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Fourteen more films have been selected for the 14th annual Damn These Heels Film Festival, the largest LGBTQ film festival in the Intermountain West set to run July 14-16 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City.
The newly announced films include the festival's Centerpiece Screening, the British drama "God's Own Country," which won Francis Lee the Directing Award for World Cinema Dramatic at this year's Sundance Film Festival. (The Utah Film Center, which organizes Damn These Heels, is presenting the Centerpiece film in partnership with the Sundance Institute.)
"God's Own Country" tells of Johnny Saxby (Josh O'Connor), a young Yorkshire farmer whose life of binge drinking and casual sex is disrupted when he meets a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) during lambing season.
• "After Louie" (U.S.), directed by Vincent Gagliostro • "'After Louie' explores the contradictions of modern gay life and history through Sam (Alan Cumming), a man desperate to understand how he and his community got to where they are today."
• "Chavela" (U.S./Mexico/Spain), directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi • "Through its lyrical structure, 'Chavela' will take viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas."
• "Don't Call Me Son" (Brazil), directed by Anna Muylaert • "Tall, dark, androgynously handsome, Pierre wears eyeliner and a black lace g-string, while having sex with both boys and girls. The confusion only goes deeper when the teenager's single, working-class mom is arrested for having stolen him at birth. His biological parents are thrilled to have him back, until he shows up in a zebra-print mini dress."
• "Femme Brutal" (Austria), directed by Nick Prokesch and Liesa Kovacs • "A naked female* body stepping on a stage with self-confidence and autonomy is still a highly political, radical act. Through their queer-feminist performances the seven artists* of Club Burlesque Brutal demand the normality of female* desire."
• "Handsome Devil" (Ireland), directed by John Butler • "Ned and Conor are forced to share a bedroom at their rugby-mad boarding school. The loner and the star athlete form an unlikely friendship until it's tested by the authorities."
• "Hearthstone" (Denmark/Iceland), directed by Gudmundur Arnar Gudmundsson • "A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it's time to leave the playground and face adulthood."
• "Like Foam" (Spain), directed by Roberto Pérez Toledo • "A message circulates from mobile phone to mobile phone. A bunch of strangers meet in a mansion. They come searching for sex, but never has an orgy been so full of love."
• "The Queen of Ireland" (Ireland), directed by Conor Horgan • "Documentary about the life of Irish drag queen Panti Bliss, created by Rory O'Neill. Over the last few years Rory has become a figurehead for LGBT rights in Ireland and since the recent scandal around 'Pantigate,' his fight for equality and against homophobia has become recognised across the world."
• "Raising Zoey" (U.S.), directed by Dante Alencastre • "13 year-old Zoey wants nothing more than to simply go to school, learn, have fun with friends and be a kid. Unfortunately, ignorance and intolerance have not always made this easy. Zoey, with the help of her mother and the ACLU, fought school officials for her right to self-identify in school. Even in the face of bullying and endless teasing from both school officials and students, Zoey determinedly continues in the hopes of helping others persevere in living their authentic lives."
• "Small Talk" (Taiwan), directed by Hui-Chen Huang • "Taiwanese filmmaker Hui-chen Huang knows her mother is a lesbian, but just about nothing else about her. They have lived like strangers under one roof for decades, and almost never talk to each other. One day Hui-chen finally summons up the courage to sit her down and make her mother talk. But is she ready to hear what she has to say?"
• "Tamara" (Venezuela/Uruguay/Peru), directed by Elia K. Schneider • "A successful lawyer with a wife and two kids finally comes to terms with his visceral desire to become a woman. He is determined to follow his heart, even though this will turn his whole world upside down and put his life at risk. So his trip to gender reassignment begins."
• "The Untamed" (Mexico/Denmark/France), directed by Amat Escalante • "A couple in a troubled marriage locate a meteorite, initiating an encounter with a mysterious creature. Their lives are turned upside down by the discovery of the creature, which is a source of both pleasure and destruction."
• "A Very Sordid Wedding" (U.S.), directed by Del Shores • "As a hilarious follow-up to 'Sordid Lives,' this film explores the questions, bigotry and the fallout of what happens when gay marriage comes to communities and families that are not quite ready to accept it.
Tickets and passes for Damn These Heels are available at the festival's website.