San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) Celebrates 25th Anniversary Year

From Press Release

SFTFF 2022’s hybrid festival, presented both in person and online, spans 10-days from November 10-20 with seven short film programs showcasing 47 films

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US, October 12, 2022 /

The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) celebrates the 25th anniversary year of its annual festival dedicated to films by transgender and gender-nonconforming filmmakers, highlighting innovative, experimental, and outside-the-box films.

Spanning 10-days from November 10-20 and comprised of seven short film programs showcasing 47 films, SFTFF 2022 will be a hybrid festival, presented both in person and online, and featuring a range of genres from documentaries and politics to animation, dance, music, romance, coming-of-age tales, and thrillers. SFTFF returns to in-person programs for the first time in two years (Nov. 10th & Nov. 11th at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF). Films are closed captioned for Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences; tickets are $0-$50, sliding scale/donation-based, inclusive of fees.

Artistic Director Shawna Virago said: “For 25 years, SFTFF has been an artistic haven for trans and gender non-conforming filmmakers to assert their wisdom and creative brilliance, allowing our communities to safely gather and take part in visual storytelling that decries transphobic representation in cinema. Our annual festival remains intentionally anti-assimilationist and centers works that challenge transphobia, racism, sexism, ableism, anti-migrant hate, and homophobia.”


The Beauty President – Directed by Whitney Skauge (San Francisco)
In 1992, at the height of the AIDS pandemic, activist Terence Alan Smith made a historic bid for president of the United States as his drag queen persona, Joan Jett Blakk. Today, Smith reflects back on his seminal civil rights campaign and its place in American history.

Chaac and Yum – Directed by Roberto Fatal (San Francisco)
Inspired by the sacred and ancient relationship between Chaac, the Mayan deity of Rain, and Yum, the Mayan deity of corn, this short erotic drama tells a story about two queer, Mayan-descended Two Spirits who meet at a queer San Francisco bar. Starring performance artists Xav S-F and Daniel Arizmendi/Snowflake Calvert (Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Yaqui), this film examines the queer, de-colonial, ancestral rituals in our contemporary QTPOC love, dating, and kink practices.

Gone Postal – Directed by Megan Mead (Los Angeles)
A catastrophizing postal worker obsessed with murder podcasts discovers a potential serial killer while on their daily route.

M(OTHER)HOOD – Directed by Bea Goddard (Yorkshire, UK)
This film, from the UK shows an unfiltered but fragmentary perspective of a trans nonbinary, transmasculine parent, using the children’s art, cinematography, and words to gain privileged access to their domestic sphere.

Prayers for Sweet Waters – Directed by Elijah Ndoumbe (Cape Town, South Africa)
A submergence into the vivid realities of three Transgender sex workers living in Cape Town, South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ro & Shirelle – Directed by Adelina Anthony (Los Angeles)
On their way from NorCal to SoCal, trans best friends Ro & Shirelle search for safe places to rest, fill up gas, and relieve themselves, but sometimes going to the bathroom in peace is the hardest feat to accomplish. Starring D’Lo and Shakina Nayfack.

SFTFF 2022 is supported by the Queer Cultural Center, Creative Capacity Fund, Grants for the Arts, the Fleishhacker Foundation, Horizons Foundation, California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation and the Trans Justice Funding Project.

Founded in 1997, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) presents and screens films that promote the visibility of transgender and gender-variant people and challenge the mainstream media’s negative stereotypes of our communities. We provide opportunities for transgender and gender-variant media artists, build community through our festival and engage our audiences in cross-community dialogue.

Shawna Virago has been the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival’s artistic director since 2003, curating the programs, organizing fundraising, and coordinating production staff and volunteers. Virago’s own original films have screened at festivals throughout the world. Virago is a celebrated transgender singer/songwriter and filmmaker, known for her mix of original songs, storytelling, and standup.

Eric Garcia is SFTFF’s Managing Director and is an arts administrator and choreographer. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Detour Dance, an ensemble that produces original devised theater works, and hosts performance-based investigative workshops. Eric hosts and performs at drag cabarets and clubs all around the Bay Area as Churro Nomi.

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Adriana Douzos