Based on the book by Alexis Coe, director Jennifer Kent’s (The Babadook, The Nightingale) lesbian murder thriller Alice + Freda Forever tells the true story of two teenage girls in late 1800s Memphis whose unstable romance turns into a violently jealous obsession. If the filmmaker’s previous work is any indication, this one’s gonna go hard.
Penned by Emmy winner Lena Waithe (Master of None, The Chi), Andrew Dosunmu’s fourth feature Beauty stars Gracie Marie Bradley as the title character, an up-and-coming singer in a relationship with a butch lesbian (Aleyse Shannon) The film co-stars screen veterans Sharon Stone and Giancarlo Esposito and should hit Netflix sometime later this year.
We caught an early look at Rodrigo Bellott’s paranoia thriller Blood Red Ox at last years EFM and it’s a totally wild ride about two boyfriends traveling through Bolivia. The trip takes a scary turn as one of them starts having bizarre visions and loses his marbles over the presence of a blood-red ox.
Competing for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta stars Virginie Efira as the title character, a nun in 17th century Italy who joins a convent and embarks on a love affair with another woman. We’re expecting something hot, horny and a little problematique from the man who brought you Robocop, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, and Elle.
The subject of a panel at Sundance last month, Savannah Rodger’s documentary Chasing Chasing Amy examines the impact Kevin Smith’s straight-guy-dates-a-lesbian romcom had on the director as a pre-teen in Kansas while also exploring its lingering influence on the broader LGBTQI+ community.
Premiering next month at BFI Flare, Peeter Rebane’s Firebird (top photo) tells the true story about a love triangle between a troubled soldier (Tom Prior), a fighter pilot (Oleg Nagorodnii), and his female comrade (Diana Pozharskaya). Set during the height of the Cold War, the script (co-written by Rebane and Prior) was inspired by Sergey Fetisov’s memoir The Story of Roman.
French director Catherine Corsini’s La Fracture takes place in a hospital on the evening of a big political demonstration in Paris and revolves around two women on the verge of a breakup. The script was co-written by Corsini and frequent collaborator Laurette Polmanss.
Playing next month at the Berlinale, Monika Treut’s new film Genderation goes back to Cali to catch up with the subjects of her 1999’s documentary Gendernauts, a groundbreaking work featuring a handful of trans/intersex people living in San Francisco.
We’re dying to see Jonathan Butterell’s feature debut Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, starring Max Harwood as a teenager with dreams of becoming a drag queen. Based on the hit musical by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, the film has been postponed and rescheduled multiple times by Disney/20th Century Studios, and does not have a release date at the moment.
Premiering next month in Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section, Yana Ugrekhelidze’s documentary Instructions for Survival chronicles the love story between Alexander and Mari, a transgender man and his girlfriend living somewhere in the Caucasus region. Living in hiding and unable to legally work due to the “female” designation in his passport, Alexander and his girlfriend start thinking about where they can lead better lives.
Currently in pre-production, Michael Thomas Vassalo’s documentary The Leather Man traces the rich 50+ year history of Chuck Mueller’s beloved West Village fetish shoppe, while also examining the role that leather shops have played in community building. The film also promises to highlight the struggles independent businesses face in times of pandemic, gentrification, and e-commerce. Follow the project on Instagram at @leathermandoc.
Icelandic soccer player/filmmaker Hannes Halldórsson’s first feature Leyniloggan’s (Cop Secret) focuses on a closeted macho cop who falls in love with his new partner while investigating a series of mysterious break-ins. Halldórsson presented the work-in-progress earlier this month at the Nordic Film Market and is looking for a sales agent.
Stelios Kammitsis’ road trip drama The Man with all the Answers accompanies Victor (Vasilis Magouliotis), an uptight former diving champion and Matthias (Anton Weil), a handsome and eccentric German on a long journey across Europe. We caught a sneak peek and the scenery is gorgeous.
Bowing next month in Berlinale’s Panorama section, Eliane Raheb’s documentary Miguel’s War details the life of a gay man who participated in Lebanon’s 1982 civil war and returns to his homeland 30 years later to face old ghosts and an unrequited love.
Another film set to premiere in March at the Berlinale, trans director Angelo Madsen Minax’s documentary North By Current accompanies the filmmaker back to his Michigan hometown after the death of his infant niece and the subsequent arrest of his brother-in-law. According to the synopsis, “North by Current does not seek to investigate a crime, but creates a relentless portrait of an enduring pastoral family, poised to reframe and reimagine narratives about incarceration, addiction, trans embodiment, and ruralness.”
South African director Richard Finn Gregory’s third full-length feature The Radical focuses on Muhsin Hendricks, the world’s first openly gay imam and his progressive mosque in Cape Town. The film follows on Hendricks as he “fights for LGBTQ Muslims to be embraced in the countries where their existence is outlawed.”
Last week, the prudish Instagram content moderators deleted the account for Raw! Uncut! Video!, Ryan White and Alex Clausen’s upcoming documentary about Palm Drive Video, a DIY porn company that specialized in raunchy solo videos at the height of the AIDS crisis. We caught an early cut and it’s everything you could ask for – political, provocative, educational – while also telling the sweet love story of the Palm Drive founders (leather men Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry).
A lively mix of animation, archive footage and interviews, Harri Shanahan and Sian A. William’s Rebel Dykes explores the history of post-punk dyke culture in the UK by interviewing the artists, musicians, activists and sex workers involved in the scene. Expect a heady and highly informative dive into DIY zines, BDSM nightclubs, punk bands, anti-Thatcher rallies and protests against Section 28 and AIDS. The film premieres next month at BFI Flare.
For those who love heartfelt relationship dramas with a lot of talking (like Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy), Mari Walker’s See You Then might be your cup of tea. The film premieres next month at SXSW and spends a long evening with two former lovers (one of whom has since gender transitioned) who reunite after 15 years apart. Old resentments, hidden feelings and a big secret come to the surface, setting the stage for an emotionally charged finale.
After a long filmmaking hiatus, Todd Stephens (Edge of Seventeen, Another Gay Movie) returns with Swan Song, another one set to premiere next month at SXSW. Rounding out Stephens’ Ohio trilogy, the film stars cult legend Udo Kier as a flamboyant hairdresser who breaks out of a nursing home to style a dead woman’s hair. Jennifer Coolidge and Linda Evans also appear.
Adam Baran (former BUTT Magazine contributing editor / producer of last year’s Emmy-nominated Netflix hit Circus of Books) returns with a new project called Trade Center, a short film that explores the WTC’s past as a gay hookup spot. By using voiceover interviews with five men who used to cruise there juxtaposed with a visual tour of its current overly sanitized vibe, Baran’s short creates a uniquely haunting experience. Keep an eye out for it next month at SXSW.