Outfest lines up bookends, ‘Kushner’

Spanish musical '20 Centimeters' will close festival

Outfest 2006 will kick off with “Puccini for Beginners” July 6 at the downtown Orpheus Theater.

The Spanish musical “20 Centimeters” will close the festival on July 17, also at the Orpheus.

Fest, in its 24th year, will run at nine venues across Los Angeles. The goal is to highlight American and international lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered filmmaking.

This year’s centerpiece documentary is “Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner,” which chronicles the life of the Pulitzer- and Tony award-winning writer. Film will screen July 11 at the DGA.

The drama centerpiece is the Mexican film “Broken Sky,” written and directed by Julian Hernandez. Feature will screen July 12 at the DGA.

Outfest has also expanded its Platinum Section — its showcase dedicated to films, videos, live performance and multimedia work. Performance artist Penny Arcade will appear, and the sidebar will include six screening programs of avant-garde features and shorts.

The section takes place downtown at Redcat.

This year’s fest also includes never before seen episodes of “Kathy Griffin:  My Life on the D-List” and “The Book of Daniel,” the controversial show about a priest, his gay son and his bisexual sister-in-law, starring Aidan Quinn, Christian Campbell, Cheryl White, Kathleen Chalfant and Ivan Shaw, followed by Q&As with the cast and creators.

Other parts of the festival include “5 in Focus: New Directors Spotlight,” highlighting first-time feature directors; and the Outfest Screenwriting Lab.

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