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Fusion: Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival Featuring Ethnic Minorities

Fusion 2009: The Sixth Annual Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival will be presented by Outfest and HBO on March 6-8, 2009. The three-day festival includes screenings of features and short films, in addition to panels, workshops, and parties throughout the Los Angeles area. The screenings will be held atthe Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood; the panels and workshops will take place at Universal Studios and the Village at Ed Gould Plaza.

As per the Outfest press release, Fusion “is a growing part of Outfest and is the only multi-racial, gender-inclusive film festival of its kind.” I don't believe that the color white is included, but I'm not going to get into the merits or lack thereof of a film festival devoted to gay/lesbian/bi/etc. ethnic minorities in the United States – considering that Outfest's own summer festival already showcases numerous films featuring ethnic minorities – or question what exactly is “a person of color” (a Chilean descendant of German immigrants? A dark-skinned Pole? A Swede who forgot to apply his sunscreen lotion?).

Instead, I'd rather mention the films.

Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega's Oscar-nominated short La Corona, for instance, is an intriguing look at a beauty pageant set within the confines of a Colombian penitentiary, where we witness several inmates prepping themselves up for the runway while discussing their (at times) blood-soaked past.

Pedro by Nick Oceano

Also of particular interest are:

  • Pedro, directed by Nick Oceano and written by this year's Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black (for Milk). Pedro is a biopic chronicling the brief life of HIV-positive Pedro Zamora, who was a hit in MTV's 1994 edition of The Real World.
  • Shamim Sarif's London-set I Can't Think Straight, about two Muslim women coming to terms with their mutual attraction;
  • several Metro/Sexual and Underground shots, including Todd Holland's Wig and Julian Breece's The Young and Evil

For more information and for a complete listing of Fusion 2009 films, see below or log on to www.Outfest.org.  Festival tickets are on sale now to Outfest members and the general public. Special ticket packages are also available.

The schedule below is from the Outfest press release.

 

FUSION 2009 SCREENING PROGRAM

All films screened at the Egyptian Theatre.

 

La Corona

Friday, March 6

8:00pm – OPENING NIGHT GALA

SHORTS PROGRAM

In this lineup of humorous, moving and sometimes disturbing short films, a young man pursues a harrowing obsession, a family struggles with gender identity, and women in prison battle for the ultimate crown. Poetic, erotic, and unapologetic, these acclaimed films boldly launch the 6th edition of Fusion.

EL ABUELO Dir. Dino Dinco; HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dir. Roberta Marie Munroe; THE BATH, Dir. Mi-rang Lee; THE YOUNG AND EVIL, Dir. Julian Breece, LA CORONA, Dir. Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

Followed by drinks, food and dancing at the Opening Night After-Party.

 

Saturday, March 7

1:00pm – FUSION SHORTS: UNDERGROUND

Cher, Fufu the dog, and a diva in fishnets are the unequivocal stars of these innovative and uncompromising short films. Taking thematic and formal risks, these works challenge tradition, expectations and the very notion of queer history. 

ARE YOU ME? (MRS. LEE), Dir. Erica Cho; BLUE COVERS, Dir. Indira Allegra; CROSSING, Dir. Visperd Madad-Doust ; CUSPS, Dir. Sara Zia Ebrahimi; FRAGMENTS, Dir. Natasha Mendonca; IT'S ME CHER: A DOLL-U-MENTARY, Dir. Timothy Ochoa; MARTI AND I, Dir. Juan Carlos Zaldivar; NIKAMOWIN (SONG), Dir. Kevin Burton; STRUGGLE BEFORE DAWN, Dir. Osuna UNTITLED #1 (FROM THE SERIES EARTH PEOPLE 2507), Dir. Nao Bustamante

I Can't Think Straight by Shamim Sarif

3:00pm – I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT

Dir. Shamim Sarif, 2008, UK, 80 min.

The sexual chemistry is undeniable between two beautiful and ostensibly straight women in this London-based, opposites-attract romantic comedy. An outgoing Jordanian woman and a shy Muslim British Indian woman deal with family pressures and expectations while attempting to remain true to themselves and each other.

With short: I'VE GOT YOU, Dir. Camrin Pitts

 

3:00pm – STILL BLACK: A PORTRAIT OF BLACK TRANSMEN

Dir. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, 2008, USA, 77 min.

Six black transmen in the US discuss their professional and personal lives as artists and lawyers, fathers and husbands. An exploration of race, sexuality and transgender identity, this honest and original documentary is a portrait of the lives of these men and allows them to tell their own unique stories.

With short: IN MY SKIN, Dir. Timothy Ochoa

Deep Inside Clint Star

5:00pm – DEEP INSIDE CLINT STAR

Dir. Clint Alberta, 1999, Canada, 89 min. - 10 year anniversary screening!

Clint Star, the dashing, dangerous and possibly trustworthy host of this bright, free-wheeling personal documentary traipses around his hometown of Alberta, Canada and provokes raw and scintillating conversations with family and friends about sexuality, Native culture, abuse, loss and personal triumph.

