Sunday, July 27, 2008


From July 9-21, I attended Outfest, the 26th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Outfest is the oldest continuous film festival in Los Angeles and definitely the largest and most attended one in the city. This year's festival featured 212 films and videos from 25 countries in 7 different venues over 13 days.

Outfest and I go back a LONG way - I've been going to Outfest since 1987 when I had just graduated high school. Over the years I was their first college intern (back in 1991), as an entertainment journalist and film critic I covered the festival for numerous Frontiers Magazine cover stories, was a juror on the American Narrative Films jury in 1999 with actor Wilson Cruz and director David Moreton, have been a participant on panel discussions and moderated post screening Q&A's, but this was my first year going to Outfest just for fun. My only agenda was to film a couple panels that "Desert Hearts" director Donna Deitch was on for possible use in my documentary "Desert Hearts Mon Amour" but other than that all I planned to do was see films, connect with friends, look for possible interviewees for my documentary, and have a fun two weeks just hanging out.

The best films I saw this year were: "The Secrets" (a tense and sexy story about the friendship and bourgeoning chemistry between two orthodox Jewish women); "Wild Combination" (a documentary about avant garde composer and musician Arthur Russell); "Hamlet 2" (the funniest damn movie I've seen all year - watch for it coming soon to theaters); "Breakfast With Scot" (the poignant and wacky opening night film); "She's A Boy I Knew" (a documentary directed and about a male to female transexual); and "Trinidad" (a documentary about the frontier town in Colorado dubbed, "the sex change capitol of the U.S." and transexual Dr. Marci Bowers, the top sexual reassignment surgeon who practices there).

Here's a photo recap of the festival.

OUTFEST, Opening Night at the Orpheum - a longtime tradition. The Orpheum is a restored downtown Los Angeles Movie Palace.

Filmmaker & Women On A Roll founder Andrea Meyerson, partners Valerie Madden and Tina Scorzafava (a talented filmmaker), and Me.

Me and Monica Trasandes, my former Frontiers editor. There's some real history here. We were young pups together. We sat next to each other at the first press screening of "Showgirls" - if that doesn't bond you for life, nothing will!

Two femme fatales (Calpernia Addams and Andrea James) and me LOL.

The main Outfest location - The Directors Guild of America, on Sunset Blvd.

"Boys Don't Cry" & "Stop-Loss" director Kimberly Peirce conducted "A Conversation With Donna Deitch." Donna was the recipient of the 12th Annual Outfest Achievement Award on Opening Night. (Photo Credit: Danna Kinsky /

Kimberly, Donna, and Me (photo credit: Danna Kinsky /

Donna Deitch, Kirsten Schaffer (former Director of Programming and present Outfest Interim Executive Director), and Kimberly Peirce (photo credit: Danna Kinsky /

In back of the DGA

S & Me

The Outfest Legacy screening of a restored print of seminal gay and lesbian documentary "Word Is Out."

Wolfe Video founder Kathy Wolfe and "Desert Hearts" director Donna Deitch in front of a giant "Desert Hearts" poster. They had a small dvd signing in the lobby of the DGA.

Donna Deitch

Me & Donna (photo credit: Angela Brinskele)

Outfest Awards at the beautiful Ford Ampitheater. This is Craig Chester at the podium and awards presenter Momma.

Calpernia Addams and Momma.

More of Calpernia and Momma.

Outfest Closing Night, the Orpheum after party.

S, M, & Me


The huge Orpheum lobbby

Gorgeous lamps and details of the Orpheum ceiling.

The last marquee of this year's festival, Polaroid SLR 680 SE with Polaroid 600 Film.

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