The Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in North America featuring new and celebrated films and documentaries. The festival returns on January 6, 2022 for eleven days of in-theatre film screenings and virtual panels and roundtable discussions. Check out this selection of films that are poignant, heartfelt and insightful stories from the LGBTQ community that will be screening at this year’s festival, in the “Queer Cinema” and “Gayla!” categories. 

Queer Cinema

  • Love, Spells and All That (Turkey/Germany) — Two women who were teenage lovers separated by their parents reunite after 20 years. The cosmopolitan Eren returns to her childhood island in Turkey determined to rekindle her great passion for working-class, superstitious Reyhan in this one-of-a-kind love story that casts a magical spell. Directed by Ümit Ünal. 
  • Money Boys (Austria/Taiwan/France/Belgium) — In this tale of love, identity and the pursuit of happiness, a city-dwelling sex worker returns home to the family he supports, only to be met with homophobic disdain, and encounters a young local he reluctantly welcomes into the business. Directed by C.B. Yi. 
  • No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics (USA) — Vivian Kleiman’s award-winning and lighthearted documentary looks back on the birth and evolution of queer comics, reflecting on the impact of representation in the art form, from the early days of subversive works to the mainstream success of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Directed by Vivian Kleiman. 
  • The Swimmer (Israel) — Erez is a gay swimmer competing for a spot in the Israeli Olympics at a desert training camp where he must deal with the homophobia of the athletic world and his hidden desire for his rival, Nevo. But showing his true feelings could prove dangerous. Directed by Adam Kalderon. U.S. Premiere 
  • Valentina (Brazil) — When trans teen Valentina moves from the city to a small, conservative town, the community quickly sets up roadblocks to her happiness, forcing the shy teen to stand her ground in this inspiring and hopeful story of gender expression and solidarity. Directed by Cássio Pereira dos Santos. In competition for the Ibero-American Award and the Young Cineastes Award. 


  • Boulevard! A Hollywood Story (USA) — In this astonishing and long-buried story, Dickson Hughes and Richard Stapley, two young songwriters (and closeted lovers), were hired by screen icon Gloria Swanson to write a musical version of Sunset Boulevard. When Gloria fell for the handsome Stapley, life began to imitate art, with disastrous and far-reaching repercussions. Directed by Jeffrey Schwarz 
  • Sweetheart (UK) — Convinced she’s about to have the worst week of her life while on holiday with her gratingly upbeat and “normal” family, socially awkward misfit teen AJ (Nell Barlow) unexpectedly falls head over heels for a dreamy, flirtatious lifeguard named Isla. Directed by Marley Morrison