2009 DAMN THESE HEELS! LGBT Film Festival


Today, the SLC Film Center and Salt Lake Film Society announced the line up for the 2009 Damn These Heels! LGBT Film Festival. The 6th annual festival celebrates the depth and breadth of the queer experience through film. This year’s line-up includes 13 award-winning films from all over the world. From the U.S. military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy to a love story inspired by “A Midsummer’s Night Dream”, from films that explore discrimination to a touching comedy about a gay couple unexpectedly faced with raising a child, this year’s Damn These Heels! will challenge, enlighten, encourage, and arouse.  The 2009 Damn These Heels! LGBT Film Festival runs June 10-14 at the Tower Theatre. For more information on the films and a schedule visit www.slcfilmcenter.org.

Opening this year’s festival on Wednesday, June 10,  is a special advance screening of director Matt Tyrnauer’s VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR with the director in attendance. The film charts the mutual dependency and tensions in Valentino’s 45-year association with Giancarlo Giammetti, his sometime lover and constant life and business partner. VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR follows them for the final two years of their careers, and shows the struggles the two men face as they confront the final act of nearly 50-years at the top of the world's most glamorous, competitive game. In the end, however, the story proves to be not one about money or expensive clothes, but about love.

The films selected for the 2009 Damn These Heels! LGBT Film Festival are:

ASK NOT (Director: Johnny Simons)
ASK NOT explores the tangled political battles that led to the infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and reveals the personal stories of gay Americans who serve in combat under a veil of secrecy. 

BE LIKE OTHERS / Canada/Iran/UK/USA (Director: Tanaz Eshaghian) 
An intimate and unflinching look at life in Iran, seen through the lens of those living at its fringes, BE LIKE OTHERS is a provocative look at a generation of young men choosing to undergo sex change surgery. 

BREAKFAST WITH SCOT / Canada (Director: Laurie Lynd)
A touching comedy that tells the story of a very “straight” gay couple, Eric, a former pro hockey player, and Sam, a lawyer, who end up with temporary custody of recently orphaned Scot, a budding 11-year-old queen. BREAKFAST WITH SCOT caused a stir when the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team officially endorsed it.

FOUR MINUTES (VIER MINUTEN) / Germany  (Director: Chris Kraus) Explores the mutually enabling relationship between a stern, repressed piano teacher and a profoundly talented violent young inmate she teaches at a women's prison.  This powerful film is the winner of 21 international and US awards.

ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE (Director: Jamie Babbit)
ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE is a rockin love song to the heady rush of sex, freedom and rebellion.  Anna eagerly joins the ranks of C(i)A - Clits in Action - and starts her rollercoaster ride from meek and mousy to bad-ass bravado. 

LOOKING FOR CHEYENNE (OUBLIER CHEYENNE) / France (Director: Valérie Minetto)
A story of love and longing between Sonia and Cheyenne holds a delicious array of emotions and characters played out against the social and political framework of France today.  A contemporary tale about the fragility of modern life, the need to make changes, and the power of love. 

OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE / Germany/Canada (Director: Bruce LaBruce) 
This is Bruce LaBruce’s latest controversial, post gay zombie movie with a multicultural cast. A young, gay zombie named Otto appears on a remote highway uncertain of his own past and future. When he runs across a poster for an open casting call for — “Up With Dead People” the "epic political-porno-zombie movie" he finds himself on the road to personal re-discovery.

SCHOOLBOY CRUSH  / Japan (Director by Kotaro Terauchi)
This Japanese film is spiraling game of erotic pursuit with beautiful actors. Told  in the style of Japanese manga of the yaoi genre it is a cultural and cinematic treat. 

SCREAMING QUEENS: THE RIOT AT COMPTON’S CAFETERIA
(Directors: Victor Silverman & Susan Stryker)
This film introduces viewers to street queens, cops and civil rights ministers who recall the riot that was on the forefront of the LGBT fight for equal rights. They paint a vivid portrait of the wild transgender scene in 1960s San Francisco.

SHELTER (Director: Jonah Markowitz)
If nothing else, we think we know ourselves - until one day, we don’t. SHELTER is an intimate love story with remarkable, contagious chemistry between actors.  Winner of more than 10 major awards in film festivals from Brazil to Vancouver, this beautiful and emotionally gripping film is, at its heart, a story about family.

U PEOPLE (Directors: Hanifah Walidah and Olive Demetrius)
Gay and straight women, and trans-folk are caught on camera behind the scenes of a music video shoot adding a candid and human voice to the debate of gay/straight relations in the Black community. 

VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR (Director: Matt Tyrnauer) - Opening Night
Forty-five years at the top of glamour and power — a film that charts the grand finale of 
Valentino Garavani's and Giancarlo Giammetti's business and life partnership.

WERE THE WORLD MINE (Director: Tom Gustafson)
“With vibrant imagery, a first rate ensemble cast and innovative music rivaling the best of pop/rock and contemporary Broadway, WERE THE WORLD MINE attempts to push modern gay cinema and musical film beyond expectation.” - Stephen Holden, NY Times

The 6th Annual Damn These Heels! LGBT Film Festival is presented by SLC Film Center, Salt Lake Film Society, and the Utah Pride Center.  It is generously supported by the B.W. Bastian Foundation, John K. Patton, Weinholtz Family Foundation, Dancing Llama Foundation, and Utah AIDS Foundation.

The SLC Film Center is generously supported by the  George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation,  Swartz Foundation, ZAP (SL County Zoo Arts and Parks), Zion’s Bank and many other foundations, corporations and individuals who you will find listed on our website.

The SLC Film Center brings the world of film to local audiences through free community screenings and discussions, outreach programs, and visiting artists and professionals. Emphasizing social content and artistic excellence, we present the best documentary, independent, and dramatic cinema year-round. We collaborate with various educational and community organizations to promote a diversity of ideas, to provide forums for underrepresented groups, and to develop new audiences for film. For more information about the SLC Film Center and its programs visit www.slcfilmcenter.org.

Established in 2001, Salt Lake Film Society (SLFS) is the premiere film establishment in Salt Lake City, promoting diversity of film exhibition and creation. SLFS educates, advocates, and informs about and through cinema. SLFS fosters film talent and cultivates film appreciation and participation. SLFS programs and venues ensure that the potent ideas and voices of film are available.  To learn more about supporting SLFS by becoming a member, volunteer or sponsor call 801-746-0037 or visit www.saltlakefilmsociety.org.