2021 DAMN THESE HEELS FILM FESTIVAL

2021 Schedule

7:00 pm

Documentary, Religion, Transgender

A look at the life and ideas of Pauli Murray, a non-binary black lawyer, activist, and poet who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall. Told largely in Pauli’s own words, My Name is Pauli Murray is a candid recounting of his unique and extraordinary journey.

Opening Night film presented at the drive-in at Fairpark Fairgrounds. This screening will be preceded by a drag show.

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12:00 pm

Documentary, History

Cured tells the story of the activists who brought about a pivotal but little-known victory in the movement for LGBTQ equality: the American Psychiatric Association’s 1973 decision to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illnesses.

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3:30 pm

Artists, Documentary, History

Five scrappy queer comic book artists journey from DIY work and isolation to the cover of Time Magazine and the international stage, offering a fascinating window into everything from the AIDS crisis and workplace discrimination to the search for love and a good haircut. Their work and personal stories are sure to make you laugh, but also make you think about the challenges and triumphs encountered and overcome along the way.

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7:00 pm

AAPI, Dramatic, Romance, Transgender, U.S.

A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris’ transition. Over the course of a one-night encounter, they engage in a series of increasingly intimate and vulnerable conversations, before a shocking revelation is unveiled. See You Then focuses on the universal truth that no matter how much you change, a part of you will always stay the same.

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10:30 pm

Dramatic, Gay, International, Sexy, Wacky

Set in 1972 Canada, Saint-Narcisse follows Dominic, a handsome narcissistic young man who discovers the existence of his twin brother, living in a remote monastery led by a depraved priest. Dominic sets out to save him and reunite once and for all. The two beautiful, identical brothers are soon embroiled in a strange web of sex, revenge, and redemption.

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12:00 pm

Documentary, Drag, History, U.S.

A box of letters, held in secret for nearly 60 years, ignites a 5-year exploration into a part of LGBT history that has never been told. The letters, written in the 1950s by a group of New York City drag queens, open a window into a forgotten world where being yourself meant breaking the law and where the penalties for “masquerading” as a woman were swift and severe.

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3:30 pm

Documentary, History, Lesbian

Ahead of the Curve is the story of one of the most influential women in lesbian history you’ve never heard of and the impact her work continues to have today. Growing up, Franco Stevens never saw any representation of queer women—she didn’t even know it was possible for a woman to be gay. When she realized she was a lesbian, it changed the course of her life.

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7:00 pm

BIPOC, Dramatic, Relationships, Romance

After a spate of failed heterosexual endeavors, Ben, a bisexual man turns back towards the gay community. As Ben emerges from the closet, a relationship between him and Sam, two young men living in New York City, energetically blossoms.

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7:00 pm

8:00 pm

Animation, Documentary, Foreign, Immigrant, Middle Eastern

Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years, his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.

This screening is presented free thanks to the support of the Sundance Institute.

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7:00 pm

Peter is a flamboyant, misanthropic dwarf hiding from the world in his shabby New York City apartment. But an unexpected visit from his upbeat—and possibly unhinged—neighbor Winona forces him out of his shell and onto an impromptu road trip. Their destination? What she believes to be the site of an upcoming alien visitation in the wilderness of rural Canada

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10:00 am

In this colorful trip back in time, activist, artist, filmmaker, and entertainer Pat Rocco shares his incredible career spanning decades, encompassing nude male erotic films and documentaries that bore witness to crucial moments in queer history, including the first same-sex kiss on the big screen.

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12:00 pm

Raphi is young, androgynous, and naive. In Barcelona, she begins a gender transition as well as an arduous journey to find her true identity. Co-written by and starring Raphaëlle Pérez, this is the narrative follow-up to director Adrián Silvestre’s ground-breaking hybrid doc Sediments, featuring many of the same trans performers and artists.

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2:00 pm

An Austrian woman escapes from the pressure of running her family’s vineyard by playing ice hockey. Then a new player arrives to challenge her rigid worldview, leading to a life-changing night on the streets of Vienna.

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4:30 pm

Featuring a roundtable discussion with local members of the Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community Everything Everywhere All At Once, Moonlight, Fire Island, The Watermelon Woman, Rafiki, A Fantastic Woman, Paris Is Burning, Tangerine, and Drunktown’s Finest. What do all of these films represent? They’re fundamental elements in the rise of queer and transgender cinema across the Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color spectrum. What began as primal shouts to define existence have become beloved favorites, box office blockbusters, and critically acclaimed arthouse darlings for people often omitted from the silver screen. Join the Black, Bold & Brilliant team as they proudly explore the depths and global significance of QTBIPOC cinema at this year’s Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival.
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6:00 pm

Hysteria or Ugly Part 2 is a performance, vilm, and installation that continues Raja Feather Kelly’s study of pop culture and its displacement of Queer Black subjectivity.

