The oldest continuously running film festival in Los Angeles is the Outfest. Outfest 2011 is running from Thursday, July 7th through Sunday, July 17. It will feature 164 films, 67 that are feature-length. The organization expects an audience of about 40,000 for the Outfest this year.
The festival isn’t just for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender niche audiences, says Outfest Director of Programming Kim Yutani. The majority of the features, documentaries and shorts, hit political hot buttons and will be interesting to all people who are interested in issues such as gay marriage and anti-gay bias.
For example, Outfest is world-premiering “The Wise Kids,” a coming-of-age story set in South Carolina that only has one gay character. The wacky “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” was praised by lesbians, straight women, and gay and straight men alike when it premiered at Sundance in January.
Two short films are getting a lot of pre-screening interest this year. The first, titled “Thank You For Your Call,” examines the problems of survivors of same-sex partnerships who are not allowed to collect Social Security. The other short documentary called “Wish Me Away,” tells about the fallout from country singer Chely Wright’s decision to come out.
J.C. Calciano is a past guest speaker at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. In his role of a producer, Calciano is screening a new romantic comedy called eCupid. . The film tells the story of Marshall, played by Houston Rhines, who is desperate for a new love life and turns to “eCupid,” an app that guarantees true love.
Calciano said that most young people could relate to the film’s basic premise of technology, but that he also hopes that audiences can realize that all relationships are the same, regardless of sexual orientation.
On Sunday, July 17th, the festival will be featuring the television show, Drop Dead Diva. This popular dramedy/fantasy series is in its third season. At the Outfest, fans will have a sneak peek of the show.
This particular episode is inspired by the headline-making true story of Mississippi teen Constance McMillan who was denied access to her high school prom because she wanted to attend with her girlfriend. Guest stars include Wanda Sykes, Amanda Bearse, Clay Aiken, Lance Bass and Constance herself (in a cameo).
According to the Outfest website:
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with series creator/executive producer Josh Berman, director/co-executive producer Jamie Babbit, star Margaret Cho, guest stars Lance Bass and Clay Aiken, Adam Waters (GSA Advisor of the Year), and moderated by Ari Karpel.
After the panel discussion there will be a reception for the panel and ticket-holders sponsored by GLSEN –Los Angeles, GLAAD and WME, a talent and literary agency.
The festival takes place at various theaters across Los Angeles, including the Directors Guild of America, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, the Orpheum Theater, and the Disney/CalArts Theater at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
I am looking forward to attending this wonderful festival. I will be in attendance to see a sneak-peek of Drop Dead Diva and the panel discussion with Clay Aiken, followed by the reception. My friend and I also plan on attending the closing film titled, The Perfect Family. Starring Kathleen Turner, it asks the question “How far will one housewife go to win the Outstanding Catholic of the Year Award…even when her daughter is about to marry her lesbian lover. The cast also includes Richard Chamberlain.
So…on a lighter vein…will Clay’s hair be short or long? Will it be blond or brown or maybe red?? Do you think he will attend the reception after the panel discussion? Do you think I am excited that I will see Clay in person? (Ha Ha)