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Home Movie Awards Gay Boys Shorts & ‘American Primitive’ + ‘Pornography’ Horror Thriller & Outfest Awards

Gay Boys Shorts & ‘American Primitive’ + ‘Pornography’ Horror Thriller & Outfest Awards

American Primitive Tate Donovan Adam Pascal
American Primitive with Tate Donovan and Adam Pascal.
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

July 19: The tale of a poor backwater family struggling against poverty, addiction, and assorted personal and social maladies, Tina Mabry’s Mississippi Damned was the jury’s pick for best U.S. narrative film at this year’s edition of Outfest, Los Angeles’ gay and lesbian film festival.

Among the other Outfest 2009 jury winners were Stian Kristiansen’s The Man Who Loved Yngve, the late 1980s tale (written by Tore Renberg) about a Norwegian teenager who unexpectedly finds himself madly in love with a handsome tennis player, which was chosen as the festival’s best international narrative feature; Nicole Opper’s documentary Off and Running, about a young woman trying to discover the identity of her biological mother; and best actress Laura Harring and best actor Derrick L. Middleton, selected for their performances in, respectively, Drool and Rivers Wash Over Me.

The audience winner for best narrative feature was Nacho G. Velilla’s Spanish comedy Chef’s Special, starring Javier Cámara (above, right) as a top chef who suddenly finds himself having to take care of his two children while trying to come to terms with his attraction for a hunky new neighbor (Benjamín Vicuña).

Greta Olafsdottir and Susan Muska’s Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement was the audience winner for best documentary. The film revolves around a lesbian couple who, after 42 years together, are about to get married.

Directed by E. E. Cassidy and written by Cassidy and Bruce Pavalon, We Are the Mods won the jury award for best screenwriting, in addition to audience awards for best U.S. first feature film and best soundtrack. We Are the Mods tells the story of a high-school student who falls for a mod gal, thus becoming part of the mod-iste circle.

Outfest Awards

2009 Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: July 9-19


Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film
MISSISSIPPI DAMNED, Directed by Tina Mabry

Outstanding International Dramatic Feature Film
THE MAN WHO LOVED YNGVE, Directed by Stian Kristiansen

Outstanding Documentary Feature Film
OFF AND RUNNING, Directed by Nicole Opper

Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film
Derrick L. Middleton (above, left) in RIVERS WASH OVER ME

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
Laura Harring in DROOL

Outstanding Screenwriting
E.E. Cassidy and Bruce Pavalon, WE ARE THE MODS

Outstanding Documentary Short Film
FIRST AND LOVELISS, Directed by Shaun Kadlec & Deb Tullman

Outstanding Dramatic Short Film
THE BATH, Directed by Lee Mi-rang


Outstanding Dramatic Feature Film
CHEF’S SPECIAL, Directed by Nacho G. Velilla

Outstanding Documentary Feature Film
EDIE & THEA: A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, Directed by Greta Olafsdottir & Susan Muska

Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film
WE ARE THE MODS, Directed by E.E. Cassidy

Outstanding Documentary Short Film
GET HAPPY, Directed by Mark Payne

Outstanding Dramatic Short Film
AWAKENING, Directed by Christian Tafdrup

Outstanding Soundtrack
WE ARE THE MODS, Directed by E.E. Cassidy


Special Programming Award for Freedom
ON THESE SHOULDERS WE STAND, Directed by Glenne McElhinney

Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement
GREEK PETE, Directed by Andrew Haigh

College Boys Live by George O'Donnell

Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent

Benjamin Bratt ‘La Mission’ Screening

Outfest 2009 kicked off on July 9 with a gala presentation of Peter Bratt’s La Mission at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles

Benjamin Bratt

Benjamin Bratt at the La Mission screening

Benjamin Bratt

Benjamin Bratt

Photos: Courtesy of Outfest

Outfest Movies: ‘Prodigal Sons’ & ‘Before Stonewall’

July 9

‘Before Stonewall’

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Saturday, July 11. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Before Stonewall (Sat, Jul 11th Noon, REDCAT)

(USA, 1984, 87 mins)
Directed By: Greta Schiller

From the sexual experimentation of the Roaring Twenties, to the scapegoating of homosexuals during the McCarthy era, to the development of the early homophile rights movement, BEFORE STONEWALL presents a unique portrait of the history of the U.S. homosexual experience. Using filmed recollections and a wealth of archival material from both the mass media’s portrayal of homosexuality and from the gay subculture’s own documentation, the film traces the social, political, and cultural development of the lesbian and gay community. The film features such notables as Barbara Gittings, Allen Ginsberg, Smilie Hillaire, Reverend Grant Gallup and others. Narrated by Rita Mae Brown. (Originally shown at Outfest 1985.)

On These Shoulders We Stand (Sat, Jul 11th 2:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 75 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Glenne McElhinney

Too seldom told is the story of Los Angeles’ rise as a mature gay mecca, but its struggles and achievements have been many. In this stirring documentary, 10 noteworthy gay and lesbian seniors recall the challenges, trials and triumphs of the city’s gay past. From hidden identities, underground parties and police raids, to organization, defiance and leadership, the details of this story reveal its sweep and grandeur and remind us of the advancements we can’t afford to take for granted.

“Words, Pictures and Music” (Sat, Jul 11th 2:00pm, DGA 2)
Program duration: 90 mins

If you love movie musicals (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), you won’t want to miss this tuneful panel discussion about the art of putting words, pictures and music together on celluloid. What goes into the collaboration between writer, director, choreographer, composer and lyricist to come up with the script and the movie itself? Come find out as we assemble an A-list group of professionals, including Moderator Michael A. Kerker (ASCAP’s Director of Musical Theatre), Randal Kleiser (GREASE), Bill Condon (CHICAGO, DREAMGIRLS), Peter Barsocchini (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1-4), Leslie Dixon (HAIRSPRAY), Linda Wolverton (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and THE LION KING), Allison Burnett (FAME), Winnie Holzman (WICKED) and H.P. Mendoza, whose new musical FRUIT FLY screens at Outfest directly after the panel.

Alexandre and Victor Carril in Give Me Your Hand

Give Me Your Hand (Sat, Jul 11th 7:00pm, DGA 1)

(France, 2008, 77 mins)
In French with English subtitles
Directed By: Pascal-Alex Vincent
SCR: Pascal-Alex Vincent, Martin Drouot & Olivier Nicklaus

Twin brothers Antoine and Quentin (Alexandre and Victor Carril) live a simple life, working with their father in a bakery in a small French village. When they hear of the death of their estranged mother, the two brothers make their way to Spain for the funeral. Along the way, they get involved in a series of pansexual escapades that force them to examine not only their individual sexualities but also their bond as twins. Director Pascal-Alex Vincent provocatively raises more questions than he answers in this sensual and beautifully shot road drama.

Prodigal Sons (Sat, Jul 11th 7:15pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2008, 90 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Kimberly Reed

Filmmaker Kimberly Reed returns home for her high school reunion, ready to reintroduce herself to the small town as a transgender woman and hoping for reconciliation with her long-estranged adopted brother Marc. Things are complicated by the shocking revelation that Marc may be the grandson of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, forcing Kim and her family to explore questions of sexual orientation, identity, severe trauma and love. PRODIGAL SONS offers a raw, provocative and moving examination of one family’s struggle to come to terms with its past and present.

Beyond the Frame: Live Art and Film (Sat, Jul 11th 9:00pm, Phyllis Stein Art)

Event runs 9:00PM – 12:00AM. Performances begin at 10:00 PM.
(180 mins)

Phyllis Stein Art hosts an evening of Platinum performance and film, including EYE_WITNESS, an in-progress video collaboration by Abigail Severance and Julie Tolentino, YOU HAVE ONE FIST IN MY MOUTH AND ONE FIST UP MY ASS; YOUR ARMS ARE TRAPPED INSIDE ME LIKE A CHINESE FINGER TRAP, a work-in-progress by Zackary Drucker and a new performance by Ashland Mines and Elijah Crampton. Come enjoy an unforgettable night of drinks and art with Platinum!

