2020 Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival Goes Virtual & Announces Full Lineup

Tuesday August 11, 2020

'The Strong Ones (Los Fuertes)'
'The Strong Ones (Los Fuertes)'  

We're having a drive-in. Outfest debuts an outdoor program and streaming platform to bring 160+ films, including 35 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, and 4 U.S. premieres to Los Angeles for 2020. This year's Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival will run August 20-30 and will be accessed via www.outfestla2020.com for one All-Access Pass, with new centerpiece films, premieres, and hand-curated programs debuting daily. Select packages of Festival Favorites will also be available for direct purchase. The festival is presented by WarnerMedia.

For the outdoor cinephiles, the "Outfest LA Under the Stars," drive-in experience will take place at the stunning Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, where for two extended weekends the Festival will be hosting a series of drive-in screenings across six-nights on two lots, including both kick-off and closing events. Drive-in screenings will launch with a special, drive-in only Los Angeles premiere of Sundance 2020 title "The Nowhere Inn," starring musicians Annie Clark and Carrie Brownstein in a reality-bending send-up of Clark's musical persona, St. Vincent. Look out for the announcement of other "Outfest LA Under The Stars" drive-in experiences in the coming weeks.

The digital portion of the festival will be powered by the Vimeo OTT platform, making it accessible across all major platforms, viewers at home will also be able to customize their own festival experience, with a personalized watch list tool, on-demand viewing, and simple navigation that have become the standard for rich in-home entertainment experiences.

Outfest LA's diverse 2020 slate - with over 70% of films directed by female, trans, and POC filmmakers - will include high-profile films originally scheduled for festivals disrupted by COVID-19 earlier in the year, including Tribeca selections P.S. Burn This Letter Please; Cowboys starring Steve Zahn, Jillian Bell, Ann Dowd, and young trans actor Sasha Knight; and musician Big Freedia's anti-gun advocacy doc Freedia Got A Gun; with previous SXSW premiere titles including dark comedy The Carnivores and Outfest LA's U.S. Centerpiece selection Shiva Baby, starring Rachel Sennott, Dianna Agron, and Fred Melamed.

Outfest LA's other Centerpiece selections include Documentary Centerpiece Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, which catalogs the career resurgence of the musician of trans experience well into his 70s; International Centerpiece Monsoon, directed by Sundance and Outfest alum Hong Khaou (Lilting) and starring Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians); and Breakthrough Centerpiece The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, the feature directing debut of Everybody Hates Chris co-creator Ali LeRoi.

Outfest's Closing Film will be the world premiere of Outfest alum Travis Fine's (Any Day Now) century-spanning triptych Two Eyes, in which queer and trans-identified people from three different periods in the American West discover how their identities fall within a multitude of sexual and gender expressions. The film's ensemble includes Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga), Benjamin Rigby (Alien: Covenant), Nakhane Toure (The Wound), musician Ryan Cassata, and non-binary activist and performer Kate Bornstein. The film will premiere both on the digital platform and as the final drive-in feature.

A mix of pre-recorded and live virtual Q&As are expected with cast and crew across all programs.

Program highlights also include the top Teddy Jury Award winners from the 2020 Berlinale: Faraz Shariat's No Hard Feelings and Patric Chiha's If It Were Love; a drive-in only screening of Sundance selection La Leyenda Negra; the North American premiere of Eric Steel's Berlinale selection Minyan, Jen Rainin's doc Ahead of the Curve about legendary Lesbian magazine Curve, Olivia Peace's Slamdance selection Tahara, and the world premiere of documentary Cured, about the group of activists who successfully campaigned to remove homosexuality from the American Psychiatry Association's list of mental illnesses. Cured was recently optioned for adaptation into a limited series by Pose co-creator Steven Canals, who will moderate the Q&A with the film's directors and participants.

Outfest LA's Platinum section will continue its tradition of highlighting the cutting-edge, avant-garde and experimental work coming from the queer community, with features including Toronto Film Festival selection The Twentieth Century, and a showcase of experimental short films guest curated by producer, performer, and actor Zackary Drucker.

