Utah Film Center Celebrates 15 Years of DAMN THESE HEELS
Utah Film Center announced today the films selected for the 15th annual Damn These Heels Film Festival and new elements to the festival for film lovers, filmmakers and all storytellers. Damn These Heels will run July 20 - 22, 2018 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and is a festival for all that explores LGBTQ issues, ideas, and art through independent, documentary, and foreign films from around the world. Passes and tickets are now on sale on the Utah Film Center's website. Additional titles will be announced on the website leading up to the Festival.
The longest running LGBTQ Film Festival in the Mountain West, Damn These Heels has presented more than 220 thought-provoking and entertaining films over the years. Now in its 15th year, the Utah Film Center has added new programs, parties and events to the Festival to enhance the guest experience and engage the community in a meaningful way.
New this year, filmmakers of all experience levels are invited to participate in the 48 Hour Film OUT project. On July 13-15, participating film teams are tasked with creating an LGBTQ themed short film in just 48 hours. All films that meet the requirements will be screened during the Festival on Saturday, July 21. The winning film will be screened at Filmapalooza in Paris in 2019 for a chance at the grand prize of screening at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 Short Film Corner. Film teams are encouraged to register online now.
Patrick Hubley, Director of Programming for Utah Film Center, said, "Damn These Heels is a festival that uses the powerful art of film to celebrate inclusivity, community and individual expression. This year's line up is full of personality and complexity, we are honored to commemorate the Festival's 15th year with such a strong range of stories that will provoke thought, spark crucial dialogue and shift our perspective."
The films selected to screen in the 2018 Damn These Heels Festival are:
Directed by Yen Tan
85 min | 2018 | USA
A closeted young man goes home for the holidays and struggles to reveal his dire circumstances to his conservative family.
Official Selection: 2018 SXSW Film Festival
Cast: Cory Michael Smith, Aidan Langford, Jamie Chung, Virginia Madsen, and Michael Chiklis
ALASKA IS A DRAG
Directed by Shaz Bennett
89 min | 2018 | USA
Fabulous Leo, an aspiring drag superstar who can throw a punch, is stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska.
Official Selection: 2018 Frameline Film Festival, 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival, 2018
Cast: Martin L. Washington Jr., Maya Washington, Matt Dallas, Christopher O'Shea, Jason Scott Lee, and Margaret Cho
ANCHOR AND HOPE (Tierra Firme)
Directed by Carlos Marques-Marcet
113 min | 2017 | Spain
Two women and their best friend living on a canal boat ask: Can we balance love, family, and life and stay united?
Winner: Best Film-2017 Seville European Film Festival; Official Selection: 2018 Guadalajara International Film Festival
Cast: Oona Chaplin, Natalia Tena, and Geraldine Chaplin
CLOSE KNIT (Karera ga honki de amu toki wa)
Directed by Naoko Ogigami
127 | 2017 | Japan
A neglected daughter, a gentle uncle, and his transgender lover knitted together into an unconventional family.
Winner: Teddy Award-2017 Berlin Film Festival, Chromie Audience Award-2017 Filmfest Homochrom
Cast: Toma Ikuta, Kenta Kiritani, Rinka Kakihara
Directed by Sonia Sebastián
81 min | 2018 | USA
Billie quits her job right before getting married, launching her into a rag-tag world of unemployed women and tech startups.
Official Selection: 2018 FilmOut San Diego, 2018 Frameline Film Festival
Cast: Jennifer Bartels, Megan Cavanagh, Alexandra Billings, and Grace Rex
THE GOSPEL OF EUREKA
Directed by Donal Mosher & Michael Palmieri
75 min | 2018 | USA
Love, faith, and civil rights collide in the south as evangelical Christians and drag queens explore the meaning of belief.
Official Selection: 2018 SXSW Film Festival, 2018 Sheffield International Documentary Festival
Preceded by the short film FAITHFUL directed by Dane Christensen
Directed by Andrew Fleming
91 | 2018 | USA
A bickering gay couple must now deal with the unexpected task of raising a ten-year-old boy.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Steve Coogan, Kate Walsh, Alison Pill, Jake McDorman, and Jack Gore
Directed by Rebekah Fortune
97 min | 2017 | UK
Trapped in the body of a boy, soccer star Charlie is torn between placating her father and shedding this ill-fitting skin.
Winner: Best Feature Film for Youth-2017 Zlin Film Festival; Official Selection: 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2017 Frameline Film Festival
Cast: Patricia Potter, Scot Williams, HARRY Gilby, and Karen Bryson
LEITIS IN WAITING
Directed by Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson
72 min | 2018 | USA/Tonga
The story of the Tonga Leitis, a group of transgender women fighting intolerance in the South Pacific Kingdom.
Official Selection: 2017 Frameline Film Festival, 2018 Festival International Du Film Documentaire Oceanien, 2017 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Directed by T Cooper
93 min | 2018 | USA
A trans men bodybuilding competition reveals unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love.
