Outfest LGBTQ Film Festival announces 2017 line-up

Outfest, the premiere Los Angeles LGBTQ film festival, last week announced their slate for 2017. The festival will run from July 6th-16th in Los Angeles, and will feature 194 LGBTQ-inclusive films from 30 different countries. Tickets go on sale for members June 8th, and to the general public June 12th.

Outfest will open July 6th, with a screening of God's Own Country, a romance from the UK, which follows a sheep farmer and the connection he forges with a Romanian migrant. The film won the World Cinema Directing Award at Sundance, as well as being and audience favorite. The festival will close with Freak Show, the directorial debut of Trudie Styler, a coming of age story about an effeminate teenager finding himself and where he fits while fighting back against bullies, with an ensemble cast that includes Laverne Cox.

Other centerpieces at this year's Outfest include Kevyn Aucoin: Beauty & the Beast in Me, a documentary that follows legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, his immense success styling celebrities such as Cher, Cindy Crawford, and Whitney Houston, and growing up gay in Louisiana. Another highlight is Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall, which follows the singer and performer looking back on his conservative upbringing to his current state of stardom after making it big on YouTube. The film is directed by documentarian Katherine Fairfax Wright, co-director of GLAAD Award Winning documentary Call Me Kuchu.

Close Knit, a Japanese film about an LGBTQ-led family, is 2017's international centerpiece. The film follows 11-year-old Tomo who is living with her uncle and his girlfriend, who happens to be trans. The film explores the sweet nature of this family , as well as the state of transgender rights in Japan. The U.S. centerpiece is Strangers, a series about Isobel, a young bisexual woman who rents out her spare room to a plethora of characters who help her explore her life and relationships.

Other highlight films include After Louie, a drama starring Alan Cumming as an activist who was part of ACT UP, struggling with survivors guilt, who embarks on a relationship with a new man; Chavela, a documentary about the Mexican lesbian icon Chavela Vargas, and her music; Fathers, a film about two Thai men who are raising a young son, while dealing with the prejudice that comes along with it in their country; and The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson, the documentary on the woman who trail blazed the stonewall riots from David France, the director of How to Survive a Plague.

This year's Outfest will feature special screenings including an hour of Steven Universe episodes with an appearance by show creator Rebecca Sugar, a sneak peek at season four of Transparent, and a screening of the Showtime documentary More than T from director Silas Howard. The panels this year include "Beyond Binaries: Creating Intersectional Entertainment," a panel that discusses how to bring the diversity and intersectionality of the world into the stories on screen. There will also be a live reading from Outfest's Screenwriting Lab and a Trans Summit.

This is just a handful of the films and events that will be included in this year's Outfest. The full schedule for Outfest is available on their website as is the full list of 194 films. Be sure to check it out before tickets go on sale this week!

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