Outfest's Legacy Project will feature repertory films not currently available on streaming. The long-unavailable 1986 doc Lily Tomlin: The Film Behind the Show, which chronicles Lily Tomlin and her life partner Jane Wagner's creation of their hit Broadway show "The Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," will screen, with Tomlin, Wagner, and the film's co-director Joan Churchill participating in a live virtual Q&A. An HBO Original Film, Cheryl Dunye's Independent Spirit Award-nominated Stranger Inside (2001) will be available for free throughout the festival's run, with Dunye and producer Effie Brown joining for a live virtual Q&A.

And in Special Events, bio-doc Three Chords and a Lie about gay country music artist Brandon Stansell's return to his conservative hometown will screen, alongside a live, drive-in concert by Stansell. Outfest LA will also world premiere Emmy-nominated actor Scott Turner Schofield's one-man show Becoming a Man in 127 Easy Steps, in which viewers can interactively choose which of Schofield's 127 segments they can experience as they watch.

"In this brand new, uncharted territory of digital festivals, we are honored that so many wonderful films have entrusted Outfest LA to be their festival home," said Mike Dougherty, Outfest Director of Festival Programming. "I'm incredibly excited that this stunning array of diverse talent - which represents Outfest's continued mission to showcase the best work from LGBTQIA+ artists - will be more accessible than ever before."

"This year's film festival is not only a reflection of Outfest's historic trajectory - mixing innovation with media to cast an ever-widening net of diverse and global stories - it is also a testament to Outfest's commitment to thrive in a moment in which the future of live events, independent film, and our own rights are threatened. We must continue to create opportunities for our LGBTQIA+ storytellers to navigate the tumultuous environment of entertainment, media and communications, year round," said Damien S. Navarro, Outfest Executive Director.

Films will be in competition for jury and audience awards. As part of their commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ filmmaking community, Panavision and its post-production company, Light Iron, have partnered with Outfest to present a camera and post-production package to the winner of this year's Jury Award for Best Short Film, to be used on the filmmaker's next project. Jurors confirmed for the competitive sections of Outfest Los Angeles include:

US Narrative Feature: James Sweeney, filmmaker (Straight Up); Ayo Kepher-Maat, Director of Acquisitions, NEON; Caden Mark Gardner, Film Critic.

  • International Narrative Feature: Jacqueline Lyanga, former Artistic Director of both AFI Fest and Film Independent; Andrew Murphy, Director of Programming, Inside Out Toronto and Isabel Sandoval, filmmaker (Lingua Franca).

  • Documentary: Sam Feder, filmmaker (Disclosure); Ben-Alex Dupris, filmmaker, (Sweetheart Dancers - winner of Best Short Doc jury award at Outfest LA 2019); Daresha Kyi, filmmaker (Chavela - winner of Best Documentary Jury and Audience Award at Outfest LA 2017).

  • International Narrative Shorts: Daniel Laabs, filmmaker, (Jules of Light and Dark - winner of Best U.S. Narrative Feature jury-prize Outfest LA 2019), Lauren Wolkstein, filmmaker (The Strange Ones); Aurora Guerrero, filmmaker (Netflix's Gentefied, Mosquita Y Mari).

  • U.S. Narrative Short: Brian Michael Smith, Actor, (911: Lone Star); Gillian Horvat, filmmaker (I Blame Society) and Carly Usdin, filmmaker (Suicide Kale).

    As a nonprofit organization, Outfest relies heavily on the Outfest Los Angeles Film Festival to support its year-round activities. This year it will offer a $59.99 Festival pass that will provide viewing access to all the films and panels as well as a subscription to Outfest's new streaming platform for the next year.

    The 2020 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival is proudly presented by WarnerMedia, a partnership that has spanned over 20 years. The Grand Automotive Sponsor is Hyundai. Premiere Sponsors include Comcast NBCUniversal, The Fight Magazine, and Gilead. The Day Sponsors are Union Bank, West One Music, and Taiwan Academy. Media sponsors include Clear Channel, MYFM, LA Times, Lesbian News, Queerty, and Variety. Outfest is also generously supported by the following government and foundation entities: Academy Foundation, David Bohnett Foundation, California Arts Council, California Community Foundation, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The Ford Foundation, David Geffen Foundation, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, LA County Arts Commission, LA County Department of Arts & Culture, and the Sundance Institute. For more information about sponsorship, contact Director of Corporate Relations, Adam Goldberg at [email protected].

