Frameline, the nation's oldest and largest queer cinema festival, has a new artistic leader.
Paul Struthers, the festival's incoming director of exhibition and programming, moved to the city late last year to prepare for Frameline42, which kicks off in June.
Struthers curates the festival, manages year-round screenings and special events, and also administers the Frameline Completion Fund, which supports LGBTQ filmmakers.
Before joining the nonprofit, Struthers, who is from Scotland, attended Frameline in his role as Festival Director of Queer Screen's Mardi Gras Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.
Kevin Schaub, Shaz Bennett and Paul Struthers. | Photo: Frameline/Facebook
"I would visit Frameline each year to scout for the latest queer films," he said. When the organization initiated a search to replace outgoing director Des Buford, "I thought it would be a perfect dream to be a part of the festival," said Struthers.
In his new position, Struthers said he's committed to continuing the festival's "diverse and inclusive" programming, but as to which specific films will screen at the 42nd San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, "that is top secret until the festival is revealed."
Frameline's diversity is core to the festival's appeal, said Struthers. "This is something we will 100% continue to do by selecting films to screen in the Castro that showcase different queer representations, and in turn that will attract the diverse audiences we love at Frameline."
Gay residents have become a smaller proportion of the Castro's population in recent years, but Struthers said Frameline, which uses the Castro Theater as its main base of operations, is a cultural anchor.
Struthers (second from left) and friends at Frameline 38. | Photo: Ana Grillo
Ultimately, audiences are the driving force behind the programming, he added
"As I have attended a few Frameline festivals in the past, I have a grasp of what resonates with them, but I can't wait to get to know them more. Also with any festival, there is always a big focus on local content, and this will be evident at Frameline42 in June."
Now that he's been a San Francisco resident for several weeks, Struthers said discovering different aspects of the city's history and culture has been a delight.
In addition to visiting scenic spots and spending time outdoors, "I've been exploring its diverse neighborhoods, especially the retro/vintage cinemas, art galleries and the street art murals in San Francisco and the East Bay," he said.
"My highlight so far has been a Nicaraguan restaurant called Red Balloon, due to the warm staff, the food and the good prices," he said. "I have been to a couple of fun bars, El Rio and The Stud, which were both cool places."
Ultimately, it's his new job which Struthers remains most excited about. "I can't wait to share the Frameline42 program with everyone," he said.
Frameline42 will be held at the Castro Theater from June 14th to 24.
Frameline Hires New Programming Director For 42nd Year