16
Jan
2024
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Chicago-Made ‘Desire Lines’ to World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival

This week is all about Sundance, and a Chicago-made feature is set to debut at the prestigious festival in Park City, Utah. The feature film Desire Lines, directed by Jules Rosskam, will be making its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. Much of the feature filmed in Chicago in 2023, at CineCity Studios Chicago.

If you are on your way to the snowy slopes of Park City this week, click here for showtimes and tickets to the premiere screenings.

What can you expect from Desire Lines? Let’s take a look at the official trailer and extended synopsis of the film…

An underground narrative has long been whispered among transgender men: after coming out as trans, many of us develop an attraction for other men. In this hybrid documentary, history comes alive when an Iranian-American transman time-travels on a dizzying quest to unravel his own sexual desires. As Ahmad approaches age 60, his long-suppressed desires for other men become impossible to ignore. Having grown up in an era when homosexual activity could block one’s access to medical transition, he can’t help but wonder whether his sexuality and gender identity are completely at odds. He turns to the LGBT archives for answers, where he meets a 20-something trans archivist named Kieran.

As Ahmad falls deeper into the archive, he is quite literally sucked into the text—becoming a time-traveler who participates in the queer cruising history he reads about. This fictional narrative is interwoven with archival gems and a trove of contemporary oral histories from a diverse group of transmen across North America. These participants candidly discuss the evolution of their desires and illuminate their struggles with gender (non)conformity, fetishization, transphobia, sexual racism, and safer sex. Desire Lines pushes against binaries—fiction vs. non-fiction, reality vs. fantasy, public vs. private—in order to highlight the fallacy of “purity” that undergirds colonialist notions of discrete categories of being (or genre); embracing bewilderment as a liberatory strategy for trans representation.

Get to know director Jules Roskam and their path to Sundance in this newly released interview from the festival…

Partial credits for the feature film include (Please click here for the full cast and crew credits):

DIRECTOR: JULES ROSSKAM

SCREENWRITER: NATE GUALTIERI, JULES ROSSKAM

PRODUCER; ANDRÉ PÉREZ, AMY E. POWELL, BRITTANI WARD, JULES ROSSKAM

CO-PRODUCER: ANGIE GAFFNEY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JENNIFER REEDER, AYMAR JEAN CHRISTIAN, EUGENE SUN PARK, JASON MATSUMOTO

PRINCIPAL CAST: THEO GERMAINE, ADEN HAKIMI, EM MODAFF

The film is a collaboration of Full Spectrum Features and MamSir Productions, in association with 521 Films.

Desire Lines will be joined at Sundance by another Chicago-made indie feature, Ghostlight. Click here for SCREEN’s coverage of Ghostlight.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for the latest from the independent filmmaking community in Chicago and the Midwest. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

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