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Outfest Fusion Announces 2020 Lineup

Outfest Fusion Announces 2020 Lineup

Outfest - the non-profit organization with the mission to create visibility for diverse LGBTQ+ stories and empower tomorrow's artists and storytellers by building empathy to drive meaningful social change through its tentpole festivals, Outfest Forward educational labs, fellowships, and Legacy film restoration program - has announced the official lineup for Outfest Fusion 2020: Culture. Film. Music. Story. presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. Now in its 17th year, Outfest Fusion will celebrate 5 days of screenings, performances, panels, galas, workshops, and world premieres across 6 unique LA venues. This year's festival takes place March 6 - 10, 2020.

Outfest Fusion is now one of the fastest growing entertainment & diversity events of its kind with an anticipated attendance of over 8,000. In 2004, what began as Outfest Fusion People of Color LGBT Film Festival has organically grown into a multicultural exhibition of voices, faces, and stories of the emerging majority that has transcended the festival's initial purpose.

Outfest Fusion brings together one of the largest, inclusive and diverse cross-sections of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. From international and experimental films to breakthrough performances by some of today's most exciting underground artists, musicians, and creators, Fusion is where the next generation of storytellers and cultural ambassadors are discovered. Outfest Fusion 2020 will feature more than 60 films, including 11 World Premieres, 4 North American Premieres, 12 West Coast Premieres, 13 Los Angeles Premieres and 1 International Premiere. Live performances by emerging music artists will be announced separately at a secret venue in DTLA in the coming week. This year's festival artwork was designed by famed non-binary artist Jess X Snow and the official film guide photography was produced by world-renowned indigenous photographer Zoe Urness.

DAMIEN S. NAVARRO, Outfest Executive Director, exclaims: "Growing up as a biracial queer local Angeleno youth, it has been a dream to be part of such a transformative an event as Outfest Fusion. This dynamic festival stands alone as the only one in Hollywood's backyard that is spotlighting and defining a new generation of storytellers that center our emerging multicultural majority at the forefront of their narratives. The number of premieres that we are proud to showcase this year from around the globe speaks to the growing international stature of this festival, and our passionate commitment to homegrown talent continues to act as a launching pad for up-and-coming visionaries behind and in front of the camera. As a testament to that spirit, filmmakers from Brazil, Nigeria, India, and local, award-winning Outfest alumni like Andrew Ahn want to premiere their newest works in front of our specific audience. I truly believe that this is the future of Outfest festivals. The audiences for this festival come to discover where storytelling will be heading in the next ten years."

The Outfest Fusion feature film program will highlight global storytelling with Official Selections that include EL PRINCIPE (The Prince) directed by Sebastián Muñoz, winner of Queer Lion at the 2019 Venice Film Festival; BREAKING FAST directed by Mike Mosallam, starring Haaz Sleiman from the Oscar-nominated film The Visitor, which chronicles a Muslim living in West Hollywood learning how to navigate life post heartbreak. Sleiman also stars in Marvel's upcoming film The Eternals and will be one half of the first gay couple in a Marvel film alongside Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta).

The festival will also host the 2019 Venice Film Festival selection LINGUA FRANCA, written, directed by, and starring Isabel Sandoval as well as the international premiere of I AM THE OTHER ONE from Brazillian director Sílvia Godinho. I AM THE OTHER ONE tells the story of three transgender Brazilian men, their daily struggles and triumphs, in a hybrid of documentary and performance. Andrew Ahn's feature DRIVEWAYS will also have its LA public premiere at Outfest Fusion. The film stars Hong Chau (Downsizing, Watchmen) and Golden Globe and Tony-winning actor Brian Dennehy. The film was nominated for two Film INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS this year, including Best Female Lead for Chau.

On Saturday, March 7, Outfest Fusion will premiere a special sneak preview of Lena Waithe's highly anticipated upcoming BET series TWENTIES. The eight-episode series will star Jonica T. Gibbs as Hattie, an aspiring TV writer who dreams of glory but seems incapable of holding down a regular job. Cast members Jonica T. Gibbs, Christina Elmore, and Gabrielle Graham will be in attendance for a Q&A.

The Outfest Legacy Project, committed to archiving and preserving queer stories, will feature two repertory titles in the Fusion lineup: Sundance 2012 selection MOSQUITA Y MARI, directed by Aurora Guerrero, and the 1998 Outfest Audience Award-winning short film SECRETS directed by Sheryl Lee Ralph and featuring Ralph, Robin Givens, Tina Lifford, and Alfre Woodard.

Fusion will kick off on Friday, March 6th at downtown Los Angeles' Japanese American Cultural & Community Center with its Gala Shorts program, featuring some of the most exciting short film work of the past year, including the 2020 Sundance Official Selection BUCK directed by Elegance Bratton and Jovan James, the 2019 Venice Film Festival Horizons Award-winner for Best Short Film DARLING by director Saim Sadiq, and the powerful short drama SPILT MILK directed by Cierra Glaude, produced by Lena Waithe, and starring Orange Is the New Black's Dascha Polanco and Good Trouble's Zuri Adele.

Other short film programming highlights include: -SHIP: A VISUAL POEM directed by Terrance Daye, the winner of the Sundance 2020 Short Film Jury Award for U.S. Fiction; the World Premiere of LILY CHAN AND THE DOOM GIRLS directed by Grammy-nominated Chinese-American artist and director Andrew Thomas Huang, whose acclaimed music videos include work for artists like Björk, Perfume Genius, and FKA twigs; Chilean social thriller THE NIGHT, UNSHELTERED starring Daniela Vega of the Academy Award-winning A Fantastic Woman, and directed by Iñaki Velasquez; the Berlinale 2020 short WHO CAN PREDICT WHAT WILL MOVE YOU by director Livia Huang; Sundance 2020 selection DIRTY by Matthew Puccini; SAFE AMONG STARS directed by Jess X. Snow and starring Poppy Liu of NBC's Sunnyside.

