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Ahead of the Curve

Dir. Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow / USA / 2020 / 95’ / Polish premiere


Reinventing Tomorrow


Directors: Jen Rainin, Rivkah Beth Medow
Screenplay: Jen Rainin, Jess Congdon, Rivkah Beth Medow, Sara St. Martin Lynne
Cinematography: Svetlana Cvetko
Editing: Jessica Congdon
Sound: Luiza Sa-Davis, Emily Strong, Claudia Katayanagi, Lauretta Molitor, Paige Goedkoop, Iryna Kucherenko, Avantika Nimbalkar, Mary Wong, Harley O'Neill, Kip Wilkin
Music: Meshell Ndegeocello
Producers: Rivkah Beth Medow, Lindsey Dryden
Production: Frankly Speaking Films
World sales: The Film Collaborative
Language: English



Growing up, Franco never saw any representation of queer women–she didn’t even know it was possible for a woman to be gay. When she realized she was a lesbian, it changed the course of her life. In 1990, Franco created a safe place for lesbians in the form of the “Deneuve” magazine - rebranded later, and in quite unusual circumstances, as “Curve”. Her approach to threats and erasure in the ‘90s was to lift all kinds of lesbians up and make them beautifully visible. The magazine helped build a foundation for many intersectional movements being led by today’s activists in the face of accelerating threats to the LGBTQ community. Decades later, as her legacy faces extinction and she reassesses her life after a disabling injury, she sets out to understand visibility work being led by an intersection of queer women today. Featuring Andrea Pino-Silva, Kim Katrin, Denice Frohman, Amber Hikes, Jewelle Gomez, Melissa Etheridge, and Lea DeLaria, and a score composed by the legendary Meshell Ndegeocello, “Ahead of the Curve” celebrates the legacy of a movement while considering the agenda of its future.


Cleveland International Film Festival, Athena Film Festival, Frameline - San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, OUTFEST, aGLIFF - All Genders, Lifestyles & Identities Film Festival (Audience Award: Best Documentary), image+nation (Jury Grand Prix), Reeling - The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival (Audience Award), Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (Audience Award), Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival (Audience Award: Best Documentary), OUT Film CT (Audience Award), OUT at the Movies International Film Fest (Best Documentary), Inside Out, Oslo/Fusion Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, NewFest - The New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival, ImageOut Film Festival, ReelAbilities Film Festival, BQFF - Brisbane Queer Film Festival, Betonville Film Festival, Out On Screen: Vancouver Queer Film Festival, Harvey Milk Festival, KASHIS Mumbai Queer Fest, FairyTales Queer Film Festival, Geelong Pride Film Festival, Femme Revolution Film Fest, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Reelout Queer Film Festival, Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, NorthwestFest, OutSouth Queer Film Festival, Reel Affirmations, OUTwatch Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival, Seattle Queer Film Festival, Florence Queer Film Festival, Desperado LGBTQ Film Festival, Boston Women’s Film Festival, Way Out West Film Fest, BendFilm Festival, Fabulous Independent Film Festival


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Jen Rainin
Jen Rainin founded Frankly Speaking Films with Rivkah Beth Medow in 2020 to produce media that centers strong LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people to increase visibility and spark change. Jen focuses her filmmaking on building community, deepening understanding of social justice issues, and telling great stories. Her EP credits include “Stage Left” (2011), a documentary about the history of theater in the Bay Area, “Two Spirits” (2009), a documentary about gender identity in Native American cultures which aired on Independent Lens, and “Homeroom” (2021), a documentary about Oakland’s education system. “Ahead of the Curve” (2020) was Jen’s directorial debut.

Rivkah Beth Medow
Rivkah Beth Medow founded Frankly Speaking Films with Jen Rainin in 2020 to produce media that centers strong LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people to increase visibility and spark change. Rivkah makes character-driven films that deepen social or ecological connections and draw communities together. Her credits include “Ahead of the Curve” (2020); “Sons of a Gun” (2009; PBS); “Being George Clooney” (2016; Netflix); “The Nine” by Katy Grannan (2016; Festivals); and “The Next Frontier” (2010; PBS).



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