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Saturday, July 11. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Boys’ Shorts (Sat, Jul 11th 11:00am, DGA 1)
Program Running Time is 96 min

Directed By: Brian Harris Krinsky
USA, 2009, 16 min
Emo kids Israel and Louie walk around their east Los Angeles neighborhood dishing about their high school classmates. After listening to Louie boast about his sexual escapades, Israel decides he has some catching up to do.

Directed By: Christopher Banks
New Zealand, 2009, 13 min
Tony, a dyed-in-the-wool Londoner, travels 10,000 miles to rural New Zealand to rekindle an old relationship, but his fate lies in the paws of a faded old teddy bear.

Steeling Magnolias
Directed By: The Vasco Brothers
USA, 2008, 3 min
A cable repairman reveals a sensitive side as an installation appointment goes wrong.

Directed By: Connor Clements
Ireland, 2008, 18 min
When James realizes long buried secrets can lead to poor family relations, he feels it’s time to confide with his only friend a secret of his own.

Directed By: Todd Holland
USA, 2008, 21 min
A bald dead woman, her favorite wig stolen by her son, and a family that expects to bury her in it in 3 days, WIG mines humor in the face of tragedy and brings fresh style to the timeless journey of recovery after loss.

Directed By: John Sobrack
USA, 2009, 25 min
A boy meets boy meets boy meets…musical.

Lady Trojans / Training Rules (Sat, Jul 11th 4:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

Lady Trojans
(USA, 2008, 58 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Elizabeth Hesik
SCR: Annameekee Hesik

Training Rules
(USA, 2009, 58 mins)
Directed By: Dee Mosbacher, Fawn Yacker

Women’s basketball is an exciting game notable for its charismatic athletes and disciplined play on the court, and in this documentary doubleheader, we get the behind-the-scenes scoop. TRAINING RULES examines the prestigious Penn State program and the disturbing lifelong effects head coach Rene Portland has had on her players, while the intimate and often hilarious LADY TROJANS reminisces about the shenanigans, drama and heartbreak of a 1990s Tucson high school team.

Lion’s Den (Sat, Jul 11th 7:30pm, DGA 2)

(Argentina , South Korea , Brazil, 2008, 113 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Directed By: Pablo Trapero
SCR: Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui, Santiago Mitre & Pablo Trapero

After murdering her abusive boyfriend, pregnant Julia is sent to the special maternity wing of a notorious Argentinean jail. There she discovers a cruel world utterly different from the one she left outside, one where the female inmates must depend on each other for support, protection and love. LION’S DEN takes the familiar tropes of trashy ‘girls behind bars’ flicks and deepens them, creating a tale of survival that is both inspiring and devastating.

American Primitive (Sat, Jul 11th 9:30pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 93 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Gwendolyn Wynne
SCR: Gwendolyn Wynne & Mary Beth Fielder

It’s the Swinging Seventies, and debonair furniture maker Harry Goodhart (Tate Donovan) has come to Cape Cod with his teenage daughters, looking for a slice of the American Dream. Along for the ride is Theo (RENT’s Adam Pascal), who is Harry’s partner in every sense of the word, even if the girls think they only build cabinets together. A charming look at a family under construction, AMERICAN PRIMITIVE is sure to become an instant collector’s item.

Directed by Gwen Wynne, and co-written by Wynne and Mary Beth Fielder, American Primitive is set in early 1970s Cape Cod, where two young women (Daniele Savre and Skye McCole Bartusiak) living with their father (Tate Donovan) and his business partner (Adam Pascal) struggle to come to terms with a secret — dad’s relationship with his partner goes beyond business dealings — that may destroy their unconventional family.

Also in the American Primitive cast: veteran Susan Anspach (best known for Five Easy Pieces, but whose best performance thus far is probably her mom-on-the-brink in the bizarre 1981 comedy Montenegro), Josh Peck, James Sikking, Anne Ramsay, Johanna Braddy, Corey Sevier, Stacey Dash, Jordan Claire Greene, John Savage, and Jason Stuart.

American Primitive is having its world premiere tonight at the 2009 Palm Springs Film Festival. The film will be screened again on Tuesday afternoon, January 13, at Palm Springs’ Camelot Theatres.

July 12

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Sunday, July 12. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Shorts Program: The Bro Job (Sun, Jul 12th 11:30am, DGA 1)

Program Running Time is 92 min

A Mate
Directed By: Teemu Nikki
Finland, 2007, 7 min
Pera wants to try something kinky in the bathroom, so he asks his mate to help him. However, Pera’s wife comes home a bit too soon.

The Watch
Directed By: Marco Berger
Argentina, 2008, 15 min
Two young men find a surprise connection during an impromptu sleepover.

Directed By: Todd Strauss-Schulson
USA, 2008, 5 min
Two dudes go head to head to become gay phone sex operators.

Directed By: Kai Salim
USA, 2008, 8 min
My fag’s more of a fag than your fag!

The Prince
Directed By: Petra Schröder
Germany, 2009, 15 min
It’s summertime. Two young girls are on their way to Rome, by InterRail. They are looking for adventure and find a prince.

Clearing the Air
Directed By: David Morgasen
USA, 2009, 4 min
A gay man asks another office worker out on a date and gets a surprising response.

Awakening (En Forelskelse)
Directed By: Christian Tafdrup
Denmark, 2008, 38 min
Finding himself unexpectedly attracted to his girlfriend’s father, a young man goes through a sexual awakening that will cause a seismic shift in his approach to both life and love.

An Englishman in New York (Sun, Jul 12th 2:00pm, DGA 1)

(UK, 2009, 74 mins)
Directed By: Richard Laxton
SCR: Brian Fillis

John Hurt stars as Quentin Crisp in this delightful biopic about the final years of the famed gay wit. Following the aging eccentric, newly famous as a wry author and public speaker in England through his final years in New York, the film traces his on-again, off-again romance with his new home. Celebrated, exploited and misunderstood, the brilliant Crisp never seems to have expected anything different. Joined by a stellar supporting cast, including Cynthia Nixon, Swoosie Kurtz and Jonathan Tucker, Hurt is pitch-perfect in this illuminating portrayal of the unique queer pioneer.

Taking It To the Streets: Directors Get Political (Sun, Jul 12th 2:30pm, DGA 2)

Panel: 90 mins

Hollywood and politics have always been connected, but the past year has seen a distinct increase in the number of directors getting involved in the democratic process. From films like MILK and ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE to viral videos made in response to the passage of Prop 8, filmmakers are taking a more active role in creating social and political change. Are directors getting their message across and creating real change, or are they just preaching to the converted? What role should film play in shaping contemporary politics? And what can we expect during the next electoral cycles?

Co-presented by the Directors Guild of America. Panelists include: Jamie Babbit (ITTY BITTY TITTY COMMITTEE), Katherine Brooks (LOVING ANNABELLE), Kirby Dick (OUTRAGE), Charles Herman-Wurmfeld (KISSING JESSICA STEIN), Todd Holland (“Wonderfalls”), and Freida Lee Mock (WRESTLING WITH ANGELS: PLAYWRIGHT TONY KUSHNER)

Raging Sun, Raging Sky (Rabioso Sol, Rabioso Cielo) (Sun, Jul 12th 2:00pm, REDCAT)

(Mexico, 2009, 191 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Directed By: Julián Hernández
SCR: Julian Hernández

Julian Hernandez returns to Outfest with this audacious portrait of passion in a metropolis. A mysterious Mexico City of seemingly interconnected pool rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms is the landscape upon which a string of beautiful men, and one mysterious woman, enact a full spectrum of emotion, with a tenderness, ferocity and sexual frankness rarely seen in contemporary film. Hitting new heights of allegory and experimentation, Hernandez remains an indispensable voice in queer cinema.