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8:00 pm

After discovering case files from a 1950s gender clinic, a cast of trans actors turn a talk show inside out to confront the legacy of a young trans woman forced to choose between honesty and access.

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10:00 pm

With influences ranging from John Waters to Kenneth Anger, director Amanda Kramer (Ladyworld) brings a bold vision to this almost-musical. Its hypnotic score, impressionistic, neon-lit sets, and carefully choreographed sequences evoke West Side Story. A pastiche of queer sensibilities, Hollywood genres, and feminist theory, Please Baby Please is the sort of rich, cinematic experience that you have to see to fully appreciate.

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10:00 am

This workshop teaches the methodology Honest Reactions To Imaginary Situations. It is an approach to creating and performing that above all relies upon; centers and fights for truth.

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12:00 pm

A curated collection of short films, programmed by the 2022 Damn These Heels programming committee

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October 16 to October 23, 2022

POOFTA: An offensive term used to vilify gay men. When a harmless encounter leads to a tense confrontation, a trailblazer for the LGBTIAQ+ community tries to intervene. Homophobia, internalized homophobia, anxiety & fear play out in post gay marriage Australia.

Poofta

1:00 pm

Half-Jewish, bisexual Jonah Dorman comes out to his girlfriend, shaking the foundation of their relationship and launching a tragicomic exploration of love and religion in New York City.

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2:00 pm

Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a lesbian, but she not dare tell her widowed mother, Hwei-lan (Joan Chen), or her very traditional grandparents.

Saving Face

4:00 pm

Gordon is a Scottish comic book artist with a big bushy beard, very expressive eyebrows – oh, and an inoperable, incurable brain tumour. By making autobiographical comics about his experience, he is able to communicate his thoughts and reactions to cancer in a medium and a language that is disarming, accessible, and inviting.

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6:00 pm

In a rural east-coast trailer park, Link lives with his toxic father and younger half-brother Travis. When Link discovers his Mi’kmaw mother could still be alive, it lights a flame and they make a run for a better life.

Wildhood

7:00 pm

English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

Growing up, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe learned to be a fighter, but never imagined having a chance to make history as the first openly elected transgender official in Texas.

A Run for More

1:30 pm

Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Russian

Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism, and put her life in danger.

Queendom

4:00 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, Not Rated

Listless Milo becomes the surrogate for an older gay man she meets at a bar. As the pregnancy progresses, she must contend with the implications of their evolving relationship.

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Live Action, no dialogue, Not Rated, Other, Short

A fluid examination of physical closeness, which matches itself in repetitions, reflections as well as irregularities.

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7:00 pm

Live Performance, Not Rated, Special Guest

Damn These Heels is thrilled to welcome special guest, Miss Coco Peru, to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration! With 33 years in the business as a working drag queen, Coco offers an evening of inspired storytelling and song followed by a moderated discussion that includes audience engagement.

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9:00 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, R

Parodying classic Hollywood films about Hollywood, Richard Day’s drag-drama showcase follows three actresses at various places on the Hollywood food chain navigating the minefield of love, aging, and ambition.

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10:00 am

Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), French, Live Action, Not Rated

Novelist Stéphane Belcourt returns to the city of his youth, where he meets Lucas, the son of his first love. Memories flood in: irrepressible desire, bodies coming together, a passion that must be silenced?

Lie with Me

10:00 am

Not Rated, Workshop

In this hands-on workshop, participants will be guided through the process of making their own video self-portrait.

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12:00 pm

Free, Not Rated, Off-Screen

Join Under the Umbrella Bookstore and Damn These Heels for a Banned Books Reading & Book Swap!

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12:30 pm

A smart, varied, rare and risky collection of the best queer short films from around the world this year, this program includes Aikane, Greetings From Washington DC, Mama Doesn’t Want to Go to the Beach, Y, Stone, and Apayauq.

2023 DTH Saturday short
Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short, Spanish

A transgender mother resumes her hormone treatment while her daughter begins puberty. Their bodies’ changes make going to the beach a new chore.

Mama Doesn't Want to Go to the Beach
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

A kaleidoscope of music, dance, stories and laughter shared at the first gay and lesbian rights march on Washington.

Greetings From Washington DC
Animated, Fiction (Dramatic etc), no dialogue, Not Rated, Short

A wounded island warrior falls into a mysterious underwater world and is rescued by a valiant young man.

Aikane
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A young woman’s discovery that her father was a transgender woman makes her rethink her childhood.

Stone
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Apayauq Reitan’s journey of gender, mental health, and purpose on her way to become the first out transgender woman to complete the legendary Iditarod sled dog race.

Apayauq
Animated, Croatian, Not Rated, Other, Short

An empty paper depicts a struggle between artistic composition and decomposition a woman reminisces on her tumultuous relationship with a former girlfriend.

