TWIST 2017 Films

2 Cool 2 be 4gotten

U.S. Premiere | Philippines | 2017 | 95m | Jason Paul Laxamana
A closeted and lonely Filipino teen trapped in a conservative Catholic town narrates this film from director Jason Paul Laxamana. The organizers call the film "unapologetically Filipino in its depiction of how American cultural influence affects queer people of color ...

Abu (Father)

Canada | 2017 | 81m | Arshad Khan

Alaska is a Drag

USA | 2017 | 84m | Shaz Bennett
Shaz Bennett's feature-length expansion of her short film follows Leo, a man who spends most of his days working at a fish cannery in rural Alaska and taking care of his twin sister, Tristen. But on his days off, he ...

Apricot Groves

Armenia | 2016 | 80m | Pouria Heidary Oureh
Iranian-Armenian Aram leaves his adopted home in the US to propose to Narbeh, his Armenian girlfriend. But cultural and familial conflicts await the young trans man. This beautifully scored film set in Yerevan has garnered nominations and wins from worldwide ...

Around the World

Armenia | India | Indonesia | Italy | New Zealand | USA | 94m
This series of shorts highlights seven queer films from a range of countries, from New Zealand director Roberto Nascimento's Medulla Oblongata, about a drag queen's journey from oppression in the Maldives to refuge in New Zealand, to Indonesian director Yudho ...

Axolotl Overkill

Germany | 2017 | 94m | Helene Hegemann
Mifti, a rootless, rejected teenager whose self-destruction is enabled by the adults around her, copes with the recent death of her mother through a series of complex relationships in Helene Hegemann's coming-of-age film.

Before Homosexuals: The Prequel to Before Stonewall

2017 | 87m | John Scagliotti
John Scagliotti 's film features a series of interviews with experts, historians, and scholars exploring pre-20th century erotic history, poetry, and visual art. Learn about lesbian love spells from ancient Rome, the homoerotic verses of Michelangelo, censored chapters of the ...

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall

USA | 2017 | 100m | Katherine Fairfax Wright
Stranger Says: The dancer, YouTube sensation, and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Todrick Hall was heading out on tour to meet his fans when he decided to write an all-new stage show called Straight Outta Oz. Because most of his ...

Body Electric

Brazil | 2017 | 94m | Marcelo Caetano

Boy Shorts

Argentina | Canada | Germany | United Kingdom | USA | 98m
From Matthew Puccini's The Mess He Made, in which a young man anxiously awaits the results of his HIV test, to Gonzalo Biderman's Although My Ways of Loving You, where a gay couple record the ups and downs of their ...

Boys for Sale

Japan | 2017 | 76m | Itako
Through a combination of film and animation, Japanese filmmaker Itako's first feature follows the lives of nine urisen, Japanese male sex workers, who work in a sex shop in Tokyo's gay district.


France | 2017 | 140m | Robin Campillo


Netherlands | 2016 | 49m | Joris van den Berg

Chance Encounters

Australia | France | Netherlands | Portugal | USA | 88m
From Nish Gera's Scar Tissue to Oliver Mason's Away with Me, this collection of shorts depicts men in love and lust as they have one-night stands, missed connections, and steamy encounters.


Japan | 127m | Noko Ogigami
Allegedly the first transgender-centered film made in Japan, Noko Ogigami's feature about chosen family explores the life of a trans woman named Rinku through the eyes of Tomo, a young girl seeking a stable home after bring abandoned by her ...

The Death and Life of Marsh P. Johnson

2017 | 105m | David France
Using archival footage and the investigative work of NYC Anti-Violence Project's Victoria Cruz, David France's film explores the unsolved 1992 death of the highly influential transgender activist and Stonewall veteran Marsha P. Johnson. The film also features footage of Johnson's ...

Desert Hearts

1985 | 96m | Donna Deitch
Donna Deitch's classic first film, an adaptation of Jane Ruleset's novel, follows the love story of a somewhat conservative East Coast professor named Vivian Bell and a young free spirit named Cay, who meet after Vivian gets a divorce. This ...

Die Beautiful

Philippines | 2016 | 120m | Jun Lana
Beauty queen Trisha dies suddenly, leaving her best friend Barb to carry out her final wish: To be dressed as a different celebrity every night of her wake. But Barb must fight Trisha's conservative family, who want her buried as ...

Dispatches from Cleveland

2017 | 73m | Catherine Gund
This documentary sheds light on the police corruption, poverty, and transphobic hate crimes in Cleveland, Ohio, told in intersecting chapters from those affected by—and also actively fighting against—such injustices.


