Countdown begins for 40th anniversary Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival! See full schedule!
The full Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival line-up has just come out and I will be counting the days until the event begins on July 14. I’ve been attending Outfest for more than 20 years and it has significant meaning to me because it is the reason why I became an LGBT blogger 16 years ago.
I was an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News and in 2006 the paper was experimenting with new blogs. It was suggested that my coverage of Outfest be expanded and that I post on a blog each day I went to the festival. I took to it immediately and that is how my original blog Out in Hollywood was born – the first LGBT-themed blog at any mainstream newspaper at the time. Once Outfest was over that year, I just kept going and have been ever since. Greg In Hollywood was created in 2009 when the financially-struggling Daily News got rid of more than 40 people over the span of a month – including me!
Anyway, thanks Outfest for changing my life!
The lineup of over 200 films inclusive of feature narratives, documentaries, short films, and episodics includes a roster of festival favorites, an impressive 42 world premieres, films spanning every genre, and representing 29 countries from around the world. Previously announced premieres include the Opening Night Gala world premiere of Billy Porter’s directorial debut Anything’s Possible, Closing Night GalaAnd They/Them, and a 20th Anniversary screening of Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven with Haynes, Julianne Moore, and producer Christine Vachon in person.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work our programming team has done to craft a lineup that celebrates the history of the LGBTQIA+ community and the art we create, and that also spotlights innovative new work that will pave the way for 40 more years of spectacular, groundbreaking queer cinema,” said Outfest’s Director of Festival Programming, Mike Dougherty.
Notable festival favorites making their Los Angeles premieres at Outfest Los Angeles include Sundance Audience Award winner Girl Picture, as well as Sundance favorites Sirens, about a female thrash metal band from Lebanon; Mars One, a family drama from Brazil that centers a love story between two women; and Chae Joynt’s Framing Agnes, starring Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Silas Howard, and more; Berlin’s Teddy Award-winning Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter, as well as master filmmaker Francois Ozon’s latest, Peter von Kant; Amanda Kramer’s Please Baby Please, a stylized, 1950s-set dismantling of gender roles starring Andrea Riseborough, Henry Melling, Karl Gluser, and Demi Moore; and Tribeca selections like horror film Attachment, which sees a woman’s new romance with her girlfriend complicated by her girlfriend’s orthodox Jewish family and their belief that she is possessed by a demon; All Man: The International Male Story, a doc that catalogs the famously homoerotic fashion catalog of yesteryear, and Breaking the Ice, which explores a possible romance among a female hockey team.
World premieres include Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story, a doc from Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Pulse Films that explores gender identity and the skate world, as seen through the lens of celebrated competitive skating icon Leo Baker, who in 2020 resigned from the U.S. Women’s Olympic Skateboarding Team and transitioned publicly after trying to lead a double life; the UK feature Phea, a modern lesbian spin on the myth of Orpheus, starring singer and musician Sherika Sherard; Mercedes Kane’s Art and Pep, which chronicles decades of LGBTQIA+ activism through the owners of iconic Chicago gay bar Sidetrack; and writer/comedian/singer Scout Durwood’s Youtopia, which sees Durwood unwittingly become the leader of a hipster millenial cult..
Outfest Los Angeles’ Episodics section also features a host of world premieres, including an advanced look at Shudder’s forthcoming docuseries Queer for Fear, which explores the LGBTQIA+ influence on over a century of horror cinema, with EPs Bryan Fuller and Steak House, and interviewees Kimberly Pierce and Alonso Duralde expected to appear in person; Queer Riot is a comedy special that goes behind the scenes of a queer comedy night held in a former nun’s residence in Los Angeles, headlined by Margaret Cho; and writer/producer Des Moran (Grown-ish, Queer as Folk) premieres the first episode of his series halfsies, about six Black half-siblings who re-enter each other’s lives after a death in the family. This section will also host a free sneak peek screening of the upcoming Prime Video series A League of Their Own, starring Abbi Jacobson, with talent in attendance.