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1:30 pm

Not Rated, Workshop

Workshop designed to give filmmakers tools to help them write, develop, and produce a project with the final product in mind.

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3:00 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

A teenage boy’s unexpected crush turns a camping trip into a weekend of self-discovery in this heartwarming coming-of-age comedy.

Big Boys

4:00 pm

Drag is under attack. You’ve seen the headlines. Increasingly intolerant forces are trying to erode access to this artform by reducing access to resources.

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5:00 pm

English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

A vibrant documentary following local drag in the scene of Utah. Join a group of local SLC queens through their ups and downs, local pressures from a conservative environment, and celebrate the art of drag.

queen bees
Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Spanish

The coexistence of a family of drag queens and a trans woman who travel by motor-home to Murcia to show their support for a child who was assaulted by another minor at the gates of his school.

Heels Over Wheels

5:30 pm

English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Five queer past and present BYU students tell of their struggle to live truthfully to themselves and their identities while trying to avoid academic and social backlash from the conservative Mormon University.

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English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

In the wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary KOKOMO CITY, filmmaker D. Smith passes the mic to four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City.

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7:30 pm

English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

The hubris of an inept conflict negotiator leads two warring gangs into an 8-way standoff. The consequences are both comical and tragic in this whip-smart short.

We All Die Alone
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

Thomas and Oscar are a couple very much in love, but after their first foster child returns to his birth mother, they find they have different ideas about what it means to make a family.

The Mattachine Family

8:00 pm

Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Italian, Live Action, Not Rated

1982, in the heat of a Sicilian summer, two teenage boys, Gianni and Nino, meet and fall in love. The relationship soon becomes a topic of gossip in the small town and while the two dream of living together, their community is determined to stop it.

Fireworks

10:00 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, R

Evading a mob contract on his life, a straight man winds up hiding out at a gay bathhouse.

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10:45 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, Not Rated

A down-on-his-luck movie collector discovers a legendary lost film and must deliver it to the right hands before it is lost forever.

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English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A nervous young gay man has an eye-popping first experience hosting a hookup.

Pop-Off

10:00 am

Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short, Spanish

Martina, a young novice, helps priest Francisco with funeral masses but must confront her own fears and past in the LGBTQ+ community after the death of drag queen Aphrodite, leading her to embrace love and authenticity.

Holy Madonna
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

As religious discrimination against LGBTQ+ people intensifies in the US and abroad, a team of creatives upends 1700 years of religious iconography by producing photo art depicting Jesus as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Wonderfully Made

10:30 am

English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A whack, irreverent comedy about a black trans woman who tries to dilate, after four years of not dilating, to hook up IRL with her online boyfriend.

Dilating For Maximum Results
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Spanish

Feña, a young trans guy bustling through life in New York City, is afflicted with an incessantly challenging day that resurrects ghosts from his past.

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12:00 pm

Join Damn These Heels and local queer filmmakers, Jack Hessler, Marissa Lila, and Amanda Madden, for a facilitated conversation about the importance of not just telling queer stories but queering the filmmaking process itself.

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12:30 pm

English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

While uncovering the origins of homophobia of the conservative church, a gay seminary scholar and a straight activist make a shocking discovery: An erroneous translation in the Bible that has been weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community ever since.

1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted Culture

1:00 pm

The Sunday Short Film Program includes Insta Gay, Shafted, A Spell For Queer Home, Happy BirthGay

2023 DTH Sunday short
Fiction (Dramatic etc), Hebrew, Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A mom throws her son a grandiose surprise BirthGay party, celebrating a year of his coming out of the closet.

Happy BirthGay
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

This standard romantic comedy about finding love in an elevator falls apart when the filmmaker is forced to step out of the fantasy and decide whether he believes in the story he’s telling.

Shafted
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Braiding together embodied exploration, spell songs, stories and wisdom from queer and trans folks across the country, the film asks- what does it mean to be at home as a queer person?

A Spell For Queer Home
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A gay millennial reels after breaking-up with a popular influencer.

Insta Gay

3:00 pm

English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

When basketball-obsessed Aleks moves in across the street, Asian-Canadian teen Jake finds himself trying out for the basketball team to get his attention in this classic coming-of-age drama set in the digital age.

Golden Delicious

3:00 pm

Utah Black Artist Collective (UBLAC) is hosting a free event at this year’s Festival to highlight rising voices in the Black and Queer community. Join us for live poetry and musical performances featuring Wynter Storm, Papillon Skies, Pepper Rose, Jamera, Cydney, and Zaza Van Dyke.

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3:30 pm

English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated
Featuring rock-star female investors who invest in diverse women entrepreneurs with innovations that will change the world, Show Her The Money reminds us that money is power, and women need it to achieve true equality.
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Thank you to our 2021 sponsors

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Decoo Academic Foundation

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