Outfest Los Angeles Includes Films With 'Drag Race' Winners BeBe Zahara Benet and Bianca Del Rio
Outfest Los Angeles features two films with "RuPaul's Drag Race" winners BeBe Zahara Benet and Bianca del Rio in its lineup for its 39th Film Festival.
Season 6 winner Bianca del Rio will join the main cast members of "Everybody’s Talking About Jamie," Max Harwood and Lauren Patel, in the festival's opening event. Del Rio plays art teacher Miss Haywood in the feature adaptation of the musical.
Season 1 winner BeBe Zahara Benet will perform live before the premiere of "Being Bebe," which follows the Cameroonian-American immigrant's struggle to embrace being an LGBTQ performer against discriminatory cultural forces.
Named after the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization Outfest, the 10-day festival will celebrate LGBTQ+ stories and voices in film and television and will return to in-person screenings.
Outfest will also host the 5th Annual Trans and NonBinary Summit on August 21 with a panel featuring established and emerging trans and nonbinary creators, Zackary Drucker and Our Lady J., a shorts program and a table read of "Razor Tongue" season two by Rain Valdez.
The lineup features over 50 international films and 15 languages representing countries like South Korea, Nigeria, Mexico, Cuba, Palestine, Israel, Brazil, Bulgaria and Croatia, and will include 7 world premieres.
Read the full list of titles:
*"All Boys Aren't Blue"* directed by Nathan Hale Williams
Actors Bernard David Jones, Dyllon Burnside, and Thomas Hobson bring to life the words of Black non-binary author George Matthew Johnson’s transparent and sparkling memoir, aided by director Nathan Hale Williams’ visual poetry and vocal work from Jenifer Lewis as Johnson.
*"Firstness" *directed by Brielle Brilliant
A wayward father and his non-binary child each try to bloom in the desert as they both navigate unlikley connections.
*"Homebody"* (World Premiere) directed by Joseph Sackett
Nine-year-old Johnny sends his spirit into his babysitter's body in this genderqueer body-transfer absurdist comedy.
*"Language Lessons" *directed by Natalie Morales
Adam and Cariño meet when Adam’s husband gifts him Spanish lessons online. After tragedy strikes, their small digital window into one another’s lives begins to widen.
*"Ma Belle, My Beauty" *(Online Only) directed by Marion Hill
Sparks fly when Bertie and Lane, two women who were formerly polyamorous lovers, reunite at a secluded farmhouse in the south of France.
*"Potato Dreams of America"* directed by Wes Hurley
Potato, a young gay man, leaves the Soviet Union along with his mother, for a strange and unpredictable new life in America.
*"See You Then" *directed by Mari Walker
A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch up on their complicated lives, relationships, and Kris’ transition.
*"We Need To Do Something"* directed by Sean King O’Grady
Trapped with her family for days after a freak storm with no sign of rescue, queer teen Melissa comes to realize that she and her girlfriend may have conjured the untold horrors lurking just outside the door.
*"The Best Families" *directed by Javier Fuentes-León
A birthday dinner hosted by two aristocratic families in Peru turns into all-out class warfare when long-hidden secrets come to the surface.
*"Boy Meets Boy"* directed by Daniel Sánchez
After a night of partying, Harry meets Johannes and spends 15 hours wandering around Berlin, as they begin a journey of romance and self-discovery that could end in heartbreak.
*"A Distant Place"* directed by Kun-Young Park
Jin-woo, a taciturn rancher choosing to live an isolated life in the Korean countryside finds his quiet world turned upside down when an old university friend shows up.
*"Firebird" *directed by Peeter Rebane
Based on a true story, a dangerous love triangle takes shape between a young private, a female secretary, and a dashing fighter pilot during the Cold War.
*"Jump, Darling"* directed by Phil Connell
After a bad breakup, a down-and-out drag queen flees to the countryside to live alongside his sharp-tongued grandmother who finds herself in a state of decline.
*Screening will be accompanied by a celebrity memorial tribute to Cloris Leachman introduced by Cybill Shepherd, as well as a rare pre-recorded introduction by Cloris Leachman herself.
*"Knocking" *(Theatrical Only) directed by Frida Kempff
A Swedish woman looking to make a fresh start hears an ominous knocking noise in her new apartment building, which indicates one thing: someone's here.
*"Leading Ladies" *directed by Ruth Caudeli
Five women reunite for a dinner party where desires are unearthed, secrets are revealed and all is not what it seems. Will these women stay friends or will the secrets divulged tear them apart?
*"Love, Spells, and All That"* directed by Ümit Ünal
Eren returns to the tiny Turkish island where she grew up to find her childhood sweetheart, Reyhan. Can they re-capture the love that put a spell on them 20 years ago?
*"Sweetheart" *directed by Marley Morrison
Teenaged AJ ruefully attends a family vacation in Dorset, but the arrival of a lovely young lifeguard challenges her commitment to moodiness.
*"Boulevard! A Hollywood Story"* (World Premiere) directed by Jeffrey Schwarz
Outfest alum Jeffrey Schwarz’s amazing true story of Gloria Swanson’s attempt to get a musical version of Sunset Boulevard made, and the bizarre love triangle that derailed the whole venture.
*"Crystal Diaries" *directed by Enyce Smith and Gina Lamb
*"Gemmel and Tim" *(World Premiere) directed by Michiel Thomas
Two differing but complementary films examine the deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Michael Dean at the West Hollywood home of businessman and political donor Ed Buck.
