OUTFEST Announces 2010 Fest Lineup, Includes HOWL, SPORK, Runs 7/8-18


Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) images, has announced an original and diverse programming lineup for Outfest 2010: The 28th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The nation's leading LGBT festival and the oldest film festival in the city will be held July 8 to 18.

In addition to the 147 films (60 features and 87 shorts) from 23 countries, Outfest hosts over a dozen panels and special events at several venues across Los Angeles, including Hollywood, West Hollywood and Downtown.

"This year's incredible line-up celebrates all of the forward-thinking artists that push the boundaries for LGBT rights and equality," says Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest. "From Allen Ginsberg's quest for personal and artistic liberation to stories that challenge the status quo in the age of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and gay marriage bans, this inspiring collection of films is sure to impact both gay and straight audiences."

The list of films and filmmakers involved with this year's festival include the debut narrative feature from acclaimed documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman "HOWL" starring James Franco, Jon Hamm and David Strathairn, as the Opening Night Gala, and the feature debut of actor-turned-writer/director J.B. Ghuman, "Spork" as the Closing Night Gala.

Other gala screenings include: Cheryl Dunye's hybrid thriller/documentary "The Owls" as the U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece and the feature debut from Outfest Screenwriting Lab fellow Javier Fuentes-León, "Undertow (Contracorriente)" as the International Dramatic Centerpiece.

"The Outfest 2010 program showcases the work of veteran filmmakers and first-timers whose voices and stories are vital to the LGBT community," says Kim Yutani, Director of Programming of Outfest. Whether it's brand new feature films, the stellar short film program or our retrospective screenings, these are some of the most exciting voices - from both the past and present - in what will certainly be a dynamic 11-days of Outfest."
As previously announced, Jane Lynch will receive this year's Outfest Achievement Award. Fellow Glee cast member Chris Colfer and director Paris Barclay will present the award to Lynch prior to the Opening Night Gala screening of "HOWL."

Outfest will also once again celebrate the Opening Night Gala with its renowned After-Party which this year will take place at the most spectacular new nightclub in Los Angeles, Exchange LA.

Outfest is also celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, a collaboration with the UCLA Film and Television Archive - the only program in the world dedicated to saving and protecting LGBT moving images. To celebrate this milestone, Outfest has asked 5 filmmakers, musicians and journalists to select and introduce a favorite film from the Legacy Collection. Selections include "Clueless," "Hustler White," "Mädchen in Uniform," "Out of The Shadows/Sign of Protest" and "Macho Dancer."

Furthermore, in honor of West Hollywood's 25th anniversary as an incorporated city, Outfest is proud to present a series of films that focus on the city's history and celebrate the community as a vital contributor to the arts. Titles include "The Broken Hearts Club," "An Ordinary Couple," "Is It Just Me?" and "Out of The Shadows."

In its 4 in Focus series, Outfest celebrates a quartet of first-time feature film directors who have boldly established their careers with accomplished, independently-produced debut features. The selections this year include: Myriam Aziza's "The Evening Dress (La Robe Du Soir)," Javier Fuentes-León's "Undertow (Contracorriente)," Adriana Maggs' "Grown Up Movie Star" and Jake Yuzna's "Open."

For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to www.Outfest.org or call 213-480-7065. Festival tickets go on sale on June 7 to Outfest members and on June 14 to the general public. Special ticket packages are also available.

To download high-res images, please visit: http://flickr.com/gp/outfest/m4936g

Outfest's 28th film festival is presented by HBO, Grand sponsor Absolut Vodka. Premiere Sponsors are the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Clear Channel, Directors Guild of America, The Gay AdNetwork, Healthy Choice, Here Media, Lexus, Logo TV and Variety, with Official Sponsors The Event Division, Leslie, Wallace & Associates LLP, One Hope, Orbitz, Room&Board, Southwest Airlines, Stella Artois and TechPal.