Outfest Fusion will also feature a variety of high impact workshops, think tanks, and panel conversations. The conference will see the debut of Fusion's Rising Stars, honoring six up-and-coming QTPOC actors on the cusp of major breakthroughs in their Hollywood careers. The Rising Stars honorees will join The Advocate's Managing Editor David Artavia for a panel discussion on Sunday, March 8th; participating panelists will discuss their experience as queer-identifying artists in the film and entertainment industry and give advice for young queer hopefuls looking to follow in their footsteps. Panelists include: Zuri Adele (Good Trouble), Adam Faison (Everything's Gonna Be Okay), Alexandra Grey (Empire) Poppy Liu (Sunnyside), Leo Sheng (Adam, The L Word: Generation Q), and Tonatiuh (Vida).

Additional 2020 Fusion activities include a host of educational workshops meant for aspiring filmmakers and creatives of all skill levels. Youtube sensation and THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW regular Kalen Allen will lead a class on BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC ONLINE BRAND; journalist Tre'vell Anderson will lead FILM JOURNALISM & CRITICISM: A CRASH COURSE, designed to guide aspiring writers from underrepresented communities through the thorny path of freelance journalism as a career; HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE - an interactive, deep-dive in storytelling for next generation filmmakers - will be taught by producer Chester Algernal. Producer David Sigurani (Bonding, This Close) will lead the CRAFTING A PITCH THAT SELLS workshop, teaching attendees how to best present their projects to hook producers, actors, and executives; and celebrated actress Rain Valdez (Outfest Fusion 2019 selection Razor Tongue, Why Women Kill) will lead The LGBTQIAs OF ACTING workshop.

Outfest Fusion 2020 is presented by Comcast NBCUniversal. The Premiere Sponsors are AARP and Gilead Sciences. The Automotive Sponsor is Hyundai. Radio sponsor is KCRW. Supporting Sponsors include: Bank of America, EFFEN Vodka, The Fight Magazine, Fotokem, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Second Home, West One Music Group. Media Sponsors include: Edge Media Network, Gayety, and Lesbian News.

The 2020 Outfest Fusion Film Festival program will include the following feature and short films with additional programming added in the coming weeks.

FEATURES

Breaking Fast by Mike Mosallam (USA)

Driveways by Andrew Ahn (USA)

Eu, Um Outro/I Am The Other One by Sílvia Godinho (Brazil)

Lingua Franca by Isabel Sandoval (USA)

El Principe/The Prince by Sebastián Muñoz (Chile, Argentina, Belgium)

We Are The Radical Monarchs by Linda Goldstein Knowlton (USA)

Walking With Shadows by Aoife O'Kelly (Nigeria/UK)

Welcome To The USA by Assel Aushakimova (Kazakhstan)

Yeh Freedom Life/This Freedom Life by Priya Sen (India)

LEGACY SCREENINGS

Mosquita y Mari (2012) by Aurora Guerrero (USA)

Secrets (1998) by Sheryl Lee Ralph (USA)

SHORTS

2 Black Boys by Rachel Myers

Across, Beyond And Over by Brit Fryer and Nona Schamus (USA)

Acuitzeramo by Miguel Angel Caballero (Mexico/USA)

Ayaneh by Nicolas Greinacher (Switzerland)

BDAY by Andrew Lush (USA)

Before It's Too Late by Leandro Goddinho (Germany)

Blocked by Kevin Yee (USA)

Buck by Elegance Bratton & Jovan James (USA)

Bubble by Alyssa Lerner (USA)

Darling by Saim Sadiq (Pakistan/USA)

Down Dog by Shae Xu (USA)

Dirty by Matthew Puccini (USA)

Drip Like Coffee by Anaiis Cisco (USA)

Floss by Popo Fan (China/Norway/Hong Kong)

Flourish by Heather María Ács (USA)

Gamers by Searit Huluf (USA)

Go Go, Boy! by Oriana Oppice (USA)

Homegoing by Carlton Daniel (USA)

I Know Her by Fawzia Mirza (USA)

Inferno by Andrew R. Blackman (New Zealand)

Jesse Jams by Trevor Anderson (Canada)

Kama'āina by Kimi Howl Lee (USA)

Killer Workout by Sara Werner (USA)

La Gloria by Mary Evangelista (USA)

Lily Chan & The Doom Girls by Andrew Thomas Huang (USA)

Lime by Donta Storey (USA)

Marco by Saleem Haddad (UK)

Plus by Andrew J. Rodriguez (USA)

Safe Among Stars by Jess X. Snow (USA)

Same, Old. by Haya Alghanim (USA)

Saving Chintu by Tushar Tyagi (India)

Self Worship by Asia Brown (USA)

Sextpert Advice by Tobit Raphael (USA)

Shéár Avory: To Be Continued by Abram Cerda (USA)

-Ship: A Visual Poem by Terrance Daye (USA)

Solarity by Marianne Verrone (USA)

Spilt Milk by Cierra Glaude (USA)

Super Zee by Nathalie Younglai (Canada)

Tender by Felicia Pride (USA)

The Night, Unsheltered by Iñaki Velásquez (Chile)

To Be With You by Elliott Feliciano (USA)

Tomgirl by Vonne Patiag (Australia)

Touch by Song Huang (China)

True To You by Jacob Charton (USA)

Umbilical by Danski Tang (China/USA)

Unspoken by Patrick G. Lee (USA)

Where My Girls by Mads Engel (USA)

Who Can Predict What Will Move You by Livia Huang (USA)

Wonder by Javier Molina (USA)

Yunior by Francisco Cabrera-Feo (USA)


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