Mark Your Calendars:
PUFF Returns April 2021

We’ll miss you in 2020 … but check out what PUFF is all about by viewing our 2019 trailer

Past Events

Friday — April 26, 2019

7:30 PM

In the summer of 1979, Paris-based filmmaker Anne is a producer of third-rate gay porn. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet with her trusted, flamboyant sidekick Archibald. But when one of her actors is brutally murdered, Anne gets caught up in a strange investigation that turns her life upside-down.

Saturday — April 27, 2019

1:00 PM

Celebrating 50 years since the legendary alt-drag troupe first took the stage in San Francisco in 1969! Digitally remastered in surround-sound and featuring astonishing visuals and outrageous performances, THE COCKETTES is more relevant in today’s genderfluid universe than ever before. The film premiered at Sundance in 2002, this is a re-mastered Cockette-inception anniversary edition.

Skype-In Q&A with original Cockette, Rumi Missabu

Rumi Missabu aka James Bartlett was born in Hollywood, CA in 1947. As a young actor he appeared in the Disney films Blackbeards Ghost & The One and Only Family Band,  following his brief but snazzy reign with the Cockettes (1970-1972) he starred in the cult classic Elevator Girls In Bondage.  Rumi keeps the spirit alive to this day with contributions to critically acclaimed recent exhibitions and events at: Envoy Gallery, NYCGiorgi Gallery, Berkeley, CADumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn NYHOWL Festival, NYCUKS Galleri in Oslo, NorwayThe Gender-Bender Festival in Bologna, ItalySFMOMASomArtsThe Center for Sex & Culturethe National Queer Arts Festival in San Franciscothe Denver Museum of Contemporary ArtTATE  Liverpooland the New York Public Library of Performing Arts at Lincoln Center among many others.

Pictured, Rumi and Tina Turner 1971 – “I was her stylist before there was a word for it”

Assemble + PUFF Queer Market & Community Space


Join Assemble and PUFF for our first every Queer Art and Community Marketplace. Support local queer artists and learn about some wonderful organizations working within the community to better the lives of queer Pittsburghers. Come for the makers and stay to sip on drinks, try delicious food, listen to live music, and make new friends. We would like to thank our partner, Assemble, for brining this event into fruition. This is an afternoon you won’t want to miss! This is a free event and open to all ages.

7:30 PM

Narcissister Organ Player is a hybrid performance/documentary film that explores how ancestral data is stored in our bodies, impacting the lives we lead. On the personal level, the film investigates how the artist’s complex family history compelled her to create the masked, erotic performance character.

Sunday — April 28, 2019

Screening: DON’T BE NICE
2:00 PM

The upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets, prepares for the national championships. Mentored by a demanding coach who pushes them past their personal boundaries to write from a painfully honest place, the poets break down, break through, and compose their best work ever. Will their soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of Black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title? Don’t Be Nice will encourage viewers to do their own work to understand their friends, neighbors, and themselves.

Screening will be followed by a local slam poets performance, so stick around!

Screening: Pittsburgh Queer Shorts
5:30 PM

Join us for unique selection of local short films from queer filmmakers.

Screening will be followed by a panel discussion.

Friday — April 20, 2018


VIP: 7PM General Admission: 8PM Movie: 8:30PM

Regent Square Theater
1035 S. Braddock Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Join drag star and cult movie impresario Peaches Christ for an intimate and unique evening celebrating the incredible career of living legend and cult film icon Mink Stole.  These two entertainers are excited to present this event, which takes the form of a chat / variety show as well as a cabaret act.  The dynamic duo have been close friends for almost two decades and would like to invite you to enjoy them for this special happening. With interviews, stories shared, anecdotes and live song this will be a wildly entertaining, and uncensored exposé that aspires to be as hilarious as it is revealing.