The festival will also spend three nights at The Ford Theater in Hollywood for Outfest Under the Stars, which combines screenings with live, on-stage performances. These screenings include the world premiere of Kit Williamson’s (of the Emmy-winning EastSiders) new series, Unconventional, about queer siblings in Palm Springs attempting to form a new kind of family. The series cast includes Kit Williamson, Aubrey Peeples, James Bland, Briana Venskus, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Constantine Rousouli, and Jenna Ushkowitz, with appearances from Kathy Griffin, Willam Belli, Laith Ashley and Beau Bridges; God Save the Queens stars RuPaul’s Drag Race superstars Alaska Thunderfuck, Laganja Estranja, and Kelly Mantle, alongside Jordan M Green as a quartet of drag queens whose personal issues land them all in the same group therapy (all four leads will be onstage for a pre-show drag performance at The Ford); and I Have to Laugh: Comedy Night at the Ford, that will begin with a live stand-up showcase featuring the cast of Outfest Los Angeles ‘22 selection Queer Riot, headlined by Margaret Cho, and featuring River Butcher, Brad Loekle, Akeem Woods, and Daniel Webb, and be followed by a collection of some of the funniest short films in this year’s lineup.
The fest’s Platinum section that spotlights bold innovators, renegades, and cutting edge creators of experimental LGBTQIA+ media and performance that have redefined queer culture will includes screenings of SXSW premiere Hypochondriac by Addison Heimann, celebrated doc The End of Wonderland about transgender adult artist Tara Emory, and a shorts showcase that includes the U.S. premiere of Yann Gonzalez’s (Knife + Heart) Hideous, a musical horror piece featuring The xx’s Oliver Sim; The Platinum section will also present two awards to acknowledge groundbreaking artistry: the Platinum Maverick Award to writer and filmmaker Clive Barker (Hellraiser), to be presented at the REDCAT Theater in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, July 17th prior to a live conversation with Barker, followed by a screening of the Director’s Cut of Barker’s Nightbreed; and The Platinum Alchemy Award will be presented the evening of the 17th to bounce music artist Big Freedia, who will perform live at the Platinum Alchemy Party at Catch One on Pico Blvd., headlining a performance roster that also includes 700 Bliss (Moor Mother and DJ Harem), Seth Bogart, Moonily, Commando, Tally T, Sevyn, Sunkee Angel, and p_a_g_o_t_o.
Outfest will also be celebrating their 6th Outfest Los Angeles Trans, Nonbinary & Intersex Summit, which will consist of three back-to-back programs and feature a multitude of trans, nonbinary & intersex experiences. Programs include a keynote address from award-winning writer and activist, Raquel Willis; two timely filmmaker perspectives on the anti-hero narrative and reproductive rights, an artist to artist conversation on intersex visibility, and a comedy showcase featuring D’Lo, Nori Reed, Jes Tom, 7g, River Butcher, and Kai. The summit will take place on Saturday, July 23rd at the DGA Theater.
Other special events include a live read performance of Our Lady of the Six, a script by Dominic Colón featured in the scripted podcast series Love in Gravity, which is a collection of queer Latinx stories written and voiced by some of today’s hottest Latinx talent. In advance of the public release of this episode, the live read will be performed by cast members Robin de Jesus (tick, tick… BOOM!), Jessica Marie Garcia (On My Block), Alexia Garcia (Pose), Jason Genao (On My Block), Alycia Pascuale-Peña(Saved by the Bell), and more; Performing artist and movement expert Rashida KhanBey Miller (Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls) will put on her Messy Movement workshop for feminine spectrum actors, directors, writers and producers who are curious about creating new pathways for intimacy on screen through movement.
The Colin Higgins Foundation will award three LGBTQIA+ youth filmmakers each with $15,000 awards to aid in the development of their filmmaking careers, prior to a special sneak preview screening of Celebrating Laughter: The Life and Film of Colin Higgins, about the late filmmaker of hits like 9 to 5 and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
The Legacy section will feature screenings of classic LGBTQIA+ feature films, including Bill Weber and David Weissman’s 2002 documentary The Cockettes; the heartfelt ballad of butch and trans friendship in Harry Dodge and Silas Howard’s By Hook or By Crook; the 1981 documentary of queer activists and filmmakers as they take part in the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Greetings from Washington, D.C.; and the 2000 romantic comedy, Punks, that follows four friends as they search for Mr. Right and will welcome director Patrik-Ian Polk along with cast members in person. An additional special event will be the world premiere 4K restoration of French erotic classic Le Beau Mec, whose legend includes behind-the-scenes participation by choreographer Rudolf Nureyev and cinematographer Nestor Almendros.