Long Beach’s QFilms returns for 4-day festival of LGBTQ movies

QFilms, Long Beach’s longest running film festival, will launch this month with a schedule of more than 65 feature films, documentaries, and shorts that celebrate the LGBTQ community.

In its 28th year, QFilms will offer a hybrid of programming options for film fans with in-person, outdoors, and online screenings. 

This year also will feature a new queer Latinx short film program.

The festival will run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 at the Art Theatre and the Museum of Latin American Art, which will have outdoor screenings.

Tickets for the film festival range from $10 to $150.

QFilms is a fundraiser for the Long Beach LGBQT Center and its various services, including legal services, food programs, youth and family outreach, senior programs, HIV-STI testing, transgender support, and mental health counseling.

‘Q-Force’ animated queer spy series from Netflix debuts in September

Here are some QFilms highlights.

Sept. 30

“Cortos: Latinx Queer Shorts”

7:30 p.m. at Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)

The shorts will feature “Mora and Chenchi,” a women’s film from Mexico; “We Are Not Who We Say We Are,” a queer, transgender, and universal tale from Honduras; and “Ocupa,” a women’s film from Brazil.

“This is Jessica”

7 p.m. at the Art Theatre

This feature documentary follows Jessica Blair. From her earliest years growing up as a Mormon boy in a conservative environment, Jessica knew she was a girl. Terrified to risk her family, her faith, her life on Earth and eternal soul, Jonathan went about creating the perfect life of a young Mormon man, becoming a missionary, marrying young and starting a family. When Jonathan finally comes out as Jessica, it’s a leap off the edge of life as she knows it. 

“Yes I Am: The Ric Weiland Story”

9 p.m. at the Art Theatre

This documentary tells the story of Ric Weiland, the brilliant programmer, queer pioneer, and one of the earliest employees of Microsoft. He dedicated his life and fortune to philanthropy and activism, but personal struggles eventually became too much to bear.

‘Swan Song’ with Udo Kier as the ‘Liberace of Sandusky’

Oct. 1

Transgender shorts

5 p.m. at the Art Theatre

  • “House of AS”
  • “Unliveable”
  • “God’s Daughter Dances”
  • “Karina’s Suit”


7 p.m. MOLAA

Director Carlos Lopez Estrada chronicles a hot summer day in Los Angeles and the lives of 27 young Angelenos. Through poetry, they express life, love, heartache, family, home, and fear. One of them just wants to find someplace that still serves good cheeseburgers.

No Ordinary Man

9:30 p.m. at the Art Theatre

This documentary is a portrait of Billy Tipton, the famous jazz musician who was revealed after his death to have been transgender.

Oct. 2

Youth shorts

1:30 p.m. Art Theatre 

  • “Coming Out”
  • “At Last”
  • “Graduation”
  • “Les Lèvres Gercées”
  • “April’s Last Memories”
  • “Blue Suit”
  • “Kapaemahu”
  • “Before the Eruption”

Queer animated shorts

4 p.m. at the Art Theatre

  • “Champion”
  • “Sweet, Sweet Kink: A Collection of BDSM Stories”
  • “Noah’s Song”
  • “Our Bed is Green”
  • “Chromosome Sweetheart”
  • “Each and Every Night”
  • “Top 3”

“Can You Bring It: Bill T. Jones”

6:30 p.m. at the Art Theatre

This feature documentary traces the remarkable history and legacy of one of the most important works of art to come out of the age of AIDS — choreographer Bill T. Jones’s tour de force ballet “D-Man in the Waters.”

“Fanny: The Right to Rock”

7 p.m. MOLAA

Director Bobbi Jo Hart’s documentary about Fanny, the first all-woman band to release a record on a major label. Fighting early barriers of race, gender, and sexuality in the music industry, and now ageism as they have reformed, the women of Fanny are ready to claim their hallowed place in the halls of rock ‘n’ roll fame.

The documentary features interviews with Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Bonnie Raitt, The Go-Go’s Kathy Valentine, Todd Rundgren, The Runaways’ Cherie Currie, Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian, and The B52’s Kate Pierson.

Oct. 3

“Men in Briefs” shorts

11 a.m. Art Theatre

  • “Complicated”
  • “Bill”
  • “Getting Closer”
  • “I Bleed”
  • “Peace”
  • “My Aunties”
  • “Lines”

“Women In Shorts”

3:30 p.m. Art Theatre

  • “Are You Still Watching?”
  • “Lilies”
  • “Aime Victoria”
  • “Skumjas”
  • “Eleven Weeks”
  • “Roadkill”
  • “The Wash”
  • “Sunday’s Child”

“Jump, Darling”

7:45 p.m. Art Theatre

In Oscar-winning actress Cloris Leachman’s final starring role, a rookie drag queen, reeling from a break-up, escapes to the country, where he finds his grandmother in steep decline, yet desperate to avoid the local nursing home.

Here’s the full schedule of films and where to purchase tickets.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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