Opening Night Gala - "HOWL" (July 8 at 8:00pm - Orpheum Theatre)
HOWL is a hypnotic journey through the interwoven stories of Allen Ginsberg's personal quest for liberation, the historical court case against his poem and the power of Howl as a work of art. The film begins in San Francisco in 1955 as 29-year-old Allen Ginsberg (James Franco) first recites his bebop inspired poem Howl to a riveted audience in Gallery Six. When published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, the drug-inspired imagery and explicit references to gay sex in the poem become the focus of the famous obscenity trial against Ferlinghetti and, not surprisingly, help Howl become one of the most prominent and notorious works of the Beat Generation. Through his relationships with three crucial men, the film explores Ginsberg's self-realization. Not only does Ginsberg fall in love with fellow writers Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady and Peter Orlovsky (who becomes Ginsberg's life partner), but together the men inspire each other to live and work spontaneously and freely. Ultimately, along with the other Beats, they give birth to an American counterculture.

HOWL is the first dramatic feature film from veteran documentary filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (THE TIMES OF Harvey Milk, COMMON THREADS: STORIES FROM THE QUILT, THE CELLULOID CLOSET, PARAGRAPH 175). In telling Ginsberg's story, Epstein and Friedman boldly translate the poem into a cinematic experience (with original animation by Eric Drooker, who collaborated with Ginsberg on his Illuminated Poems), recreate the life and times of Ginsberg and showcase James Franco in a revelatory performance as the young poet.

Closing Night Gala - "Spork" (July 18 at 8:00pm - Ford Theatre)
High school's awful enough already, but it's even more of a challenge when you're a four-eyed self-described self-described hermaphrodite with a gigantic mop of untamed frizzy hair. And so, like the utensil for which she's named, Spork (Savannah Stehlin) doesn't fit comfortably into any of the available compartments. Her best friend Tootsie Roll (Sydney Park) is the baddest dancer for miles around, but when she injures herself (hair product + gym floor = accident waiting to happen), it's up to Spork to brush up on her vintage hip-hop moves and save the day, even if the evil Betsy Byotch (Rachel G. Fox) and her cadre of high-school harpies have other plans.

A wonderfully whacked-out debut for actor-turned-writer-director J.B. Ghuman, Jr., SPORK boasts fresh and funny performances - the ferociously talented youngsters are bolstered by vets like Elaine Hendrix and Beth Grant - a one-of-a-kind visual style and a story that brings humor and hope to outsiders everywhere.

U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece - "The Owls" (July 12 at 8:00pm - DGA 1)
THE OWLS (the acronym for Older Wiser Lesbians), a hybrid narrative thriller/documentary, takes an unprecedented look at the generational gap between middle-aged lesbians - who paved the way in the '80s and '90s - and their 20-something counterparts. The OWLs are former rock stars Iris (Guinevere Turner) and Lily (Lisa Gornick), who love their alcohol and still attempt to party like it's 1994. Lily's relationship with her girlfriend Carol (Cheryl Dunye) is a little unstable, and MJ (V.S. Brodie) carries a torch for Iris. When the middle-aged parliament encounter Cricket (Deak Evgenikos), a 20-something dyke who has little respect for the self-proclaimed trailblazing ladies, tragedy ensues, sending the OWLs into a tailspin.

Director Cheryl Dunye (THE WATERMELON WOMAN) and novelist Sarah Schulman workshopped THE OWLS script with the cast and crew. Scripted scenes and the out-of-character actors provide insight into their roles and their own lives, exploring a multitude of timely and provocative themes in this truly innovative film.

International Dramatic Centerpiece - "Undertow (Contracorriente)" (July 13 at 8:00pm - DGA 1)
With the measured patience of a seasoned filmmaker, writer/director Javier Fuentes-León's feature debut is a haunting tribute to the power of the heart and the painful consequences of love denied. From a script he developed as an Outfest Screenwriting Lab fellow in 2003 and set in an exotic Peruvian fishing village, the film's romantic complications, familial assembly and loyalty to tradition evoke Shakespearean themes.

Bound to a tradition that forbids his love for another man, Miguel (Cristian Mercado in a hot-blooded performance) is forced to live a secret life that, when exposed, threatens to dismantle his family and circle of friends. Miguel's passionate and steamy affair with local painter Santiago sates his sexual desires, but he is torn between his duty to his wife and his love for Santiago. After a tragic accident, Miguel must come to terms with his contradicting feelings, building to a bold declaration of love that will set free Santiago and himself, and transform the village.

