April 13, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Outfest Unveils Honors Melissa McCarthy, Amandla Stenberg, and Ben Falcone

Festival Also Announces Trans, Nonbinary, and Intersex Summit and Featured Films. 

By Dolores Quintana

Outfest, the esteemed Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting queer and trans creators in the entertainment industry, has announced the complete lineup for its 41st Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Festival. Presented by Warner Bros. Discovery and Genesis Motor America, the festival will take place from July 13 to 23 at various venues across Los Angeles, with its headquarters at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood. Tickets and passes are available starting today for Outfest members and will be open to the general public from Friday, June 23rd.

In an exciting development, the festival will honor Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone with the James Schamus Ally Award during the closing night event. This prestigious recognition celebrates their efforts as allies in promoting queer and trans films and amplifying our communities’ stories to a wider audience. McCarthy and Falcone also serve as executive producers of “Relighting Candles: The Tim Sullivan Story,” a short documentary directed by Zeb Newman and Michiel Thomas. The film, which will be featured at this year’s festival, follows a West Hollywood candle shop owner who provides employment opportunities for unhoused and newly sober individuals.

Spanning 11 days, the festival will present an impressive program of over 170 titles from more than 25 countries, encompassing narratives, documentaries, shorts, and an episodic showcase. Among the highly anticipated films is the world premiere of “Truth Be Told,” a feature documentary directed by Emmy Award-winner Nneka Onuorah (known for Lizzo’s “Watch Out For the Big Grrrls”) and produced by MACRO, producers of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which gives a probing, heartfelt, and often humorous exploration of the relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the Black church, featuring interviews with Billy Porter, Meagan Good, Cedric The Entertainer, David Mann, Tamela Mann, and Kev on Stage; “Acsexybility”, a feature doc from Brazil by Daniel Gonçalves about the sexual lives and desires of people with disabilities will also hold its world premiere at the fest, with Gonçalves attending. 

Fabian Stumm’s Berlinale title “Bones and Names,” an ensemble dramatic comedy about married men who seek new experiences outside their humdrum relationships, will hold its North American premiere with writer/director/star Stumm attending, and the U.S. premiere of Venice Film Festival highlights “Le Favolose,” The Fabulous Ones), which will also take place.

Outfest will hold its seventh annual Trans, Nonbinary, and Intersex Summit on Saturday, July 22nd, which will welcome a keynote speech and drag performance from rising star Vico Ortiz who currently portrays non-binary pirate Jime on the wildly popular Max Original Series Our Flag Means Death; a showcase that highlights the TNBI community’s contribution to the art of drag featuring performances from Them Fatale Drag Kings and recent cast members of the AMC and Shudder hit The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula and several commissioned one-minute films from TNBI filmmakers on the rise featuring TNBI talent from ActNow, LA’s LGBTQ+ ActingClass.

Outfest will also honor actor, producer, and musician Amandla Stenberg with its Platinum

Maverick Award, and the Platinum Alchemy Award to musician Madame Gandhi.

“The depth of the talent and the boundless creativity we saw in the work we reviewed this year speaks to how wonderfully gifted LGBTQ+ artists are,” said Outfest’s Director of Programming Mike Dougherty. “One festival could not hope to contain all the fantastic films available from our community this year, but rest assured, Outfest Los Angeles will be bursting with captivating cinema, and we hope to continue the celebration year-round.”

The Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Festival promises to be a captivating celebration of diverse storytelling, offering a platform for marginalized voices within the queer and trans community.

in NEWS
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