DocFest: Bay Area Shorts: Legends

  • Four queer people stick together as they look in the camera

“See You At The Bar: The Casa Loma Story” tells a story of a strange little bar which existed during the 1980s and early 1990s in the ground floor of a gay residence hotel. Generation X misfits partied here until its closing in 1994. It sat empty and abandoned for over twenty years and now, in an almost unrecognizable San Francisco of the 21st century, the unique clientele and ambience is explored from the perspective of the people that once called this place “home”.

Experimental “Tony&Denise: Cinematic Memoir of Denise D’Anne” tells the life of pioneering transgender labor activist Denise D’Anne. Left in a Brooklyn orphanage, then foster care, followed by a reluctant return to his mother, Tony Albanese grew up confused and lonely. Having endured harassment in the army, then ten years as an executive secretary for the Southern Pacific Railroad, Tony decides, in 1968, to realign his gender identity and to start anew in San Francisco. Now Denise D’Anne, she commits her life to furthering labor causes, sexual and gender freedom, and a multitude of women and environmental issues, including the launch of one of the first organized recycling programs through her work with the San Francisco Department of Human Services and city government. Based on Denise’s autobiography, GOING THE DISTANCE: THE LIFE OF DENISE D’ANNE, this film is a cinematic-memoir-love-letter about a gender-feminist-social-environmental-justice pioneer and narrated in her own words.

“The Girl From 7th Avenue. Pat Cleveland & The Runway Revolution” opens with fashion super hero Max Vogue on a mission to reshape fashion history through the story of super model Pat Cleveland’s breakthrough career. Max travels back in time to a Patrick Kelly exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco where he touches base with Pat Cleveland (designer Patrick Kelly’s friend and champion) She takes him through a time warp and they land in Versailles in 1973 where a fundraiser organized by Eleanor Lambert to rescue the Palace pitted five french couturiers, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Cardin, and five american designers Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Halston and Oscar de La Renta, in a fashion show. Cleveland led a groundbreaking group of models to victory for the Americans. Versailles changed the way fashion looked at Black models and American designers.Through Pat Cleveland’s life story and activism Max Vogue is able to open a new perspective of fashion history and its future. The film focuses on the heroism of women in fashion.

“The Ruth Brinker Story” is a story of a retired food-service worker Ruth Brinker who at the age of 63 became a pioneer of HIV care in her community and would become a legend among San Franciscans. The AIDS epidemic hit San Francisco the hardest and created a wave of fear and uncertainty that left many victims feeling hopeless and alone. Brinker, a woman whose deep compassion became a source of strength for others struggling to cope with the times, began cooking meals in her kitchen to deliver to her neighbors who were too ill to take care of themselves. Her goal was to not only provide meals but to also revitalize the city’s sense of community and spend time with HIV/AIDS patients to end the isolation they experienced.

Presented as part of San Francisco Documentary Festival 2023.

1h 30m
United States
First Showing
June 3, 2023