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Outfest 2009 hightlights on Tuesday, July 14. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Ghosted by Monika Treut

Ghosted (Tue, Jul 14th 7:00pm, LAEMMLE MONICA)

(Germany , Taiwan, 2009, 89 mins)
In English, Gernan, Mandarin with English subtitles
Directed By: Monika Treut
SCR: Astrid Stroner & Monika Treut

Legendary filmmaker Monika Treut (SEDUCTION: THE CRUEL WOMAN, FEMALE MISBEHAVIOR) returns to Outfest with a deftly crafted, mysterious love story. Sophie, a Hamburg-based visual artist, is haunted by the unexplained death of her beautiful Taiwanese girlfriend, Ai-ling. As Sophie attempts to come to terms with her grief, she encounters new intrigue when she meets Mei-Li, a relentless journalist who seems just as obsessed with uncovering the truth about Ai-ling as she is with seducing Sophie.

Make the Yuletide Gay by Rob Williams

Make the Yuletide Gay (Tue, Jul 14th 7:15pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 89 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Rob Williams
SCR: Rob Williams

At college, homo heartthrob Gunn lives out loud with his boyfriend Nathan (Adamo Ruggiero of Degrassi: The Next Generation). But in the eyes of his wacky parents, Gunn is Olaf Gunnunderson, a devoted son who is 100 percent straight. So when Nathan shows up for a surprise holiday visit, Gunn's worlds collide in an explosion of tinsel, eggnog and shocking revelations! MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY is a sexy romp that proves it's always better to give than to receive.

AFTER-PARTY, Jul 14: KNIGHTLIFE @ WINSTON'S, 7746 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 90069

Mississippi Damned by Tina Mabry

U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece: Mississippi Damned (Tue, Jul 14th 8:00pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 120 mins)
Directed By: Tina Mabry
SCR: Tina Mabry

Alternately steeped in joy and despair, MISSISSIPPI DAMNED is a stark chronicle of the bravery inherent in hopelessness. In fact, writer/director Tina Mabry's remarkably assured debut remains relentlessly uplifting even as it tracks the monumental struggles of an African-American family sunk into a quagmire of addiction, poverty and abuse. As the years pass and the disappointments mount, the characters still summon the courage to dream.

Mabry's film succeeds because she grounds it in a strong sense of place, in this case the rural barrens of Mississippi. Adding to the memorable tone are the excellent production design and Bradford Young's gorgeous, seemingly tea-stained cinematography. The large ensemble cast distinguishes themselves as well, ably populating a sprawling narrative that covers more than twenty years and is a veritable almanac of dysfunction. Especially notable is Chastity Kershall Hammitte's heartbreaking portrayal of young lesbian Leigh, whose fantasy of escape and coming out is doomed by her commitments to her family.

Achingly beautiful in its easy familiarity with heartbreak, MISSISSIPPI DAMNED proves that little victories can triumph over enormous tragedies. - Jon Korn, Programmer

AFTER-PARTY: O-BAR, 8279 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

The Man Who Loved Yngve by Stian Kristiansen

The Man Who Loved Yngve (Tue, Jul 14th 9:00pm, LAEMMLE MONICA)

(Norway, 2008, 126 mins)
In Norwegian with English subtitles
Directed By: Stian Kristiansen
SCR: Tore Renberg

It's 1989 and Norwegian teen Jarle is set: a cool girlfriend, a killer thrash band and a totally rad haircut. But it all comes crashing down with the sudden appearance of Yngve, a hot blond tennis player who teaches Jarle to love synthpop and communal showers. Exploding with youthful enthusiasm and boasting a pitch-perfect soundtrack, THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE thrillingly conveys the crazy head-rush that is adolescent love.

Fiona's Script by Florencia Mandovil

Fiona's Script (Tue, Jul 14th 9:30pm, DGA 2)

(USA, 2009, 94 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Florencia Manovil
SCR: Florencia Manovil

A sexy dreamer unaware of her own beauty, Fiona lives her life hoping for the perfect love. Struggling from her last breakup, she throws her energy toward getting her unfinished script completed. Juggling a cute tomboy, complicated friendships and writer's block, Fiona is confronted with hard decisions, her past and the chance to step into herself. A wonderfully diverse mix of young women rounds out the sweetly penned FIONA'S SCRIPT.

 Dale Dymkoski in Lucky Bastard

Lucky Bastard (Tue, Jul 14th 9:45pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 95 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Everett Lewis
SCR: Everett Lewis

Everett Lewis (THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PARKING LOTS) returns to Outfest with this dark and provocative tale of seduction gone wrong. With his boyfriend out of town, young architect Rusty's carefully designed life jumps off the rails after he gets picked up by gorgeous hustler Denny. Faced with Denny's disorienting world of sex and drugs, Rusty must decide whether to run away or dive right in. LUCKY BASTARD is a heady, complex come-on that will arouse both your libido and your mind.

After Party: The Eagle, 4219 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 90029

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