Arts News

Damn These Heels! Film Festival Lineup, Updated

The ninth annual Damn These Heels! Film Festival, opening July 13, will feature movies from around the globe, narrative and documentary, including one short film by local filmmakers. The festival is a montage of some of the finest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-related films on the festival circuit. Notable actors in the films include Robert Gant, Kylie Minogue, Olympia Dukakis and Juno Temple.

The festival runs July 13–15, with all screenings at the Rose Wagner Arts Center, 138 W. Broadway. Below is the lineup of films with a brief synopsis. Individual tickets are $6 per show, available at All-Access passes are $25, available at

Cloudburst – Oscar®-winning actresses Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as Stella and Dot, an aging couple who escape from a nursing home in Maine and drive to Nova Scotia on a quest to be legally married. Principal Cast: Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker, Kristin Booth and Ryan Doucette.
Screening July 14, 3 p.m.

Even Handed — This short film by local filmmakers and Spy Hop Productions tells the story of a straight teenage girl who tries to answer the question posed by another student about her Human Rights Commission sticker: “If you’re not gay, why should you care?”
Screening July 13, 7 p.m., as part of Opening Night

Facing Mirrors – Set in contemporary Iran, Facing Mirrors is a story of an unlikely and daring friendship that develops between a traditional wife and mother, who is forced to drive a cab to pay off the debt that keeps her husband in prison, and a wealthy and rebellious transgender woman who is desperately awaiting a passport to leave the country. Principal Cast: Shayesteh Irani, Qazal Shakeri, Nima Shahrokh Shahi, Homayoun Ershadi.
Screening July 15, 4:45 p.m.

Gayby — A comedy about friendship, growing older, sex, loneliness and the family you choose. Jenn and Matt are best friends from college who are now in their 30s. They decide to fulfill a youthful promise to have a child together — the old-fashioned way. Can they navigate the serious and unexpected snags they’ll hit as they attempt to get their careers and dating lives back on track in preparation for parenthood? Principal Cast: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas.
Opening Night Screening July 13, 7 p.m.

Hit So Hard – A pull-no-punches portrait of the hell-and-back life of Patty Schemel, the hard-hitting drummer of Courtney Love’s seminal rock band Hole during their peak years. A true survivor of what we now know was the disaffected “slacker” generation, Patty found herself, like her friend Kurt Cobain, embraced by the dark side.        Screening July 14, 9 p.m.

In the Family – In a small Tennessee town, Chip Hines, a precocious 6-year-old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When tragedy strikes, one father and son struggle to find their footing again. But will the law be on their side? Principal Cast: Patrick Wang, Trevor St. John, Sebastian Banes.
Screening July 15, Noon

Jack and Diane – Two teenage girls meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane’s charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack’s tough-skinned heart. But, when Jack discovers that Diane is leaving the country in a week she tries to push her away. Diane must struggle to keep their love alive while hiding the secret that her newly awakened sexual desire is giving her werewolf-like visions.  Principal Cast: Juno Temple, Riley Keough, Kylie Minogue. Screening July 13, 11 p.m.

Joshua Tree, 1951 –  A fearless, intimate portrait of James Dean on the cusp of becoming both a great actor and an outsider icon. Set in the early 1950s and focusing on Dean’s experiences as a rising star in L.A., the film’s surreal and dreamlike vignettes blend biographical and fictionalized elements to present pivotal moments in his short, yet remarkable life.Principal Cast: James Preston, Dan Glenn, Daliah Rain, Robert Gant.
Screening July 14, 7 p.m.

North Sea Texas – Set in small-town Belgium, a young, introverted boy and his ex-beauty queen mother vie for different desires: The boy’s, a heroic motorcycle-riding Gino; the mother’s, a longing to leave everything behind to see the world. Principal Cast: Ben Van den Heuvel, Mathias Vergels, Eva van der Gucht, Thomas Coumans.
Screening July 15, 7 p.m.

Stud Life – JJ is a ‘Stud’ lesbian. With her best friend Seb, a gay pretty boy, they work as wedding photographers. When JJ falls in love with a beautiful diva, JJ and Seb’s friendship is tested. Principal Cast: T’Nia Miller, Kyle Treslove, Robyn Kerr, Simon Savory.
Screening July 14, 5 p.m.

TRANS – This extraordinary documentary feature is about men and women, and all the variations in between. It’s about the transgender community, perhaps the most misunderstood and mistreated minority in America and around the world. Inspired by the incredible story of Dr. Christine McGinn and her work as a transgender surgeon, TRANS provides an up close and personal vision into the lives, loves and challenges of a remarkable cast of characters of all ages and walks of life. Stories of confusion and courage, excitement and emotion that have never been told, until now.       Screening July 14, 10:30 a.m.

Wish Me Away – After a lifetime of hiding, Chely Wright becomes the first commercial country music singer to come out as gay, shattering cultural stereotypes within Nashville, her conservative heartland family and, most importantly, within herself. With unprecedented access over a two-year period, including her private video diaries, the film layers Chely’s rise to fame while hiding in the late ’90s with the execution of her coming out plan, culminating in the exciting moment when she steps into the media glare to reveal her true self.                                                                                           Screening July 14, 12:30 p.m.

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