OutFest 2022: LGBTQ Film Fest–Artistic Highlights; Social Functions

OutFest: 40the Anniversary of L.A.’s LGBTQ Film Fest

Highlights of the fest, running through July 24, include the new A League of Their Own series, a 20th-anniversary showing of Far From Heaven and closing night film They/Them set inside a gay conversion camp


L.A.’s LGBTQ film festival OutFest was born in 1982, the same year that Making LovePersonal Best and Victor/Victoria were released.

Its 40th anniversary this year occurs, when it’s easy to find gay contents on television, especially on streamers, while on the film front, Universal this fall will release the first studio film with an all-LGBTQ leading cast, Bros.

“We have lots of choices in entertainment. It’s not just independent film anymore,” says Outfest exec-director Damien S. Navarr.  L.A.’s queer film festival continues to hold a vibrant spot in the life of Los Angeles and its LGBTQ community and is finding new ways to grow and engage with the entertainment industry.

Billy Porter


Actor Eva Reign and director Bill Porter on the set of their film ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE

Outfest kicked off its 40th anniversary fest last night, July 14, with the premiere of Billy Porter’s trans coming-of-age story Anything’s Possible.

The fest runs through July 24, during which it will spotlight more than 200 titles and 42 world premieres.

Highlights include a free two-episode screening of the new Amazon Prime seriesA League of Their Own (July 19);

the premiere of the documentary All Man: The International Male Story (July 16); a

q 20th-anniversary screening of Far From Heaven with Julianne Moore attending (July 17);

the closing night film They/Them, a Blumhouse horror picture set at a conversion therapy camp.

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The marquee at the Orpheum on the opening night of Outfest, July 14, 2022. SHUTTERSTOCK FOR OUTFEST

The 11-day festival is presented by Warner Bros. Discovery and IMDB.

It also includes a Trans, Nonbinary and Intersex Summit on July 23 featuring writer-activist Raquel Willis;

a conversation with horror icon Clive Barker (Outfest’s inaugural Maverick Award) on July 17;

q night of comedy at The Ford theater that includes comics Margaret Cho and River Butcher.

“I like to say, how do you battle when you’ve been bullied by comedy, but by comedy-ing them right back,” says Navarro, referring to anti-trans comedy specials in the last year from Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle.

Gay Directors: Almodovar, Davies, Haynes, Van Sant, John Waters. By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press)

Outfest also puts on the Outfest QTBIPOC Fusion Film Festival each spring with stories spotlighting people of color; manages the free OutMuseum streaming platform; runs screenwriting lab; and preserves films through its Legacy Project program.

The first film preserved by Outfest was the 1986 AIDS drama, Parting Glances, starring Steve Buscemi.

Back in 1982, Outfest started under a different name, the Gay and Lesbian Media Conference, launched by four graduate students at UCLA.

Over the years, its leaders and programmers have included renowned photographer Catherine Opie (the first video programmer), Kim Yutani (now director of programming at Sundance) and Kirsten Schaffer (now the CEO of Women in Film).

In 1987, the fest opened with Mala Noche by Gus Van Sant, who has said, “The whole basis of my career comes from this festival.”

Over its four decades, honorees have included Tom Hanks, Rita Moreno, Lee Daniels, Joey Soloway and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez.

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From left, Outfest executive director Damien S. Navarro, former fest director Larry Horne, Outfest artistic director Faridah Gbadamosi on opening night. SHUTTERSTOCK FOR OUTFEST