San Francisco Public Library

frameline @ the Library

Frame at the Library

The Frameline Film Festival Collection was donated in 2007 to the Hormel LGBTQIA Center of the San Francisco Public Library. These films, from Frameline's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, include movies never publicly screened. Much of this material was produced using formats which are now in danger of deterioration. In June 2011, the Library, in partnership with the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC), began to digitize, preserve and exhibit this precious collection. The Library remains committed to making this invaluable resource accessible to researchers, historians, and the general public.

Highlights of Works Being Preserved video icon

frameline@the Library HighlightLesbians: The Invisible Minority
KGO-TV Special takes us back to San Francisco when Lesbians were creating their own restaurants, bookstores, bars and unique places they could define for themselves. USA, 1981, 27:18 min
frameline@the Library HighlightOut of the Shadows (1990)
Documentary portrait of black gay and transgender men in Washington D.C. narrated by poet Essex Hemphill. USA, 1990 23:34 min
frameline@the Library HighlightYou Can Know All I Am
One of few documentaries of the mid 1980s, it combines interviews, archival footage and photos to convey stories of lesbian herstory and lives. USA, 1986 49:05 min

More About the Collection

Rare & Notable Tapes

A list of approximately 100 of the most rare and interesting tapes has been compiled to guide researchers toward some of the more notable titles in the collection. Examples include the censored 1986 BBC TV production Two of Us; the 1988 Thai gay feature, I Am a Man (described as the Thai remake of The Boys in The Band); the obscure 1980 Japanese lesbian feature, Afternoon Breezes and numerous feature films never released in the US.


The collection includes hundreds of shorts, documentaries and features documenting the impact of HIV/AIDS on the LGBTQIA community. The scope of titles is expansive and includes Arthur Bressan’s Buddiesthe first ever American feature film about AIDS. Rare examples of documentary and educational work from the mid ‘80s include the 1985 Minnesota AIDS Project production On The Safe Side and the celebratory 1986 portrait of PWA David Summers, Hero of My Own Life.