Now in its 37th year, Outfest serves up an inclusive and intersectional slate of programming, two-thirds of which includes content directed by women, people of color and trans filmmakers. The fest, which will be held July 18-28 in Los Angeles, will open with Rachel Mason’s documentary Circus of Books which spotlights L.A.’s iconic brick-and-mortar gay erotica emporium and bookstore. Sundance favorite Before You Know It directed, co-written and starring Hannah Pearl Utt, as well as Judith Light, Alec Baldwin and Mandy Patinkin, will serve as the festival’s closing night film.
The fest will have films from 33 countries and in 26 languages and will include appearances from Kathy Griffin, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars winner Trixie Mattel, Pose actress Angelica Ross, horror icon Robert Englund, musician and actor Sam Harris and others.
“As my tenure comes to an end I am most proud of Outfest’s increased visibility in Hollywood and our ever-growing stature within the industry,” said Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster. “Our communities have long been advocating for this inclusion. A remarkable filmmaker like Nisha Ganatra, our Achievement Award recipient, should have so many more features to her credit, in the two decades that have elapsed between her award-winning first film and her current box-office smash Late Night. Outfest Los Angeles continues to shine a spotlight on those stories we must see and those creatives whose voices we need to hear.”
The fest will feature premieres across features, short films and special events, including Rodrigo Bellott’s Tu Me Manques, Elegance Bratton’s documentary Pier Kids, Megan Rossman’s The Archivettes, Molly Hewitt’s Holy Trinity and Graham Kolbeins’ Queer Japan.
Outfest will also include other festival favorites including Martha Stephens’ To the Stars featuring Malin Åkerman, Tony Hale, and Adelaide Clemens, Rhys Ernst’s Adam, Hari Sama’s This is Not Berlin as well as Saint Frances and The Garden Left Behind. Watch the official trailer for Outfest below.
Special Events include the 3rd Annual Trans Summit with keynote speaker Angelica Ross as well as “Crazy Queer Asians”, a panel on the future of Asian LGBTQ representation in media, including discussion from Ian Alexander (The OA), Sherry Cola (Good Trouble), Nik Dodani (Atypical, Murphy Brown) and Jake Choi (Single Parents, The Sun is Also a Star).
There will be a sneak peek of Mark Patton’s documentary Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street which will include Robert Englund and additional cast from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2. There will also be TV panels and screenings for OWN’s David Makes Man, Strange Angel, The Handmaid’s Tale and an advance look at Marc Cherry’s forthcoming CBS All Access series Why Women Kill starring Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste, with cast in attendance.
Read the full lineup below.
CIRCUS OF BOOKS – Opening Night Gala
Dir: Rachel Mason | 2019 | USA | 91 min.
ADAM – U.S. Centerpiece
Dir: Rhys Ernst | 2019 | USA | 95 min.
CHANGING THE GAME – Documentary Centerpiece
Dir: Michael Barnett | 2019 | USA | 90 min.
STRAIGHT UP – Breakthrough Centerpiece
Dir: James Sweeney | 2019 | USA | 95 min
THIS IS NOT BERLIN (ESTO NO ES BERLÍN) – International Centerpiece
Dir: Hari Sama | 2019 | Mexico | 115 min.
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT – Closing Night Gala
Dir: Hannah Pearl Utt | 2019 | USA | 98 min.
AN ALMOST ORDINARY SUMMER (CROCE E DELIZIA)
Dir: Simone Godano | 2019 | Italy | 100 min.
BILLIE & EMMA
Dir: Samantha Lee | 2018 | Philippines | 107 min.
Dir: Brad Michael Elmore | 2018 | USA | 90 min.
BRIEF STORY FROM THE GREEN PLANET (BREVE HISTORIA DEL PLANETA VERDE)
Dir: Santiago Loza | 2019 | Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Spain | 90 min.
CARMEN & LOLA (CARMEN Y LOLA)
Dir: Arantxa EchevarrÌa | 2018 | Spain | 103 min.
