July 14, 2018 at 8:00 am PDT | by John Paul King
Your Daily Guide to Outfest 2018: July 14

“The Gospel of Eureka,” photo courtesy Outfest.

Outfest is a great experience for LA film fans, but it can be a little intimidating.  With so many films and events to choose from, it can be difficult to even know where to start.  That’s why the Los Angeles Blade is here to break it all down for you, on a daily basis.

For the duration of the festival, we’ll be posting a daily roundup here with a brief look at the selections of the day.  Whether you’re a hard-core movie buff who plans to see as many screenings as possible, or a casual moviegoer looking for a date night treat, we’ve got you covered!

Just take a look at the offerings of the day and then head on over to www.outfest.org for ticket information.

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 14:

The venues for today are:

DGA 1 and DGA 2, at Director’s Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 90046

Harmony Gold Theatre, 7655 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A., 90046

REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theatre at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 631 W. 2nd St., Downtown L.A., 90012

 

THE SCREENINGS:

“Heritage,” featured in “Boys’ Shorts,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Boys’ Shorts (DGA 1, 11am):  There’s no denying the heart and soul in this year’s stunning showcase of boys’ shorts — across genre, borders, and walks of life, from Puerto Rico to Israel. Between breaking out of your shell and back into the dating pool to coming out after social media stardom, falling in love with a very famous corpse to stalking your father’s lover, these unforgettable films capture the laughter, melancholy, and hope that bind us together.  Curated by Andrew Ahn. Sam (Dir: Stephanie Camacho Casillas, 11 min.), Share (Dir: Barna Szász & Ellie Wen, 13 min.), Sam Did It (Dir: Dominic Burgess, 11 min.), Heritage (Dir: Yuval Aharoni, 25 min.), The Things You Think I’m Thinking (Dir: Sherren Lee, 15 min.), We Forgot To Break Up (Dir: Chandler Levack, 16 min.).

“Call Her Ganda,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Call Her Ganda (Harmony Gold, 11:30am):  In this documentary, a journalist, a lawyer working pro bono, and the mother of the victim unite to stand up to U.S. imperialism and demand justice in the name of Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old trans woman murdered by a U.S. Marine in the Philippines. In the face of the gruesome facts of the case and transphobic reactions worldwide, these three women do not waiver, knowing that what is at stake is Filipino sovereignty and an end to gender-based violence.  Directed by P.J. Raval, an award‐winning filmmaker and cinematographer whose work explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community, this is a visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical exposé.

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (DGA 1, 1:45pm):  n Hollywood’s Golden Age, studio publicists presented movie stars as paragons of heterosexual domesticity, but behind the curtain, some beloved actors and actresses had very different proclivities. Many of these celebrity sexcapades first came to light in Scotty Bowers’ controversial book Full Service. This fascinating documentary balances juicy gossip (bolstered by expert witnesses like Gore Vidal and Liz Smith) with a compassionate look at Bowers’ life. Meet the man who pierces the veil and shines a light on the private sexual dalliances of some of cinema’s biggest stars.  Directed by Matt Tyrnauer, the journalist and filmmaker also behind Outfest’s opening night gala feature, “Studio 54,” this one is likely to be a sell-out.  Preceded by Everything Must Go, My Love (Dir: Jocelyn Roy, 10 min.).

“Cuernavaca,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Cuernavaca (DGA 2, 2pm):  A Mexican narrative feature by director Alejandro Andrade Pease.  After his mother dies unexpectedly, Andy moves into the palatial residence of his strict, no-nonsense grandmother (played by frequent Almodóvar collaborator Carmen Maura) in the Mexican suburb of Cuernavaca. He finds comfort and refuge in Charly, the estate’s young gardener, who introduces him to an exciting world of danger, risk, and temptation. In this epic coming-of-age story, Andy will navigate the pain and joy that comes with grief, growing up, and finding your identity.  Preceded By Two Fish (Dir: Antoine Dupont-Guerra, 11 min.).

