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Countdown to Outfest 2016: From ‘Looking’ to ‘BearCity 3,’ some things I’m looking forward to the most

With opening night just a week away, I’m now shifting into full Outfest mode and looking forward to being immersed in one of my favorite times of the year.

It was Outfest that inspired me to become an LGBT blogger 10 years ago when I was doing a preview on the festival for the LA Daily News.

With that preview, I launched Out In Hollywood, the 2006-09 precursor to Greg In Hollywood and, well, the rest is history.

Anyway, this is the 34th annual Outfest LGBT Film Festival and there is so much to look forward to.

For the next week, I’ll be highlighting different events that will be taking place and during the festival, as always, I will be providing regular recaps.

Things will kick off on Thursday, July 7 at the Orpheum Theatre downtown with The Intervention directed by Clea Duvall. It’s a relationship comedy with a cast that includes Duvall, Cobie Smulders, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Ritter and Ben Schwartz.

The closing night film on Sunday, July 17 is Other People about a young gay man (Jesse Plemons) who moves from New York City back to Sacramento to help take care of his sick mother (Molly Shannon).

In between these two films, there are 10 days of activity that are going to, for me at least, put things like shows at Hollywood Bowl and movies at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on the back burner for a bit.

Here are five other things I’m looking forward to seeing the most:

1. Looking: The Movie: Yes, it is premiering on HBO on July 23 but to get to see it before then and with an audience at the DGA on Saturday, July 9? That sounds like heaven. Like at Frameline in San Francisco last weekend, there are certain to be at least several cast members in attendance but I’m not sure who yet. The cast was at Outfest two years ago and as many people jammed into the smaller DGA 2 theater as possible to see Jonathan Groff and company do a panel. The movie, of course, will screen in the spacious DGA 1.

2. BearCity 3: On July 15, it’s a Friday night date at Ford Ampitheatre where BearCity 2 premiered three years ago. This ‘threequel’ is written and directed by Doug Langway and all I need to know is that Gerald McCullouch (Daddy) once again heads the cast.
3. King Cobra: There have been plenty of James Franco films at Outfest in years past but never Franco himself – in the flesh. But it looks like the Oscar nominated actor will be on hand before the Saturday, July 16 screening of King Cobra to accept the inaugural James Schamus Award in honor of his efforts to bring LGBT films to the forefront. King Cobra is written and directed by Justin Kelly and stars Garrett Clayton as gay adult superstar Brent Corrigan whose career two porn competitors fight over. Also in the cast are Franco, Christian Slater, Keegan Allen, Molly Ringwald and Alicia Silverstone.

4. Retake: All I have to say is Tuc Watkins, Tuc Watkins, Tuc Watkins. One of my favorite actors, best known for his roles on One Life to Live and Desperate Housewives, stars in this drama about love, loss and identity. He plays a man who hires a young male hustler (played by Devon Gray) to accompany him on a road trip from San Francisco to the Grand Canyon. The movie is written and directed by Nick Corporon and will screen on Thursday, July 14.

5. Lazy Eye: This movie is written and directed by Tim Kirkman who I will always be grateful to for subletting me his charming place in Silver Lake for four months in the summer of 2011. I remember our chatting the day I came by to see it and finding out that he had also written and directed Loggerheads which I had seen at Outfest in 2005. Anyway, Tim eventually gave up the place and I’ve lived there ever since! This year, he’s back at Outfest with Lazy Eye about a man who hears from an ex-boyfriend for the first time in 20 years. They decide to take off for a whirlwind, romantic weekend in Joshua Tree. Past, present and future choices collide! The film screens on Saturday, July 16 at 1:30 pm in DGA 1.

This is just a handful of movies I plan to attend. Will let you know about more in the coming days.

In the meantime, here is a LINK to the full Outfest schedule!



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