Dir: Mark Blane, Ben Mankoff | 2019 | USA | 83 min.
THE DAUGHTERS OF FIRE (LAS HIJAS DEL FUEGO)
Dir: Albertina Carri | 2018 | Argentina | 115 min.
A DOG BARKING AT THE MOON
Dir: Lisa Zi Xiang | 2019 | China | 107 min.
END OF THE CENTURY (FIN DE SIGLO)
Dir: Lucio Castro | 2019 | Argentina | 84 min.
Dir: Bani Khoshnoudi | 2018 | Mexico | 88 min.
FROM ZERO TO I LOVE YOU
Dir: Doug Spearman | 2019 | USA | 106 min.
THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND
Dir: Flavio Alves | 2019 | USA | 89 min.
Dir: Wendy Jo Carlton | 2019 | USA | 80 min.
THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET
Dir: Marie Kreutzer | 2019 | Austria | 108 min.
Dir: Li Cheng | 2018 | Guatemala, USA | 85 min.
JULES OF LIGHT AND DARK
Dir: Daniel Laabs | 2018 | USA | 86 min.
Dir: Kai Kreuser | 2019 | Germany | 60 min.
MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPERS
Dir: Kestrin Pantera | 2019 | USA | 95 min.
Dir: Jovanka Vuckovic | 2019 | Canada | 82 min.
Dir: Alex Thompson | 2019 | USA | 106 min.
SECOND STAR ON THE RIGHT
Dir: Ruth Caudeli | 2018 | Colombia | 85 min.
Dir: Mike Doyle | 2019 | USA | 90 min.
SEQUIN IN A BLUE ROOM
Dir: Samuel Van Grinsven | 2019 | Australia | 80 min.
THE SHINY SHRIMPS (LES CREVETTES PAILLETÉS)
Dir: Cédric le Gallo, Maxime Govare | 2019 | France | 103 min.
Dir: Jayro Bustamante | 2019 | Guatemala, France, Luxembourg | Spanish with English subtitles | 107 min.
TO THE STARS
Dir: Martha Stephens | 2019 | USA | 109 min.
TU ME MANQUES
Dir: Rodrigo Bellott | 2019 | USA, Bolivia | 105 min.
VITA & VIRGINIA
Dir: Chanya Button | 2018 | Ireland, United Kingdom | 110 min.
Dir: Megan Rossman | 2018 | USA | 61 min.
FABULOUS & THE CHUNTA (LAS CHUNTÁ)
Dir: Audrey Jean-Baptiste | 2019 | France | 47 min.
Dir: Genevieve Roudane | 2018 | Mexico | 62 min.
FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
Dir: Daniel Karslake | 2019 | USA | 92 min.
GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
Dir: David Charles Rodrigues | 2019 | USA | 100 min.
JONATHAN AGASSI SAVED MY LIFE
Dir: Tomer Heymann | 2018 | Israel, Germany |106 min.
Dir: Daniel Nolasco | 2019 | Brazil | 85 min.
Dir: Elegance Bratton | 2019 | USA | 96 min.
Dir: Graham Kolbeins | 2019 | Japan, USA | 110 min.
QUEERING THE SCRIPT
Dir: Gabrielle Zilkha | 2019 | Canada | 90 min.
SEAHORSE: THE DAD WHO GAVE BIRTH
Dir: Jeanie Finlay | 2018 | Spain, United Kingdom | 90 min.
SID & JUDY
Dir: Stephen Kijak | USA | 95 min.
TRIXIE MATTEL: MOVING PARTS
Dir: Nicholas Zeig-Owens | 2019 | USA | 91 min.
Dir: Tom Shepard | 2019 | USA | 84 min.
Dir: Rodney Evans | 2019 | USA | 78 min.
WHY CAN’T I BE ME? AROUND YOU
Dir: Harrod Blank with Sjoerd Dijk | 2019 | USA | 93 min.
YOU DON’T NOMI
Dir: Jeffrey McHale | 2019 | USA | 91 min.
