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.
THURSDAY, JULY 19
The venues for today are:
DGA 1 and DGA 2, at Director’s Guild of America, 7920 Sunset Blvd., L.A., 90046
THE FORD THEATRE (THE FORD), 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, L.A., 90068
SAMUEL GOLDWYN THEATRES (The Goldwyn), 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, 90212
Strangers and Féminin/Féminin (DGA 2, 5pm): Catch up with some of the most charming, bold, and relatable ladies on either side of the US-Canadian border, in the second seasons of these fresh episodic series. When we last left Isobel in Facebook’s episodic “Strangers” (our 2017 US Centerpiece), she was exploring her newfound bisexuality while navigating the stream of random guests renting out her spare room. Catch Isobel’s next adventures in the first two episodes of the new season. Meanwhile, the Francophone women of “Féminin/Féminin” are navigating life, love, and the insecurities in between, in Chloé Robichaud’s (“Sarah Prefers to Run,” Outfest 2014) honest and witty episodic portrait of being young and queer in Montreal. With several international nominations and awards to its name, the first season was featured on Amazon Prime and Hulu, and on French television channel France 4. Followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew.
Montana (DGA 1, 7pm): Returning home to attend her grandfather’s funeral, Efi (Noa Biron) finds that nothing has changed. Her grandmother, aunt, and uncle are all living their lives just as she left them years before. A romance with a local teacher causes Efi to extend her visit, but her past comes rushing back when she discovers that her uncle is still up to his devious ways. Set on revenge, Efi takes matters into her own hands. Limor Shmila’s empowering directorial debut speaks volumes about the healing power of justice. Preceded by A Prayer (Dir: Alon Borten, 14 min.). Post-Screening Reception: DGA Atrium, 8:30-11pm.
The Finding Home Series: LGBT Immigrants & Asylum Seekers (DGA 2, 7:30pm): Roughly 65 million people are displaced globally — including tens of thousands of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. Since assuming office, Trump has cut refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000. In this timely and inspiring docu-series, explore the journeys of three queer immigrants in Los Angeles who have escaped persecution and violence in their native countries. Afterward, join us for an urgent discussion with the subjects, along with experts on all facets of this growing crisis, from mental health to community building, advocacy and policy.
A Long Road to Freedom: The Advocate Celebrates 50 Years (Goldwyn, 7:30pm): Narrated by Laverne Cox and with music by Melissa Etheridge, this moving documentary focuses on major events and watershed moments in LGBTQ history through never-before-seen archival footage and engaging interviews (Ricky Martin, Cleve Jones, Caitlyn Jenner, Gloria Allred, Gavin Newsom, Don Lemon, Dustin Lance Black, Margaret Cho, Armistead Maupin, and many more). Starting with the Black Cat Riots, the film covers Stonewall, the disco sexual revolution that continued from the late 60s, the AIDS crisis, marriage equality, and the trans movement to present day. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long way to go. Directed by William Clift. Post-Screening Reception: Samuel Goldwyn Theater Lobby, 9:00-11:00pm.
When the Beat Drops (The Ford, 8:30pm): Drop into the electric and subversive underground dance scene known as “bucking.” As voguing exploded out of the ballroom scene of NYC, bucking was boldly pioneered in the clubs of the Deep South as a new form of self- expression. This film presents a fresh glimpse into the magnetic artistry and flair behind this emerging dance culture. In his feature debut, famed choreographer and filmmaker Jamal Sims, who has worked with the likes of Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, and RuPaul’s Drag Race, illuminates the warm-hearted and fierce queer black performers who make up one of the leading “bucking” groups in the city of Atlanta. As they train for their biggest competition yet, they face the risk of losing their jobs and family to compete at the top levels of this dance scene. Jamal Sims calls dance a “super power,” and with this film he crafts a vision of the power of dance to bring movement to new heights and elevate the queer community. Post-Screening Reception: TBA
Two in the Bush (DGA 1, 9:30pm): After losing her job, Emily arrives home early from work to find her girlfriend in the throes of passion with someone else. In an instant, her entire life is turned upside down. Moving in with her best friend, Emily lands a new gig working for a dominatrix, and promptly falls for her new boss, and her boss’s boyfriend. In this wise and witty look at the world of bisexuality, polyamory and dungeons, filmmaker Laura Madalinski asks us to consider what risks are worth taking for love. Preceded by Spark (Dir: Aharonit Elior, 6 min.). Pre-Screening Reception: DGA Atrium, 7:30-9:15pm.
Boys’ Shorts (DGA 2, 10pm): 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. Shorts: 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.).