Emmy Award-winning Director Daresha Kyi returns to SXSW with the world premiere of a powerful new documentary
Mama Bears is an intimate, thought-provoking exploration of the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears”—conservative, Christian mothers whose profound love for their LGBTQ+ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community—and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important. Mama Bears is the story of women who have allowed nearly every aspect of their lives to be completely reshaped by love. Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.
Once Kimberly accepted her transgender daughter, Kai, she quickly transformed from a Tea Party Republican to an award-winning “LGBTQ Activist of the Year” as she joined forces with the ACLU and Equality Texas to battle the anti-trans bathroom bill that would prevent her child from using the girls’ bathroom in their small Texas hometown. Sara went from repeatedly forcing her gay son, Parker, to deny his sexuality to not only embracing him, but founding Free Mom Hugs, a national movement of mothers offering love, acceptance, and hugs to the LGBTQ+ community. With the support of the mama bears, founded by Liz Dyer, Tammi—who knew she was gay as a little girl—went from marrying a man to “earn the promise of heaven” to learning to live her truth as a proud lesbian.
Shot in a poetic, deeply intimate style, Mama Bears uses social media posts, home movies, photographs, personal journals, blogs, interviews, and cinema verité footage to explore the complex intersections of politics, religion, faith, and true, unconditional love.
- Sunday, 13 March 2022 – Screening @ 9 AM CT, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar E*
- Monday, 14 March 2022 – On-line Screening @ 9:00 AM CT
- Monday, 14 March 2022 – Screening @ 4 PM CT, Violet Crown Cinema 2*
- Monday, 14 March 2022 – Screening @ 4:30 PM CT, Violet Crown Cinema 4*
- Friday, 18 March 2022 – Screening @ 12:30 PM CT, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar A*
* Filmmakers and Film Participants In-Person for Q&A
91 minutes | US | 2022 | English
Directors: Daresha Kyi
Cast: Kimberly Shappley, Kai Shappley, Sara Cunningham, Parker Cunningham, Tammi Terrell Morris, Tenita Lewis Artry, Liz Dyer
Mama Bears is an intimate exploration of two “mama bears” – conservative, Christian mothers who have become fierce advocates for LGBTQ+ people – and a young lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance exemplifies why the mama bears movement is so vital.
aGLIFF presents Youtopia
Youtopia combines narrative story with eleven original comedy music videos for a single feature-length film.
aGLIFF announces the Queer Spectrum screening for April 2023 will feature Youtopia, the musical comedy from director Scout Durwood, on April 19 at the Galaxy Theatre.
Youtopia combines narrative story with eleven original comedy music videos for a single feature-length film. Durwood will be in attendance for a live post-screening discussion with aGLIFF Artistic Director and Other Worlds’ founder Bears Rebecca Fonté.
Youtopia received an Honorable Mention for North American Narrative Feature at the 2022 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival for Durwood’s “innovative, hilarious, and politically erudite storytelling and exceptional musical numbers”.
The screening is presented in partnership with OtherWorlds Film Festival.
aGLIFF presents Youtopia on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2023 at the Galaxy Theatre at 6700 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752, starting at 7 PM. Open to aGLIFF members and guests for free; individual tickets are $15 each (plus applicable service fees) and are available for purchase now at agliff.org/queer-spectrum.
91 minutes | USA | 2022 | English
Writer: Scout Durwood
Director: Scout Durwood, Nate Lipp, Jason Zeni
Cast: Scout Durwood, Sammi Cohen, Eddie Furth, Mackenzie Trent, Jess Rona
After a devastating break up, an elder millennial inadvertently forms a hipster cult. When members start to disappear, the leader is confronted with the knowledge that her journey of self-discovery may trigger the end of the civilization as we know it, forcing her to face her most challenging enemy yet: herself.
Sapphic Nation said “Youtopia is a film that is funny and unique, just like its leading lady, Scout Durwood”:
“Underneath the bright colours and comedic tone, the film contains a mix of social commentary and personal expression, most evident in the music, with songs like “Millennial Malaise” and “Existence is Meaningless”. However, you can tell that life is anything but meaningless for Scout. And over the hour, thirty minute runtime we get to explore how she truly feels through the various music videos in the film.”
But Why Tho? says “Scout Durwood is absolutely hilarious in her musical film Youtopia.”:
“The movie’s low-budget look does wonders to play up the campiness of both the concept and the format. The movie is interspersed with quite odd but terribly catchy and satisfying songs, each essentially done as a separate music video outside of but concurrent to the ongoing plot.”
