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Outfest attendees will soon be talking about Jamie.
The Amazon Prime Video release Everybody’s Talking About Jamie about an English high school student who dreams of making it as a drag queen will open the 39th annual Outfest on Aug. 13 at the fest’s first outdoor gala. Cinespia at Hollywood Forever will host the festivities and VIP guests like stars of the film Max Harwood and Lauren Patel and director Jonathan Butterell. Drag superstar Bianca del Rio is also expected as the RuPaul’s Drag Race alum has a cameo in the film after appearing on stage in the West End musical on which the film is based.
Outfest runs Aug. 13-22 and the full programming lineup for the LGBTQ festival — presented by WarnerMedia and Hyundai — was announced today. It features 200 selections repping more than 50 international films and 15 languages from countries like South Korea, Nigeria, Mexico, Cuba, Palestine, Israel, Brazil, Bulgaria and Croatia. Though the event marks a major return to in-person screenings, the org will make all films available for streaming amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Downtown’s Orpheum Theatre, which typically hosts opening night, will instead host the closing night screening on Aug. 22. That will be Fanny: The Right to Rock, a film from Bobbi Jo Hart about a groundbreaking female rock band. The group will reunite for a live performance during the event that will feature Jean Millington, June Millington, Alice de Buhr and Brie Darling joined by Patti Quattro and Lee Madelon.
The fest will include seven world premieres across features, U.S. narrative, documentary, Platinum, special events, and episodics including the latest from Charles Busch (Psycho Beach Party), The Sixth Reel; U.S. narrative and absurdist comedy, Homebody; Outfest alum Jeffrey Schwarz’s true story of Gloria Swanson’s quest to star in a Sunset Boulevard musical, Boulevard! A Hollywood Story; Lyle Kash’s meta-critique on trans representation, Death and Bowling; portrait of Latina transgender activist, Bamby Salcedo, La Queenciañera; and the Grindr-produced comedy series, Bridesman, starring Jimmy Fowlie.
Centerpiece films include Tribeca Festival prize winner The Novice (U.S. Centerpiece); a portrait of RuPaul’s Drag Race season one winner BeBe Zahara Benet, Being BeBe (Documentary Centerpiece); the world premiere of The Sixth Reel (Special Tribute Centerpiece) that will begin with a special memorial tribute to producer and Outfest alum Ash Christian; and Bo McGuire’s Southern drama Socks on Fire (Platinum Centerpiece).
The documentary section includes Enyce Smith and Gina Lamb’s Crystal Diaries and Michiel Thomas’s Gemmel and Tim. The two films examine the ripped-from-the-headlines stories of how two men died in the West Hollywood home of prominent political donor Ed Buck, who is accused of hosting dangerous “party and play” scenes that mix crystal meth and sex. Buck is on trial now and charged with supplying methamphetamine that killed Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, enticement to travel for prostitution, distribution of meth and maintaining a drug den.
The U.S. Narrative selections include Nathan Hale Williams’ All Boys Aren’t Blue based on the memoir from George Matthew Johnson; Brielle Brilliant’s Firstness; Joseph Sackett’s Homebody; Natalie Morales’ Language Lessons; Marion Hill’s Ma Belle, My Beauty; Wes Hurley’s Potato Dreams of America; Mari Walker’s See You Then; and Sean King O’Grady’s We Need to do Something.
Other doc selections include Alberto Fuguet’s Everything at Once, about a couple of 30 years and their erotic photography business; T.J. Parsell’s Invisible, about lesbian country music songwriters; Chris J. Russo’s Lady Buds, about women who work in the cannabis industry; Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s My Name is Pauli Murray, about the late civil rights activist and lawyer; Vivan Kleiman’s No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics; Angelo Madsen Minax’s North By Current about family trauma; Alex Clausen and Ryan A. White’s Raw! Uncut! Video!, about the gay porn studio Palm Drive Video; Adrian Silvestre’s Sediment, which tracks six trans women in León for the weekend.
Outfest also has a number of special events planned that include live performances, panels and other special guests (all subject to change due to ongoing COVID-19 protocols). Among the featured events are THR Presents: Work in Progress Season 2, an advanced look at the first two episodes of the new season along with a live Q&A discussion featuring co-creator and star Abby McEnany alongside stars Armand Fields and Celeste Pechous.
Other events include a celebrity memorial tribute to Cloris Leachman that will be introduced by Cybill Shepherd and feature a screening of her final film role in Jump, Darling; a screening of Baloney, about San Francisco’s gay all-male revue, with a live show planned and Q&A moderated by RuPaul’s Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme; a screening of Shit & Champagne from D’Arcy Drollinger that will feature a pre-show with members of the cast “and the world’s trashiest ‘strippers,'” per Outfest; and the Trans & Non-Binary Summit, a 5th annual event that will showcase artists like Zackary Drucker, Our Lady J and Rain Valdez alongside panels, discussions and mixers.
“We’re thrilled to be coming back in-person carefully and with intention to celebrate this amazing community, its stories and its resiliency and spirit with so many incredible films and special events,” said Outfest executive director Damien S. Navarro. “Activating at some of our creators’ and audiences’ venue favorites like the DGA, Hollywood Forever, the Orpheum and REDCAT in DTLA, we hope brings all the ‘feels’ everyone is ready for. We can’t wait for everyone to see the festival we have curated — I believe the slate of programming not only meets the moment but distinctly presents the work of some of the most talent contemporaries in queer cinema.”
The full lineup with ticket information can be found here.
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