Thursday, May 23, 2024

Drag queens and kings represented in upcoming festivals

Proving that people are getting more thirsty for queer film content, there are two noteworthy movie screenings coming to the Bay Area this month.

Reel Queer Flix is one night only Sept. 6 starting at 7pm, and is completely free – but you need to order tickets. The event will celebrate queer films from the Bay Area and will feature at least 10 short films and web series. Some of Northern California’s most celebrated filmmakers will be on hand including Matthew Riutta whose Median film will be shown and it was actually filmed right outside the Flix’s venue of the Grand Lake Theatre. This short has won prizes across the country in the past year and is part of his anthology of short  films dealing with the elements in one way or another.

From X to Z will also likely be a highlight as its filmmaker Florencia Manovil had quite a success with her one-season web series Dyke Central, which also was filmed in Oakland and the winner of many accolades.

The festival does a great job with queer representation with its varied subject matter and audience. Drag Kings, which there doesn’t seem to be a lot of representation in other festivals, features at least two shows with kings: City Folx, a web series about two friends trying to survive in the San Francisco housing market and Kings about two drag kings falling in love in a bar bathroom.

The 90-minute program has amazing content and there’s more than this mere list Yes, it’s free but do get your tickets in advance. Thank you Cinemama for putting together a great program – just in time for Oakland Pride. More info at:

Just a few weeks after this event, the South Bay will feature Fishnets and Film at the Westminster Presbyterian Church. This a unique and exciting event is kind of a film festival road show.Started by queer artist and drag queen Robby Kendall (aka Ms. Sweet Nothing), the festival was first put together to promote Kendall’s first film, Drag Queens Must Die! in 2021. After the success of that, and playing at sold-out venues, Kendall decided that other drag queens are also creative filmmakers so, like any festival, people can submit their entries through

Kendall has taken the festival to Oakland, Emeryville, San Diego and even an online version. The festival is not about sitting in a theatre and watching a movie. A lot of it is interactive and people come together to celebrate each other and our community.

“Our programs vary depending on our venues,” points out Kendall. “At some venues, we screen up to two short films and offer more live, queer performance art while at other venues, we screen up to ten short films from the current season. We always make room in our program for audience feedback and a live Q&A with filmmakers who are present representing their film or speaking on a topic.”

Kendall adds that Fishnets has a clear mission to foster and promote both the queer performance art and queer cinema communities. “Our guests can expect to get their fill of drag queer cinema. Our program truly provides a joyful and engaging experience with uplifting performances and cinema.”

Tom Goss

Kendall adds that, for example, in San Diego earlier this year they had a bear-themed and lesbian-themed program that featured the talents of singer/songwriter/actor Tom Goss, who has a large following, especially in the bear community.

So whether they are screening movies, doing live performances, or interacting with the audience, Fishnets and Film seems to have a loyal following. To watch them pop up in your area or to plan ahead to travel to where they are, go to or click the Film Freeway link above.

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Kevin M. Thomas

Kevin M. Thomas, or @ReelKev, is an arts blogger and entertainment reporter. In addition to his own website, and ReelKev YouTube channel, Kevin used to be the LGBT arts writer for and contributes to as well as a semi-regular on San Francisco's cable TV show, "10 Percent."

Kevin M. Thomas has 157 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin M. Thomas

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