The Stranger calls it “a musical that is as sharp as it is silly, Youtopia is a comedy showcase overflowing with charm.”:
“Youtopia is continually refreshing, with every musical interlude showcasing a different style from the one before it. Best see this one with a crowd if you can.”
aGLIFF presents Sweetheart
aGLIFF announces the Queer Spectrum screening for April 2022 will feature Sweetheart, the debut feature from director Marley Morrison, on April 27 at the Galaxy Theatre at 7 PM.
aGLIFF announces the Queer Spectrum screening for April 2022 will feature Sweetheart, the debut feature from director Marley Morrison, on April 27 at the Galaxy Theatre.
Marley Morrison’s debut feature Sweetheart charts the relationship between two young women during a summer holiday. Chosen as the 2021 Audience Award winner at the Glasgow Film Festival, “Sweetheart” is a sharply observed coming-of-age story.
17-year-old AJ is not one of life’s shiny, happy people. A family holiday at a caravan park in Dorset is her idea of hell. A moody misfit, she dresses for concealment and lets everyone know that she would rather be anywhere else. Then she spies flirty, free-spirited lifeguard Isla who might just be the girl of her dreams. Can AJ dare to take a first step on the road to happiness?
Presented in partnership with Sandra Hucker Consulting and Life Grows Green Hemp-Derived Products.
aGLIFF presents Sweetheart on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2022 at the Galaxy Theatre at 6700 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752, starting at 7 PM. Open to aGLIFF members and guests for free; individual tickets are $12 each (plus applicable service fees) and are available for purchase now at agliff.org/queer-spectrum.
94 minutes | UK | 2021 | English
Director: Marley Morrison
Cast: Nell Barlow, Jo Hartley, Ella-Rae Smith, Sophia Di Martino, Samuel Anderson, Tabitha Byron
A socially awkward, environmentally conscious, lesbian misfit teenager named AJ becomes unexpectedly captivated by a chlorine smelling, sun-loving lifeguard named Isla whilst on a depressing holiday with her family. For AJ, the only thing worse than spending an entire week with her uniquely ‘un-woke’ family is being in a seaside cabin with no Wi-Fi…. until carefree lifeguard Isla sees through AJ’s uniquely adopted persona.
The Guardian said “if you thought Ammonite was going to be this year’s only gay love story set in Dorset, think again”:
“The resulting spark is the kind of miracle that maybe really only happens in the movies, but it doesn’t stop this being a good-natured love story, doomed to flower and fade in the space of a single holiday, leaving behind the traditional coming-of-age realisation that friends and family are what’s important right now.
The Irish Times called it “One of the year’s best feature debuts.”:
“Morrison makes use of the bland coastal vistas to create a convincingly enclosed container against which AJ can bash her brains. … There is not a bad performance.”
LeftLion says “this coming of age story is well worth your time”:
“So, while the coming of age subgenre is perhaps overly saturated, Sweetheart manages to bring a new, niche approach to the game. With a sharp and intelligent script excellently delivered by a fantastic cast, this marks an outstanding success story for Morrison – and with his debut feature, no less. Sweeeet.”
aGLIFF presents Paris, 13th District
aGLIFF’s Queer Spectrum screening for March is the sexy French film “Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades)” by Jacques Audiard at the Galaxy Theatre on March 30 at 7 PM.
aGLIFF announces the Queer Spectrum screening for March 2022 will feature the sexy French film Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades) by Jacques Audiard on March 30 at the Galaxy Theatre.
Following the lives of several Parisian 30 somethings, “Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades)” is based on three short graphic novels from acclaimed Brooklyn-based illustrator Adriane Tomine. Filmed in gorgeous black and white and intertwined in vibrant color, this sexy drama features a cast of talented young rising stars.
2015 Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard brings Tomine’s novels (Amber Sweet, Killing and Dying, and Hawaiian Getaway) to life setting the film in the mixed high-rise neighborhood in Paris located in the 13th District bringing to life the sprawling dreams of desire and human connection in the city of love.
Presented in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.
aGLIFF presents Paris, 13th District on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30, 2022 at the Galaxy Theatre at 6700 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, Texas 78752, starting at 7 PM. Open to aGLIFF members and guests for free; individual tickets are $12 each (plus applicable service fees) and are available for purchase now at agliff.org/queer-spectrum.
Paris, 13th District (Les Olympiades, Paris 13e)
106 minutes | France | 2021 | French
Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba, Jehnny Beth, Noémie Merlant
Adapted from Adrian Tomine’s acclaimed graphic novel, Paris, 13th District weaves a breezy tapestry of modern love stories. Beautifully realized in crisp black-and-white cinematography, the electrifying, multicultural 13th arrondissement sets the stage for a panoramic tale of four young lovers.
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