$20 – General Admission
$45 – VIP
A special thanks to our screening sponsors


Saturday — April 21, 2018

In Full Bloom

Doors 12:30PM; Movie 1PM
(Dir: Michael Brewer)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The feature-length documentary, In Full Bloom, chronicles the lives of 13 transgender and two gay actors whose paths cross during the production of the unprecedented stage play, Lovely Bouquet of Flowers. Fiction becomes reality, when behind-the scenes, rehearsal and performance footage is interwoven with compelling personal interviews from the cast, dealing with family, inner conflicts, discrimination, coming out, surgery, hormones and the complexities of sexual identity and orientation. By sharing their own journeys, the actors transcend transgender by speaking to issues, such as relationships, careers and spirituality. In Full Bloom, challenges the viewer to move past stereotypes and to see the commonalities we all share as human beings.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors


Nothing Without Us:
The Women Who Will End AIDS

Doors: 3:30PM; Movie: 4:00PM
(Dir: Harriet Hirshorn)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Nothing Without Us is the first and only documentary telling the story of the inspiring women at the forefront of the global AIDS movement. Combining archival footage and interviews with female activists, scientists and scholars in the US and Africa, “Nothing Without Us: The Women who Will End AIDS” reveals how women not only shaped grassroots groups like ACT-UP in the U.S., but have also played essential roles in HIV prevention and the treatment access movement throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The film explores the unaddressed dynamics that keep women around the world at risk of HIV, while introducing the remarkable women who have the answers to ending this 30-year old pandemic.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

QueerCore: How to Punk a Revolution

Doors: 6:30PM; Movie: 7PM
(Dir: Yony Leyser)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

What happens when the community you need is not the community you have? Tell yourself it exists over and over, make fan zines that fabricate hordes of queer punk revolutionaries, create subversive movies, and distribute those movies widely—and slowly, the community you’ve fabricated might become a real and radical heartbeat that spreads internationally. This is the story that Queercore tells, from the start of a pseudo-movement in the mid-1980s, intended to punk the punk scene, to the widespread rise of artists who used radical queer identity to push back equally against gay assimilation and homophobic punk culture.

Interviewees discuss homophobia, gender, feminism, AIDS, assimilation, sex, and, of course, art. The extensive participant list includes Bruce LaBruce, G.B. Jones, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, John Waters, Justin Vivian Bond, Lynn Breedlove, Silas Howard, Pansy Division, Penny Arcade, Kathleen Hanna, Kim Gordon, Deke Elash, Tom Jennings, Team Dresch, and many more. Encompassing a breadth of history and influence, Queercore ends with a glimpse towards Riot Grrl and artists like Peaches and The Gossip, who, inspired by queercore legacy, were next to take the stage.

Underscoring the interviews are clips from movies, zines, concerts, and actions iconic to the movement. As steeped in the radical queer, anti-capitalist, DIY, and give-no-fucks approach as queercore itself, the movie reveals the perspectives and experiences of bands, moviemakers, writers, and other outsiders, taking audiences inside the creation of the community—and art—so desperately needed by the same queers it encompassed.

Afterparty @

Music By:

A queer Pittsburgh dance party. New wave + italo disco + post-punk.

Sunday — April 22, 2018

Expanding Gender: Youth Out Front

Lunch: 12:30PM; Movie 1:00PM
(Multiple Directors)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

These four short documentaries explore the varied identities of trans and gender expansive youth and young adults.

In Tomgirl we meet Jake, a confident and lovable gender expansive seven-year-old who invites us into his world of hockey playing and skirt wearing to explore the transformative power of love and support from adults. Next, experience the true story of a young Hawaiian girl who aspires to become the leader of her school’s boys-only hula troupe, and an inspiring teacher who uses traditional culture to empower her in A Place in the Middle. Monica’s Story traces the journey of resilience and self-acceptance of Monica Rose, a strong young transwoman of color. Despite being rejected by her church and family, Monica sought out support from professionals in the LGTBQ community and today is a proud, confident person with a bright future. Finally Passing profiles the lives of three young transmen of color. This short doc explores what life is like living as a black man, when no one knows you are transgender, and how each man perceives his own journey with gender after many years of being presumed as a cisgender man.


