of an intolerant, angry community or put himself and those he provides for at risk by coming to Anandhi and Kavita's aid. Tradition, loss, and the many different manifestations of grief weave together with the promise of new love against the beautiful South Indian coastline in this rarely seen tale of queer life outside of Western queer cinema.

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Sell By  Saturday, October 5th at 5:00pm
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Director: Mike Doyle

Length: 94 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English

Premier: FRAMELINE San Francisco International Film Festival, 2019

Actor Mike Doyle makes his feature directorial debut with this sharp, engaging modern-day romantic comedy about six friends trying to balance their relationships and careers (or lack thereof) in New York City. Good-looking, successful, and surrounded by friends, Adam (Scott Evans) and Marklin (Augustus Prew) appear on social media as the cutest of couples, but after five years together, their honeymoon might be over as issues around money, careers, and sex lead to intense questions of trust and commitment. Meanwhile, the pair’s eccentric pals face their own relationship struggles and meaning-of-life conundrums. Doyle does an excellent job of skewering popular opinions about love and companionship while capturing the real way people process the thorny emotional landscape of just getting along. With a fabulous cast that also includes Kate Walsh, Michelle Buteau, and the always-enchanting Patricia Clarkson in a priceless cameo, Sell By will have you laughing out loud, and then seriously pondering the convoluted realities of growing up, selling out, and following your dreams.

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More Beautiful for Having Been Broken
Saturday, October 5th at 7:30pm

Director: Nicole Conn

Length 111 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English

Awards: Best Picture Award: LA Independent Film Festival, 2019

From award-winning writer/director Nicole Conn comes this heartfelt semi-autobiographical journey. When FBI agent McKenzie (known to her friends as "Max") returns to the picturesque Northern California lakeside community she once visited as a child, she finds more than she bargained for in the persistently friendly resident locals - and no more so than in seven year-old Freddie and his melancholy & protective single mother, Samantha. Despite being born with life-threatening physical disabilities, the affection, charm, and unique perspective on life which Freddie generously offers to those around him challenges McKenzie's perception of not only the world as she knows it but also of herself and her own painful past. What starts as an adversarial relationship between McKenzie and Samantha over her son soon blossoms into a celebration of life, love, and the ability to find beauty in all things. While Samantha grapples with her identity as Freddie's sole support in light of her burgeoning desire to let McKenzie into their lives, questions about McKenzie's shrouded identity outside of the lake community threaten to destroy the veil of tranquil lakeside life for everyone. More Beautiful For Having Been Broken is a touching story, not of worlds colliding, but rather of worlds joining together.

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Snapshots  Sunday, October 6th at 1:30pm
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Director: Melanie Mayron

Length: 94 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English

Awards: 39 Awards Nationally and Internationally, 2018

Snapshots has an additional screening in Sonoma on October 11, 7pm.

Three generations of women come together for a weekend at the family’s lakeside home, and while fishing and Scrabble are intentionally on the menu, secrets both new and long-held turn out to be the main course. On the surface, Allison is a modern young woman making strides in her career. Her mother Patty is mourning her husband and self-medicating with chardonnay. But the heart of the story is grandmother Rose, who has called the cabin home since the late 1950s. A long-forgotten, newly developed roll of film from that time revives Rose’s memories of Louise, a bold, poetry-quoting beauty who opened Rose’s eyes to another way of life when both were young married women. Rose’s memories unfold in lush period flashbacks, as her friendship with the intoxicating Louise blossoms into a sweet and sultry love affair. Piper Laurie (3 time Oscar winner) as present-day Rose is the calm center of the storm, an open-minded voice of reason mediating Allison and Patty’s mother-daughter squabbles while keeping her past to herself. The ensemble delivers authentic, emotional performances, supported by lovely scenery and a beautiful score. Snapshots is a story about family and secrets, love and taboos, choices and legacy. 

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Changing the Game  Sunday, October 6th at 4:00pm

Director: Michael Bennett

Length: 95 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English

Awards: Audience Award Best Documentary: FRAMELINE San Francisco International Film Festival, 2019

Michael Barnett’s dynamic documentary takes us into the lives of three high school athletes—all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and unique paths as transgender teens. Their stories span across the U.S.—from Sarah, a skier and teen policymaker in New Hampshire, to Andraya, a track star in Connecticut openly transitioning into her authentic self. The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines last year when he became the Texas State Champion in women’s wrestling and was heralded as a hero by some while receiving hate and threats from others. Trans athletes have to work harder than their cisgender peers in order to thrive in their field while also having the courage and resilience to face daily harassment and discrimination. The kids in this film have found sports as a way to channel the negativity around them into a positive, to gain a sense of self-worth and validation. This film is their urgent, articulate plea for acceptance.

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The Infiltrators  Sunday, October 6th at 7:00pm
 
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This Special Screening is a Benefit for Queer Asylum Accompaniment, a local group who is assisting LGBTQ Asylum Seekers find sanctuary in Sonoma County.

Director: Cristina Ibarra; Alex Rivera

Length: 95 Minutes

Year: 2019 • Country: USA

Language: English and Spanish with English Subtitles

Awards: Audience Award: Best of Next!, Sundance Festival, 2019

A crew of undocumented youth activists willingly hand themselves over to the Florida Border Patrol. While locked up inside the crowded for-profit Broward Transitional Center, they attempt to hatch their plan: free the detainees—and themselves—before being deported. Conspiring with their cohorts on the outside including gay activist Mohammad Abdollahi, Marco (Maynor Alvarado) and Viri (Chelsea Rendon) they find themselves in over their heads, fighting against the clock and striving to maintain anonymity within the lockup until their mission is complete. Unfolding with all the pulse-pounding suspense of a heist caper, filmmakers Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera (Sleep Dealer) have crafted a vital account of a damaged and devious system, told by the real-life protesters who risked everything for the cause. Seamlessly and unforgettably blending documentary footage with scripted dramatizations filmed inside the detention center, Ibarra and Rivera’s bold and convention-busting nail-biter—which garnered standing ovations and multiple prizes at Sundance this year—pays tribute to a small band of truly heroic individuals.

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