Utah Film Center Announces 2019 ‘Damn These Heels’ Film Lineup – Tickets & Passes Now On Sale!

Opening Night Film: Changing the Game

Festival Announces 19 Feature Films From 12 Countries That Highlight LGBTQ Culture, Ideas, Struggles, and Triumphs.

New This Year: VR Lounge, Workshop with The Bee, and Guest Programmer

Opening Night Film ‘Changing The Game’ By Michael Barnett Focuses on Three Resilient Transgender High School Athletes Fighting to Compete As Their Authentic Gender

Salt Lake City, UT – Utah Film Center announced today the feature films selected for the 16th annual Damn These Heels Film Festival and new elements to the Festival for film lovers, filmmakers, and all storytellers. Damn These Heels will run July 12 – 14, 2019 at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center and is a festival for all that explores LGBTQ issues, ideas, and art through independent, documentary, and foreign films from around the world. Passes and tickets are now on sale on the Utah Film Center’s website. Additional titles will be announced on the website leading up to the Festival.

The longest running LGBTQ Film Festival in the Mountain West, Damn These Heels has presented more than 230 thought-provoking and entertaining films over the years. This popular LGBTQ film festival has been fully embraced and supported by the Salt Lake City community because of its unique and cutting-edge programming. Over the past five years, Utah Film Center has programmed 92 films that did not play anywhere else in Utah but went on to run in larger cities. With festivals like Damn These Heels and other year-round screening programs, Utah Film Center continues to providing access to voices and stories that would otherwise be inaccessible for Utah audiences.

Patrick Hubley, Programming Director for Utah Film Center, said, “At the heart of Damn These Heels is both an appreciation for our inclusive community and a powerful expression of individuality. We invite audiences to come share in this meaningful cinematic celebration and explore this year’s lineup of complex, original, and thought-provoking stories that will stay with you long after the film is over.”

Community Support and Fest Discounts:
Damn These Heels remains a grassroots, locally-produced festival. Films are curated with help from a community programming committee and the Festival is supported through community partnerships with Encircle, Equality Utah, Utah AIDS Foundation, Utah Pride Center, and The Blocks, among others. Business partnerships include Bohemian Brewery and Beer Bar’s BEER X, a specially-labeled beer with proceeds benefiting the Festival, Black Box Bar service from Dented Brick Distillery, coffee conversations supported by Blue Copper Coffee and pass holder discounts and benefits from Zest, Laziz, Sicilia Pizza, Squatters Pub, The Daily, The Sun Trapp, and GREENBike SLC.

Guest Programmer:
This year, Damn These Heels is introducing a Guest Programmer to curate select films that have influenced them. This year’s Guest Programmer is Jordan Blok, a trans non-binary writer based in SLC who covers popular science, LGBTQ culture, issues, and trans health. They also have a deep, enduring love of lesbian revenge thrillers. A new Guest Programmer will be chosen annually to showcase the depth and variety of LGBTQ cultural voices in Utah.

Community Reflection with Giuliana Serena of The Bee
Join Giuliana Serena, founder and producer of The Bee, for two stimulating sessions of engaged listening and personal reflection inspired by the films at this year’s Festival. Space is limited for this intimate workshop, tickets are available on the Festival website.

Virtual Reality Lounge:
Created in collaboration with InterSpatial, the DTH VR Lounge is a new element to the festival that audiences cannot miss. Intended to give festival-goers an opportunity to experience the creative power and storytelling potential of VR, the lounge’s program will feature some of the best LGBTQ+ themed stories that focus on the intersection of faith, identity, and sexuality, created to be experienced through this immersive platform. The lounge located on the Mezzanine level of the Rose Wagner. Space is limited and registration will be required. More details on the VR stories will be available on the Utah Film Center website soon.

The films selected to screen in the 2019 Damn These Heels LGBTQ Festival are:

Directed by Rhys Ernst
95 min | 2019 | USA
Missteps of a cis man pretending to be a trans man for the sake of dating. Follow him through queer Brooklyn.
Cast: Nicholas Alexander, Bobbi Salvör Menuez, Margaret Qualley
Official Selection: 2019 Sundance Film Festival

An Almost Ordinary Summer (Croce e delizia)
Directed by Simone Godano
101 min | 2019 | Italy | Presented in Italian with English subtitles
Two families don’t realize they’re being brought together for a wedding for their respective patriarchs.
Cast: Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Alessandro Gassmann, Jasmine Trinca
Official Selection: 2019 Seattle International Film Festival

Directed by Brad Michael Elmore
94 min | 2019 | USA
Laurel, a teenage transgender girl, moves to LA and falls in with a gang of intersectional feminist vampires.
Cast: Nicole Maines, M.C. Gainey, Diana Hopper
Official Selection: 2019 Frameline

Changing the Game
Directed by Michael Barnett
88 min | 2019 | USA
Three trans high school athletes fight for acceptance in their sports while embracing their authentic selves.
Official Selection: 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, 2019 Frameline

Directed by Audrey Jean-Baptiste
47 min | 2019 | French Guiana | Presented in French with English subtitles
Lasseindra Ninja, an international performer, brings vogue to French Guiana, her home country. Through her workshop we witness the dance culture’s impact on this marginalized queer community.
Official Selection: 2019 Frameline

For They Know Not What They Do
Directed by Daniel Karslake
91 min | 2019 | USA
The director of For the Bible Tells Me So explores four American families as they face sexuality, identity, and the undeniable connection of the personal and political.
Official Selection: 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, 2019 Frameline

Gay Chorus Deep South
Directed by David Charles Rodrigues
100 min | 2019 | USA
The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the deep south, confronting intolerance with fine music.
Winner: Audience Award–2019 Tribeca Film Festival

Directed by Arash Eshaghi
60 min | 2019 | Iran | Presented in Persian with English subtitles
A contemplative portrait of a rural qenderqueer drag queen, banned from performance after the 1970 Iranian Revolution. World Premiere.