Lunch Provided By:

Tongues Untied

Doors: 2:30PM; Movie: 3:00PM
(Dir: Marlon Riggs)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The film blends documentary footage with personal account and fiction in an attempt to depict the specificity of black gay identity. The “silence” referred to throughout the film is that of black gay men, who are unable to express themselves because of the prejudices of white and black heterosexual society, as well as the white gay society.

The narrative structure of Tongues Untied is both interesting and unconventional. Besides including documentary footage detailing North American black gay culture, Riggs also tells of his own experiences as a gay man. These include the realization of his sexual identity and of coping with the deaths of many of his friends to AIDS. Other elements within the film include footage of the Civil Rights Movement and clips of Eddie Murphyperforming a homophobic stand-up routine.

The documentary dealt with the simultaneous critique of the politics of racism, homophobia and exclusion as they are intertwined with contemporary sexual politics. The film is a part of a body of recently released films and videos, which examine central issues in the lives of lesbian and gay Black people. Riggs’ work challenged television’s generic boundaries of conformity during the late 80s and early 90s. The television documentary during this time was the conventional talking head, expert interviews, and personal testimonials commonly on public affair issues.

*Following the screening will be readings by Center for African American Poetry & Poetics*

L’Oréal Snell is from Omaha, Nebraska. She has received fellowships for her poetry (Cave Canem Foundation) and civic engagement (Coro Center for Civic Leadership) (New Voices for Reproductive Justice). Her writing has appeared in several literary journals, articles, and anthologies. She earned a M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Chatham University and a M.A. in Drama Therapy from New York University. L’Oréal is an advocate of affordable and dignified housing, neglected and abused children, and reproductive justice. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jari Bradley (pronouns they/them) is a black genderqueer poet and scholar from San Francisco, California with a masters degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. Jari has received fellowships from Callaloo and Cave Canem. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, Hot Metal Bridge, Nomadic Ground Press, Virginia Quarterly Review and BOAAT Journal.

Steffan Triplett is a writer and instructor from Joplin, Missouri. Some of his work appears or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Electric Literature, The OffingBOAAT, FoundryKweli, and Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color.  Steffan is a VONA alum and has been a fellow for Callaloo and Lambda Literary. Steffan is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a John B. Ervin scholar

A special thanks to our screening sponsors


Friday — August 4, 2017


Doors: 6PM; Movie: 7PM
(Dir: Kate Trumbull LaValle, Joanna Sokolowski)

**Cast Members in attendance!**

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Ovarian Psycos documents a new generation of fierce, unapologetic and feminist women of color from the Eastside of Los Angeles who confront injustice, build community, and redefine identity through a raucous, irreverently named bicycle crew: The Ovarian Psycos Cycle Brigade. Through the personal stories of the crew’s founder, Xela de la X, activist, poet M.C., and single mother; street artist and original Ovarian Psyco, Andi Xoch, and a bright-eyed young woman from the neighborhood, Evelyn (Evie), the film traces how the “Ovas” emerged from the diverse, youthful, Latino, working class, immigrant neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, a community situated within the historic legacy of the Chicano/a Civil Rights Movement that emerged from L.A. in the late 1960s.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

Three Rivers Community Foundation (TRCF) advances social change through grant making, advocacy, and capacity development for grassroots and other organizations. TRCF embraces grantee organizations to ensure social, economic, and environmental justice in Southwestern PA.

Saturday — August 5, 2017

Only In Pittsburgh! 

Doors: 12PM; Movie 12:30PM
Melwood Screening Room 477 Melwood Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Only In Pittsburgh! was created to showcase emerging LGBTQ+ short films made by the ‘Burgh’s burgeoning film community.  We teamed up with Film Kitchen and the Indie Oaks Festival to present our favorite movies written and directed in Pittsburgh with the goal of connecting emerging filmmakers to new audiences.

“Mama Said” (Dir: Scott Andrew)  (3min)
Mama Said is a further investigation into a character loosely based on Dusty Springfield with a stylistic affinity for Pebbles Flintstone and all the Cheetah loving grandmas in the world.