Thailand | 2016 | 96m | Palatpol Mingpornpichit
Palatpol Mingpornpichit's family drama centers on Butr, a boy adopted at an early age by his two dads. Butr feels happy and at home with his family until he starts to get bullied at school, which causes him to lash ...

The Feels

World Premiere | USA | 2017 | 88m | Jenée LaMarque
In Jenée LaMarque's comedy about sexual awakening, fiancées Andi and Lu go on a trip to wine country for a bachelorette weekend with a bunch of their lesbian friends, plus one dude. After Lu confesses that she's never had an ...

Freak Show

USA | 2017 | 91m | Trudie Styler

Girl Shorts

Australia | Canada | Germany | Spain | United Kingdom | 83m
These women-centric shorts are full of badass babes, heavy crushes, and plenty of scandals. See Wonder Woman saving her friends from bad dates in David Willing's The Escape Hatch, follow the story of a woman who has to repeatedly come ...

Girl Unbound - The War to be Her

2016 | 80m | Erin Heidenreich
This documentary profiles Maria Toorpakai, an accomplished women's squash player who grew up in the conservative Waziristan region of Pakistan, where in her younger years, with the help and support of her family, she disguised herself as a boy in ...

The Haunting

UK | 1963 | 112m | Robert Wise
This 1963 film directed and produced by Robert Wise is an adaptation of Shirley Jackson's short but deeply chilling novel, The Haunting of Hill House. Julie Harris' performance as Eleanor is very effective (despite some hokey voiceovers) and the movie ...


Denmark | Iceland | 2016 | 129m | Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

How to be a Trans Ally

Canada | 2016 | 75m | Chase Joynt
Chase Joynt's documentary Genderize features three interviews with three siblings who share their thoughts on gender at a young age, and again four years later. Their perspectives become more complex overtime, factoring in privilege, sexism, puberty, parenting, and explorations of ...

I Dream in Another Language

Mexico | Netherlands | 2017 | 103m | Ernesto Contreras
Ernesto Contreras' sci-fi film follows Martín, a traveling linguist who specializes in preserving dying languages. When he's faced with the challenge of documenting an ancient language only understood by two elderly men who have not spoken to one another in ...

In the Dark

Canada | Portugal | USA | 91m
As is fitting with the season of all things creepy, creaky, and kooky, these shorts are meant to give you the chills, from Jesse Klein's Demons, about a serial killer struggling to come out of the closet, to Rosita Lama ...

Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism

2017 | 51m | Gregorio Davila
Gregorio Davila's documentary profiles journalist, author, queer activist, and ex-nun Jeanne Cordova, who referred to herself as a "professional lesbian." The film tributes her accomplishments during the queer rights movement on the West Coast, such as her creation of the ...

Jesus is Dead

Philippines | 2016 | 90m | Victor Villanueva

Just Charlie

United Kingdom | 2017 | 100m | Rebekah Fortune
Originating from her short film Something Blue, Rebekah Fortune's first feature film follows Charlie, a soccer star who struggles to balance a love of the gender-segregated sport with a desire to explore gender identity.

The Lavender Scare

2017 | 94m | Josh Howard
Josh Howard's documentary examines Eisenhower’s “Let’s clean house” campaign, which coincided with his 1953 declaration of homosexuals as a national security threat. The film includes archival footage, interviews with FBI agents, and stories of those affected by the 40-year "witch ...

Like Foam

Spain | 2016 | 94m | Roberto Perez Toledo

Marikas Missio

Germany | 2017 | 74m | Michael Schmitt

Maybe Tomorrow

Philippines | 2016 | 83m | Samantha Lee
TWIST says: "Coming out to your best friend is hard enough, but what if you realize you are more than just friends? Alex ( Jasmine Curtis) is a young writer trying to make it in television production in the Philippines. ...

A Million Happy Nows

2017 | 80m | Albert Alarr

My Wonderful West Berlin

Germany | 2017 | 97m | Jochen Hick
Jochen Hick's documentary focuses on the history of queer rights activism in West Berlin during the Paragraph 175 era, during which homosexuality was declared a criminal act. The film features scenes from classic German queer films, as well as interviews ...

Porcupine Lake

Canada | 2017 | 85m | Ingrid Veninger

Press Play

These 16 drag-filled shorts are sure to rectify any glitter or modern dance deficiencies you may have, from Jeff Dragomanovich and Nate Visconti's Better Known as Peaches Christ, in which the beloved queen offers a glimpse into her process while ...