The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi)
Directed by Chan-wook Park
145 min | 2016 | South Korea | Presented in Korean and Japanese with English subtitles
A handmaiden to a Japanese heiress is plotting to defraud her until their relationship becomes more complex.
Cast: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-Woong Cho
Winner: Best Film Not in the English Language–2018 BAFTA
Selected by the 2019 Damn These Heels Guest Programmer, Jordan Blok

Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life
Directed by Tomer Heymann
106 min | 2018 | Israel/Germany | Presented in English and Hebrew with English subtitles
A rare and intimate story of one of the world’s most successful gay porn stars. A look at porn and escorting in a way that redefines family and cultural norms.
Winner: Best Israeli Documentary–2018 Jerusalem Film Festival

Ma Vie en Rose
Directed by Alain Berliner
88 min | 1997 | Belgium/France | Presented in French with English subtitles
Ludovic is an innocent seven-year-old child who provokes horror in her community when she dresses in girls clothes and insists she’s a girl.
Cast: Georges Du Fresne, Michèle Laroque, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Winner: Best Foreign Language Film–1998 Golden Globes
Selected by the 2019 Damn These Heels Guest Programmer, Jordan Blok

A Night at Switch n’ Play
Directed by Cody Stickels
72 min | 2019 | USA
“Switch n’ Play” hosts experimental burlesque dancers, drag kings, and traditional drag queens in one venue.
Official Selection: 2019 Inside Out Toronto

No Box For Me. An Intersex Story
Directed by Floriane Devigne
58 min | 2018 | France | Presented in French with English subtitles
A lyrical film that questions gender and reflects on the way intersex people seek to reclaim their bodies.
Official Selection: 2019 BFI Flare, 2019 Frameline

Directed by Jacqueline Audry
96 min | 1952 | France | Presented in French with English subtitles
Known as a “landmark of lesbian representation,” the film works in charged moments to explore unrequited love between a headmistress, her colleagues, and a pupil. Newly Restored.
Cast: Edwige Feuillère, Simone Simon, Marie-Claire Olivia
Nominated: Best Actress–1953 BAFTA

Directed by Alvaro Delgado Aparicio
95 min | 2017 | Peru | Presented in Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles
14 year old Segundo, a story-box maker, observes his father in a situation that shatters his whole world.
Cast: Magaly Solier, Amiel Cayo, Junior Bejar
Official Selection: 2018 Berlin Film Festival, 2018 Seattle International Film Festival

Shorts Program 1
Directed by Various
A collection of short documentaries that focus on trans experiences and the contribution of women in the LGBTQ+ community.

Shorts Program 2
Directed by Various
A largely dramatic/comedic shorts program focusing on a variety of awkward, funny, and quiet perspectives on gender and identity. See the work of some of the best emerging LGBTQ filmmakers and get to know their worlds.

Sister Aimee
Directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann
97 min | 2019 | USA
A famous evangelist of the 20’s mysteriously disappears with her lover at the height of her stardom.
Cast: Julie White, Michael Mosley, Amy Hargreaves
Official Selection: 2019 Sundance Film Festival, 2019 Sarasota Film Festival

Directed by Alexandre Moratto
70 min | 2018 | Brazil | Presented in Portuguese with English subtitles
Teenage Socrates faces isolation for his sexuality on the margins of São Paulo following his mother’s death.
Cast: Christian Malheiros, Tales Ordakji, Caio Martinez Pacheco
Winner: Someone to Watch– 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Jury Prize for Best Feature–2019 OUTShine Film Festival

Directed by Tom Shepard
81 min | 2019 | USA
The story of four LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East as they flee persecution to seek better and safer lives in the U.S.
Official Selection: 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival

Wounded By the Wind (Las Heridas del Viento)
Directed by Juan Carlos Rubio
75 min | 2017 | Spain | Presented in Spanish with English subtitles
Finding his deceased father’s love letter to another man, David seeks out his father’s lover for the truth.
Cast: Daniel Muriel, Kiti Mánver
Official Selection: 2018 Seville European Film Festival

2019 Damn These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival is made possible by the support of our sponsors including Dancing Llama Foundation, Terence Kearns Stephens Charitable Fund, Method Communication, the B.W. Bastian Foundation, and local private patrons.


Utah Film Center
Utah Film Center inspires and engages diverse audiences to initiate conversation and community building through curated film exhibition, educational programs, and artist support. We utilize the power of film and community-driven discussions to open hearts and broaden minds. Damn These Heels is a program of Utah Film Center, a 501(c)(3) organization. Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more information visit utahfilmcenter.org.

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