Dir: Valerie Bisscheroux | 2019 | Netherlands | 67 min.
An unexpected encounter with an ex-girlfriend leads Anne down memory lane, recalling the many colorful relationships she’s had throughout her charmed student years in Amsterdam. Each episode of this witty, sexy series focuses on a different girl from Anne’s turbulent love life and how their unique experiences together have shaped the woman she’s becoming.
DAVID MAKES MAN
OWN presents an exclusive screening from Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight) and his highly anticipated new drama from executive producers Michael B. Jordan and Oprah Winfrey. The series centers around a teenage prodigy from the South Florida projects through the exploration of childhood trauma and the powerful usage of imagination to survive.
Conversation to follow with Tarell Alvin McCraney (Creator), Dee Harris-Lawrence (Showrunner), Michael Francis Williams (Pilot Director) and cast members Akili McDowell, Alana Arenas, Travis Coles, Logan Rozos, and Trace Lysette.
EASTSIDERS: SEASON 4
Dir: Kit Williamson | 2019 | USA | 60 min.
The final season of Kit Williamson’s quintessential Silver Lake dramedy brims with confidence, laughs, and a beguiling dose of sex positivity. Having expanded from its original iteration in 2012 as a lean, honest look at the rocky relationship of Cal (Williamson) and Thom (Van Hensis) into a rollicking multi-character collage of queer Los Angeles, these first two episodes assemble a sprawling cast of familiar faces from seasons past (including Stephen Guarino, Willam Belli, and more) as they each face down their own unique relationship dramas and sexual entanglements.
Stretching across the world from Chicago to Singapore, the characters in these stories contain multitudes. From a Brooklyn lesbian’s unorthodox journey to motherhood, to a bisexual woman’s longing to be understood and taken seriously in pursuit of love, to a California gay man’s journey of self-acceptance, this showcase is a deep dive into how characters navigate the intersections of their own identities and boldly live their truths.
TOUGH LOVE Dir: James Mackenzie, 13 min.
PEOPLE LIKE US Dir: Leon Cheo, 9 min.
TAKE ONE THING OFF Dir: Scout Durwood, Sammi Cohen, 6 min.
I’M FINE Dir: Andrew J. Ceperley, 22 min.
GIRLS WEEKEND Dir: Kyra Sedgwick, 12 min.
APPQUEEN Dir: Derek Cox and Dan Finnen, 10 min.
MOTHERSTRUCK Dir: Micaela Birmingham, 16 min.
FEMME QUEEN CHRONICLES Dir: Ahya Simone, 11 min.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE
The third season of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is driven by June’s (Elisabeth Moss) resistance to the dystopian regime of Gilead, where she finds herself once again after opting not to flee to Canada with her baby. Now, she will struggle against overwhelming odds to strike back against the regime. Startling reunions, betrayals, and a journey to the terrifying heart of Gilead force all characters to take a stand, guided by one defiant prayer: “Blessed be the fight.”
Sneak Peek Screening, Episode #311: “Liars”
OWN presents an episodic screening of the critically acclaimed drama series “Queen Sugar” from creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay and executive producers Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes, and Anthony Sparks. The series centers around an African American family living in New Orleans who find themselves continuing their fight to save their family farm and to preserve their father’s legacy as they navigate their own personal journeys. The series is helmed by an entirely female directorial team for the fourth consecutive season.
Conversation to follow with filmmakers and cast to be announced.
STRANGE ANGEL: SEASON 2
“Strange Angel,” a drama series created by Mark Heyman (Black Swan, The Skeleton Twins) and based on George Pendle’s book of the same name, is inspired by the real-life story of Jack Parsons and explores the dramatic intersection between genius and madness, science and science fiction. At the conclusion of season one, Jack Parsons (Jack Reynor, Sing Street) and his team from Caltech made a scientific breakthrough that secured the military’s interest as the country neared the brink of war. In season two, the U.S. is fully engaged in World War II, transforming Jack’s rocketry work into a lucrative business and further entrenching him in the military-industrial complex. While Jack’s career takes off, his wife Susan’s and his devotion to their new occult religion grows, leading them to invite the sex cult into their Pasadena mansion and Jack to forge a personal relationship with the group’s notorious founder, Aleister Crowley himself.
