Arts Listings

Moving Pictures: LGBT Festival Features East Bay Filmmakers

Justin DeFreitas
Friday June 16, 2006

The 30th annual San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, also known as Frameline30, takes place at a variety of Bay Area venues this weekend, including the Parkway Theater in Oakland. Screenings will be also be held in San Francisco at the Castro Theater, Roxie Film Center, Victoria Theater and CineArts @Empire.  

This year’s lineup features films from all over the world as well as the work of several East Bay filmmakers.  

Reporter Zero 

Saturday, June 24, 3:30 p.m.  

Roxie Film Center. 25 minutes. 

Carrie Lozano’s Reporter Zero is a short film about the career of Randy Shilts, the tenacious and brash San Francisco Chronicle reporter who doggedly covered the emerging AIDS crisis at a time when most media outlets were barely interested. 

The film features interviews with friends and colleagues as well as the public officials Shilts covered, resulting in an intriguing portrait of both the man and the mounting public heath crisis he documented. 

Shilts went on to write the best-selling book And the Band Played On about the first few years of the AIDS epidemic. Shortly after finishing the book he was diagnosed with AIDS and ultimately died of the disease at the age of 42. 

Lozano first came up with the idea for a film about Shilts while working on a short video piece about the gay marriage controversy in San Francisco. Chronicle reporter Rachel Gordon was dismissed from the beat after she married her partner at City Hall. This lead Lozano to wonder how Shilts—an openly gay and fiercely opinionated reporter—might have fared in today’s journalism climate. 

Reporter Zero recently won the gold medal for Best Documentary at the Student Academy Awards. Lozano, an alum of UC Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism, also shared in a 2003 nomination for feature-length documentary The Weather Underground, which she produced. 

Reporter Zero, her master’s thesis for the journalism program and her directorial debut, was the third UC Berkeley documentary in as many years to take home the top prize, “and I think that says a lot about the program,” says Lozano. 



Friday, June 16, 3 p.m. 

Castro Theater. 79 minutes. 

Oakland filmmaker Todd Ahlberg interviews crystal methamphetamine addicts and recovering addicts in a sometimes graphic documentary examining the consequences speed addiction has had on the gay male community. 


The Quitter 

Sunday, June 18, 12:15 p.m. 

Castro Theater. 4 minutes. 

Oakland director Joy Taylor’s short video on the obstacle to love posed by smoking is part of a series of brief lesbian films titled “Dyke Delights.” 


Trans Francisco 

Sunday, June 18, 1:45 p.m. 

Victoria Theater. 8 minutes. 

This collection of locally produced transgender films includes Kaden, a short film by Berkeley filmmaker Harriet Storm documenting a Bay Area trans guy’s emotional preparation for transformative surgery. 


Breaking the Silence 

Sunday, June 18, 3:45 p.m.  

Roxie Film Center. 40 minutes. 

Breaking the Silence, shot at the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, is a collection of short first-person essays directed by Berkeley’s Nicky Yang Wu. The film features brief, self-produced films by young people from the foster care system who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer. Each tells a personal story of in a different way, covering in a sort of virtual show-and-tell the hardships they encountered as children and young adults navigating the foster care system while confronting the wracking personal identity issues that come with discovering one’s sexuality. 


Where Have We Been All This Time? 

Wednesday, June 21, 6 p.m.  

Roxie Film Center. 7 minutes. 

This short video, directed by Berkeley’s Erica Sokolowershain and shown as part of a series of youth films titled “Do It Yourself,” shows the intersection of lives on a BART train. 


Beyond Conception 

Saturday, June 24, 11 a.m.  

Roxie Theater. 75 minutes. 

Berkeley director Johnny Symons’ documentary tracks the efforts of a gay male couple to conceive a child through a surrogate. The film provides an insightful look at the myriad emotional and practical difficulties that surround the family planning process, even in queer-friendly San Francisco.