Outfest 2011, the 29th annual Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival will take place July 7-17. The festival features several films that highlight the struggles of Latino LGBT characters and also delve into themes and issues that are central to Latinos, including family, machismo, and identity.
Gun Hill Road, directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green, is the opening night film. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Gun Hill Road follows the story of Enrique (Esai Morales), who is returning to his home in the Bronx after three years in prison. Enrique returns to find his estranged wife, Angela, dealing with an emotional affair and his child coming out as a transgender woman named Vanessa. While having a view of the world centered on masculine ideals, Enrique must face his own intolerance or lose his family. GLAAD was proud to host actress Harmony Santana on a panel about transgender representation at this year’s Sundance film festival, which will be available online soon. In the meantime, check out the film's trailer below:
Among the more than 160 films from over 20 countries to be screened at Outfest is the Chilean film Old Cats (Gatos Viejos), directed by Sebastián Silva and Pedro Peirano. Old Cats is set in Santiago, where an elderly couple, Isidora and Enrique, live a comfortable life in their downtown apartment. When Isadora’s daughter, Rosario, and her partner, a woman named Hugo, come up with a new get-rich scheme, drama arises as Rosario expects her 80-year-old mother to sign over the lease to her apartment. The previous film of the co-directors, THE MAID, won awards worldwide, including the 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
The Latino Equality Alliance is the community collaborator for the film Absent (Ausente), from the Argentinian director Marco Berger. Berger explores themes of obsession, repression, and the nature of desire in his second full length film. His protagonist, a 16-year-old student named Martin, plans on seducing his swim coach and teacher Sebastian. Absent is a psychological thriller that works on combining the spheres of fantasy and reality. The film won the 2011 Teddy Award at the Berlin Film Festival for Best Feature Film.
Bienestar is the community collaborator on the French documentary Angel. Directed by Sebastiano d’Ayala Valva, it tells the story of an openly gay Ecuadorian boxer named Angel who has been working as a sex worker in Paris in order to support himself and his extended family. Angel returns to Ecuador to find the same poverty and hatred he left behind, but this time works to turn all the hardships into an acceptance of his identity. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Habana Muda is a French film by director Eric Brach. The film examines the life of Chino, who is both deaf and mute, who balances a life as a father to his two young children and as a husband to his wife in Havana as well as an open relationship with his boyfriend in Mexico. While his life in Havana is one of struggling working-class, his boyfriend Jose is financially well-off, creating not only a complicated love triangle but a financial conundrum that extends past the borders of Cuba. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Silver & Gold from director Nao Bustamante is a self-proclaimed “filmformance,” a combination of film, live performance, audience interaction, and original costumes. The physical performance centers on Bustamante’s search for a “new bejeweled bodypart” while channeling filmmaker Jack Smith and his muse, the 1940s Dominican movie star Maria Montez.
Gun Hill Road will be playing nationally at: Philadelphia Q Fest (July 14 and 16), One in Ten Festival (Washington, D.C., July 7), Outfest Opening Night (Los Angeles, July 7), NewFest (New York, July 28), and opening in theaters in New York and Los Angeles beginning August 5.
Old Cats will be playing at Outfest (Los Angeles, July 14) and NewFest (New York, July 27)
Absent will be playing at Outfest July 13 and Philadelphia Q Fest on July 12.
Angel will be playing at Outfest July 13.
Habana Muda will be playing at Outfest July 14 and at NewFest July 22.
Silver & Gold will be playing at Outfest July 16.
You can see additional film highlights and festival dates on the GLAAD Blog.