Scheduled to attend: Creator and Executive Producer Mark Heyman, with cast members Joslyn DeFreece and Veronica Osorio, with additional panelists to be announced.
THESE THEMS & RAZOR TONGUE
Dir: Jett Garrison, 30 min.
Dir: Natalie Heltzel, Puppett, Sarah Poynter, Kalena Ranoa, 40 min.
Dynamic trans and non-binary characters stand front and center in this program. Callout culture meets its match in the debut season of “Razor Tongue,” when no-nonsense Belle (Outfest alum Rain Valdez), the queen of checking all the problematic people in her way, falls in love with a flawed, cis white man. And in Outfest alum Jett Garrison’s “These Thems,” after realizing she may be a lesbian, Gretchen quickly befriends non-binary dog walker Vero, who decides to stop training dogs and start housebreaking the straights.
WHY WOMEN KILL
CBS All Access’ original series “Why Women Kill” details the lives of three women living in three different decades: a housewife in the 60s, a socialite in the 80s, and a lawyer in 2018, each dealing with infidelity in their marriages. The series will examine how the roles of women have changed, but how their reaction to betrayal…has not. Creator Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives,” “Devious Maids”) will serve as executive producer alongside Imagine’s Brian Grazer (“Empire,” “Genius”) and Francie Calfo (“Empire,” “Genius”), and Acme Productions’ Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis. Marc Webb will also executive produce and direct.
Scheduled to attend, schedule permitting: Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jack Davenport, Sam Jaeger, Reid Scott, Alexandra Daddario, Sadie Calvano, and Marc Cherry
PLATINUM SECTION: EXPERIMENTAL FILMS & LIVE EVENTS
Love, sex, desire, and how these things construct or deconstruct us are themes that run through this year’s showcase. You’ll see a conversion therapy revenge film; Zackary Drucker reenacting trans history from the 1950s; the ecstasy of a queer saint bringing her to the gates of heaven; and Trulee Hall’s surreal, mime-like sport and lesbian makeout-session that combines puppetry, CGI, claymation, and all the sexy strangeness that has made her famous. You’ll feel the wrath of music and performance artist Gianna Gianna and the worth of the incredible artists behind the No Sesso fashion label. Come watch as all the artists in this program create and express themselves on the edge.
Dir. Molly Hewitt | 2019 | USA | 88 min.
Dir. Gregor Schmidinger | 2018 | Austria | 88 min.
STEVEN ARNOLD: HEAVENLY BODIES
Dir: Vishnu Dass | 2019 | USA | 80 min.
THE (ART) OF BE(i)NG
Dir: JB Ghuman | 2019 | USA | 46min
DOCKING Dir: Trevor Anderson, 4 min.
WRATH Dir: Gianna Gianna, 3 min.
NICO LIVES Dir: Travis Welowszky, 16 min.
PENANCE Dir: Kayden Phoenix, 4 min.
I HAVE TO THINK OF US AS SEPARATE PEOPLE Dir: Christopher Berntsen, Stephen Ira, 4 min.
WORTH Dir: Sara Prinz, 3 min.
#GAYBOY2019 Dir: Noah Causey, 13 min.
PATRON SAINT Dir: Georden West, 8 min.
PAISA Dir: Graham Kolbeins, Dorian Wood, 9 min.
FRAMING AGNES Dir: Chase Joynt, Kristen Schilt, 19 min.
LEZZIES’ MIME MÈNAGE Dir: Trulee Hall, 3 min.
TWINSIES Dir: Trulee Hall, 3 min.
SUCKMEOFF, PRINCESS! Dir: Tristan Scott-Behrends, 3 min.
