Outfest Awards: Lesbian Romance in 'The Gymnast' & Controversial 'Loving Annabelle'

Outfest – Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Awards

The Gymnast Dreya Weber Addie YungmeeOutfest 2006 was held between July 6–17.

Among the winners of the 2006 Outfest – the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival – were:

Ned Farr's The Gymnast, the story of a former gymnast who falls in love with a younger woman, was chosen as the Outstanding American Narrative Feature. (It also won the Audience Award for Best First Narrative Film.)

The Outstanding International Narrative Feature Award was given to Amnon Buchbinder's Canadian dramatic comedy Whole New Thing, about an androgynous thirteen-year-old (Aaron Webber) who develops a crush on his English teacher (Daniel MacIvor).

The Outstanding Documentary Feature Award went to Malcolm Ingram's Small Town Gay Bar, which depicts small-town prejudice against gays who congregate at their local bar.

The Audience Award for Best Narrative Film was shared by two films dealing with forbidden love: Katherine Brooks' Loving Annabelle, inspired by Leontine Sagan's 1931 drama Mädchen in Uniform, and starring Diane Gaidry as a Catholic school teacher who falls in love with her student (Erin Kelly), and Christian Faure's A Love to Hide / Un amour à taire (left), which has Jérémie Renier and Bruno Todeschini hiding their feelings in Nazi-occupied Paris.

In the acting categories, Michael Carbonaro was Best Actor for in Another Gay Movie, and Diane Gaidry was Best Actress in Loving Annabelle.

Grand Jury Awards:

Outstanding American Narrative Feature: THE GYMNAST directed by Ned Farr

Outstanding International Narrative Feature: WHOLE NEW THING directed by Amnon Buchbinder

Outstanding Documentary Feature: SMALL TOWN GAY BAR directed by Malcolm Ingram

Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film: Michael Carbonaro in ANOTHER GAY MOVIE

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film: Diane Gaidry in LOVING ANNABELLE

Outstanding Screenwriting: Q. Allan Brocka and Philip Pierce for BOY CULTURE

Audience Awards:

Outstanding First Narrative Feature: THE GYMNAST directed by Ned Farr

Outstanding Narrative Feature (tie): LOVING ANNABELLE directed by Katherine Brooks and UN AMOUR A TAIRE / A LOVE TO HIDE directed Christian Faure

Outstanding Documentary Feature: CAMP OUT directed by Kirk Marcolina and Larry Grimaldi

Outstanding Narrative Short: AVAILABLE MEN directed by David Dean Bottrell

Outstanding Documentary Short: MY CRAZY LIFE directed by Carlos Arguello and Enzo Ybarra

Outstanding Soundtrack: PIC UP THE MIC directed by Alex Hinton

Special Programming Awards:

Freedom Award:

Dan Hunt, Janet Baus and Reid Williams, Directors, CRUEL AND UNUSUAL

Outstanding Emerging Talent: Ash Christian, Director, FAT GIRLS

Outstanding Artistic Achievement: Ho Tam, Director, BOOKS OF JAMES

U.S. Dramatic Features Competition Jury: Craig Chester, Mia Riverton, Ernest Hardy

International Dramatic Features Competition Jury: Matthew Fox, Robert Hawk, Doris Yeung

Documentary Features Competition Jury: Shannon Kelley, Jennifer Morris, J. Karen Thomas

More Outfest

The 24th edition of Outfest (website), the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, kicked off this past Thursday.

Among the highlights of the festival are Ahmed Imamovic's Go West (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tue 7/11, 9:30pm Laemmle Monica, Thu 7/13, 5:00pm Village), which caused quite a stir among Bosnia's reactionary crowd because Go West screenwriters Imamovic and Enver Puska dared to equate anti-gay prejudice with ethnic hatred; François Ozon's Le Temps qui reste / Time to Leave (France, Thu 7/13, 7:15pm Village), about a young man (Melvil Poupaud) who tries to come to terms with his imminent demise (brain cancer, not AIDS); and Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada, Thu 7/13, 8:30pm The Ford Amphitheatre), the story of an adolescent (Marc-André Grondin) coming to terms with his homosexuality in the Quebec of the 1960s and 1970s. C.R.A.Z.Y. won a total of 10 Genie Awards (that's the Canadian Oscar) and no less than 13 Jutra Awards (Quebec's Oscar).

Reinas / Queens (Spain, Fri, Jul 14, 8:30 pm Ford Amphitheatre) is worth a look mostly because of its stellar female cast that includes Carmen Maura and Marisa Paredes. We have a brief review here.

Note: Jeanne Moreau can be seen in both Go West and Le Temps qui reste, but she's nowhere to be found in either C.R.A.Z.Y. or Reinas.

L.A.'s Gay & Lesbian Film Festival runs until July 17. The Outfest schedule can be found here.

As an aside, Outfest organizers have also begun a drive to support film preservation. According to the Outfest website, the Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation “is the only film preservation program in the world devoted to addressing the crisis in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) film preservation. In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Outfest's Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation has established the largest publicly accessible collection of LGBT films in the world. In addition, Outfest and UCLA are collecting film prints and other material for permanent preservation, and will strike new prints for widespread public exhibition, restore damaged films to their initial release forms and educate filmmakers and the general public about LGBT film and video preservation.”

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