2023 Festival Schedule

The 2023 Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival features 20 feature films and 20 short films for our 20th anniversary. A pioneering event showcasing LGBTQ+ cinema and culture, the Festival takes place October 12-15, 2023, in person at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in downtown Salt Lake City, along with a selection of films available online starting October 15th. The Damn These Heels curated lineup of films has been selected by an LGBTQ+ programming committee that has cultivated the most impactful queer films for festival attendees this year. 

This schedule shown below includes films, workshops, special guests (Miss Coco Peru!), and community events.

7:00 pm

Dilating For Maximum Results
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A whack, irreverent comedy about a black trans woman who tries to dilate, after four years of not dilating, to hook up IRL with her online boyfriend.

Dilating For Maximum Results
A Run for More
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

Your Opening Night Film ticket includes access to the Opening Night Party!

Space is limited at the party and entry is not guaranteed.

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Preceded by the short film Dialating for Maximum Results

Growing up, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe learned to be a fighter, but never imagined having a chance to make history as the first openly elected transgender official in Texas. Unfolding amidst an onslaught of trans legal attacks, A Run for More immerses viewers on Frankie’s journey as she finds her voice, questions her relationship to community, and tries to win an election. Shot over 4 years, A Run for More immerses viewers into Frankie’s unique campaign and the impact it has on her, the city, and the LGBTQ+ community in San Antonio.

Featuring an in-person Q&A with the film’s subject, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe, and local candidate, Sophia Hawes-Tingey, and Max Green from Equality Utah’s Political Action Committee, moderated by KUER’s RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio

A Run for More

1:30 pm

Queendom
Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Russian

Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism, and put her life in danger.

Queendom

4:00 pm

Milkwater
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, Not Rated

Listless Milo becomes the surrogate for an older gay man she meets at a bar. As the pregnancy progresses, she must contend with the implications of their evolving relationship.

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shifting bodies to fluid fiction
Live Action, no dialogue, Not Rated, Other, Short

A fluid examination of physical closeness, which matches itself in repetitions, reflections as well as irregularities.

shifting bodies to fluid fiction

7:00 pm

DTH 2023 Special Guest: Miss Coco Peru
Live Performance, Not Rated, Special Guest

Damn These Heels is thrilled to welcome special guest, Miss Coco Peru, to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the Festival’s 20th anniversary celebration! With 33 years in the business as a working drag queen, Coco offers an evening of inspired storytelling and song followed by a moderated discussion that includes audience engagement.

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9:00 pm

Girls Will Be Girls
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, R

Parodying classic Hollywood films about Hollywood, Richard Day’s drag-drama showcase follows three actresses at various places on the Hollywood food chain navigating the minefield of love, aging, and ambition.

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10:00 am

Lie with Me
Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), French, Live Action, Not Rated

Novelist Stéphane Belcourt returns to the city of his youth, where he meets Lucas, the son of his first love. Memories flood in: irrepressible desire, bodies coming together, a passion that must be silenced?

Lie with Me

10:00 am

Workshop: Video Self-Portrait (Beginner Level)
Not Rated, Workshop

In this hands-on workshop, participants will be guided through the process of making their own video self-portrait.

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12:00 pm

Community Event: Banned Book Reading & Book Swap
Free, Not Rated, Off-Screen

Join Under the Umbrella Bookstore and Damn These Heels for a Banned Books Reading & Book Swap!

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12:30 pm

Saturday Short Film Program

A smart, varied, rare and risky collection of the best queer short films from around the world this year, this program includes Aikane, Greetings From Washington DC, Mama Doesn’t Want to Go to the Beach, Y, Stone, and Apayauq.

2023 DTH Saturday short
Mama Doesn’t Want to Go to the Beach
Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short, Spanish

A transgender mother resumes her hormone treatment while her daughter begins puberty. Their bodies’ changes make going to the beach a new chore.

Mama Doesn't Want to Go to the Beach
Greetings From Washington DC
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

A kaleidoscope of music, dance, stories and laughter shared at the first gay and lesbian rights march on Washington.

Greetings From Washington DC
Aikane
Animated, Fiction (Dramatic etc), no dialogue, Not Rated, Short

A wounded island warrior falls into a mysterious underwater world and is rescued by a valiant young man.

Aikane
Stone
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A young woman’s discovery that her father was a transgender woman makes her rethink her childhood.

Stone
Apayauq
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Apayauq Reitan’s journey of gender, mental health, and purpose on her way to become the first out transgender woman to complete the legendary Iditarod sled dog race.

Apayauq
Y
Animated, Croatian, Not Rated, Other, Short

An empty paper depicts a struggle between artistic composition and decomposition a woman reminisces on her tumultuous relationship with a former girlfriend.

y

1:30 pm

Workshop: Directing Films, from the POV of an Editor (Intermediate to Advanced Level)
Not Rated, Workshop

Workshop designed to give filmmakers tools to help them write, develop, and produce a project with the final product in mind.

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3:00 pm

Big Boys
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

A teenage boy’s unexpected crush turns a camping trip into a weekend of self-discovery in this heartwarming coming-of-age comedy.

Big Boys

5:00 pm

Queen Bees
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

A vibrant documentary following local drag in the scene of Utah. Join a group of local SLC queens through their ups and downs, local pressures from a conservative environment, and celebrate the art of drag.

queen bees
Heels Over Wheels
Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Spanish

The coexistence of a family of drag queens and a trans woman who travel by motor-home to Murcia to show their support for a child who was assaulted by another minor at the gates of his school.