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (Sun, Jul 12th 2:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 59 mins)
Directed By: Susan Muska, Gréta Olafsdóttir
SCR: Gréta Olafsdóttir & Susan Muska

After 42 years, feisty and delightful lesbian couple Edie and Thea are finally getting married. From the early ’60s to the present day, the tireless community activists persevere through many battles, both personal and political. As Edie says, “We just went on with this talent we have for wrestling joy from the shit.” Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir (THE BRANDON TEENA STORY) return to Outfest with a love story of two remarkable women whose commitment to each other is an inspiration to us all.

‘College Boys Live’ & ‘Dirty Magazines’ + Sharon Gless & Gay Adoption Gone Wrong: Outfest Movies

July 13

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Friday, July 10. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Hannah Free (Fri, Jul 10th 7:00pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 88 mins) World Premiere

Directed By: Wendy Jo Carlton; scr: Claudia Allen

Romantic, touching and poignant, HANNAH FREE eloquently depicts a lifelong love affair between two very different women. Hannah (played as an older woman by the remarkable Sharon Gless) is adventurous and rebellious, while Rachel is content with a traditional small town life. They tell the stories of their lives – from mouth-watering apple pie to clandestine sex in the barn, from adventurous travels to an unbearable marriage, from a world war to deep family denial. Through a history spanning nearly 70 years, their love is the bond that withstands it all.

Misconceptions (Fri, Jul 10th 7:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2008, 95 mins)

Directed By: Ron Satlof; Scr: Ron Satlof

Set in the buckle of the Bible belt, MISCONCEPTIONS is a comedy of manners for the culture wars. Devout churchgoer Miranda Bliss turns her small-town life upside-down when – acting on divine inspiration, natch – she decides to become a surrogate mother for a gay couple. Southern hospitality gets stretched to the limit when the boys show up unannounced to take care of the expectant mother, who hasn’t exactly told her homophobic hubby the particulars….

College Boys Live (Fri, Jul 10th 9:30pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 90 mins) Los Angeles Premiere

Directed By: George O’Donnell

You may have paid to watch the sexy webcams, but you haven’t really gone inside this infamous online party house until you see George O’Donnell’s fascinating documentary. Meet “house mothers” Zac and Jonathan and their teen and twentysomething tenants – troublemaker J.C., heartbreaker Tim and fresh-out-of-the-closet Chuck – then see what happens when their neighbors rally to kick them out. Given the voyeuristic nature of documentary filmmaking, voyeurism itself makes for a compelling subject in this unpredictable and entertaining film.

“Makin’ Moves” (shorts) (Fri, Jul 10th 9:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

Program Running Time is 102 min

Frequent Traveller
Directed By: Patricia Bateira
Portugal, 2007, 8 min
There are many kinds of power, used and unsused, acknowledged or otherwise…

Directed By: Stewart Hendler
USA, 2009, 12 min
At a solitary bus stop, a dandelion shudders in the breeze—and a chance encounter between two people changes both lives forever.

Color Me Bad
Directed By: Hesdy Lonwijk
Netherlands, 2007, 23 min
An enchanting and impressionistic look at the life of a young boxer, son of immigrants, who is torn between tradition and his heart’s desire.

Directed By: David Quantic
USA, 2009, 12 min
Two couples, two countries.

Directed By: Erik Gernand
USA, 2008, 8 min
On the last day of summer before heading off to college, two 18-year old best friends attempt to connect as adults and for the first time in their lives share a real moment.

Dirty Magazines
Directed By: Jay J. Levy
USA, 2008, 39 min
An absurd comedy about how a mother/son relationship changes after a devoted Mom finds gay porn underneath her son’s bed on the morning of his 16th birthday.

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Monday, July 13. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Mr. Right by Jacqueline Morris

Mr. Right (Mon, Jul 13th 7:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(UK, 2009, 95 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Jacqueline Morris
SCR: David Morris

What do a TV producer, a rugby player, two actors, a model and an artist have in common? Find out in MR. RIGHT, a delightful relationship dramedy from the brother/sister team of writer David Morris and director Jacqui Morris. As the boys hook up, break up and make up, they must get past the drama in order to find true happiness. A sentimental, sexy trip through London’s gay enclave Soho, MR. RIGHT just might be the one!

Lion’s Den (Mon, Jul 13th 7:00pm, LAEMMLE MONICA)

(Argentina, South Korea, Brazil, 2008, 113 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Directed By: Pablo Trapero
SCR: Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui, Santiago Mitre & Pablo Trapero

After murdering her abusive boyfriend, pregnant Julia is sent to the special maternity wing of a notorious Argentinean jail. There she discovers a cruel world utterly different from the one she left outside, one where the female inmates must depend on each other for support, protection and love. LION’S DEN takes the familiar tropes of trashy ‘girls behind bars’ flicks and deepens them, creating a tale of survival that is both inspiring and devastating.

Makin’ Moves – Shorts (Mon, Jul 13th 7:00pm, DGA 2)

Legacy Project Gala: Choosing Children (Mon, Jul 13th 8:00pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 1984, 45 mins)
Directed By: Debra Chasnoff,
Kim Klausner

One of the first movies about lesbian families, CHOOSING CHILDREN is an emotionally potent film that challenges society’s definition of family by exploring the ways lesbians are raising children in couples, alone, with gay men and in extended families of friends.

Since the passing of Proposition 8 in California and similar bans against LGBT marriages and adoptions across the United States, illustrations of healthy LGBT families are crucial in breaking down stereotypes and ensuring the civil liberties of all families. CHOOSING CHILDREN began the fight against xenophobia and homophobia in 1984, but its work is not yet complete.

IN PERSON: Academy Award-winning director Debra Chasnoff, co-director Kim Klausner and documentary subjects will talk about the making and restoration of CHOOSING CHILDREN as well as discuss the current state of LGBT families in California in their struggle for civil rights

Event Schedule:
7:00pm: VIP Pre-Party, DGA Atrium (VIP ticket holders)
8:00pm: Screening and Panel (all ticket holders)
10:00pm: Gala After-Party, DGA Lobby (all ticket holders)

Ticket prices range from $30-$300.

Ander (Mon, Jul 13th 9:30pm, LAEMMLE MONICA)

(Spain, 2009, 128 mins)
In Spanish, Euskera with English subtitles
Directed By: Roberto Caston
SCR: Roberto Caston

Quiet farmer Ander is a dedicated creature of habit, but everything in his carefully constructed life is upended by the arrival of José, a migrant worker from Peru. As the men’s friendship grows into something deeper, Ander is forced out of his routine and into the joyous uncertainty of the real world. Featuring sumptuous cinematography and a gorgeous Basque setting, ANDER is a captivating portrait of a life interrupted.

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 (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

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 (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 (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

El nino pez by Lucia Puenzo

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Wednesday, July 15. Synopses from the Outfest website.

El niño pez / The Fish Child (Wed, Jul 15th 7:15pm, DGA 1)

(France , Spain , Argentina, 2009, 96 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Directed By: Lucía Puenzo
SCR: Lucia Puenzo

Writer-director Lucía Puenzo won awards – including two prizes at Cannes – and critical acclaim all over the world for XXY, and now the Argentine filmmaker returns with a lesbian romance that’s also a Chabrol-esque mystery thriller and a scathing examination of class differences in the South American nation.

Lala (Inés Efron, whose performance has inspired comparisons to the early film roles of both Sissy Spacek and Chloë Sevigny), the privileged daughter of a powerful judge, wants to run off with her Paraguayan lover La Guayi (Mariela Vitale), a maid who works for Lala’s family. As the two prepare for their imminent escape from Buenos Aires to Paraguay – to live in a dream house that Lala has already sketched out on paper – Lala’s cruel father is murdered, and circumstantial evidence appears that makes La Guayi look guilty. With the help of the shady Pulido (Carlos Bardem, brother of Javier), will Lala make the ultimate sacrifice for true love? And can the mythical, titular water-child protect these amour fou lesbians? – Alonso Duralde, Feature Film Programmer

AFTER-PARTY: BOOBY TRAP @TEMPORARY SPACES, 5100 Fountain Ave (@ Normandie, Los Angeles

Bitches, Buttholes and BFFs (Wed, Jul 15th 7:15pm, FAIRFAX 1)
Program Running Time is 84 min

Say Hooray to the Pope! (Sag Ja Zum Papst!)
Directed By: Till Penzek, Jon Frickey
Germany, 2007, 2 min
Why the Pope is good.

