Queen of the Beach & Butterfly from 11/20-12/3
via Docs Make House Calls, SDFF’s Online Fest
In collaboration with SebArts “Who Are You?” Exhibit and
OutWatch, Wine Country’s LGBTQI film festival 

Beginning November 20, SDFF will present the final two films in its 2020 festival, Docs Make House Calls, and its collaboration with “Who Are You?”, a SebArts online exhibition that reflects on identity and communityhow we understand our identity within our communities and how our communities are defined. Butterfly is also co-presented with OutWatch, Wine Country’s LGBTQI film festival.  

This film program ends on Dec. 3 and costs $12. 

We encourage donations beyond your ticket cost. Consider matching what you might have spent on that medium popcorn plus Milk Duds or Raisinets. 

Thank you for joining us online for our SDFF 2020 virtual program Docs Make House Calls.  These two documentaries are the end of a year full of surprises and challenges.  But thanks to our filmmakers and the SDFF community we made it through.   Stay connected through our website for documentary news and events. Behind the scenes SDFF 2021 is already taking shape!

I first met Shilpa when she was a 9-year-old girl hawking clothes and cheap jewelry on a hippie-lovers’ beach in Goa, India. She was cracking jokes, bursting into spontaneous song, and clearly possessed a personality much larger than her tiny frame. I turned the camera on her and learned she’d been working on the beach since she was five. I learned she belonged to a community of modern-day gypsies and was the primary breadwinner for her family. I learned that her dream in life was to go to school… And I was hooked.”

-Christopher McDonell, Director of Queen Of The Beach


Filmmaker: Christopher McDonell (Cleetche), 2019, Canada, India, UK, 2019,
TRT: 106 min, Language: English, Subtitles: Yes
Socials:  @cleetche, @californiapicsinc
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A Canadian filmmaker befriends a 9-year-old girl and returns 3 times over the next 7 years to capture her story and help her achieve her childhood dream of going to school.

“Come look my shop! Very cheap, okay!” While on vacation in Goa, India, Canadian filmmaker Chris McDonell turns his camera on Shilpa Poojar, a funny, charming and skilled beyond her years she is a migrant worker from the unique Banjara people. Forging a connection in this chance encounter, Chris helps Shilpa achieve her childhood dream of going to school – a relentless effort that will test them both along the way. From child-labourer to teenage-entrepreneur to one of the “lucky” ones who learned how to read and write (in a culture that favours boys over girls), Shilpa is now an inspiration to many and has been lovingly nicknamed: “Queen of the Beach”.


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Filmed over 3 years, Butterfly follows the developing story of a teenaged, Italian boxer, Irma, trying to find her path in life.


Filmmaker: Alessandro Cassigoli + Casey Kauffman, 2018, Italy,   TRT: 78 mins
Language: Italian, Subtitles: Yes
Socials: Facebook: @butterflyfilm, Twitter: @infoindyca
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Brought to you in collaboration with  OUTwatch
sebastopol-film festival

Butterfly is the delicate story of an Italian teenager who sees her life plan collapse in eight minutes. Raised in one of Naples’ most troubled neighborhoods, Irma focuses on boxing and reaches the Olympics at just 18 years old. Her dramatic defeat there shakes the core of her identity while family tensions, economic strain, and unrealistic dreams complicate her return home. She struggles to reconnect until a new opportunity forces her to decide who she really is. This is a real-life story, but its irresistible protagonist and cinematic storytelling style allow Butterfly to be experienced like a fiction film.


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