×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Outfest Pics Reflect Changes in LBGT Community

Gay is good and getting better

So much has changed in the LGBT community recently, it’s hardly surprising that those seismic shifts would be reflected in this year’s pics at Outfest Los Angeles, which runs July 11 through 21 at the DGA and other venues.

“The big change that we’re seeing is that there are fewer coming-out stories, fewer stories of victimization,” says Kristin Pepe, director of programming. In some ways, many of the films are a lot like hetero-theme films — only with gay characters. “The films are about families, work issues, midlife crises and how the characters respond to those situations.”

“The characters are gay, but they’re dealing with other elements of their lives,” says Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest’s exec director. “Filmmakers now are free to tell other stories.”

Schaffer points to Stacie Passon’s film “Concussion,” about a lesbian couple in their 40s.

“They’ve already come out, they’ve had children, and now they’re dealing with a midlife crisis and being in their 40s and living in suburban New Jersey,” Schaffer says. “It’s exciting to see these kinds of stories. We want to see our lives reflected onscreen with the complexity that exists in real life.”

In Michael Mayer’s “Out in the Dark,” about a politically charged same-sex love affair, Schaffer says, “The story is less about their being gay than their being an Israeli and a Palestinian. They can’t be together because they’re relegated to two different countries; it’s more about that political situation than it is their being gay.”

Not that the fest has turned its back on film’s depicting LGBT discrimination.

“In the submission process, we saw a lot of homophobia but in third-world countries,” says Pepe, who mentions three titles:

Roger Ross Williams’ doc “God Loves Uganda” profiles American ministers who have inspired the “kill the gays” legislation in that African country. Subarna Thapa’s “Soongava, Dance of the Orchids” is the first LGBT film to come from Nepal, and profiles a woman who rejects a prearranged marriage to run off with her girlfriend. There’s also “Born This Way,” which filmmakers Shaun Kadlec and Deb Tullmann shot in Cameroon, where homosexuality is punishable with a five-year prison sentence.

Says Kadlec: “If you live in a place like New York or Los Angeles, it can feel like the fight for LGBT equality is finished — minus marriage equality on the federal level. But we are the 1% when it comes to LGBT equality. In at least 76 countries, you can go to jail for being gay, and in most of the world, including a huge part of the United States, homophobia is incredibly strong. It’s so easy to forget what a luxury of freedom and acceptance we have, and to ignore the millions in our community who live in fear every day.”

This year, the Outfest directors are especially proud of screening three pics that were developed in the Outfest screenwriting lab: Doug Spearman’s “Hot Guys With Guns,” Darren Stein and George Northy’s “G.B.F.” and Yen Tan and David Lowery’s “Pit Stop,” which had its premiere earlier this year at Sundance.

On July 11, the fest’s opening night gala at the Orpheum Theater honors “Boys Don’t Cry” helmer Kimberly Peirce.

More Film

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Cinematographers Praise Academy Reversal: 'We Thank You for Your Show of Respect'

    Cinematographers who fought the decision to curtail four Oscar presentations have praised the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for reversing the exclusions. “We thank you for your show of respect for the hard-working members of the film community, whose dedication and exceptional talents deserve the public recognition this reversal now allows them to enjoy,” [...]

  • Peter Parker and Miles Morales in

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse' Colored Outside the Lines

    The well-worn superhero genre and one of its best-known icons are unlikely vehicles for creating a visually fresh animated feature. But Sony Pictures Animation’s work on the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” shows throwing out the rule book and letting everyone play in the creative sandbox can pay off big. “I think we [...]

  • Denis Villeneuve

    Denis Villeneuve's 'Dune' Gets November 2020 Release Date

    Warner Bros. has scheduled Legendary’s science-fiction tentpole “Dune” for a Nov. 20, 2020, release in 3D and Imax. “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to join the “Dune” reboot with Timothee Chalamet, Javier Bardem, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgard, Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Zendaya. Production is expected to launch in the spring [...]

  • James Bond Spectre

    Bond 25 Moved Back Two Months to April 2020

    James Bond will arrive two months later than planned as MGM moved back the release date on the untitled Bond 25 movie from Feb. 14 to April 8, 2020 — a Wednesday before the start of Easter weekend. It’s the second delay for Bond 25. MGM and Eon originally announced in 2017 that the film [...]

  • Fast and Furious 8

    'Fast and Furious 9' Release Date Pushed Back Six Weeks

    Universal Pictures has shifted “Fast and Furious 9” back six weeks from April 10 to May 22, 2020 — the start of the Memorial Day weekend. It’s the second backwards shift for the title. In 2017, Universal moved the film back a year from April 19, 2019, to April 10, 2020. Both dates fall on [...]

  • Alita Battle Angel

    'Alita' Inching Past 'Lego Movie 2' at Presidents Day Weekend Box Office

    James Cameron’s “Alita: Battle Angel” has a slight edge over “The Lego Movie 2” in a tight race for domestic box office supremacy during Presidents Day weekend. Both are aiming for about $27 million, early estimates showed on Friday. The two titles are the only current bright spots as overall moviegoing for 2019 trails far [...]

  • Ludwig Goransson Black Panther Composer

    Complete Guide to This Year's Oscar-Nominated Scores

    Unlike the song category, it’s impossible to predict the winner from this year’s quintet of original-score nominees. It’s almost anyone’s game. Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson spent a month in Africa recording unusual drums, flutes and vocals, then adding them to a massive London orchestra and choir to create a unique soundscape for the fictional land [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content