Frameline48: National Anthem

This exquisitely cinematic debut feature observes a young man’s blossoming among a community of queer rodeo performers in the American west. Even though he’s only 21, soft-spoken Dylan (Lean on Pete’s Charlie Plummer in a remarkable performance) shoulders responsibility for his family, stabilizing his reckless single mother (a wonderful Robyn Lively) and raising his loving younger brother. He saves a little bit from every odd construction job to start a life for himself. When the job brings Dylan to the House of Splendor, a New Mexico ranch run by handsome Pepe (Rene Rosado, Sassy Pants, Frameline36) and charismatic Sky (Eve Lindley, Bros), he is immediately smitten. What began as a day’s labor leads to a deep connection with the idyllic, welcoming ranch family, and to Dylan’s journey of self-discovery.

Director Luke Gilford’s film is rooted in his own experiences growing up around the rodeo, and he first explored the queer rodeo world in a book of photography also titled National Anthem. If you caught his red hot Love Lies Bleeding photo series with Kristen Stewart and Katy O’Brian for Them earlier this year, you have a sense of Gilford’s aesthetic world. Here, his visual sensibilities infuse every frame with wonder — of the beauty of nature, of young love, of a place that feels like home.

Expected Guests:

Luke Gilford, Director

Zachary Drucker, Executive Producer

1h 39m
Luke Gilford
First Showing
June 23, 2024