OutFest 2009: John Greyson’s FIG TREES as its Platinum Centerpiece

Friday July 10th at 7pm at REDCAT

 (Canada, 2009, 104 mins)



At the center of this playfully perverse video opera are AIDS activists Tim McCaskell, the Canadian founder of AIDS Action Now!, and Zackie Achmat, whose drug strike in South Africa made  international headlines. Documentary footage of their political  battles is intercut with a fictional plot about Gertrude Stein and  Virgil Thomson, who, having finished their play Four Saints in Three Acts, have created a sequel portraying the activists as modern-day saints. Dark humor abounds in this surreal production as St. Peregine, the patron saint of amputees and leather, and St. Martin,  embodied by an albino squirrel, jam on toy instruments, and the  courageous leads rebel, refusing to be martyrs for the AIDS cause.


Masterfully constructed and visually riveting, FIG TREES is an entertaining yet searing indictment of government negligence and the greed of pharmaceutical companies that require profit as motivation to save lives. It is also a poignant memorial for the untold lives of many AIDS activists. A daring must-see, it is one of the most provocative films to emerge from queer cinema in recent years.



OutFest: July 9-19


The oldest continuous film festival in Los Angeles, Outfest 2009 features 182 films and videos from 25 countries in 7 different venues over 11 days.


• Outfest 2009 shows 87 separate public programs – 6 galas, 68 features, 10 short film programs and 13 panels and special events.


• On Thursday, July 9, Outfest launches with the presentation of the 13th Annual Outfest Achievement Award preceding the Opening Night Gala film LA MISSION starring Benjamin Bratt.


• On Monday July 13 the Legacy Project Gala proudly premiers the restoration of CHOOSING CHILDREN the third film to be fully restored as part of The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation.


• Outfest 2009 includes over 40 parties and receptions – most of which are open to the general public or to festival badge and ticket holders.


In the Online Film Guide at www.outfest.org,  festival programs are arranged in to these categories: Features (U.S. Dramatic Features, International Features & Documentary Features) Shorts, Panels and Special Events among other sections.