Outfest Announces 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Lineup
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by BWW News Desk
Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media – has announced its complete programming lineup for Outfest 2012: The 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. The nation's leading LGBT festival and the oldest film festival in the city of Los Angeles will be held July 12th to 22nd, 2012. In addition to the 147 films from 24 countries, Outfest hosts a variety of panels and special events at venues across Los Angeles, including Hollywood, West Hollywood and downtown.
"In this 30th anniversary year it is remarkable to see the evolution of queer storytelling," said Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. "Outfest began with just three films, and now we are screening nearly 150 high-quality movies that represent the rich diversity of our community; stories that contribute to changing culture and attitudes about LGBT people."
As previously announced, Outfest 2012 will open with Jeffrey Schwarz's HBO documentary "Vito" on Thursday, July 12. Prior to the opening night screening, the organization will honor director John Waters with its 16th annual Achievement Award. The festival closes with "Struck by Lightning," the highly anticipated teen comedy featuring Glee's Chris Colfer – who also wrote the script – in his breakout big-screen lead role. Other gala screenings include: "Keep the Lights On" (U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece), Ira Sachs' gripping Teddy-award winning portrait of a tumultuous relationship; Chilean director Marialy Rivas' sexually charged "Young & Wild" (International Dramatic Centerpiece) about a bisexual teen blogger; David France's riveting chronicle of the struggles and triumphs of the AIDS activist group ACT UP "How to Survive a Plague" (Documentary Centerpiece); and Aurora Guerrero's "Mosquita Y Mari" (Fusion Centerpiece), a sensitive drama about a friendship between two Latina girls from Los Angeles.
"The films in Outfest 2012 are truly exceptional," said Outfest's Director of Programming Kim Yutani. "With work by filmmakers from around the world exploring themes that range from LGBT history to activism to sexuality, this year's festival is going to be inspiring, thought-provoking, and celebratory."
The line-up of talent in this year's movies and events includes John Waters (Outfest Achievement Award, "Desperate Living"), Chris Colfer, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney and Allison Janney ("Struck by Lightning"), Brenda Fricker and Olympia Dukakis("Cloudburst"), Harry Shum Jr., BD Wong, Joan Chen, Tyler Posey and Booboo Stewart ("White Frog"), ADAM PALLY, Casey Wilson and Stephen Guarino ("Happy Endings" panel), Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt ("Any Day Now"), Haley Joel Osment and Ashley Rickards ("Sassy Pants"), Jamie Lynn-Sigler and David Ross ("I Do"), Thora Birch, Christine Lahti andBrittany Snow ("Petunia"), Carrie Preston, Anne Heche and Alia Shawkat ("That's What She Said"), Justin VivIan Bond andZOSIA MAMET ("Sunset Stories"), Michael Urie ("Thank You for Judging"), Lance Bass ("Mississippi: I Am"), Stephane Rideau and Beatrice Dalle ("Our Paradise"), and Jonathan Caouette ("Walk Away Renee").
In its Five in Focus series, Outfest spotlights a quintet of exciting new talent behind the camera and on the big screen. The 2012 selections include: Alicia Luz Rodríguez (Actress, "Young & Wild"), Wu Tsang (Filmmaker, "Wildness"), Sally El Hosaini(Writer/Director, "My Brother the Devil"), Matthew Wilkas (Actor, "Gayby") and Michael Marius Pessah (Cinematographer, "Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean").
Celebrating 30 years of Outfest, the organization will screen THE FILMS THAT SPARKED A CULTURAL REVOLUTION – a series of seminal LGBT films from the 1960's to the 2000's which includes a recreation of the very first festival from 1982: "Queen of Sheba Meets The Atom Man" (Ron Rice, 1963-4), "Taxi Zum Klo" (Frank Ripploh, 1981) and a newly restored print of "Making Love" (Arthur Hiller, 1982). This series is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The anniversary series will also include 30th anniversary shorts as well as the discussion "30 Years of Outfest: Directors Tell All," featuring directors Gregg Araki, Tommy O'Haver, Angela Robinson, Ira Sachs and Rose Troche, and moderated by Sundance Film Festival Director, John Cooper.
For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.Outfest.org or call 213-480-7065. Memberships are currently on sale at Outfest.org/membership. Outfest members receive benefits such as free tickets, priority entrance to screenings or all access passes. Tickets go on sale to members beginning June 7. General admission tickets to individual films go on sale beginning June 14. Contact the Box Office for membership, tickets and event information by calling213.480.7065 or visit Outfest.org. Special ticket packages are also available.