Two Classy Ladies
Directed By: Brian Gattas
USA, 2009, 6 min
TJ and Kris decide to answer an ad for hookers… and they get TWO CLASSY LADIES!

Hairbox Thrillers 6
Directed By: Michael Lucid
USA, 2009, 1 min
When Leslie Maloney walks back into Bonanza Richardson’s life, she may not have the best of intentions…

A Day At The Beach
Directed By: Veronique Courtois
USA, 2008, 3 min
Brad and Sally will spend a day at the beach they’ll never forget!

Stop It: Mercedes
Directed By: Mike Rose
USA, 2008, 5 min
Addiction is not funny…okay maybe it is. Mercedes is addicted to wearing the same outfit.

Four Steps
Directed By: Karen Wilkens
USA, 2009, 14 min
A lesbian employs the services of “The Master” to teach her how to harness her gay sixth sense, otherwise known as gaydar.

Directed By: Michael Medico
USA, 2009, 2 min
This character study focuses on Simon, a dried-up trust fund brat who’s trapped in the Party Monster era of the early 90s, and reveals what happens when he spots a familiar face one fateful night at a club.

Hairbox Thrillers 11
Directed By: Michael Lucid
USA, 1 min
A juicy piece of gossip can lead to murder…

Directed By: Andrea James
USA, 2009, 14 min
Friends Ava and Joyce race to hide hints that Ava is transsexual before her unaware date arrives at her over-the-top apartment.

Butthole Lickin
Directed By: Kanako Wynkoop
USA, 2008, 5 min
Sometimes lesbian love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Stop It: Jazen
Directed By: Mike Rose
USA, 2008, 5 min
Addiction is not funny…okay maybe it is. Jazen is addicted to Broadway.

Little BFFs
Directed By: Glenn Gaylord, Steven Corfe
USA, 2009, 5 min
Two children play with their dolls (Miley Cyrus and her BFF Mandy) to explain what ‘Gay’ means in this sick puppet animation calvacade of perversions.

Directed By: Ash Christian
USA, 2009, 21 min
Cork & Desi, two of Tinseltown’s most ‘Transtastic’ transplants, are trying to make a name for themselves in the world of Hollywood drag queens. It isn’t until their arch-nemesis, Hollywood’s #1 queen, Basil, sabotages their friendship that they realize they’re meant to be best friends forever and what it takes to create the most talked about drag number the Valley has ever seen.

Patrik, Age 1.5 (Wed, Jul 15th 8:30pm, Ford Amphitheatre)

(Sweden, 2008, 103 mins)
In Swedish with English subtitles
Directed By: Ella Lemhagen
SCR: Michael Druker (play), Ella Lemhagen (screenplay)

Gay newlyweds Sven and Goran have it all: great jobs, a new home in the suburbs and the perfect plan to start their own family. The only thing they don’t have is an answer to the bureaucratic mix-up that leaves them with a delinquent teenager instead of a newborn. Featuring lush cinematography and a smorgasbord of slick Swedish design, PATRIK, AGE 1.5 explores the challenges facing same-sex parents with style and humor.

Bandaged (Wed, Jul 15th 9:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(Germany, 2009, 92 mins)
North America Premiere
Directed By: Maria Beatty
SCR: Claire Menichi

A surgeon and his teenage daughter, Lucille, live in a mysterious mansion equipped with a full laboratory. A suicide attempt leaves Lucille’s face burned and swathed in gauze, and a lady nurse tends to the nubile young woman. The attraction between the two women is palpable, developing into a forbidden affair. A period piece with nods to ’60s European art house horror and a prime candidate for cult film status, BANDAGED is a smoldering and stylish erotic thriller.

The Bro Job (Wed, Jul 15th 9:30pm, DGA 2)


Gay Shorts & ‘And Then Came Lola’ + ‘Hollywood Je T’Aime’ & ‘City of Borders’: Outfest Movies

July 14

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Thursday, July 16. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Drool by Nancy Kissam

Drool (Thu, Jul 16th 7:00pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 84 mins)
Directed By: Nancy Kissam
SCR: Nancy Kissam

Part THELMA & LOUISE and part LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, DROOL is an irreverent dark comedy with delightful performances from bombshells Laura Harring (MULHOLLAND DR.) and Jill Marie Jones (GIRLFRIENDS). With an abusive husband, ungrateful kids and nothing else going for her, Anora’s life is rough. Things start looking up when she gets very friendly with her new neighbor, Imogene…until Anora’s husband walks in on them and ends up dead in a freak, yet karmically just, accident. The ladies hit the open road with two kids, one body and no plan.

AFTER-PARTY: PLATINUM @ EAST WEST LOUNGE, 8851 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

Screenwriting Lab Reading (Thu, Jul 16th 7:15pm, DGA 2)

(90 mins)

Live reading of the 2009 Outfest Screenwriting Lab scripts. The Screenwriting Lab, now in its seventh year, has generated a host of projects in various stages of production, including KISS THE BRIDE, Outfest 2007’s closing night film. The 2009 Screenwriting Lab fellows and scripts are: BUT NOT FOR ME by Ronald Zate, HOT GUYS WITH GUNS by Doug Spearman, MAYBE THIS TIME by Valerie Stadler, THE MOST FAMOUS WOMAN IN THE WORLD by Kerthy Fix & Craig Harwood, PIT STOP by Yen Tan


Two Spirits: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez (Thu, Jul 16th 7:15pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 65 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Lydia Nibley
SCR: Lydia Nibley and Russell Martin

Work-In-Progress Screening

Filmmaker Lydia Nibley explores the cultural context behind a tragic and senseless murder. Fred Martinez was a Navajo youth slain at the age of 16 by a man who bragged to his friends that he “bug-smashed a fag.” But Fred was part of an honored Navajo tradition – the “nadleeh” or “two-spirit”, who possesses a balance of masculine and feminine traits. Through telling Fred’s story, Nibley reminds us of the values that America’s indigenous peoples have long embraced.

City of Borders (Thu, Jul 16th 9:45pm, DGA 2)

(USA, Israel, Palestinian Territories, 2009, 66 mins)
In Arabic, Hebrew, English with English subtitles
North America Premiere
Directed By: Yun Suh

CITY OF BORDERS is a fascinating, multifaceted portrait of Jerusalem, home to adherents of three great world religions, but also to queers from all walks of life. The absorbing cityscape is rendered through several richly drawn portraits that demonstrate the intersecting lines of identity and the possibilities for connection and political leadership when sexuality is introduced as a variable. Gay, lesbian or straight, Israeli and Palestinian, Muslim, Arab or Christian: every resident of Jerusalem faces numerous borders, but also occasional liberations, in this eye-opening documentary.

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Friday, July 17. Synopses from the Outfest website.
El Abuelo by Dino Dinco
El Abuelo by Dino Dinco.

Safe Words (Fri, Jul 17th 7:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)
Program Running Time is 92 min

Directed By: Eldar Rapaport
USA, 2009, 16 min
Moving between anxiety, reflection and fear, two strangers try to make sense of their predicament…stuck in a steam room. Heat increasing, they need to get out but can’t find the door. What is this place and how did they get here‾

The Island
Directed By: Trevor Anderson
Canada, 2009, 5 min
The filmmaker considers, with the help of animation, a piece of fan mail he received.

Directed By: Simon Steuri
Switzerland, 2008, 17 min
Sebastian and Johannes are bound by a deep love for graffiti – and each other.

El Abuelo
Directed By: Dino Dinco
USA, 2008, 3 min
An intimate portrait of local educator and poet Joe Jimenez, shot on location in San Antonio, Texas.

Say My Name
Directed By: Adaora Nwandu
UK, 2009, 12 min
A contemporary Black British gay love story set amidst a gritty grimy urban backdrop of ‘street’ reality.