    Outfest Website: www.outfestla2020.com


    OUTFEST®, est. 1982, is one of the only global LGBTQIA+ arts, media and entertainment organizations whose programs empower artists, communities and filmmakers to transform the world through their stories, while also supporting the entire lifecycle of their career. Outfest's mission creates visibility to diverse LGBTQIA+ stories and empowers storytellers, building empathy to drive meaningful social change. Outfest programs give artists, filmmakers and entertainment professionals the opportunity to discover their voice, provide the pathways to the visibility of their work by all members of the public, and assure that their legacy will live on for generations to come.

    Outfest's tentpole film festival programs and digital channels include the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival, Outfest Fusion (a festival dedicated to celebrating the lives and stories of LGBTQ people of color), Outfest Now. Its robust filmmaker and talent mentorship and education programs and courses include the Outfest Screenwriting Lab, Outfest InFusion studio days, Fusion Workshops, OutSet Young Filmmakers Project in partnership with The LGBT Center, and the Outfest Anthony Meindl Trans Acting Fellowship. The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, a partnership with UCLA Film & Television Archive, is the only archive in the world exclusively dedicated to preserving LGBTQ moving images.

    To discover more about Outfest membership, the Empathy Fund, alumni network, or for a calendar of events go to www.outfest.org or connect to our social channels at @outfest.


    WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Now, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others, as well as Xandr's suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers.


  • Documentary Centerpiece: KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY, dir. Posy Dixon
  • U.S. Centerpiece: SHIVA BABY, dir. Emma Seligman
  • International Centerpiece: MONSOON, dir. Hong Khaou
  • Breakthrough Centerpiece: THE OBITUARY OF TUNDE JOHNSON, dir. Ali LeRoi
  • Closing Film: TWO EYES, dir. Travis Fine

    Drive-In Exclusives

  • THE NOWHERE INN, dir. Bill Benz
  • LA LEYENDA NEGRA, dir. Patricia Vidal Delgado

    U.S. Narratives

  • BREAKING FAST, dir. Mike Mosallam
  • CICADA, dirs.. Matthew Fifer, Kieran Mulcare
  • COWBOYS, dir. Anna Kerrigan
  • DRAMARAMA, dir. Jonathan Wysocki
  • GOSSAMER FOLDS, dir. Lisa Donato
  • MINYAN, dir. Eric Steel
  • T11 INCOMPLETE, dir. Suzanne Guacci
  • TAHARA, dir. Olivia Peace
  • THE CARNIVORES, dir. Caleb Johnson

    Documentary Features

  • AHEAD OF THE CURVE, dir. Jen Rainin
  • CURED, dirs.. Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer
  • FREEDIA GOT A GUN, dir. Chris McKim
  • HOUSE OF CARDIN, dir. P David Ebersole, Todd Hughes
  • I AM THE OTHER ONE, dir. Silvia Goddinho
  • OUT LOUD, dir. Gail Willumsen
  • P.S. BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE, dir. Jennifer Tiexiera, Michael Seligman
  • THE CAPOTE TAPES, dir. Ebs Burnough
  • YOUR MOTHER'S COMFORT, dir. Adam Golub

    International Narratives

  • ALICE JUNIOR, dir. Gil Baroni
  • COCOON (KOKON), dir. Leonie Krippendorff
  • DRY WIND, dir. Daniel Nolasco
  • ELLIE & ABBIE (AND ELLIE'S DEAD AUNT), dir. Monica Zanetti
  • NO HARD FEELINGS, dir. Franz Shariat
  • THE STRONG ONES (LOS FUERTES), dir. Omar Zuñiga
  • THE TEACHER, dir. Ming-Lang Chen
  • TWILIGHT'S KISS, dir. Ray Yeung
  • TWO OF US, dir. Filippo Meneghetti
  • VALENTINA, dir. Cássio Pereira dos Santos