“The Elephant in The Room” (Dir: Max Cianci)  (11min)

Frank Marshal is a conservative candidate running for Governor of Pennsylvania. When his son is outed as gay on live television, he must choose to either continue his radical campaign or risk it all and support his son.

“How to Find A Man: An Educational Film” (Dir: Meg Koleck) (6min)
“How to Find a Man: An Educational Film’ is a parody of a 1950s educational/instructional PSA shot on 16mm film. Introducing Nomi Darling and Alistair McQueen.



“Promenade” (Dir: Jess Paul) (4min)
Promenade” captures a definitive moment of prom night that encapsulates the transition from adolescence to young adulthood — and the sometimes awkward, sometimes painful recognition of self and of others that defines our young adulthood.

“The Toothmans” (Dir. Hansen Bursic) (7min)
This lovely documentary focuses on a family in rural PA and their transgender daughter.




“The Perfect Friend Request” (Dir: Goat Milk Fudge Productions) (7min)

Protagonist Tara reconnects with old BFF Kristen who presents a plan to revisit old times and share a boyfriend again. Singing ensues!



A special thanks to our screening sponsors

Harrison Apple

Lecture starts at 2PM

Lives of their Own: Pittsburgh Queer History Project Archives Screening

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Harrison Apple, Co-Director and Archivist of the Pittsburgh Queer History Project will be sharing video content from the PQHP’s collection. Ranging in content from nightclub performers to 80’s gay picnics to street vigils and protests, the video collection holds unique heritage objects from Pittsburgh’s recent past through the lens of LGBTQ nightlife. Join them for a presentation on Pittsburgh urban history, the archival value of copies, and a chance to reanimate voices of the 70s and 80s through a curated reel of videos – including a full-screening of the 1989 Ms. Pittsburgh Pageant.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

The Death & Life of Marsha P Johnson

Doors: 3PM; Movie: 3:30PM
(Dir: David France)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The Death & Life of Marsha P Johnson reexamines the death of a beloved icon of the trans world while celebrating the story of two landmark pioneers of the trans-rights movement, trailblazers who put the T in LGBT. Academy Award® nominated director David France’s (How to Survive a Plague) new documentary centers on self-described “street queen” Marsha P. Johnson, legendary fixture in New York City’s gay ghetto, who along with fellow trans icon Sylvia Rivera, founded Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries (S.T.A.R.), a trans activist group based in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Mysteriously, Marsha was found floating in the Hudson River in 1992. At the time, the NYPD pegged her death as a suicide, a claim that Marsha’s comrades have always firmly rejected. Structured as a whodunit, with activist Victoria Cruz cast as detective and audience surrogate, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnsoncelebrates the lasting political legacy of Marsha P. Johnson, while seeking to finally solve the mystery of her unexplained death.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

The Revival: Women and the Word

Doors: 5:30PM; Movie: 6PM
(Dir: Sekiya Dorsett)

**Poetry Performances following the movie**

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The Revival: Women and the Word chronicles the US tour of a group of Black lesbian poets and musicians, who become present-day stewards of a historical movement to build community among queer women of color. Their journey to strengthen their community is enriched by insightful interviews with leading Black feminist thinkers and historians, including Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Nikki Finney, and Alexis Deveaux. As the group tours the country, the film reveals their aspirations and triumphs, as well as the unique identity challenges they face encompassing gender, race, and sexuality. This is a rarely seen look into a special sisterhood – one where marginalized voices are both heard and respected.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

Sunday — August 6, 2017

Breakfast With Queer Pittsburgh!

Lecture Begins at 11AM
Queer Pittsburgh, otherwise known as QueerPGH, is an online magazine made by and for queer folks in Pittsburgh. They are run by a crew of volunteers who want to promote the voices of LGBTQIA+ folks and all others who identify as queer, as well as create a comprehensive guide to our spaces in the area.