Poised and in the Throes
Directed By: David Jones
USA, 2008, 5 min
A poetic valentine that deals with the theme of satyrasis.

Weak Species
Directed By: Dan Faltz
USA, 2008, 34 min
High school rivals Steve and George begin a dangerous gravitation toward sex and violence in an attempt to feel. Based on Writings by Dennis Cooper, Weak Species is unflinching and terrifying.

And Then Came Lola

And Then Came Lola (Fri, Jul 17th 7:15pm, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 70 mins)
Directed By: Ellen Seidler, Megan Siler
SCR: Megan Siler & Ellen Seidler

In this fast-paced, femme-filled romantic comedy inspired by RUN LOLA RUN, Lola is a talented photographer but completely unreliable. When her beautiful girlfriend needs her to deliver some crucial photos, can Lola do it? On time? Lola has three chances to make good, but obstacles lurks…namely in the form of gorgeous women, nutty dog owners and stalwart meter maids. Put on your running shoes and tank top and get ready for this mad dash through the streets of San Francisco.


Eric Debets in Hollywood, je t'aime

Hollywood, je t’aime (Fri, Jul 17th 8:30pm, Ford Amphitheatre)

(USA, 2009, 95 mins)
In English and French with English subtitles
Directed By: Jason Bushman
SCR: Jason Bushman

Paris might be lovely in the springtime, but in the winter it sucks – especially after you’ve just been dumped. Lusting for sunshine, among other things, delicious Frenchman Jerome heads to California and falls in with an eclectic crowd that calls Hollywood home. Weird, wild and ultimately beautiful, writer-director Jason Bushman’s debut feature will make you fall in love with LA all over again. The stellar cast includes Eric Debets and Chad Allen.

AFTER-PARTY: FRESH FRIDAYS @ ELEVEN , 8811 Santa Moninca Blvd., West Hollywood

Boy (Fri, Jul 17th 9:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(Philippines, 2009, 80 mins)
In Tagalog with English subtitles
Directed By: Auraeus Solito
SCR: Jimmy Flores & Arturo Calo

In the fourth feature film by Auraeus Solito (THE BLOSSOMING OF MAXIMO OLIVEROS, TULI), a teenage poet instantly falls for gorgeous rent boy Aries. He sells his prized comic books to buy a night of bliss with Aries, thereby shedding his innocence and coming into his own identity – as an artist and a gay man. Recently banned by Singapore censors for “romanticizing” gay sex, BOY is Solito’s contribution to the beloved Filipino macho dancer genre.

AFTER-PARTY: GAMEBOI @ RAGE, 8911 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

Show Me Love (Fri, Jul 17th 9:45pm, DGA 2)

(Sweden, 1998, 89 mins)
In Swedish with English subtitles
Directed By: Lukas Moodyson
SCR: Lukas Moodysson

Screened as the Outfest 1999 opening night film, SHOW ME LOVE is a stunningly honest portrait of teenage life. It’s the love story of 16-year-old Agnes, a social outcast, who has a colossal crush on Elin, an explosive bombshell who is bored with her life in the small Swedish town of Amål. A lesbian favorite and a moving piece of cinema, Lukas Moodysson’s film still charms and inspires a decade after its original release.



Outfest 2009 hightlights on Saturday, July 18. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Chef’s Special / Fuera de Carta (Sat, Jul 18th 11:00am, DGA 1)

(Spain, 2008, 111 mins)
In Spanish with English subtitles
Directed By: Nacho G. Velilla
SCR: Nacho G. Velilla, Oriol Capel, Antonio Sanchez & David Sanchez

Gay type-A-plus chef Maxi (Javier Cámara, TALK TO HER) is too busy trying to run his chic restaurant and dreaming of a write-up in the Michelin guide to have a personal life. But when his estranged wife dies – leaving him two kids to raise – and a gorgeous Argentine soccer player (Benjamín Vicuña) moves in next door, Maxi may have to change the menu. This tasty Spanish comedy also features Almodóvar regulars Lola Dueñas and Chus Lampreave.

Make the Yuletide Gay (Sat, Jul 18th Noon, FAIRFAX 1)

On These Shoulders We Stand (Sat, Jul 18th 1:00pm, DGA 2)

See Outfest July 11 highlights

Prodigal Sons (Sat, Jul 18th 1:00pm, REDCAT)

See Outfest July 11 highlights

The Man Who Loved Yngve (Sat, Jul 18th 2:15pm, FAIRFAX 1)

PTOWN Diaries (Sat, Jul 18th 3:30pm, REDCAT)

(2009, 64 mins)
Directed By: Joseph Mantegna

Alan Cumming narrates PTOWN DIARIES, an essential new documentary that chronicles the amazing history of a Massachusetts town. From its evolution from Pilgrim’s Landing to the home of American drama to the first state to legalize gay marriage in the United States, the film highlights the lively events of Carnival Week, Bear Week and Family Week, and delves seamlessly into the town’s progression as the first artist’s colony in the US, from the arrival of Eugene O’Neil to the groundbreaking work of Tennessee Williams.

Embracing Provincetown’s eccentric and rich heritage with deft insight, this film weaves the stories of the New England Yankees, Portuguese fishermen, bohemian artists and everything in between into a single mesmerizing history of the magnificent landscape known as Lands End.

IN PERSON Q&A with Alan Cumming

Daniel Craig in Love Is the Devil

Love Is the Devil (Sat, Jul 18th 6:00pm, DGA 2)

(UK, 1998, 86 mins)
Directed By: John Maybury
SCR: John Maybury

From the Outfest Legacy Project Collection

Veteran experimental filmmaker and music video auteur, John Maybury, turns his explosively imaginative gaze to narrative feature filmmaking in this chilling story of the controversial British painter, Francis Bacon. Featuring extraordinary performances by Tilda Swinton and Derek Jacobi, and a haunting soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto, this is a dazzling and audacious film about the ugliness lurking behind beauty. (Originally show at Outfest 1998.)

Fish Out of Water (Sat, Jul 18th 7:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(USA, 2009, 60 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Ky Dickens
SCR: Ky Dickens

You might think you know where the Bible stands on the subject of homosexuality, but when was the last time you actually checked? In the spirited documentary FISH OUT OF WATER, filmmaker Ky Dickens explores the seven most notoriously homophobic Bible passages with the help of a group of theologians from across the religious spectrum. Presented as a mix of insightful interviews and endearing animation, Dickens’ discoveries are sure to shock, amaze and delight.

‘Pornography’ & ‘Prayers for Bobby’ + ‘American Primitive’ & ‘Big Love’: Outfest Movies

July 17

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Saturday, July 18. Synopses from the Outfest website.

The Baby Formula (Sat, Jul 18th 8:30pm, Ford Amphitheatre)

(Canada, 2008, 81 mins)
World Premiere
Directed By: Alison Reid
SCR: Richard Beattie

Athena and Lilith want to have a baby…and they’re looking to do it without a man! The ladies employ an experimental procedure that turns stem cells into sperm, allowing them to have a biological child. But when their relatives and a documentary crew find out, the couple’s domestic bliss is put to the test. Pregnant with humor and warmth, THE BABY FORMULA is a fresh take on what makes a family.

AFTER-PARTY: THE BOULEVARD LOUNGE, 1114 N. Crescent Heights, West Hollywood

Motherland (Sat, Jul 18th 9:00pm, DGA 2)

(USA, 2009, 99 mins)
Directed By: Doris Yeung
SCR: Doris Yeung

After a long absence abroad, young Asian American woman Raffi Tang (Francoise Yip) is called home when her estranged mother is murdered. She becomes increasingly drawn into a web of deception and incompetence while at the same time dealing with her own grief. Equal parts noir thriller and dysfunctional family drama, Doris Yeung’s bold debut feature is a sobering tale of the pursuit of the American Dream.

