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Storied: San Francisco

Jun 14, 2024

In this bonus episode, meet and get to know Frameline Film Festival's Executive Director Allegra Madsen. Allegra was born and grew up in southern Virginia. As she says, "It was hot, it was humid, it was Southern." From a young age, she fell in love with movies because it was so hot outside. She'd escape to theaters, where she could bask in the AC and watch movies all day long.
She left that area as soon as she could. That meant Chicago for college. She wanted to be a writer. Columbia College in Chicago was known as more of a film school, which meant she was on the periphery of movies in her time there.
After college, it was on to Los Angeles, "as everybody does." Allegra worked in some art galleries and museums, with the goal of trying to get to San Francisco always in the back of her mind. As a kid growing up, she read a lot of Beat Generation writers (where were the women of the Beat era?). CCA was the draw that got Allegra up to The Bay. She studied contemporary art curation, focusing on how you can use art to build community.
That was 20 years ago, and she's been here ever since.
Then our conversation shifts to Frameline and its nearly half-century of history. It is the largest and longest-running queer film festival in the world. It's also the largest film event in California (hear that, LA?). It all began in 1977 on a bedsheet in the Castro. It was a time when there were no prominent images of queer people in media.
Frameline 48 will take place all over the Bay Area. Check their website for a complete lineup. Allegra goes through a few of the events that she's excited about. The one I'm perhaps most hyped up for is next week's Juneteenth Frameline kick-off block party. In addition to many other aspects of the evening, the Castro Theatre's blade will be re-lit for the first time since that building underwent renovations.
See you all at Frameline 48!

We recorded this podcast over Zoom in May 2024.

Image courtesy Frameline