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2009 Damn These Heels! Film Festival

The SLC Film Center and Salt Lake Film Society have released the line up for the sixth annual Damn These Heels! LGBT Film Festival. Thirteen award-winning films from all over the world will be screened June 10–14 at Tower Theatre, 876 E. 900 S. Subjects include the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, a love story inspired by A Midsummer’s Night Dream, parenthood and 1960s transgenders.

Opening this year’s festival on Wednesday, June 10, is a special advance screening of VALENTINO THE LAST EMPEROR with director Matt Tyrnauer in attendance. The film charts the mutual dependency and tension in Valentino’s 45-year association with Giancarlo Giammetti, his ocassional lover and constant business partner. The film follows them through the final two years of their careers, and shows the struggles they 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.
Additional 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
The film 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 U.S. 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.

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 2009 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.

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