The End of Love (Sat, Jul 18th 9:30pm, DGA 1)

(Hong Kong , China, 2008, 95 mins)
In Cantonese with English subtitles
Directed By: Simon Chung
SCR: Simon Chung

Romance is a very complicated thing in this sexy and poignant new drama from director Simon Chung. Stuck in a Christian “rehabilitation” camp, Ming recalls his double life – a whirlwind of sex and drugs as a rent boy, and a sedate, romantic life with the older and more conservative Yen. Secrets and lies haunt their relationship, as Ming’s mother confronts her son’s sexuality in a most extreme fashion and Yen tries to get Ming to give up hustling.


AFTER-PARTY: FIESTA CANTINA, 8865 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood

Matthew Montgomery in Pornography

Pornography (Sat, Jul 18th 9:45pm, FAIRFAX 1)

World Premiere
Directed By: David Kittredge
SCR: David Kittredge

A gay porn star’s mysterious disappearance becomes an obsession for both a writer and another adult film star, leading them into dark supernatural corners that were never meant to be explored. In his debut feature, writer-director David Kittredge (TARGET AUDIENCE) uses the world of adult entertainment as the launching point for a dark and Lynchian tale. The sexy and unsettling PORNOGRAPHY features an impressive ensemble, including queer indie faves Matthew Montgomery and Dylan Vox.

AFTER-PARTY: RED SATURDAYS @ HERE LOUNGE, 696 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Sunday, July 19. Synopses from the Outfest website.

Prayers for Bobby (Sun, Jul 19th Noon, DGA 1)

(USA, 2009, 89 mins)
Directed By: Russell Mulcahy
SCR: Katie Ford (teleplay), Leory Aarons (book)

Prayers for Bobby is the story of Mary Griffith (Sigourney Weaver), a devout Christian who has raised her children with a conservative religious perspective. When her younger son, Bobby (Ryan Kelley), reveals to his older brother that he is gay, the entire family dynamic is irrevocably shifted. While Bobby’s father (Henry Czerny) and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality, Mary turns to her steadfast beliefs in an attempt to cure her son. Alienated and quickly becoming more detached from the safety of his close knit family, Bobby’s depression drives him to suicide. Now, faced with the devastating tragedy of losing a child, Mary begins to question her faith and, through a painfully emotional journey, ultimately draws strength and support from the gay community. Produced by Once Upon A Time Films in association with Permut Presentations and Sladek Taaffe Productions for Lifetime Television, Prayers for Bobby is based on a true story and the groundbreaking book by Leroy Aarons.

Panelists will include executive producers Daniel Sladek, David Permut and Chris Taaffe, screenwriter Katie Ford, Ryan Kelley (‘Bobby’), Scott Bailey (‘David’) and PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby.

Boys Shorts (Sun, Jul 19th 12:15pm, DGA 2)

Eating Out 3

Eating Out 3 (Sun, Jul 19th 2:30pm, FAIRFAX 1)

(2009, 95 mins)
Directed By: Glenn Gaylord

Outfest presents a sneak preview of the third installment of the successful Eating Out franchise, EATING OUT 3: ALL YOU CAN EAT, starring Rebekah Kochan (EATING OUT 1-2), Mink Stole (the John Waters films) and Leslie Jordan (“Will & Grace”) and introducing six hunky openly gay actors in the lead roles including; Daniel Skelton, Chris Salvatore, Michael Walker, John C. Stallings (Janice Dickinson show), Maximiliano Torandell, and Rick D’Agostino. The deception and partner juggling of the prior two films continues in EATING OUT 3 as bombastic Tiffani (Kochen) and her new friend Casey (Skelton) try to lure the gorgeous Zack (Salvatore) by creating a phony online profile using the image of Tiffani’s buff ex, Ryan (Walker)… which works fine until the real Ryan shows up. Only through some fancy footwork, advice from his Aunt Helen (Stole) and mentor Harry (Jordan), and a daring sexual escapade can Casey figure out how to set things right and perhaps even find the love he’s been looking for.

A Conversation With Don Roos (Sun, Jul 19th 2:45pm, DGA 2)

(90 mins)

Don Roos, recipient of the 2009 Outfest Achievement Award, has consistently brought a dynamic representation of LGBT identities as both a writer and a director to the big screen. An accomplished screenwriter, Roos penned the scripts for BOYS ON THE SIDE, LOVE FIELD, SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, DIABOLIQUE, and most recently, MARLEY AND ME. His credits as a writer-director include the hilarious and heartfelt films THE OPPOSITE OF SEX and HAPPY ENDINGS, and the upcoming LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS. Join the delightful and charming Don Roos in a candid conversation about his career path and the process of bringing these memorable characters and stories to the big screen.

Don Roos will be in conversation with Paris Barclay (“In Treatment,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”)

Ghosted (Sun, Jul 19th 2:30pm, DGA 1)

Outfest 2009 hightlights on Sunday, July 19. Synopses from the Outfest website.

American Primitive (Sun, Jul 19th 5:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)

God Only Knows: A Look at Big Love (Sun, Jul 19th 5:00pm, DGA 1)
(90 mins)

Bold, funny and wholly original, HBO’s Big Love explores the evolving institution of marriage in America through a typically atypical family. Creators/Executive Producers Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer have crafted three seasons of sophisticated, intriguing entertainment that remains utterly topical. Join Mark V. Olsen, Will Scheffer, Matt Ross (‘Alby Grant’), Mary Kay Place (‘Adaleen Grant’), Sandy Martin (‘Selma Green’), additional members of the cast and moderator/Outfest programmer Alonso Duralde for an in-depth look at their groundbreaking series.

Motherland (Sun, Jul 19th 5:15pm, DGA 2)

Pornography (Sun, Jul 19th 7:00pm, FAIRFAX 1)

Closing Night: Dare (Sun, Jul 19th 8:00pm, Ford Amphitheatre)

(USA, 2009, 90 mins)
Directed By: Adam Salky
SCR: David Brind

Based on their award-winning short film, writer David Brind and director Adam Salky return to Outfest with DARE, a stunning debut feature that poetically captures the confusion, longing, thrill and lust of teenage life. The film opens with Alexa (Emmy Rossum), a beautiful, studious, aspiring thespian whose dreams are shattered when acclaimed actor Grant Matson (Alan Cumming) tells her that she has brains but no edge. This devastating blow motivates Alexa to shed her good-girl image. She ditches her best friend Ben (Ashley Springer) – a closeted, melancholy outsider – slips into a hot miniskirt and seduces the gorgeous and popular, but troubled, Johnny Drake (Zach Gilford). No sooner do they become an item than Ben decides he wants a piece of the action and kisses Johnny. Johnny is confused, Ben is ecstatic and Alexa is furious, but in typical teen style, they work it out… and in the process, they discover what it means to become an adult. Stellar performances from the three young leads are bolstered by the comic genius of Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming and Sandra Bernhard. – Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director

Outfest website

Don Roos to Receive Achievement Award: Outfest

Don RoosFilmmaker Don Roos, probably best known for the dramatic comedy The Opposite of Sex, will be the recipient of this year’s Outfest Achievement Award.

Described as “Outfest’s highest honor” the Achievement Award “is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media.” The award will be handed to Roos before the Opening Night Gala screening of Peter Bratt’s La Mission on Thursday, July 9, at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Christina Ricci and Lisa Kudrow are scheduled to attend the presentation.

Don Roos will also be present to discuss his career on Sunday, July 19, at 2:45 pm at the DGA 2.

Among Roos’ screenplays are those for Love Field, starring Michelle Pfeiffer; Single White Female, with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and Marley & Me, which he co-wrote with Scott Frank. He also wrote and directed Bounce, with Ben Affleck and Gwyneth Paltrow, and Happy Endings, with Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Roos’ latest effort, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, starring Kudrow Natalie Portman, is scheduled for a late 2009 release.

Previous recipients of the Outfest Achievement Award include Donna Deitch, Bill Condon, Todd Haynes, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Gus Van Sant, Ian McKellen, and John Schlesinger.

Sigourney Weaver, Ryan Kelley in Prayers for Bobby
Sigourney Weaver, Ryan Kelley in Prayers for Bobby.