Queer Pittsburgh started in July 2016 pulling together folks in the community who were interested in joining a team of artists, writers, photographers and general queer enthusiasts. Since then they’ve been growing, and fast.

Queer Pittsburgh is guided by the values of:

  • Inclusion
  • Community
  • Respect
  • Courage
  • Creativity
  • Integrity

Get Animated!

Doors: 12PM; Movie: 12:30PM
Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Join us for Sunday cartoons!  Get Animated! brings together a wide variety of animation, cartoon, and stop-motion styles to the big screen. Following the screening, local editor Zora Gilbert ( will discuss the queer representation in comics over the last 10 years.

Happy & Gay =  (Dir: Lorelei Pepi) (11min)

“Happy and Gay” is a revisionist history document reflecting the form of a 1930’s-styled cartoon musical. This film’s goal is to be a “revisionist history” work, imitating the Hollywood cartoon of the 1930s. It’s main focus is aimed at responding to acts of censorship, prejudice and stereotype by re-placing a positive representation of gay and lesbian characters into a positively queer narrative.

100 Crushes Elisha Lim –  (Dir: Elisha Lim) (2min)

Toronto-based artist Elisha Lim’s work celebrates the dignity and power of being neither straight, nor white, nor cis-gendered. In 2011 they also successfully advocated for Canadian gay media to adopt the gender neutral pronoun “they.”


Jayson – (Dir: Jeff Krell) (3min)

Jeffrey A. Krell is an openly gay American cartoonist, known for his long-running syndicated comic strip Jayson.[1]The strip is about Jayson Callowhill, a skinny farm boy who moves to Philadelphia searching for a job and a man, and has been described as “the gay Archie


Dating Sucks, A Genderqueer Misadventure  (Dir: Sam Berliner) (13 min)
Best known for his engaging and accessible films about gender non-conformity, Sam’s award-winning short films, Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure, Genderbusters and Perception have screened at over 100 film festivals around the world and are distributed by CFMDC and Frameline Voices.

Beyond the Mirror’s Gaze  –  (Dir: Iris Moore) (4min)

Iris Moore is a Montreal based artist who is focused on painting, drawing and animation. In her animated film “Beyond The Mirror’s Gaze”, she explores the fantastical and surreal, with the intention of evoking the viewer’s sense of whimsy and wonder surrounding themes of gender

Bittersweet (Dir: Allen Martsch, 4 min.)

Jason, a shy teen, reluctantly writes a heartfelt candy gram message to his high school crush, Armando.


Operated by Invisible Hands (Nicole Brending) (6min)
Lauded at festivals around the world as one of the best short films of the year, “Operated by Invisible Hands” tells the story of two antique dolls who must confront their feelings for each other after a night of extraordinary passion. French with English Subtitles.



A special thanks to our screening sponsors

Joy! A Portrait of a Nun

Doors: 2PM; Movie: 2:30PM
(Dir: Joe Balass)

Melwood Screening Room
477 Melwood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Joy! A Portrait of a Nun is a documentary about Spiritual sanctuary, sex, sisterhood and a gathering of faeries. A bearded nun. Through an intimate lens, this feature documentary takes us on a journey with Sister Missionary P. Delight, one of the founders of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. In 1979, Mish, as he is affectionately known by his friends, created an Order of gay male nuns to promote a philosophy of promulgating universal joy and expiating guilt. Both he and the Order have come a long way since then. Today, the Sisters are spread out across the globe, and Mish lives in the middle of the woods of the Deep South, in a community of Radical Faeries. JOY! follows Mish and his community over a seven year period, along the way we discover the history of the movement and the highs and lows of his own personal journey.

A special thanks to our screening sponsors

About Pittsburgh Underground [queer] Film Festival (PUFF)

PUFF was created by Reel Q to celebrate the creative non-conformity of LGBTQ+ communities through the presentation of overlooked and “out-of-the-box films,” workshops, lectures, parties, and panel discussions. The weekend long festival focuses on films by queer women, POC, and under-represented communities.
Image credit: Matt Johnson