Outfest Names Christopher Racster Executive Director

Christopher Racster - S 2015
Courtesy of Outfest

Having joined Outfest in 2011, he has been serving as interim executive director for the past six months.

Christopher Racster has been named executive director of Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that focuses on bringing LGBT stories to the screen with events like its annual LGBT film festival. He succeeds Kirsten Schaffer in that role and has been serving as interim executive director since Schaffer left Outfest in the spring.

Racster will oversee creative and fiscal management, as well as fundraising, program development and staff management. In announcing his appointment, Outfest board of directors co-presidents Ari Karpel and Laura Ivey said, “In the six months since Christopher stepped up as interim executive director, he and the Outfest staff executed an incredibly successful summer festival, and he has proven himself a strong and capable leader with the vision to take this organization into the future.”

Starting in 1994, Racster produced Divine Design for Project Angel Food, which he elevated over the course of five years to a million-dollar annual fundraiser. He went on to become a film producer, and his first film April Shower played at Outfest. His other producing credits include Say Uncle, Save Me and Spork, which also all screened at Oufest.

In 2011, Racster joined Outfest as director of individual giving, was later promoted director of development and in 2014 became deputy director.

On Nov. 5, Outfest will be honoring Academy Award–winning actor, director and producer Tom Hanks and Academy Award-nominated writer-director Lisa Cholodenko at its 2015 Legacy Awards, a fundraiser to support the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.