Heels Over Wheels

5:30 pm

Hidden Pride – Life at BYU as a Queer Student
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Five queer past and present BYU students tell of their struggle to live truthfully to themselves and their identities while trying to avoid academic and social backlash from the conservative Mormon University.

hidden-pride
Kokomo City
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

In the wildly entertaining and refreshingly unfiltered documentary KOKOMO CITY, filmmaker D. Smith passes the mic to four Black transgender sex workers in Atlanta and New York City.

Y

7:30 pm

We All Die Alone
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

The hubris of an inept conflict negotiator leads two warring gangs into an 8-way standoff. The consequences are both comical and tragic in this whip-smart short.

We All Die Alone
The Mattachine Family
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

Thomas and Oscar are a couple very much in love, but after their first foster child returns to his birth mother, they find they have different ideas about what it means to make a family.

The Mattachine Family

8:00 pm

Fireworks
Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Italian, Live Action, Not Rated

1982, in the heat of a Sicilian summer, two teenage boys, Gianni and Nino, meet and fall in love. The relationship soon becomes a topic of gossip in the small town and while the two dream of living together, their community is determined to stop it.

Fireworks

10:00 pm

The Ritz
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, R

Evading a mob contract on his life, a straight man winds up hiding out at a gay bathhouse.

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10:45 pm

The Sixth Reel
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, Not Rated

A down-on-his-luck movie collector discovers a legendary lost film and must deliver it to the right hands before it is lost forever.

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Pop-Off
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A nervous young gay man has an eye-popping first experience hosting a hookup.

Pop-Off

10:00 am

Holy Madonna
Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short, Spanish

Martina, a young novice, helps priest Francisco with funeral masses but must confront her own fears and past in the LGBTQ+ community after the death of drag queen Aphrodite, leading her to embrace love and authenticity.

Holy Madonna
Wonderfully Made
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

As religious discrimination against LGBTQ+ people intensifies in the US and abroad, a team of creatives upends 1700 years of religious iconography by producing photo art depicting Jesus as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Wonderfully Made

10:30 am

Mutt
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Spanish

Feña, a young trans guy bustling through life in New York City, is afflicted with an incessantly challenging day that resurrects ghosts from his past.

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12:00 pm

Queering the Filmmaking Process – A Conversation

Join Damn These Heels and local queer filmmakers, Jack Hessler, Marissa Lila, and Amanda Madden, for a facilitated conversation about the importance of not just telling queer stories but queering the filmmaking process itself.

Queer Film 1920

12:30 pm

1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted Culture
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

While uncovering the origins of homophobia of the conservative church, a gay seminary scholar and a straight activist make a shocking discovery: An erroneous translation in the Bible that has been weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community ever since.

1946: The Mistranslation that Shifted Culture

1:00 pm

Sunday Short Film Program

The Sunday Short Film Program includes Insta Gay, Shafted, A Spell For Queer Home, Happy BirthGay

2023 DTH Sunday short
Happy BirthGay
Fiction (Dramatic etc), Hebrew, Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A mom throws her son a grandiose surprise BirthGay party, celebrating a year of his coming out of the closet.

Happy BirthGay
Shafted
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

This standard romantic comedy about finding love in an elevator falls apart when the filmmaker is forced to step out of the fantasy and decide whether he believes in the story he’s telling.

Shafted
A Spell For Queer Home
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

Braiding together embodied exploration, spell songs, stories and wisdom from queer and trans folks across the country, the film asks- what does it mean to be at home as a queer person?

A Spell For Queer Home
Insta Gay
English, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated, Short

A gay millennial reels after breaking-up with a popular influencer.

Insta Gay

3:00 pm

Golden Delicious
English, Feature, Fiction (Dramatic etc), Live Action, Not Rated

When basketball-obsessed Aleks moves in across the street, Asian-Canadian teen Jake finds himself trying out for the basketball team to get his attention in this classic coming-of-age drama set in the digital age.

Golden Delicious

3:30 pm

Show Her The Money
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

Women have been shut out of the financial world, making it almost impossible to get their ideas and inventions funded. This film is a compelling and crucial reminder that money is power and women need it to achieve true equality in business.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Empty Orchestra
English, Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated

Empty Orchestra is a documentary based in Provo, UT, where a group of self-proclaimed misfits seek alternative methods of devotion and community through weekly karaoke singing.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Love, Barbara
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

A touching tribute to the pioneering lesbian experimental filmmaker, Barbara Hammer, told through the lens and love of her partner of over 30 years.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Never Look Away
English, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Short

The documentary exploration of a three-storey high mural in downtown Portland, Oregon that is dedicated to the Queer community.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Rooted
Fiction (Dramatic, Live Action, Mandarin, Not Rated, Short

A teenager is rooted to a misunderstanding where he nearly drowned and cannot hide his queer desire anymore.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Stroking An Animal
Feature, Fiction (Dramatic, Galician, Live Action, Not Rated

Mariña has an intense love affair with Ada when Tomás, a mutual friend, enters the couple’s intimacy. Six moments of the relationship articulate the film, thrown like flashes of light.

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October 15 to October 22, 2023

Threshold
Feature, Live Action, Non-Fiction (Documentary), Not Rated, Portuguese

An autobiographical documentary by a mother who interviews her transgender son as he comes to his identity, addressing the conflicts, certainties, and uncertainties amidst a deep search for his true self.

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