The Gospel of Eureka (Harmony Gold, 2pm):  In this documentary, fierce drag queens and evangelical Christians put on the performances of their lives in the secluded southern town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Poised between stereotypes and the fight for civil rights, filmmakers Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher weave an eye-opening, optimistic portrayal of the deep American tensions between religion and the LGBTQ identity. A crowd-pleasing cinematic meditation on intense dedication and faith, the film shows that the symbiosis of the two worlds is closer than you ever imagined.  Preceded by Mama Dragons: A Great Big Story (Dir: Andria May-Corsini & Adam Wolffbrand, 13 min.).

“The Man-Woman Case,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

The Man-Woman Case & Other Animated Tales (REDCAT, 2pm):  Beautifully illustrating the complexity of the queer experience in both its exhilarations and travails, this compilation of sometimes absurd, sometimes moving, but always intimate stories is a feast for the eyes and the soul. The fluidity and ethereal nature of animation are used to explore parent-son relationships, bask in a bawdy feminist fairy tale, reminisce on young summer love, and follow the noir epic of Eugene Falleni, the true story of a 1920s trans man running from the law.  Manivald (Dir: Chintis Lundgren, 12 min.), Venus – Filly, The Little Lesbian Fairy (Vênus – Filó, A Fadinha Lésbica) (Dir: Sávio Leite, 6 min.), Contact (Dir: Léa Bancelin, 6 min.), The Fish Curry (Maacher Jhol), (Dir: Abhishek Verma, 12 min.), Flash Flood (Dir. Alli MacKay, 6 min.), The Man-Woman Case (Dir: Anaïs Caura, 45 min.).

“Daddy Issues,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Daddy Issues (DGA 1, 4:30pm):  The US premiere of a film by director Amara Cash, this is an intoxicating invitation into the lives of two young women, one a fearless charmer, the other a talented but shy artist. When the pair meets, their lips and their lives collide, and the chemistry is electric. Combining their skills to design a clothing line, the girls spend every waking moment together, until the unthinkable happens. This candy-colored glimpse into first love is not only gorgeously shot, but it’s also driven by slick editing and an empowering soundtrack, immersing the viewer — or voyeur — into a world laced with potent sexuality.  Preceded by Mendhi (Dir: Sudeshna Sen, 2017, 4 min.).

“Conversations With Gay Elders,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Conversations With Gay Elders (DGA 2, 4:30pm):  In this illuminating and heartfelt new documentary, the director of We Were Here and The Cockettes sits down with Kerby Lauderdale, who looks back on life before and after Stonewall, from marriage to a woman (he’s the father of Pink Martini lead singer Thomas Lauderdale) to queer activism. Part of a series of documentaries in which David Weissman, 62, will interview a diverse cross-section of elder members of the LGBTQ community.  Preceded by Gavin Grimm VS. (Dir: Nadia Hallgren, 19 min.).

“TransMilitary,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

TransMilitary (Harmony Gold, 4:30pm):  At the risk of being discharged and losing their livelihoods, trans service members come out to top brass at the Pentagon to challenge the transgender military ban. From 2015 to the present day, this documentary by directors Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson follows four trans service members—Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Villanueva, Captain Jennifer Peace, and First Lieutenant El Cook—as they fight to defend their equal right to serve their country. A 2018 SXSW Audience Award winner.  Preceded by Pre-Drink (Dir: Marc-Antoine Lemire, 23 min.).

The Wild Boys (Les Garçons Sauvages) (REDCAT, 4:30pm):  Director Bertrand Mandico’s genre- and gender-bending surrealist work zigzags through a perverse, hyper-stylized world of transgressions. In this nightmarish adventure, well-bred teenage boys, played by women, commit a heinous crime and are sent to sea with the barbaric Captain. Landing on a magical island with bizarre animals and lascivious plants, the teens metamorphize. Outrageous vulgarity blends with refinement as machismo’s cruelty and the glory of sexual freedom are exposed in this phantasmagorical visual feast and erotic fantasia.