    Outfest Legacy

  • LILY TOMLIN: THE FILM BEHIND THE SHOW, dirs. Joan Churchill & Nick Broomfield
  • STRANGER INSIDE, dir. Cheryl Dunye


  • ASK ANY BUDDY, dir. Evan Purchell
  • IF IT WERE LOVE, dir. Patric Chiha
  • THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, dir. Matthew Rankin

    Special Events

  • BECOMING A MAN IN 127 EASY STEPS, dir. Andrea James
  • ¡GAYTINO! MADE IN AMERICA, dir. Dan Guerrero
  • SHOW ME YOURS, dir. Kevin McCloskey
  • THREE CHORDS AND A LIE, dir. Trent Atkinson


  • APRICOT, dir. Sam Icklow, Jake Thompson
  • HIDDEN CANYONS, dirs. Brant Rotnem, Fawzia Mirza
  • KILLER WORKOUT, dir. Sara Werner
  • MAGIC HOUR, dir. Che Grayson
  • SIDEWAYS SMILE, dir. Hang Nguyen

    Short Films

  • SHIP: A VISUAL POEM, dir. Terrance Daye
  • #GAYBOY2020, dir.Noah Causey
  • ACUITZERAMO, dir. Miguel Angel Caballero
  • AN ANNA, dir. Denise Riedmayr
  • ARE YOU HUNGRY?, dir. Teemu Miukkanen
  • ATOMIC LOVE, dir. Imogen McCluskey
  • BABYDYKE (BABYLEBBE), dir. Tone Ottilie
  • BEFORE THE BLUE, dir. romy pocztaruk
  • BLISS IS ORANGE, dir. Jenna Kanell
  • BLOCKED, dir. Kevin Yee
  • BUCK, dir. Elegance Bratton, Jovan James
  • BURY A FRIEND, dir. Rick Wayne
  • CANDIS FOR PRESIDENT, dir. Michelle Peerali
  • CANIS MAJOR, dir. Charli Brissey
  • CARO COMES OUT, dir. Brit Fryer, Caro Hernandez
  • CATFISH KILLER, dir. Gil Hizon, Seth Harrington
  • CONSENT, dir. Andrew Cervantes
  • DARLING, dir. Saim Sadiq
  • DATED, dir. Zenon Samuels
  • DM, dir. Ariel Zucker
  • DOWN DOG, dir. Shae Xu
  • DREAMING LIKE LOUIS, dir. Valentin Merz Tanören
  • DRIP LIKE COFFEE, dir. Anaiis Cisco
  • DUNGAREES, dir. Abel Rubinstein
  • ETÉREA, dir. Pedro Inoue, Tino Monetti
  • FEMENINA, dir. Ilana Garcia-Mittleman
  • FLEX, dir. Matt Porter
  • GAY PRE-PARTY BEFORE THE PARTY!!!!, dir. Matthew Barkley
  • GEN Z, dir. Mo McFadden
  • GO GO, BOY!, dir. Oriana Oppice
  • HALWA, dir. Gayatri Bajpai, Nirav Bhakta
  • HAPPINESS IN WHICH I LIVE, dir. Carlos Morales
  • HEALING ME, dir. Lauren Neal
  • HEART TO HEART, dir. Lilah Vandenburgh
  • HEAVENLY BROWN BODY, dir. Leslie Foster
  • HER OWN MUSIC, dir. Olivia Aleksoski
  • HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU AT NIGHT, dir. Andree Ljutica
  • IN COLOUR (EN COLOR), dir. James Lucas
  • IN ORBIT, dir. Katie McNeice
  • INSTRUCTIONS TO LET GO, dir. Gustavo Gamero
  • ISHTAR, dir. Mia Georgis
  • JACKALOPE, dir. Cassils
  • JESSE, dir. Vinz Feller
  • JOYCHILD, dir. Aurora Brachman
  • KAMA'?INA (CHILD OF THE LAND), dir. Kimi Howl Lee
  • KAPAEMAHU, dirs.. Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe WIlson