This series of shorts curated by Lion’s Main Art Collective is by for queer people of color. Featuring Sam Bailey's Brown Girls: Episode 4, about the friendship between Leila and Patricia, two women of color in their mid-twenties from very ...

Queer Ghost Hunters

2017 | 60m | Stu Maddux
The latest episode of Stu Maddux's docuseries follows queer ghost hunters investigating LGBTQ+ paranormal activity across the country. While there's plenty of satire, the series also recognizes the persecution of queers throughout history, recording their discoveries of ghosts who were ...

Queer Out!

Argentina | Germany | United Kingdom | USA | 95m
These shorts celebrate self-acceptance and discovery, from Elegance Bratton's Walk for Me, in which a trans teen discovers her chosen family through the New York gay ball scene, Karsten Dahlem's Princess, about a gown that brings together an unlikely pair, ...


Iceland | 2017 | 111m | Erlingur Thoroddsen
Rökkur, which translates from Icelandic to Rift, is about Einar and Gunnar, two drama queens who are haunted by their recently ended relationship. Months after their breakup, Einar (Sigurður Þór Óskarsson) retreats to a cabin under a glacier. One night, ...

The Ring Thing

USA | 2017 | 106m | William Sullivan

Saturday Church

2017 | 81m | Damon Cardasis
In this coming-of-age musical, a queer boy named Ulysses struggles with a dismal home life with his intolerant aunt Rose, who looks after him and his brother while their mom works long hours after the unexpected death of their father. ...

Saturgay Morning Cartoons

Belgium | Canada | Netherlands | United Kingdom | USA | 86m
Cozy up with a bowl of cereal (from a vegan-friendly cereal bar) and enjoy these sweet and sexy animated shorts—from Youyang Yu's For the Best, in which an unrequited love story between two men is portrayed through hand drawing, to ...

Signature Move

2017 | 80m | Jennifer Reeder

Small Talk

Taiwan | 2016 | 88m | Hui-Chen Huang
In Hui-Chen Huang's autobiographical film, the filmmaker goes back to her novice days, when she found herself exploring her past and her feelings about her upbringing by her lesbian mother, Anu, in an effort to understand the type of mother ...


67m | Shine Louise Houston

Something Like Summer

2017 | 116m | David Berry
This story about adolescent love follows a severely bullied and boldly out singer named Ben who meets and falls in love with a star athlete named Tim. The film follows their relationship over the course of 12 years.


USA | 2017 | 72m | Robin Berghaus

Three Dollar Bill Cinema Showcase

USA | 2017 | 60m
See work from the talented students of the Reel Queer Youth summer filmmaking program, the TWIST Three-Day Filmmaking Challenge, and the Blanket Fort Films Motion Picture program.

Trans Shorts

Austria | Canada | Germany | Italy | Turkey | United Kingdom | USA | 90m
These shorts about trans identities deal with self-celebration, chosen family, and new experiences—from Brandon Kelley's The Real Thing, about a tender reunion that transcends gender, to Jake Graf's continuing trilogy Dusk, in which a trans man named Chris tells the ...

Trans Youth

2017 | 85m | Rebecca Adler
Rebecca Adler's documentary follows seven trans young adults in Austin, Texas over the span of three years. In this very formative time, they face family judgment, join DIY punk bands, navigate hormone therapy for the first time, and move through ...

U Up?

Brazil | Germany | USA | 70m
Replace your usual booty call with this late-night series of nine sexy shorts, from Danny Tayara's You've Got Tail to Ty Wardwell and Ethan Folk's Breakfast in Bed.


Canada | France | Mexico | Poland | United Kingdom | USA | 86m
These shorts are all about the abstract and the undocumented, defying standard film structures and narratives and offering radical alternatives to mainstream politics and culture—from Niknaz Tavakolian's experimental video Inflamed: A Litany for Burning Condoms, which explores the sociopolitical, technocratic, ...

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

2017 | 91m | Jennifer Kroot
This year’s TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival opens with a documentary about one of the most famous gay writers of the 20th century, Armistead Maupin. It is called The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin. It tells the story of the ...

A Very Sordid Wedding

2017 | 109m | Del Shores

A Winter to Remember

Argentina | 64m | Cecilia Valenzuela Gioia

The Wound

Germany | Netherlands | South Africa | 2017 | 88m | John Trengove
John Trengove's film explores toxic masculinity through a secret gay love affair amidst the Xhosa tribe’s annual coming-of-age ritual in the mountains of Eastern South Africa.