All you need to know about Outfest 2019

All you need to know about Outfest 2019

In 1982, 2 students from UCLA wondering why Los Angeles did not organise its own LGBTQ film festival started by hosting a three-day media conference. Consequently, it grew and morphed into today’s Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival. Outfest is a non-profit group aimed at inspiring and promoting storytellers and filmmakers, through moving image in order to promote equality and build a community.

In the past 37 years of its existence, Outfest has provided a platform for educating and promoting hundreds of filmmakers. And preserving over 40,000 LGBTQ videos (including films). To add to this, their mission is “to promote equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBTQ stories.”

Image Courtesy – YouTube

Outfest 2019:

This year the film festival ran for 11 days, from 18th to the 28th of July, hosting film screenings, panel discussions, parties and more. Therefore, they featured over 200 movies from about 33 countries and in 26 languages. And, for the second year, in a row, two-third of its films were directed by transgenders, women, and people of colour.

This year the festival opened, at the Orpheum Theatre. It hosted world premiers for about 28 films. There were many venues across Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and L.A. for the event. Some of the locations were, American Film Institute, TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, Laemmle Music Hall, Harmony Gold Theatre, John Anson Ford Theater, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Mike Dougherty, the Director for festival programming said,

“We have a fairly lengthy and robust submission process, and we broke our record by nearly 40 percent on the amount of submissions that came in this year…. We program according to the emerging themes that we see throughout the year and want to highlight every facet of the LGBTQ community, so everyone can see themselves represented in the stories we’re sharing on screen.”

-As reported by LA Weekly

The categories for this year’s event are documentaries, feature narratives, gala films, and short films. Furthermore, the event also introduced a section known as ‘Episodic Programs’ dedicated to featuring Queer TV series. The highlights for the festival this year is broken down into 3 categories. The first, Event Films, then Previous Festival Winners, and finally, Original Programming.

Excited to know who won this year’s Film Festival awards? Scroll through. The list of awards is as reported by The Advocate.

Audience Awards

Image Courtesy – Twitter, Movie – Time and Again

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Short Film
Time and Again (Directed by Rachel Dax)

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Changing The Game (Directed by Michael Barnett)

Audience Award for Best Documentary Short Film
How To Make A Rainbow (Directed by Ryan Maxey)

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
TOP 3 (Directed by Sofie Edvardsson)

Audience Award for Best Narrative First Feature (Presented by HBO)
Saint Frances (Directed by Alex Thompson)

Audience Award for Best Experimental Short Film
Framing Agnes (Directed by Chase Joynt & Kristen Schilt)

Special Programming Awards

Special Programming Award for Freedom
Queering The Script (Directed by Gabrielle Zilkha)

Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent
Elegance Bratton (Pier Kids)

Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement
Rodney Evans (Vision Portraits)

Want to read more? Don’t Miss Bangalore’s 10th Queer Film Festival

Corporate Awards

Image Courtesy – Them., Movie – Saint Frances

Hyundai Vision For Better Award
Wonder (Directed by Javier Molina)

Vimeo Staff Picks Award
Catherine Opie b. 1961 (Directed by Sini Anderson)

HBO Award (Best Narrative First Feature Audience Award)
Saint Frances


Grand Jury Prize Awards

Documentary Jury:

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short
Sweetheart Dancers (Directed by Ben-Alex Dupris)

Documentary Feature Special Mention
Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You (Directed by Harrod Blank, Sjoerd Djik)

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature
Unsettled (Directed by Tom Shepard)

International Narrative Shorts Jury:

International Narrative Short Film Special Mention
‘I’ (Directed by Hallfridur Thora Tryggvadottir, Vala Omarsdottir) – Iceland

Grand Jury Prize for Best International Short Film
Thrive (Directed by Jamie Di Spirito)


International Feature Film Jury

Image Courtesy – Outfest Los Angeles, Movie – The Ground Beneath my Feet

Special Mention for Performance
Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol, Mia Maestro (End of the Century)

Special Mention for Directing
Lisa Zi Xiang (A Dog Barking At The Moon) – China

Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance in an International Narrative
Juan Pablo Olyslager (Temblores) – Guatemala

Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting, International Narrative
Santiago Loza (Brief Story From The Green Planet) – Argentina

Grand Jury International Narrative Feature Film
The Ground Beneath My Feet (Directed by Marie Kreutzer)


U.S. Narrative Shorts Jury

U.S. Narrative Short Special Mention
Skin (Directed by Audrey Rosenberg)

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Short Film
Baby (Directed by Jessie Levandov)


U.S. Narrative Feature Jury

Special Mention for Ensemble Performance
Mother’s Little Helpers (Directed by Kestrin Pantera)

Grand Jury Special Mention for Directing
Adam (Directed by Rhys Ernst)

Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenwriting
Tu Me Manques (Directed by Rodrigo Bellott)

Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance
Nicole Maines (BIT)

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Feature Film
Jules of Light and Dark (Directed by Daniel Laabs)

What is most noteworthy is the evolution we see in the film fraternity. First of all, there are many more venues, and opportunities to showcase the talents from the community. Similarly, stories that express the community are promoted and protected. Furthermore, we have begun to see mainstream media and niche industries working together. Finally, the love, participation, and viewership of such festivals have grown enormously. Whether it is the Outfest in L.A. or the Bangalore Queer Film Festival, the audience for such initiatives have grown beyond the LGBTQ community.

Also Read: LGBTQ – Captured by 5 Indian Photographers
Source Credit: Advocate, Daily Bruin, LA Weekly, Q Voice News,


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