Official Selection: 2018 Outfest Los Angeles, 2018 Frameline Film Festival
Directed by Bruce LaBruce
91 min | 2017 | USA
Salacious hell breaks loose within the FLA -- a feminist terrorist group -- when an injured man appears in their midst.
Official Selection: 2017 Berlin International Film Festival
Cast: Susanne Sachße, Viva Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler
MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING (Matrimonio italiano)
Directed by Alessandro Genovesi
90 min | 2018 | Italy
In this merry movie of matrimony, Antonio brings his fiancé Paulo to meet his headstrong parents and reveal his sexuality.
Official Selection: 2018 Seattle International Film Festival
Cast: Diego Abatantuono, Monica Guerritore, Salvatore Esposito, Cristiano Caccamo, Dino Abbrescia, and Diana Del Bufalo
MY LIFE WITH JAMES DEAN (Ma vie avec James Dean)
Directed by Dominique Choisy
108 min l 2017 I France
Young director Géraud Champreux goes on a wild and woeful film tour that changes his life.
Official Selection: 2018 Brussels Pink Screens, 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival
Cast: Johnny Rasse, Mickaël Pelissier, and Nathalie Richard
Opening Night Film
Directed by Jenny Mackenzie, Amanda Stoddard, & Jared Ruga
68 min | 2017 | USA
One doctor's fight against stigma, shame, and ignorance at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis against a conservative religious monoculture.
Official Selection: 2018 Sundance Film Festival, 2018 QDoc
Utah Film Center Fiscal Sponsorship Project
Directed by Leilah Weinraub
72 min | 2018 | USA | Not Rated
The chronicle of Los Angeles' black lesbian strip club scene, an underground, illegal, and legendary moment. Mature audiences only.
Official Selection: 2018 Berlin Film Festival, 2017 The Whitney Museum Biennial
SHORT FILM PROGRAM: Reverent
89 min | Various
A short film program featuring serious, heartfelt, and touching LGBTQ+ films from around the globe. Films include Top 10 Places to Visit in Sao Paulo, Beauty, A Kitchen Can Take You Back, Sunset, Spark, Crook - "Lavender," and Something About Alex.
SHORT FILM PROGRAM: Irreverent
78 min | Various
A short film program featuring hilarious, goofy, crass, but still hard-hitting films from around the globe. Films include Magic H8 Ball, Dropping Penny, I Live Here, Scary Lucy, and Femme.
Directed by Tracy Choi
97 min | 2017 | Macau/Hong Kong/Taiwan
Upon seeing a missing person ad for a friend from her past, Sei decides to revisit Macau and makes a startling discovery.
Nominated: Best Supporting Actress Nomination Fish Liew & Best New Performer Nomination Jennifer Yu-36th Hong Kong Film Award
Cast: Gigi Leung, Fish Liew, and Jennifer Yu
TRANNY FAG (Bixa Travesty)
Directed by Kiko Goifman & Claudia Priscilla
75 min | 2018 | Brazil
Mc Linn Da Quebrada's electrifying performances (with plenty of nudity) brazenly take on Brazil's hetero-normative machismo.
Official Selection: 2018 Berlin Film Festival, 2018 Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival
Preceded the short film MY PRICE directed by Fabricio Santiago
Directed by Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson
93 min | 2018 | USA
Four transgender individuals put their careers on the line by coming out in hopes of attaining the equal right to serve.
Winner: Documentary Competition Audience Award-2018 SXSW; Official Selection: 2018 Frameline Film Festival
WE THE ANIMALS
Directed by Jeremiah Zagar
94 min | 2018 | USA
Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood and push against the volatile love of their parents.
Winner: Next Innovator Award-2018 Sundance Film Festival, Future/Now Award-2018 Montclair Film Festival
Cast: Raúl Castillo, Josiah Gabriel, Isaiah Kristian, Evan Rosado, and Sheila Vand
Utah Film Center Fiscal Sponsorship Project
THE WILD BOYS (Les garçons sauvages)
Directed by Bertrand Mandico
110 min | 2018 | France
Surrealist, adolescent gender-bending sex fueled fantasy nightmare. A maritime adventure.
Winner: Best Director-2018 Vilnius International Film Festival
Cast: Pauline Lorillard, Vimala Pons, and Diane Rouxe
Film stills for these selections can be found in the Utah Film Center Press Images folder.
2018 Damn These Heel LGBTQ Film Festival is made possible by the support of our sponsors including Dancing Llama Foundation, Terence Kearns Stephens Charitable Fund, B.W. Bastian Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, Utah Pride Center, Overstock, and Equality Utah
Utah Film Center
Utah Film Center inspires and engages diverse audiences to initiate conversation and community building through curated film exhibition, educational programs, and artist support. We continually strives to bring our community together through the powerful and efficient medium of film. Utah Film Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more information visit http://www.utahfilmcenter.org/.