 

5:30pm – FUSION SHORTS: METRO/SEXUAL

Jargon-slinging, text-messaging youth roam Los Angeles, bullies in London terrorize a neighborhood, and an angst-ridden woman in Tokyo ponders her future. In these short films, big city lessons often mean relying on friends and family, the sage words of elders, or simply having faith in oneself.

QUEERER THAN THOU, Dir. Ramses Rodstein; SOULJAH, Dir. Rikki Beadle Blair; LAUNDROMAT, Dir. Edward Gunawan; WIG, Dir. Todd Holland; WHEN I BECOME SILENT, Dir. Hyoe Yamamoto; DISH, Dir. Brian Harris Krinsky

 

8:00pm  – CLOSING NIGHT GALA

PEDRO

Dir. Nick Oceano, 2008, USA, 93 min.

This biographical film reinvigorates the moving true story of Pedro Zamora, the openly gay and HIV-positive Cuban-American who captured the hearts of MTV viewers in the San Francisco edition of THE REAL WORLD in 1994. The first feature film directed by past Fusion filmmaker Nick Oceano (EL PRIMO) and written by Dustin Lance Black (MILK), PEDRO pays tribute to a young man and captures his passion for life and education around HIV prevention.

 

FUSION 2009 CONFERENCE – IGNITE THE FUSE: QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR IN FILM, TV AND VIDEO

FRIDAY, MARCH 6

10:00am-4:00pm

Location: Universal Studios

Upload and Links

For the first time Fusion is offering a one-day program of professional development workshops for 20 People of Color LGBT filmmakers and community organizations seeking to develop commercial visibility in today's queer media market. The first part of the day will be spent discussing effective means of using media to tackle social justice and political issues. The second part of the day will be dedicated to linking filmmakers up with community organizations to produce a short PSA or video that will be streamed on the Outfest website.

Application and registration are required for Upload and Links.

 

SATURDAY, MARCH 7

11:00am

Location: Village at LAGLC

Seeing in The Dark: An Insight into Cinema by Queers of Color

As race and sexuality top the US political agenda for 2009, an increasing number of today's queer filmmakers are turning both eyes and ears to the body of work from queer communities of color from past decades. Dipping into the archives of the Outfest Legacy Collection at UCLA's Film & Television Archive, filmmaker, scholar and curator Cheryl Dunye investigates a selection of the most popular works from the 1980s and 1990s and will screen them with a panel of film and video professionals and makers including: Shari Frilot, Ernesto Foronda, Jocelyn Taylor, Ming-Yuen S. Ma.

 

1:00pm

Location: Village at LAGLC

Prop 8 and the Fallacy of Single Issue Politics

November's disheartening passage of Proposition 8 has stimulated a range of discussion within LGBT communities of color - from criticism of the tactics utilized by the No On 8 campaign to despair over the homophobic and racist fissures exposed in communities of color and the LGBT community in the aftermath of Prop 8's passage. This esteemed panel will address tough questions such as: Is gay marriage really a civil rights concern for queer people of color? Should focus be placed upon combating racism within the LGBT community and homophobia within communities of color as a first step? Can both sides recover from depictions of gay marriage supporters as threats to children and gay marriage opponents as promoters of hatred?

Moderated by: Jonathan Kidd (Outfest Board Member, Professor and Filmmaker)

Panelists: Reverend Escoto (Metropolitan Community Church), Jasmyne Cannick (Journalist and Filmmaker), Maggie Gallagher (Institute for Marriage and Public Policy) and Doreena Wong (API Equality - Los Angeles)

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 8

11:00am

Location: Village at LAGLC

"Nuts and Bolts” Workshop Series

Need to learn the basics of web media making but were afraid to ask? Want some constructive advice for your next queer media master piece? Want to better understand how to get work in the entertainment industry? Fusion 2009 will close its conference with an afternoon of “Nuts and Bolts” workshops.

 

11:00 - 12:30

Instant Gratification Media Making

A panel of DIYers will explain how to make a short film using a camera phone, edit on a laptop and get it out in the world. They will share tricks of the trade, take questions and provide hands-on help.

Panelists: Rex Rude (MMA Creative Group), Jian Chen (QTpi Media), Pat Branch (Comic, Screenwriter, Blogger on theDinah.com), Erica Cho (Filmmaker, Visual artist), Jay Esguerra (Filmmaker)

 

12:30-1:00 Snacks and Networking

 

1:00 - 2:30

Breaking In

A variety of industry insiders and accomplished filmmakers will share their success stories and advice for emerging writers, directors, producers, cinematographers and editors.

Panelists: Tajamika Paxton (Producer and Director), Patti Lee (Cinematographer and Producer), Michelle Crenshaw (Cinematographer), Angel Lopez (Participant Productions)


         
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2 Comments to Fusion: Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival Featuring Ethnic Minorities

  1. duda

    Pedro is very good. GO!!
    An inspiration story.

  2. Erasmus

    I highly recommend LA CORONA. The stories are moving, funny and sometimes creepy but all so human.