While the newly renamed TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival is still a few months away, you can still have your own fairly robust mini-queer film festival at the Seattle International Film Festival.   There are 28 films under the LGBTQ genre during SIFF this year, with quite a few stand outs.  Unsure of which ones to attend?  Here is a completely subjective guide for which LGBTQ films to check out during this year’s SIFF.



Feature length portrayals of intersectionality are not that common, and Arianna has gotten some nice buzz as an intensely personal and lovely film.

Being 17: Gay-La

There’s a “Gay-La” every year, a film of general queer interest with a party afterwards, and it’s usually pretty high quality. While Being 17 fits squarely in the overly familiar teenage coming-of-age genre, early reviews (notably from the Hollywood Reporter) are quite strong. Last year’s Gay-La was Tangerine, which was an incredible piece, so I trust the SIFF curators have chosen a worthy piece for this year’s entry.

Closet Monster

A character in this has a pet hamster named Buffy (after the Vampire Slayer) voiced by Isabella Rossellini. What more could you want? I’m definitely drawn in by the provocative imagery in the trailer, and the horror elements (less typical of queer cinema) make this closet monster one to consider turning the lights out for.

Finding Kim

A local feature-length documentary about Kim’s journey towards acceptance of her gender identity. I love supporting our local filmmaking community, and the cameos by Carmen Carrera, Buck Angel and Dan Savage don’t hurt my interest level either.

First Girl I Loved

Yes, it’s yet another teenage coming-of-age film, but this does have the pedigree of winning the 2016 Sundance NEXT Audience Award, and also stars Dylan Gelula from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (the petulant teen who loves to hate Kimmy). Certainly worth a look.

From Afar

From Afar won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival, which is its top prize. (The filmmaker’s first film also won the Golden Lion.) From Afar tells a story of power politics and differences in social classes, always timely and intriguing.


Holding the Man

Based on a memoir of a 15-year relationship, I’m definitely drawn in by that history, of seeing gay history through the lens of their experience. Plus it has new music by Rufus Wainwright.


Oh, You Pretty Things! A David Bowie and Glam Rock Dance Party

While not a film per se, it’s a SIFF event of definite LGBT interest, with music videos, a tribute band performance and dancing to the music of a queer icon.


Other People

Saturday Night Live’s Molly Shannon stars in this film by Broad City writer Chris Kelly, and if you’re a fan, you may as well see it while she’s in attendance here.  Being gay in a conservative family is a familiar topic but still a resonant one, and the excellent cast should make this worth seeing.

The four of them in bed


A Chilean film about the difficulties of two women raising a child in a conservative environment.  An early review finds it moving and “wonderfully light of touch”, and it’s based on a true story.  Worth checking out.



Erotic fan fiction hasn’t been explored in film very much, so this film has a lot of potential to be wholly original in exploring fantasies and subcultures.


Spa Night

It’s hard not to love stories about the seamy underside of gay culture. This one looks unique as it explores the Korean sauna scene. Joe Seo won the Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance, so this is certainly worth a look.

© 2015 A Ticklish Tale Limited


This is a documentary about tickling porn (men with men).  If you prefer your adult entertainment a little more off the beaten path, then this might be a good film to explore behind the scenes of this particular fetish.


Women He’s Undressed

Orry-Kelly was a noted Hollywood costume designer and an out gay man long before it was accepted to do so. I’m sure his story will be fascinating, and director Gillian Armstrong has a strong track record (I enjoyed her adaptation of Little Women in the ‘90s with Winona Ryder). Also of note, Women He’s Undressed was nominated for best feature length documentary by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.