“We The Animals,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

We The Animals (DGA 1, 6:45pm):  Lovely and lyrical, this film received well-earned comparisons to “Moonlight” when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar makes his narrative debut with this adaptation of the novel by Justin Torres about three boys navigating their parents’ volatile relationship and the aftermath of their breakup. Two of the sons clearly follow in the footsteps of their macho, anger-prone father (Raúl Castillo, “Looking”), while the sensitive youngest, Jonah (Evan Rosado), remains close to their mother (“Sheila Vand,” “Women Who Kill”).  Exquisitely photographed by Zak Mulligan, the film captures both the beauty and terror of childhood, guiding us through the wonders of the world and the pain and confusion of marital dysfunction.  Subtle and haunting, bursting with empathy and energy, this achingly crafted coming-of-age tale heralds a new chapter for a brilliant and essential storytelling talent.

“Kiki and the Mxfits,” part of “Queeroes,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Queeroes (Harmony Gold, 7:30pm):  Discover the Queeroes short film series, part of an innovative new mentorship from 5050by2020 (an initiative of Time’s Up) and them (a queer non-binary digital platform of Conde Nast) that elevates queer, trans, and POC storytelling. Curated by Emmy-award winner Jill Soloway, participating mentors include Emmy-award winning writer Lena Waithe (“The Chi”) and playwright and TV writer Tanya Saracho (“Vida”). The films include a re-imagining of the classic Broadway movie musical with a Black butch lesbian dancer in the starring role, a sassy post-gender Hollywood landscape set in the near future, and a rowdy high school comedy through a genderfluid Latinx lens.  Followed by an extended discussion with the cast and crew of each film.  Central & Broadway (Dir: Chelsea Woods, 8 min.), Mother Comes To Venus (Dir: Zackary Drucker, 8 min.), Kiki & The Mxfits (Dir: Natalia Leite, 8 min.).

“Only Trumpets,” part of the Platinum Shorts Showcase, photo courtesy of Outfest.

Platinum Shorts Showcase (REDCAT, 7:30pm): Desire, danger, obsession, loneliness, love lost, found, and twisted are all part of the tales told in this year’s showcase. The Sermon (Dir: Dean Pukett, 2018, UK, 12 min.), Hibernaculum (Dir: Tyler Lumm, 2018, USA, 7 min.), Only Trumpets (Dir: Tristan Scott, 2018, USA, 10 min.), How To Make A Ghost (Dir: Gabriela Escovar, 2018, USA, 2 min.), Landline (Dir: Matt Houghton, 2018, UK, 12 min.), Grooming Men Under The Falstaff Sign (Dir: Jory Lee Cordy, 2018, USA, 3 min.), Wait (Dir: Sarah Prinz, 2018, USA, 7 min.), Exhumation (Dir: Daniel McIntyre, 2018, Canada, 8 min.), No Leash (Dir: SSION, 2017, USA, 12 min.), Dressed For Pleasure (Je Fais Où Tu Me Dis)  (Dir: Marie de Maricourt, 2018, USA, 17 min.), Tea Bag (Dir: Jacquie Ray, 2018, USA, 3 min.), Crashing Waves (Dir: Emma Gilbertson, 2018, UK, 4 min.), Drag Me In Place (Dir: Michael Zarowny (Mood Killer), 2018, USA, 3 min.).

“Mr. Gay Syria,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

Mr. Gay Syria (DGA 2, 9pm): Hussein is a Syrian refugee who lives in Istanbul and works as a hairstylist. At gay support group “Tea and Talk,” Hussein and his friends discuss the issues they face in their homeland. Hoping to bring their cause international media visibility, they decide to participate in the Mr. Gay Syria competition. Writer-director Ayse Toprak’s riveting documentary shines a compassionate light on the ordeals encountered by these brave men as they face possible persecution and physical violence on a day-to-day basis.  Preceded by Margo & May (Dir: Meredith Koch, 5 min.).

Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta) (DGA 1, 9:30pm):  Online, Pedro smears neon paint across his body for pay-per-view voyeurs hungry for his webcam erotica. IRL, he rarely sees the sun or speaks to another soul in Porto Alegre. After catching word of a rival ripping off his rainbow-colored act, he ventures from the shadows to settle their score — but finds an unlikely new friend in the process. This Berlinale Teddy Award winner conjures a dark, sensual atmosphere of alienation and discovery, and marks the return of young Brazilian filmmaking duo Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon back to Outfest for the third time after their previous feature “Seaside” and miniseries “O Ninho (The Nest).”

“Are We Good Parents?,” part of “All About Your Mother,” photo courtesy of Outfest.

All About My Mother (Harmony Gold, 9:30pm):  From “Mommie Dearest” to mom of the year, there will always be myriad ways to define motherhood in the movies. And whether you are one, have one, or know one, we all have our own unique experiences around how these ladies fit into our lives. Between mama bears a bit too woke for their own good to those sleeping on their children’s talents, new mothers facing discrimination or those struggling to understand their queer children, these films capture maternity in motion. Curated by Albert Payano.  Are We Good Parents? (Dir: Bola Ogun, 9 min.), Rani (Dir: Hammad Rizvi, 14 min.), Dario (Dir: Manuel Kinzer, Jorge A. Trujillo Gil, 15 min.), Between Us Two (Dir: Tan Wei Keong, 5 min.), Uninvited (Dir: Seung Yeob Lee, 20 min.), Khol (Open) (Dir: Faroukh Virani, 12 min.), For Nonna Anna (Dir: Luis De Filippis, 14 min.).

 

PANELS:

Make Them Hear You: The Truth About Content By & For LGBTQ+ Women (DGA 2, 12pm): LGBTQ+ women have been at the forefront of many movements throughout history. However, in Hollywood queer women remain the least represented community in front of and behind the camera. This discussion will explore the past, present, and future of LGBTQ+ women in entertainment, bringing together trailblazers who are leading the charge for a more inclusive and multi- dimensional landscape. Presented by AT&T Hello Lab— a collection of inclusive original entertainment created by, for and with Millennial and Gen Z audiences. Panelists: Christine Vachon, Sara Shaw, Ashly Perez, Sidra Smith, Brooke Chaffin (moderator). Preceded by Tooth and Nail (Dir: Sara Shaw, 20 min.).

Bi In The Biz (DGA 2, 7pm):  While the L, G and T communities have made great strides toward visibility in the culture, the B’s still remain relatively hidden, even in the entertainment industry. This panel will feature out bisexual actors and entertainment industry professionals discussing the specific challenges and opportunities for film, TV and online performers who identify as such. Break out of the bi closet as we explore the politics and the pragmatism of actors living out in the open.

 

PARTIES:

Platinum Alchemy Party (Navel, 1611 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90015):  This year’s Alchemy brings magic to the dance floor with 5 non-stop hours of live music and DJ sets. Come see Outfest’s wild side during our flamboyant and fantastical night of turning poptastic weirdness into gold!  Performers: Bae Bae (Dj Set), Bebe Huxley, Dorian Electra, London Jade, Lulo (Dj Set), Luna Lovebad, Miss Pvssy, Mood Killer, Narcisisster, Nebulae Cult, Saturn Rising, The Uhuruverse, Weston Allen. 

Direct entrance to the venue is located through a large black gate on Venice Blvd. Follow the posted signs to the gate and enter through the first door on the left just past the gate.  If you’re arriving via Lyft/Uber (which we highly recommend) using 418 Venice Blvd. as your destination and this will drop you off right in front of the black gate.  If you’re arriving via Metro, the closest station is the Pico Station on the Blue & Expo Lines.  Self Parking is available in the parking lot located directly underneath Interstate 10 (do not park in the lot attached to the building–you may be towed!). It’s cash only, payable to the parking attendant or to the parking payment box, if the attendant is not present.  Street parking (or Lyft/Uber/Public Transport!) recommended.

 

 

 

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