SEX IS… (1993)

Marc Huestis is best known for the award winning & highly popular 1993 documentary SEX IS… co-produced by Lawrence Helman.

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Gay Film at the 1993 Berlin International Film Festival, SEX IS… is a penetrating look at the meaning of sex and sexuality in the lives of 15 gay men. From church pastor to porn star, the cast offers deeply touching interviews and provocative personal stories. Combined with rare archival footage and hot flashes of male erotica, the film provides a wonderful panoramic view of gay sexuality from the repressive ’50s through the hedonistic ’70s to the cautionary ’90s and the age of AIDS. SEX IS…has shown in film festivals throughout the world- including Berlin, Montreal, Chicago, St. Petersburg (Russia), London and Ghent.

SEX IS… has meet with popular and critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and abroad. It placed amongst the top 5 grossing documentaries of 1993, according to Variety, — and has broken many house records in the 40 cities it has screened–including smash engagements at New York’s Cinema Village, San Francisco’s 1400-seat Castro Theatre, and the Cinema de Paris in Montreal. Here’s a sampling of critical response:

  • “Boisterously entertaining and heartbreakingly sad…SEX IS… is a boldface seismograph of gay male sex in America since the 1950’s.” ~ Betsy Sherman,Boston Globe
  • “SEX IS… is so welcome…it addresses male homosexual intimacy with a refreshing directness.” ~ Stephen Holden,N.Y. Times
  • “Responsible, raunchy and always riveting.” ~ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
  • “Marc Huestis’ SEX IS… is clearly a landmark film…it is entertaining, sobering, funny and sometimes profoundly sad.” ~ Kevin Thomas,Los Angeles Times
  • “A landmark gay film…Director Marc Huestis gets great mileage from the breadth and detailed frankness of his subjects…Explicit but not pornographic, blunt but not titillating, this is unapologetic in its discussion of the often poignant reactions and adjustments to the AIDS crisis.” ~ Joe DeChick,Cincinnati Enquirer
  • “There’s never been such an honest, broad based and gripping overview of gay male sexuality.” ~ Arion Berger, L.A. Weekly

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As the AIDS epidemic has enveloped the gay community, Marc Huestis and Wendy Dallas produced the award-winning video CHUCK SOLOMON: COMING OF AGE {1986} – one of the first videos concerning AIDS coming from a gay perspective. Footage from this film was recently used in the acclaimed doc WE WERE HERE (2011) by David Weissman & Bill Weber.

With the cooperation and complete support from the Bay Area film community and prominent community members, {funding, in-kind donations of equipment and services}, the film was produced at a rapid pace {4 1/2 months}. Its purpose was to honor the life of a well-respected San Francisco theatre director while he was still living. The film reflects the tremendous community response to the epidemic.

Hailed by Edmund White of ARTFORUM as… “possibly the best film dealing with the AIDS crisis”, it has shown at over 25 festivals around the world.

The film was voted audience favorite in 1987 at the N.Y. Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

It also won the Intercom Silver Hugo award at the Chicago Int’l. Film Festival in November 1987. In July 1989, Mr. Huestis accompanied COMING OF AGE to the Moscow Film Festival as part of the 14-film landmark series: “Sex in the American Cinema.”

It has been broadcast in Great Britain {Channel 4}, Spain {TV3}, Germany, Canada, and in the United States on both public television and on the Discovery Channe

In 1991, KQED -the San Francisco PBS station -broadcast CHUCK SOLOMON for the fourth time

(This title can be purchased through this website for $24.95 + $5 s&h)

LULU GETS A FACELIFT, a feature documentary, stars Lulu, performer extraordinaire and a “mid-life crisis in action” who decides to get a facelift. Funny, fabulous, touching and tragic-this “reality” comedy is EXTREME MAKEOVER meets QUEER EYE, with a dash of PINK FLAMINGOS and AB FAB thrown in. Indeed, it’s beyond reality & will leave you in stitches! Shown in over 20 LGBT Festivals around the world.

  • “Lulu Get’s A Facelift” was perhaps the best of this year’s documentary offerings.” ~ London Times
  • “Of the festival’s documentaries, Lulu Gets a Facelift has the most entertainment value. Directed by San Francisco’s Marc Huestis (impresario and founder of the LGBT Festival) and starring talkative drag performer Lulu, the doc shows what happens when the veteran artiste decides he’s getting a little too veteran, and opts for plastic surgery – sort of a how-to for aging cross-dressers, culminating in a “Plastic Surgery Disasters” night at the Trannyshack club. It’s shown with 4 Beauties, a hectic live-action-cartoon short with drag stars (including Lulu) in overdrive, backed with generic ’60s music.” ~ Kelly Vance – East Bay Express

(This title can be purchased through this website for $24.95 + $5 s&h)


Marc Huestis’ colorful and intelligent New Wave comedy – now a mini camp classic- celebrates wealth of talent in the gay and lesbian underground. Recently remastered this title is available for purchase along with full information through the website’s store.

AnOtHeR GODDamn BeNefit  (1997)

AnOtHeR GODDamn BeNefit spans 2 decades of sparkling S.F. theatrical moments.

  • “The heart of the piece is the ’80s footage, taken mainly at benefits in support of artists with AIDS…The footage evokes what seems to be a sad yet glorious time of self-assertion in the face of devastation…The humor and the milieu of AnOtHeR GODDamn BeNefit are resplendently gay, but the gallantry transcends both. It shows people proclaiming and affirming their spirit-and the value of the moment-while looking into the unknown.” ~ Mick LaSalle, S.F. CHRONICLE

AnOtHeR GODDamn BeNefit screened at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival.

(This title can be purchased through this website for $24.95 + $5 s&h)


Huestis was commissioned by Frameline to make 25- A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL (2001) which explores the past, present and future of gay filmmaking through the prism of the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. It examines important milestones within this vital movement, including the early days of super- 8, the struggle for parity between lesbian and gay film, the first generation of AIDS documents, the new queer cinema, the rise of lesbian cinema, the mainstreaming of gay cinema. Interwoven are clips from such classic films as TONGUES UNTIED,THE LIVING END, PARIS IS BURNING, GO FISH, LILIES, FIRE and many others, offering visual reminders of where we’ve been and where we’re going. At its premiere, the film received an extended standing ovation.


is a satirical dramatization of the “groundbreaking” chapter dealing with homosexuality in Dr. David Reuben’s 1969 bestseller.

This comic short was originally shot in 1991 for Marc Huestis & Lawrence Helman’s award -winning documentary SEX IS… (1993), but was never included.

It has now has been edited into this hysterical short more almost 20 years later. You’ll never look at a lightbulb the same!

Starring Tony Award nominee Justin Bond (“Kiki & Herb”, “Shortbus”) as “Dick” , directed by Marc Huestis & narrated by John Balma. TRT – 7:50 mins. Contains graphic sexual material.

UNITY (1977- short)

UNITY was completed in 1977 in direct response to the California Briggs Initiative, the proposition on the California ballot which would have legislated discrimination against lesbian and gay teachers.

It was also the first film to tell the unknown story of the persecution of lesbians and gays in Nazi Germany. It won the top prize at the Caracas Festival of Super 8 Films.