Outfest Panels & Special Screenings

Special Events and Panels at Outfest 2009 include q&a’s with the talent and creative teams of HBO’s drama Big Love (July 19 at 5:00pm at DGA 1) and Fox’s musical series Glee. Actors Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, and Jane Lynch, co-creator and writer Ian Brennan, and executive producer Dante Di Loreto will be present for the Glee q&a on Saturday, July 18 at 1:30pm at DGA 1.

Additionally, “Words, Pictures and Music,” a panel discussion about musicals on the big screen, will feature Bill Condon (Chicago), Leslie Dixon (Hairspray), Peter Barsocchini (High School Musical 1-4), and H. P. Mendoza (Colma: The Musical). Mendoza’s new musical, Fruit Fly, will be screened following the discussion.

Among Outfest 2009’s other special events are:

  • A screenwriting Lab Reading
  • A screening of Sandra Bernhard’s Without You I’m Nothing
  • Free screenings of Greta Schiller’s documentary Before Stonewall (Sat, Jul 11, at Noon at the REDCAT), celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots; Debra Chasnoff’s new documentary Straightlaced; and the Annie Award-winning animated feature Kung Fu Panda (!)
  • A Sneak Peek of Making the Boys, a documentary about the making of the 1970 gay-themed classic The Boys in the Band
  • A special screening of Prayers for Bobby (July 19 at 12:00pm at the DGA 1), starring Sigourney Weaver and Ryan Kelley. Panelists will include executive producers Daniel Sladek, David Permut and Chris Taaffe, screenwriter Katie Ford, actors Ryan Kelley and Scott Bailey, and PFLAG National Executive Director Jody Huckaby

I was once invited to go to a The Sound of Music sing-along. I told my friend I was really sorry I wouldn’t be able to make it, but I was going to be on another planet that day. For those who don’t have a pathological aversion to sing-alongs, the Ford Amphitheatre screening of Funny Girl (Thu, July 16, 8:30 pm), starring none other than the officially stamped gay icon Barbra Streisand (above), may turn out to be the Evening of Their Lives.

Other screenings at the Ford include the comedies Patrik Age 1.5, winner of the audience award at this year’s Frameline festival; Jason Bushman’s clever Hollywood je t’aime; Alison Reid’s The Baby Formula; and the Closing Night Gala, Adam Salky’s Dare, starring Emmy Rossum and Zach Gilford.

For detailed information on the special events’ dates and locations, go to

Outfest: ‘Training Rules’ Screening

Winner of the Audience Award for best documentary at San Francisco’s Frameline 2009, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Dee Mosbacher and Fawn Yacker’s Training Rules, about anti-lesbian discrimination in women’s sports, will be screened at Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, on Saturday, July 11, at 4:30 p.m. at the Fairfax 1 in West Hollywood. Mosbacher, Yacker, and the film’s narrator, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad, will take part in a discussion following the screening.

The 60-minute Training Rules focuses on the women’s basketball program at Pennsylvania State University, where in 2006 student athlete Jennifer Harris filed a lawsuit against the university and Lady Lions basketball head coach, Maureen “Rene” Portland (above, lower photo).

As per the film’s press release, “during her 27 years of coaching, Portland enforced three strict rules: no drinking, no drugs and no lesbians.” Even young women who were perceived as being gay were dismissed from the team.

“Discrimination in women’s team sports, especially women’s basketball, is a hot-button issue that many programs still only give lip-service to,” explains Dee Mosbacher, whose Oscar nod was for the 1994 documentary short Straight from the Heart. “We hope that, by viewing the issue through the lens of this groundbreaking lawsuit, we can begin a discourse that will precipitate a much-needed change in women’s sports.”

Men’s sports should be next in line.

Todd Holland, Don Roos, Gay Actors, and The Closet

Todd HollandFirst, openly gay film director Todd Holland (right) is accused of telling non-100 percent hetero performers to keep their sexuality hidden in the closet. Several days later, another openly gay film director, Don Roos, was reportedly even more blatant about the idea of keeping actors hanging in the closet. Adding insult to injury, those statements were made at a film festival named Outfest, Los Angeles’ annual gay & lesbian cinema smorgasbord.

Holland was quoted as saying that young gay actors “should stay in the closet.” He later wrote a piece stating that his “damning words were: ‘If you are that .002 percent [of actors who may be superstar material] … I can’t tell you to come out.”

“I never said stay in the closet. …”

(In the LA Weekly, Patrick Range McDonald’s asserts that Holland remarked “that when young, gay actors ask for his advice on whether or not they should come out in Hollywood, ‘I say, “stay in the closet.”’”)

“I know where you’re coming from,” retorted filmmaker Kirby Dick after hearing Holland’s remarks (whichever they were, I wasn’t there), “but it’s a regressive argument.” Dick, whose latest documentary, Outrage, focuses on closeted gay politicians – most of whom are publicly anti-gay – also asserted that if “an A-list actor came out, it would have more impact on the culture than an A-list politician.”

Don Roos (right), the writer-director of The Opposite of Sex and Happy Endings, doesn’t think so.

As reported by James F. Mills in Notes from Hollywood, at Outfest’s special program “Conversation with Don Roos” the filmmaker stated: “I don’t think actors should be out at the level of press, radio, TV and film.”

Roos went on to explain that he’d never cast Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise in a movie because of the negative publicity they’ve received of late. “When I see Tom Cruise,” Roos was quoted as saying, “I think of Scientology, jumping on a sofa and getting into a fight with Brooke Shields.”

“I prefer more mystery. I don’t want to know about [the actor’s] political views, whether they’re gay or straight.”

He later added, “I have a deep respect for homophobia [in American society] and I don’t think it will ever go away. I don’t think actors coming out is going to help end homophobia. I think doctors, teachers and lawyers coming out will end homophobia.”

Also: “We’re a country of bigots. I don’t want that to go away entirely. We wouldn’t be interesting anymore.”

Too bad Kirby Dick wasn’t around to point out the (regressive) inanity of Roos’ argument.

In any case, sofa-jumping or no, Tom Cruise’s Valkyrie earned more than US$200 million worldwide, while Mel Gibson, hate him or no, has just been cast in The Beaver, opposite Jodie Foster, who’ll also direct. (And whose acting career, if stay-in-the-closeters are to be believed, should have been ruined now that she’s out.)

So, wouldn’t Roos hire Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins because of their liberal political views? What about Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis and their Republican stance? Should actors then be unwilling to voice their personal opinions about anything?

Also, considering his remarks, Roos would likely never cast Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and all those other performers whose hetero relationships, families, adoptions, affairs, and divorces are discussed ad nauseam in print and online publications the world over. There’s no “mystery” there.

I can only assume that Roos’ line about his having a “deep respect for homophobia” was merely a case of poorly chosen words, but the “We’re a country of bigots…” remark was in bad taste, even if in jest. Just ask any Californian gay couple who didn’t get the chance to tie the knot before Proposition 8 became law if they agree that bigotry should not “go away entirely” so the United States can remain “interesting.”

But what bothers me the most about this pro-closet – i.e., pro-dishonesty, shame, fear – attitude is that it’s unabashedly hypocritical. After all, it wasn’t that long ago when film directors like Holland and Roos could never have been openly gay, let alone openly married to another guy. Just ask Dorothy Arzner (right), Irving Rapper, Mitchell Leisen, George Cukor, and dozens of others like them, many (most?) of whom remained deeply closeted until death.

See also an Entertainment Weekly story in which T. R. Knight, while explaining why he left Grey’s Anatomy, claims that the show’s executive producer Shonda Rhimes didn’t want him to come out of closet at the time of the Isaiah Washington blowout. (Rhimes denies Knight’s version of the story.)

And Then Came Lola
And Then Came Lola.

Philadelphia QFest: ‘And Then Came Lola’ + ‘Raging Sun Raging Sky’

The Philadelphia QFest (website) kicks off tomorrow, July 9, with a tribute to Chad Allen, followed by a screening of Jason Bushman’s Hollywood, je t’aime, in which Allen is excellent as a pothead drug dealer who befriends a Frenchman roaming around Los Angeles.

