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Few Bears in Sight But Frameline Still Has Worthy Options

Frameline is upon us and while it’s almost barren of bears, it still has some quality films nonetheless. There’s also a few furry friends in films which I will gladly point out.

Frameline48, San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ film festival and the nation’s longest running festival, had some challenges this year with its biggest venue, the Castro Theatre, closed for renovations. Yet the festival was able to find multiple and creative locations and truly has a lot to offer its followers and film lovers.

While it is difficult to screen every movie in advance – too many films, too little time – I was able to put together a list of some of the movies to look out for – and some can stream from wherever you are.


The Summer of Carmen is perhaps the closest we have to a bear film. It’s a sexy and picturesque look at the Greek countryside with a furry hot and naked Greek god in the form of Yorgos Tsiantoulas. But beyond the hotness, this is a quirky funny buddy film, good for all and not just admirers of fur.

The Judgement mixes in a lot of factors – from love to religion to witchcraft. Add a pair of sexy, scruffy men and you have a nail-biting hit.


Turtles may be less furry but does appeal to those of us at an older age. A long-term couple shows you can still love and appreciate your partner all the while fighting at times. Super cute!

Throuple was put on my radar by the buzz it’s getting as I felt I’ve seen this story before. But no…it’s inventive, real dialog and characters that are so endearing, it’s hard to resist.

I Don’t Understand You likely has the biggest spotlight on it due to its big star cast of Andrew Rannells and Nick Kroll who play a couple who are on the verge of adopting a baby and get mixed up in a comedic horrific night in Italy which brings along the sexy, furry Morgan Spector from TV’s The Gilded Age.

Mad About the Boy: The Noel Coward Story opens our eyes to the famed writer. We all know his writing – but this movie introduces us to his wit, charm, singing and talents beyond the page.


Merchant Ivory in a word is amazing. We’ve all loved their movies from Howards End to A Room with a View to Maurice. For years, I just thought they were just a dynamic duo of filmmakers, but this movie shows their personal love story, which never really addressed on set where they remained professional at all times.

Helen and the Bear is a documentary we all can identify with. No the bear isn’t a big hairy man, but it is the story of a long-term couple who worked for decades on a Northern California farm, sharing the workload and life’s dramas. This is a “straight” couple…watch to see why it’s in this festival.

Chuck Chuck Baby is a touching Welsh tale of a woman who is caring for her husband’s dying mother while he lives with her and with his girlfriend. Her sad life takes a positive turn when a girl from school returns decades later that she had a crush on.

Rent Free is an ingenious and true-to-life story of two friends, one gay, who are thrown out of their residence and spend the movie couch surfing while they are trying to get back on their feet.

Fallen Fruit is a great story of a family, welcoming back to their small town their gay son who moved to New York but comes back to Florida to find himself and his own path, all in the wake of an upcoming tornado!

Riley is about a star football player deciding which college scholarship he should accept, while trying to suppress his feelings for his best friend. This movie has the most authentic dialog of any movie dealing with a younger generation.


This list is only the tip of the iceberg of films screening at this year’s Frameline. Get more information and tickets HERE.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, www.reelkev.com and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for Examiner.com and contributes to progressivepulse.com as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

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