Countdown to Outfest: Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival: Almost time for Greg’s favorite fest of year!
I became a blogger because of Outfest.
The year was 2006 and I was an entertainment reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News which was launching various blogs – mostly in sports. The guy in charge of this new initiative suggested I blog about Outfest. We quickly came up with the blog name Out in Hollywood for the time being.
The name stuck and so did the blog addiction.
In 2009, I left the Daily News (or rather, they left me!) and launched Greg In Hollywood. So really, it’s been 13 years of daily blogging which has been wonderfully life changing. I feel more connected to readers than I ever felt during my decades as a newspaper reporter.
My first Outfest was in 2001 and I have not missed a single year since. It was/is like entering an alternate universe where you are surrounded by your people in the theaters and at the parties and see your people being portrayed in the screen. While LGBTQ portrayals have become far more accessible in recent years, I still cherish the Outfest bubble that exists among attendees, staff, volunteers, filmmakers, cast members and all the rest. (I’m pictured above with actor Tuc Watkins at the 2016 festival).
Anyway, Outfest is almost upon us once again. Anyone who knows me know this is one of my favorite times of the year. I call it Christmas in July. This year’s festival begins July 18 and runs through July 28 but I will be missing the first four days because I’ll be in Provincetown.
So many movies and programs to be excited about and I will be highlighting some of those things in the days leading up to the fest. I cannot wait to see Doug Spearman’s long-awaited From Zero to I Love You starring Darryl Stephens, the Sam Harris movie HAM: A Musical Memoir, Kathy Griffin: One Helluva Story, Gay Chorus: Deep South, and This is Not Berlin (Esto No Es Berlin), among many others. There are also several must-see short film programs.
I’m very bummed that I will not be in town for the Saturday, July 20 presentation of Eastsiders: Season 4. This is the final season of Kit Williamson’s much-loved dramedy. The first two episodes will be screened.
The opening gala at Orpheum Theatre is the documentary Circus of Books and the closing night gala at The Theatre at Ace Hotel is the quirky Sundance favorite Before You Know It. These are the usual opening and closing night locations. But the big change this year is the move away from the DGA Theatre on Sunset which has been home base for Outfest for as many years as I can remember. It’s been replaced by the TCL complex at Hollywood & Highland. It’s more commonly known as Chinese 6. I’ll miss DGA but there are more dining options around the TCL including a poke bowl place in the food court!
To see the full schedule and to buy tickets, go to Outfest.org. Below is a video highlighting this year’s line-up!