Among the other highlights of Philadelphia’s QFest are:

  • Tribute to Sharon Gless, followed by a screening of Hannah Free.
  • Doris Day Day featuring a screening of Pillow Talk, Day’s first pairing with Rock Hudson, and the film that earned the actress her only Academy Award nomination. Pillow Talk will be preceded by the new German documentary What a Difference a Day Made: Doris Day Superstar, directed by Andrew Davies and André Schäfer.
  • Panel discussions on screenwriting, Philadelphia-based filmmakers, and what’s like to be out in the film industry.
  • Screenings of Julián Hernández’s Raging Sun, Raging Sky, winner of the Teddy Award for best gay-themed narrative film at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival; Lucia Puenzo’s El Niño pez, about an illicit love affair between two women; Frameline 2009 Audience Award winner Patrik, Age 1.5, about a male gay couple eager to adopt an infant but ending up with a teen thug at home; and Megan Siler and Ellen Seidler’s And Then Came Lola, set among gay women in San Francisco, and told in three different scenarios much like Run, Lola, Run.

And here’s wondering what sort of reception Jérôme Anger’s made-for-TV, French police thriller Autopsy (above) will get, as it’s been described as even less flattering about gay men and their sexual and emotional relationships than William Friedkin’s much-lambasted Cruising. (Anger, for his part, has described the film as a tale about self-acceptance – or lack thereof.)

The Philadelphia QFest runs through July 20, with screenings at the Prince Music Theatre and the Ritz East.

By the way, the festival was formerly known as the “Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival,” but there were complaints that by being labeled “gay and lesbian” the festival wasn’t being truly inclusive: what about bisexuals and transgendered people – not to mention trisexuals, multisexuals, asexuals, pansexuals, hermaphrodites, and the like?

Well, the “Q” in the festival’s new title stands for the (unfortunate) label “queer,” which someone, somewhere, decided would become the all-encompassing, politically correct label to describe all non-100 percent heterosexuals (and that’s a whole lot of fucking people, something that would make the 100 percent heteros the “queer” ones). Anyhow, as so often happens with politically motivated labeling, “queer” has been adopted by politically correct lemmings everywhere. (Until someone else, somewhere else, comes up with a new – and hopefully less sour-sounding – politically correct stamp and the lemmings start following that lead.)

Xavier Dolan, François Arnaud in I Killed My Mother

‘I Killed My Mother’: Xavier Dolan Teen vs. Mom Movie

Xavier Dolan’s semi-autobiographical J’ai tué ma mère / I Killed My Mother has been getting a lot of attention, mostly because Dolan is 19 and has won three awards at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for his first film. A former child actor, Dolan spent some of his acting money to make this film about an adolescent (played by himself) who hates his mother.

I really wanted to like I Killed My Mother because it’s Canadian and made by such a young fellow. I even thought Dolan could be the Canadian Orson Welles! But he’s not, and I Killed My Mother is definitely not Citizen Kane.

Although Dolan’s screenplay is certainly interesting, it’s filled with so much angst that it does not translate to the filmmaker’s style. Dolan’s character, Hubert Minel, spends most of the movie shouting, whining, or crying either about his mother or at her. Hubert is supposed to be some sort of genius – a special kind of student – but he’s too wrapped up in his James Dean-like, off-the-handle emotions that he can’t get it together to follow through with anything.

I Killed My Mother shows Hubert’s life through his interactions with those close to him: his single mother (Anne Dorval), his boyfriend Antonin Rimbaud (François Arnaud), and his teacher Julie (Suzanne Clément). Hubert doesn’t treat these people with any sort of respect, and since the film is framed completely from his perspective I found it damn hard to be sympathetic with such an immature lead.

I Killed My Mother also suffers from a level of pretension comparable to that of first-year film students explaining why drinking sour milk is a metaphor for maternity. The fact that the boyfriend’s name is Antonin Rimbaud really rubbed me the wrong way; it was clear that Dolan merely wanted his audience to understand that he’s read some books. There are several references throughout to Cocteau, de Maupassant, and de Laclos – so many, in fact, that the references to these artists made the film seem like it was reaching to be better than it actually was.

Another problem is that all shots are organized and measured out in a manner that fails to match the angst found in the script and the performances. For instance, nearly every shot is a medium close up; we hardly ever see a character’s waist. In each scene, Dolan would box a character in so much that I began to get claustrophobic. It was an interesting visual, but it did not match the tone of the film. Also, there are several scenes where we see Hubert standing in the middle of the shot, boxed in by a fireplace or some sort of frame, with a chair on the right and a statue on the left – or something similar. Everything is symmetrical and it stands out too much.

Whenever Dolan uses wide shots he hides the actor’s head in the bottom right or bottom left of the screen. When two characters talk, he cuts back and forth between close-ups of their faces – one character on the extreme right, the next on the extreme left – creating a mirror image of each other and lots of empty space around their faces. Dolan suggested in an interview with the Huffington Post that this was to symbolize the distance between the characters, but it actually just makes them more connected and closer together.

The most redeeming element in I Killed My Mother is Anne Dorval as Hubert’s mother Chantale. When the camera is on her and we’re given her side of the story, the film feels more mature. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen often. Dorval’s performance is excellent, though she is not used well enough. For instance, she has few close-ups while Hubert is yelling at her about her eating habits; even so, the pain in her eyes just bleeds through the scene – amazing. It’s too bad that we are hardly ever given the chance to see things from her point of view.

Of course, as a first film I Killed My Mother is a good try, but it is not the type of genius filmmaking most people are making it out to be.

J’ai tué ma mère / I Killed My Mother (2009). Dir. / Scr.: Xavier Dolan. Cast: Xavier Dolan, Anne Dorval, François Arnaud, Suzanne Clément.

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Drew -

and, I’m a stooge … I missed that this article is about the 09 Festival. Doh, sorry!

Drew -

I strongly recommend you check out Leading Ladies, screening at Q Fest on Sunday night (7/18) at 7pm. I saw it at OutFest in LA last weekend, and it is SO lovely, with a beautiful lesbian love story, great music, and amazing same-sex dance numbers (with Benji Schwimmer, winner of So You Think You Can Dance).

Corey Rogers -

The Bratts are clearly a beautiful couple!!I had the pleasure of seeing LA Mission at the International Latino Film Festival and there just as wicked hot in person ,but above and beyond that the film is simply amazing,i was blown away by the story and perfomances!!!!I wish the director Peter Bratt would get more notice for his fine work!!

rpodraza -

I think you are over-analyzing the technicalities of the movie. Sure, they are important, but for me, it’s the story ant the acting that should stand out the most. And they did in “I killed my mother”. I went to see this movie without no presuppositions – essentially I knew nothing about it beforehand, and it turns out it’s often best way to just enjoy the movie without paying too much attention to the details. On top of that, in no way the organization of the shots distract me in any way, I think it was adequate to convey the main ideas.


Regis -

If Holland advises young gay actors to “Stay in the Closet” that’s not the same thing as saying “this is a difficult business for young gay actors, make your choices based on that.”

There’s a big difference between telling people what to do or not to do and telling them about the possible consequences of their actions while allowing them to make up their own mind.

Zies Taqui -

It’s just apalling what people do for attention and publicity. Pathetic

I stumbled upon your site and I wanted to congratulate you on a great job.

It’s hard to see such a wide variety of subjects in one place. Love it!

J -

Holland, a Director who hires gay actors, was asked about the employment opportunities in the industry as a whole today for actors who come out. He honestly responded that the climate was not good for those that did. Now bastions of all that is holy ,most likely never responsible for the employment of any actor gay or straight, spend weeks killing a messenger for stating what seems to be the 2009 cruel facts. For the love of God, try focusing on correcting the mind sets of those Directors that are the problem.

Laura -

Homophobia in men’s sports isn’t an issue. If it was, then we’d hear about more sports stars being outed (before they retire), right? (…Ugh!)


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