Outfest 2016: The Award Winners!
Outfest Los Angeles 2016 Award Winners Audience Awards
U.S. Documentary Audience Award
Major!, Directed by Annalise Ophelian
U.S. Narrative Audience Award
Miles, Directed by Nathan Adloff
Audience Award for Best First U.S. Dramatic Feature
Suicide Kale, Directed by Carly Usdin
Grand Jury Awards
Documentary Special Mention
For Excellence in Filmmaking we award a Special Jury mention to Major!, for its depiction of undying activism, this documentary shines a light and shows compassion for so many who would otherwise remain unheard. This is a film that deserves to be seen and celebrated by audiences around the globe. From Stonewall to the fight for Trans rights and visibility, Miss Major was and continues to be one of the most important and legendary heroes in the community.
Documentary Grand Jury Prize
We award Best Documentary Feature to Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four, for its ability to captivate the audience and to give voice to those who have been oppressed, and to expose an egregious miscarriage of justice of marginalized, yet the most exceedingly brave women.
Special Mention for Outstanding Performance
A rich interior life bubbles to the surface through a delicate yet impactful performance. This actor’s nuanced, textured portrayal brings to life a main character who often has little to say, but speaks volumes through a subdued physical and emotional performance. In a delicate film where the main character struggles with the weight of the conflicts, it is this actor’s compelling emotional specificity that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. For his striking ability to convey inner turmoil rising to the surface, the US Narrative Jury honors Joe Seo for his outstanding performance as David Cho, a Korean-American gay man, in Andrew Ahn’s Spa Night.
Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature
A powerhouse of a script that lives at the intersection of a panoply of genres, this first feature effort is creative, original, and, ultimately, surprising. Vacillating from comedy to romance to drama to thriller, often within the same scene, the script is perfectly paced, featuring well defined characters and a clear narrative purpose for every word, be it a jokey aside or a cryptic utterance. For keeping us guessing until the very end and redefining multiple genres in one fell swoop, we award the award for Best Screenwriting in a US Feature Film to Writer, Director, and Actor Ingrid Jungermann for Women Who Kill.
U.S. Grand Jury Prize
Both a coming of age story and a coming out story, but never shackled to the familiar conventions of those genres within LGBTQ film, this evocative narrative succeeds, from its subtle script to its expressive cinematography. A profoundly American story that takes place within an often underrepresented community, this moving film conveys the simple truth that many of us discover our identities in small moments of desire rather than in bombastic narrative twists. For conveying the personal growth of a young person who finds himself through a textured tale of self-exploration, yearning, and family duty, we award the Best US Narrative Feature Film prize to Andrew Ahn for Spa Night.
International Grand Jury Prize
This year we honor a film that turns the coming-of-age genre on its head in extraordinary fashion. It’s a nuanced, multi-dimensional portrait of interracial love that wowed us through its setting, its cinematography, its terrific performances, and its writing. The Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature goes to the French film Being 17, directed by André Téchiné. We also want to commend the contributions of co-writer Celine Sciamma.
International Special Mention
We’d like to give a Special Mention to an original film that pushes boundaries by employing non-professional actors and plunging us into a vibrant perspective of Brazil rarely seen onscreen. The Special Mention goes to the Brazilian film The Nest directed by Filipe Matzenbacher and Marcio Reolon.
Best Documentary Short
This short documentary is a portrait of a colorful man and his passion for creating art and inherent activism. Giving perfect context of the pioneer behind a forgotten gay country album and its relevance as Lavender Country continues to delight new listeners, the Best Documentary Short Film Award goes to These Cocksucking Tears, directed by Dan Taberski.
Best Narrative Short
A nuanced exploration of ownership and nostalgia in a failed relationship, beautifully acted by its two stars. Their chemistry in moments of comedy, sex, and emotional wounds was a pleasure to watch, and stayed with us long after. The Best Narrative Short Film Award goes to Fake It, directed by Tzurit Hartzion.
Special Mention for Artistic Achievement
An undeniably fun experience, this short tells an intricate story without dialogue, relying solely on the animated expressions of two dolls. A stand-out this year with its creativity in both story and execution, we award a Special Mention to Kai Stänicke’s, B.
Special Programming Awards
For highlighting the diverse array of issues facing Black LGBTQ people today while also celebrating their vibrant culture with warmth, humanity, and a sharp eye for detail in an electric first feature documentary the 2016 Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Twiggy Pucci Garçon and Sara Jordenö for Kiki.
In a year full of hateful, divisive rhetoric aimed at both undocumented immigrants and the LGBTQ community, this film shows how one dedicated person can make a positive impact for their community with compassion and earnest advocacy. The 2016 Programming Award for Freedom goes to Tiffany Rhynard and Moises Serrano for Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America.
For mixing animation, outrageous visuals, dark humor and defiantly genre-defying storytelling to portray male puberty as the ultimate in body horror, the 2016 Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Kuba Czekaj for Baby Bump.