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Outfest opens tonight – John Cooper being honored

Tonight, we are honoring Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper with the 2016 Outfest Achievement Award at the #OutfestLA Opening Night Gala. "If Outfest and Sundance have become two major launching pads for independent LGBT cinema, the courageous vision and unfailing good taste of John Cooper has played an essential role in shaping these film organizations. After serving as Outfest's Director of Programming from 1995 to 1998, he went full-time at Sundance, where he would become their Director of Programming in 2003 and then Festival Director in 2009. As Sundance Festival Director, Cooper oversees creative direction of the Festival as well as its ventures in London, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. He previously led the development of the Institute's online presence, which garnered two Webby Awards. More recently, he worked to create IGNITE, a program to nurture a new generation of filmmakers and independent film enthusiasts ages 18 to 24. The films he has curated for both festivals – and the number of filmmaking careers he helped to launch – are innumerable. But as we chart the history of LGBT film, particularly from the New Queer Cinema and onward, it's impossible to imagine this rich period without Cooper's championing of young writer, directors and producers, and the spotlight he provided for these formative works." For tickets: outfest.org

A photo posted by Outfest (@outfest) on

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