  • KIKO'S SAINTS, dir. Manuel Marmier
  • KIND OF, dir. Noah Schamus
  • LA GLORIA, dir. Mary Evangelista
  • LAST SUMMER WITH UNCLE IRA, dir. Gary Jaffe, Katie Ennis
  • LOVE LOST, AND FOUND, dir. Richard O'Connor
  • LYNDALE, dirs.. oli rodriguez, Victoria Stob
  • MC JESS, dir. Carla Villa-Lobos
  • MEET CUTE, dir. Francesca Calvo, Omar Ahmed
  • META, dir. Sydne Horton
  • MODE, dirs. Peter Kalisch, AJ Strout
  • MUY GAY TOO MEXICANO, dir. Lorena Lourenco
  • NAOMI REPLANSKY AT 100, dir. Megan Rossman
  • OF HEARTS AND CASTLES, dir. Ruben Navarro
  • OFFLINE (DESCONEXO), dir. Lui Avallos
  • OUR PLACE TOGETHER, dir. Clay Marshall Pruitt
  • PEACH, dirs.. Rowan Devereux & Sophie Saville
  • PLAYING FOR KEEPS, dir. DJ Turner
  • POMPEII, dir. Harry Lighton, Marco Alessi, Matthew Jacobs Morgan
  • PRETTY THINGS, dir. Pedro Suarez
  • PRIMER, dir. crosslucid
  • PURPLEBOY, dir. Alexandre Siqueira
  • QUERY, dir. Sophie Kargman
  • ROYALTY, dirs.. Sav Souza and Logan Thomason
  • S.A.M, dirs.. Eyre and Ely
  • SATAN'S TEARS, dir. Andrew Lush
  • SEE YOU SOON, dir. Tyler Rabinowitz
  • SEXTPERT ADVICE, dir. Tobit Raphael Capati
  • SHÉÁR AVORY: TO BE CONTINUED, dir. Abram Cerda
  • SOFT & PINK, dir. Zoe Ward
  • SPILT MILK, dir. Cierra Glaude
  • STALLS, dir.João Dall'Stella
  • STONEWALL 2069, dir. Samuel Douek
  • STRANGERS, dir. Jamieson Pearce
  • SUNSHINE IN THE RUINS, dir. Chou Yu Cheng
  • SWIPE UP, VIVIAN!, dir. Hannah Welever
  • TALK TO YOU LATER, dir. Adison Olivera
  • TAPE, dir. Jojo Erholtz
  • TEAM MARILYN, dir. LaToya Morgan
  • TENDER, dir. Felicia Pride
  • THE CYPHER, dir. Letia Solomon
  • THE D*CK APPOINTMENT, dir. Mike Roma
  • THE DOOR SHE OPENED, dir. Richard O'Connor
  • THE FABRIC OF YOU, dir. Josephine Lohoar Self
  • THE GIFT (O PRESENTE), dir. Daniel Wierman
  • THE MISTRESS (LA AMANTE), dir. Pati Cruz
  • THE NAME OF THE SON, dir. Martina Matzkin
  • THE OUTBREAK, dir. Trent Nakamura
  • THE SHAWL, dir. Sara Kiener
  • THE STARR SISTERS, dir. Beth Einhorn, Bridey Elliott
  • THE TEST, dir. Jessica Smith
  • THIS IS AN ADDRESS, dir. Sasha Wortzel
  • TRANS HAPPINESS IS REAL, dir. Quinton Baker
  • TRASHY BOOTY, dir. Iris Devins
  • UMBILICAL, dir. Danski Tang
  • UNSPOKEN, dir. Patrick G. Lee
  • VICTORIA, dir. Dani Toledo
  • WATER (AGUA), dir. Santiago Zermeño
  • WHERE MY GIRLS, dir. Mads Engel
  • WISHES, dir. Amy Jenkins
  • YOURS MINE OURS, dir. Ben Baur
  • YUNIOR, dir. Francisco Cabrera-Feo

    Outfest 2020

    This story is part of our special report titled Outfest 2020. Want to read more? Here's the full list.

    Comments on Facebook