A documentary about transgender athletes, a nearly forgotten 1951 French lesbian drama and a whacked-out road trip from this year’s Sundance Film Festival are among the movies that will entertain audiences at the 2019 Damn These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival.
The Utah Film Center, which runs the festival, announced six titles that will screen during the 16th annual event, July 12-14 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City. More titles will be announced in June.
Festival passes are $60 if bought before June 4, and $80 after that. Each pass will include one ticket to the opening night film and party, and 10 tickets for any other films during the festival. Individual tickets are $10, at arttix.org, and individual tickets for the opening night film and party are $25.
The opening night film is director Michael Barnett’s documentary “Changing the Game,” which examines the rise of transgender athletes in high school sports, focusing on wrestler Mack Beggs, who became the Texas state champion twice.
The festival’s Centerpiece film is “Sister Aimee,” which played in the Next program at Sundance this year. It is a fictionalized take on the evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson (Anna Margaret Hollyman), seeking in 1926 to escape fame and her followers with a wild road trip to Mexico. The movie is directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schilngmann.
Other films on the Damn These Heels slate:
• “Gay Chorus Deep South,” a documentary directed by David Charles Rodrigues, which follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus on a tour of the Deep South, including states where a resurgence of anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted.
• “No Box for Me: An Intersex Story,” directed by French filmmaker Floriane Devigne, which looks at the lives of intersex people who “seek to reappropriate their bodies and construct their identities.”
• “Olivia,” a nearly forgotten 1951 French drama (released in the U.S. under the title “The Pit of Loneliness”), directed by Jacquline Audry. The title character is an English teen (Marie-Claire Olivia) who arrives at a finishing school where the students are split into in two camps: Those devoted to the headmistress, Mlle. Julie (Edwige Feuillère), and those who follow Mlle. Cara (Simone Simon, star of the original “Cat People”), an emotionally manipulative invalid who is obsessed with Mlle. Julie.
• “Retablo,” a Peruvian drama by director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, about a 14-year-old (Junior Bejar) who wants to build story boxes like his father (Amiel Cayo) — until he sees his father in a situation that changes everything in their tradition-bound world.
Editor’s note: Sean P. Means is married to an employee of the Utah Film Center.