THIS LOVE IS ON FIRE Dir: Cassils, 3 min.
Dir: Olivier Meyrou | 2018 | France | French with English subtitles | 73 min.
This portrait of legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent opened at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival before being unexpectedly pulled from distribution after Saint Laurent’s former lover and business partner, Pierre Bergé, successfully sued to have the film blocked from public view. The question of why is fairly easily answered upon viewing the film, a stunning and unflinching portrait of a once-great genius at the end of his career.
COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT
Dir: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman | 1989 | USA | 79 min.
A tremendous, handmade monument to lives lost to AIDS, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt demonstrated that grief and activism together could manifest a powerful symbol of resilience. Winner of the 1989 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this moving film explores the human stories obscured by statistics, examining the cross-section of identities affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as efforts to combat the stigma, misinformation, and political obstruction that deepened the crisis.
Common Threads has been preserved by The Academy Film Archive, Milestone Film & Video, and Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, a partnership between Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive.
In Person: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, Bill Couturié
CRAZY QUEER ASIANS
In a groundbreaking year for Asian American representation in Hollywood, queer Asian Americans aren’t just part of the conversation — they’re movers and shakers shifting the tectonic plates as well. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Gregg Araki and Margaret Cho, our panel of exciting new talent and is leading the charge. Join us as they discuss their trailblazing careers in entertainment, the challenges they’ve faced along the way, and why “it’s an honor just to be Asian.” Scheduled to attend: Jake Choi (The Sun Is Also a Star, “Single Parents”), Sherry Cola (“Good Trouble”), Nik Dodani (“Atypical”), Ian Alexander (“The OA”), and Lauren Moon (“Good Trouble”).
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS – 20TH ANNIVERSARY
Hulu celebrates the 20th anniversary of this iconic mockumentary about the vicious competition between two contestants in a rural Minnesota beauty pageant. While the two girls (Kirsten Dunst and Denise Richards) prepare for the contest, their mothers — an overbearing hairdresser (Ellen Barkin) with a straight-shooting best friend (Allison Janney), and a civic-minded matriarch (Kirstie Alley) — each decide they’ll stop at nothing to help their daughters win.
Followed by: Q&A with Special Guests
HAM: A MUSICAL MEMOIR
Dir: Andrew Putschoegl | 2019 | USA | 113 min.
In this dazzlingly filmed live performance of Sam Harris’s award-winning one-man musical, Harris belts out original songs and beloved ballads while playing 11 different roles to tell his own life story — from growing up gay in Oklahoma’s Bible Belt to his escape for Los Angeles, where his rendition of “Over the Rainbow” on “Star Search” led to fame, Broadway, television, platinum records, and Carnegie Hall. But after the highs and lows of a life in show business, Sam ultimately learns to ask: When is enough finally enough?
KATHY GRIFFIN: A HELL OF A STORY
Dir: Troy Miller | 2019 | USA | 106 min.
Iconic comedian and legendary LGBTQ ally Kathy Griffin’s first theatrical release is a hilarious poison-pen letter to the sitting president, detailing the aftermath of her infamous “ketchup-covered Trump mask” photo shoot. The docu-comedy chronicles the unprecedented and historic story of an iconic American comedian overcoming a political and media takedown following the release of the controversial photo. Shaken, but never silenced, she turns a dark period of her life into an uproarious triumph, while leaving none of her big-name celebrity critics unscathed!
SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Dir: Tyler Jensen, Roman Chimienti | 2019 | USA | 100 min.
When A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge was released in 1985, fans thirsting for more Freddy Krueger mayhem weren’t prepared for what’s been called “the gayest horror movie ever made.” Now, over 30 years later, the film’s star — Mark Patton, the first male scream queen — gathers cast and crew from the infamous sequel to reevaluate its legacy and its queer aesthetic, and to confront the Hollywood homophobia that derailed a career meant for superstardom.
STATE OF PRIDE
Dir: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman | 2019 | USA | 71 min.
