Sundance Film Festival is upon us, yet again, and this year’s selection of LGBTQ films is remarkably dense. From documentaries to feature films and shorts, Sundance is thankfully highlighting this year narratives beyond the homonormative storyline we've all come to know (and loathe). Running from January 19 to 29 in Park City, Utah, the 2017 festival welcomes far more inclusivity than in years past, and here are seven of the most compelling selections.
This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous
Directed by two-time Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple, this documentary follows the struggles YouTube star Gigi Gorgeous went through publicly transitioning online, meanwhile coping with her mother dying of cancer. By showing a family that sticks together for the happiness of their daughter, this powerful documentary is sure to highlight the human behind Gorgeous' glow. (Click for more information).
Directed by Anna Kerrigan and created by Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern. The Chances is a web series debuting this year five episodes at Sundance. The series is centered on two deaf best friends, Kate and Michael, and how their relationship evolves when Michael breaks up with his boyfriend and Kate gets married to hers. (Click for more information).
Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is an Italian-French film, directed by Luca Guadagnino with a screenplay by James Ivory and Luca Guadagnino. Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, is a sensitive only child from America vacationing in the Italian countryside. Armie Hammer plays an academic researching with Elio’s family, when the two begin an affair and their story unfolds. (Click for more information).
Directed by Eliza Hittman, Beach Rats follows a boy, Frankie, on the outskirts of Brooklyn, who tags along with a group of delinquent friends to Coney Island. Unsure of who he is, the boy sparks up a new relationship with a girl, but also meets up with older men at the beach. Throughout the film, Frankie goes through an exploration of rigid class structures and white hyperbolic masculinity. (Click for more information).
Bayard & Me
Directed by Matt Wolf, Bayard & Me follows the life of a civil rights activist, who was forced to take a minor leadership role because of his open sexuality in a time when gay marriage was ridiculed. This documentary looks at how Bayard Rustin and Walter Naegle created a life together, including when Bayard adopted Walter, who was 30 years younger. (Click for more information).
A South African film directed by John Tengrove, The Wound profiles a gay South African teenager who is ready to undergo a ritualistic circumcision. During his painful recovery, he becomes close with his caregiver Xolani, who's also believed to be having a secret gay relationship. Xolani's sexuality is eventually discovered by the rest of the village, which challenges his safety. (Click for more information).
Out of Exile: Daniel's Story
Out of Exile: Daniel's Story builds off the true life of Daniel Ashley Pierce, who was assaulted by his family and thrown out of their home after his coming out. A tale of hope and perseverance, the film features audio from Nonny De La Pena and aims to inspire LGBTQ youth in similar situations. (Click for more information).
Photos via Sundance Institute