The nation’s leading LGBTQ festival ran from August 13th to August 22nd, holding its closing night at the iconic Orpheum Theatre, with Vivian Kleiman’s No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics claiming the Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize, and Brielle Brilliant’s Firstness winning the U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize.
For the first time ever, Outfest collaborated with IMDb in choosing Audience Award winners, selecting them based on IMDb ratings. Among other prizes and recognition, eligible Outfest Los Angeles winners received a one-year membership to IMDbPro.
The winners of the Grand Jury Prizes for Best U.S. Narrative Short, Best Documentary Short, and Best International Narrative Short all received a $2000 cash prize awarded in partnership with Entertainment Partners.
Also of note is the fact that the U.S. and International Narrative Short Grand Jury prize winners are now Academy Award eligible.
The jurors for Outfest Los Angeles represented a diverse cross-section of filmmakers, artists, journalists, and industry executives. They included Cowboys filmmaker Anna Kerrigan, Trans In Trumpland’s Tony Zosherafatain, Los Fuertes’ Omar Zuñiga Hidalgo, Ahead of the Curve’s Jen Rainin, Changing the Game’s Alex Schmider, Death and Nintendo’s Valeria Castillo Martinez, Little Chief’s Erica Tremblay, and In France Michelle Is A Man’s Name’s Em Weinstein, along with journalist Manuel Betancourt, journalist and critic Alonso Duralde, Caleb Ward (Vice President of Acquisitions, Highland Film Group), Liliana Rodriguez (Artistic Director, Palm Springs International Film Society), Robert Chang (Coordinating Producer, America ReFramed at American Documentary, Inc.), Jason Ishikawa (Senior Executive, Cinetic Media) and Malin Kan (Programmer, AFI Festivals).
Said Outfest Executive Director Damien Navarro: “The incredible response from this year’s festival has been beyond heart-warming and rewarding for our board, staff and volunteers to watch as thousands of our members, fans, filmmakers and audiences participated in this year’s festivities from around the world. As we come together a final time to celebrate our winners from 2021 – I want the world to know that Outfest the organization is committed to continuing our fight to improve accessibility, to continue expanding our visibility and to identify where new opportunities lie for us. As I said at our Opening Night Gala – To my trans, intersex and non-binary siblings, we see you. To my black lesbians, trans and gay men – we hear you, to my Latinx primos – we stand by you – to my asian queer family – we will do better – to my disabled storytellers and dreamers – we won’t leave you behind – for my indigenous artists and visionaries – we will never forget – to my middle eastern colleagues – we will climb with you – and to all of those generations before us who knocked down those first blocks – we can never repay you.”
For the full list of winners from Outfest 2021, read on.
Documentary Short Audience Award
RIGHT TO TRY, Directed by Zeberiah Newman
Documentary Feature Audience Award
THIS IS JESSICA, Directed by Andrea Meyerson
Narrative Short Audience Award
AND THEN, Directed by Jenn Ravenna Tran
Narrative Feature Audience Award
DEATH AND BOWLING, Directed by Lyle Kash
Experimental Short Audience Award
JUPITER & EUROPA, Directed by Milo Ferguson
Grand Jury Awards
Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize
NO STRAIGHT LINES: THE RISE OF QUEER COMICS, Directed by Vivian Kleiman
Documentary Feature Special Mentions
SEDIMENTS, Directed by Adrián Silvestre & NORTH BY CURRENT, Directed by Angelo Madsen Minax
U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize
FIRSTNESS, Directed by Brielle Brilliant
U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance
Pooya Mohseni in SEE YOU THEN
U.S. Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay
Wes Hurley for POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA
U.S. Narrative Feature Special Mention
THE SIXTH REEL for Ensemble Performance, Directed by Charles Busch & Carl Andress
International Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize
A DISTANT PLACE, Directed by PARK Kun-young
International Narrative Feature Special Mention
Cloris Leachman in JUMP, DARLING for Performance
International Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay
LOVE, SPELLS, AND ALL THAT, screenplay by Ümit Ünal
International Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance
Nell Barlow for SWEETHEART
Best International Narrative Short Grand Jury Prize
SQUISH, Directed by Xavier Seron
International Narrative Short Special Mention
PRIVATE PHOTOS, Directed by Marcelo Grabowsky
Best Documentary Short Grand Jury Prize
NARCISSISTER BREAST WORK, Directed by Narcissister
Documentary Short Special Mention
F1-100, Directed by Emory Chao Johnson
Best U.S. Narrative Short Grand Jury Prize
GIRLS & THE PARTY, Directed by Paloma Lopez
U.S. Narrative Short Special Mention
THE RECORDER, Directed by Justine Lupe
Special Programming Awards
The 2021 Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Joseph Sackett for HOMEBODY
The 2021 Programming Award for Freedom goes to Whitney Skauge and Terence Smith for their collaboration on the short documentary THE BEAUTY PRESIDENT
The 2021 Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Bo McGuire for SOCKS ON FIRE
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