Fifty years after the Stonewall uprising, Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads) travel to three diverse communities — Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama — for an unflinching look at LGBTQ Pride from the perspective of a younger generation, for whom it still has personal urgency. Guided by social media influencer Raymond Braun, the film visits an inspiring array of queer people who actively push for change, acceptance, and visibility across every facet of the LGBTQ family.
Dir: Marlon Riggs | 1989 | USA | 55 min.
An urgently kinetic and lyrical exploration of embodiment, language, and gay black maleness, Marlon Riggs’ experimental essay-documentary is a confessional, defiant fingersnap against racial hang-ups and homophobic anxieties in the age of AIDS, underscored by the searing, rhythmic intonations of poet Essex Hemphill. Outfest is proud to co-present this 30th anniversary screening with AFI, which hosted its premiere in 1989, and Signifyin’ Works, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Riggs’ cinematic legacy.
The Trans Summit begins with a keynote address from Angelica Ross (“Pose”), followed by three compelling case studies focused on intersectionality, and will culminate with a dynamic and engaged panel discussion, featuring trans and non-binary creators discussing issues relating to the trans and non-binary experience within the entertainment industry.
Dir: Neelu Bhuman | 2019 | USA | English, Spanish, Swahili, Navajo with English subtitles | 70 min.
In Neelu Bhuman’s wholly original omnibus — composed of several stand-alone magical realistic short stories written by a collective of trans and gender-nonconforming people of color — supernatural trans and queer people from various cultures use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight, and thrive. Featuring cherished members of the Outfest family like Harmony Santana (Gun Hill Road) and D’Lo (“Looking,” “Sense8”), each of these enchanting films harnesses the power of a trans community in peak creative form.
WHERE WE GO FROM HERE
Dir: Anthony Meindl | 2018 | USA | English, French with English subtitles | 90 min.
This anthology film explores three sudden acts of violence and examines the impact on the innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire: In Binghamton, New York, an ESL instructor faces domestic violence at home and even greater peril at school. Friends take a night out in Paris only to find themselves caught up in a horrifying situation. And two lovers at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando fight to survive a chaotic night of terror.
OUTFEST SCREENWRITING LAB: LIVE READING
Outfest Los Angeles’ annual live reading of scenes from the five scripts chosen for the 2019 Outfest Screenwriting Lab.
OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project from the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Outfest empowers LGBTQ youth ages 16-24 to share their stories through film. This program selects 15 diverse fellows to participate over the course of 6 months (January-July) in a storytelling and filmmaking lab focused on collaboration and mastering a successful production, culminating in five short films.
OUTFEST UCLA LEGACY PROJECT
Dir: Arthur J. Bressan Jr. | 1977 | USA | 78 min.
LEGACY LESBIAN SHORTS
Radical, moving, and often outrageously funny, these remarkable film and video works made by and about women explore the nuances of sex, family life, and political commitment, all while asserting lesbian identities as integral to the queer continuum. Featuring works newly restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, these rarely-seen shorts manage to find subversive humor amid the absurdities and strictures of gender and sexuality, while ultimately suggesting alternatives to the norm.
CHRISTOPHER STREET GAY LIBERATION DAY 1971 Dir: Kate Millett & Susan Kleckner, 1971, 15 min.
LESBIANS Dir: Pam Walton, 1986, 5 min.
IF SHE GROWS UP GAY Dir: Karen Sloe Goodman, 1983, 23 min.
THE MISTER SISTERS Dir: Ingrid Wilhite, 1994, 12 min.
FUN WITH A SAUSAGE Dir: Ingrid Wilhite, 1985, 15 min.
MATZO MAIDELS Dir: Jenni Olson, Monica Nolan & Julie Dorf, 2003, 5 min.
BUTCH FEMME POLKA Dir: Maureen Brownsey, 1997, 3 min.
Dir: Frank Simon | 1968 | USA | 68 min.
Dir: Barbara Hammer | 1996 | USA | 58 min.