The turbulent waters and rocky shoreline beautifully echo Miguel's inner tumult and complement the spare storytelling. Waves crash incessantly onscreen and off, but it's the fervent spirit of this film that resonates loudest. Winner of the World Cinema Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival.


U.S. Dramatic Features
BearCity (Director: Doug Langway, Screenplay: Doug Langway and Lawrence Ferber)
Bloomington (Director/Screenplay: Fernanda Cardoso)
Earthling (Director/Screenplay: Clay Liford)
Elena Undone (Director/Screenplay: Nicole Conn)
The Four-Faced Liar (Director: Jacob Chase, Screenplay: Marja Lewis Ryan)
A Marine Story (Director/Screenplay: Ned Farr)
Is It Just Me? (Director/Screenplay: JC Calciano)
My Normal (Director: Irving Schwartz, Screenplay: Renee Garzon & Adam Sales)
Leading Ladies (Directors: Daniel Beahm & Erika Randall Beahm, Screenplay: Erika Randall Beahm)
Open (Director/Screenplay: Jake Yuzna)
Role/Play (Director/Screenplay: Rob Williams)
Violet Tendencies (Director: Casper Andreas, Screenplay: Jesse Archer)
Stuck! (Director: Steve Balderson, Screenplay: Frankie Krainz)
We Have To Stop Now (Director: Robyn Dettman, Screenplay: Ann Noble)

International Dramatic Features
Children of God (Director/Screenplay: Kareem Mortimer)
Fit ((Director/Screenplay: Rikki Beadle-Blair)
The Evening Dress (Director/Screenplay: Myriam Aziza)
From beginning to End (Director/Screenplay: Aluisio Abranches)
Grown Up Movie Star (Director/Screenplay: Adriana Maggs)
The Last Summer of Boyita (Director/Screenplay: Julia Solomonoff)
Hideaway (Director: Francois Ozon, Screenplay: Mathieu Hippeau & Francois Ozon)
Light Gradient (Director/Screenplay: Jan Kruger)
I Killed My Mother (Director/Screenplay: Xavier Dolan)
Paulista (Director: Roberto Moreira, Screenplay: Roberto Moreira & Anna Muylaert)
Plan B (Director/Screenplay: Marco Berger)
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (Director/Screenplay: James Kent)
The Purple Sea (Director: Donatella Maiorca, Screenplay: Donatella Maiorca, Pina Mandolfo, Mario Cristiani, Donatella Diamanti)
Spring Fever (Director: Ye Lou, Screenplay: Feng Mei)
Sasha (Director/Screenplay: Dennis Todorovic)
The String (Director: Mehdi Ben Attia, Screenplay: Mehdi Ben Attia & Olivier Laneurie)

Documentary Features
The Adults in the Room (Director/Screenplay: Andy Blubaugh)
Bisexual Revolution (Director: Eric Wastiaux & Laure Michel, Screenplay: Eric Wastiaux)
Bear Nation (Director/Screenplay: Malcolm Ingram)
Florent: Queen of the Meat Market (Director/Screenplay: David Sigal)
Forever's Gonna Start Tonight (Director/Screenplay: Michelle Lawler)
Le Tigre: On Tour (Director: Kerthy Fix)
Gay Days (Director/Screenplay: Yair Qedar)
An Ordinary Couple (Director/Screenplay: Jay Gianukos & Susan Barnes)
Hooters! (Director/Screenplay: Anna Margarita Albelo)
The Other City (Director: Susan Koch, Screenplay: Jose Antonio Vargas)
Other Nature (Director/Screenplay: Nani Sahra Walker)
Postcard To Daddy (Director/Screenplay: Michael Stock)
Out in the Silence (Director/Screenplay: Dean Hamer & Joe Wilson)
Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields (Director/Screenplay: Kerthy Fix & Gail O'Hara)
Out of Annapolis (Director/Screenplay: Steve Clark Hall)
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls (Director/Screenplay: Leanne Pooley)

More information about the festival and the films can be found on www.Outfest.org

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