*"Everything At Once"* directed by Alberto Fuguet
Erotic photographers Paco and Manolo, a couple of thirty years, reveal their process in which their male subjects bare all and release their inhibitions for their camera.
*"Invisible" *directed by T.J. Parsell
Lesbian country music songwriters talk about what it’s been like to write some of country music’s greatest hits, but still not being able to be who they are and acknowledged as queer women.
**including live performance by Mary Gauthier, Jess Leary, Dianne Davidson and other members of the cast.
*"Lady Buds"* directed by Chris J. Russo
Sneak Preview Screening
Six plucky women turn the cannabis industry into a community, following its legalization in California in 2016, and become modern-day pioneers along the way.
*"My Name is Pauli Murray"* directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen
Pauli Murray’s many accomplishments and challenges are spelled out in this deep dive into one of the most influential lawyers, activists, and clergypeople in recent history.
*"No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics" *directed by Vivian Kleiman
"No Straight Lines" highlights the careers of five pioneering queer comic artists and the massive ripple their impact made in the community, its history, and its future.
*"North by Current" *by Angelo Madsen Minax
Filmmaker Angelo Madsen Minax confronts family trauma after the unexpected death of his niece in this moving personal essay.
*"Raw! Uncut! Video!"* directed by Alex Clausen and Ryan A. White
Chronicling the legacy of gay porn studio Palm Drive Video, this provocative documentary celebrates the hardcore, blue-collar fetish and kink films released in reaction to the surging AIDS epidemic.
*"Sediments" *(International Premiere) byAdrián Silvestre
Six trans women in León for the weekend explore the land, themselves, and each other, exposing layer after layer of earthen richness.
*"Socks On Fire"* directed by Bo McGuire
Old family wounds are opened as the filmmaker’s once beloved aunt, now a religious homophobe, endeavors to cast out her gay, drag-queen brother from the family.
Will include a pre-show drag performance emceed by director Bo McGuire
*"Death and Bowling" *(World Premiere)directed by Lyle Kash
In a meta-critique on trans representation, a transgender actor struggles with what it means to be seen after the beloved captain of his lesbian bowling league dies and a mysterious stranger shows up at the funeral.
*"Rebel Dykes" *directed by Harri Shanahan and Siân A. Williams
A sexy, gritty, ride through the dyke community of late 1980s London with a rebel band of outcast women depicted through animation, archival footage, and interviews.
*"We're All Going To The World's Fair" *directed by Jane Schoenbrun.
Alone in her attic bedroom, teenager Casey becomes immersed in an online role-playing horror game, wherein she begins to document the changes that may or may not be happening to her.
*PLATINUM SHORTS SHOWCASE (89 min.)*
*"Exorcisms And Other Supplications" *directed by Georden West
When an exorcism brings a young person face-to-face with a shadow self, reality explodes in a crisp white Le Corbusier utopia in an exploration of the paradoxes of faith as their soul hangs in the balance.
*"Dwarf Planet" *directed by Adrian Chiarella
The dark tale of a lonely, awkward teenager and his encounter with a male sex worker on a brisk morning in suburban Sydney.
*"Hyena" *directed by Zinzi LeMond
This sexy horror-filled music video is a dark commentary on modernity and the wreckage of an empire in free fall.
*"Bodies Of Desire" *directed by Varsha Panikar and Saad Nawab
A gorgeously sensual celebration of universal love and desire that captures four sets of lovers amid passion; creating a portrait of tender intimacy, longing, discovery, desire, and profound companionship.
*"The Crown With a Shadow" *directed by JB Ghuman
A mixed-media animated film based on the real-world gender morphing Pink Skunk Fish. The story is led by a male fish (Paul Reubens / Pee Wee Herman) who transforms during the film & learns from his mother (Geri Halliwell / Ginger Spice) the logic of a shared universe in the face of a bully shark (Tatum O'Neal / Oscar winner).
*"Man of My Dreams" *directed by Tristan Scott-Behrends
Two gorgeous magnetic male lovers traipse around the streets of NYC enmeshed in a dreamy romance.
*"NSFW (Angry Yellow Meat)"* directed by Woohee Cho
2 years worth of dick pics sent to the filmmaker without consent or conversation are animated into this thoughtful and funny music video allowing the filmmaker to speak his truth about these deliveries to his inbox.
*"Childhoods"* directed by Aaron Biscombe
A gay, second generation Afro-Caribbean immigrant is forced to reevaluate his worldview when he returns to the Netherlands to reconnect with his older brother.
*"F1-100"* directed by Emory Chao Johnson
Animation, archival footage and video are interwoven in this transnational meditation through time and space of an international art student carrying a heavy burden regarding gender transformation and home.
*"Rebel" *directed by Jose Alfredo and Coker Jones Garcia
A LA teenager tries to find his place in the world where he splits his time between the machismo centric gang life of his neighborhood and his desire to wear women's clothes and embrace his non-binary identity.
"*1-888-5-BLUE-YOU" *directed by Jake Mcclellan and Eric Griffin
A phone sex line host has a breakthrough during a breakdown as she travels through television while telling her story. Call 1-888-5-BLUE-YOU… she will actually pick up, seriously.
*"Run Out Groove" *directed by Kelsey Fordham
After a mysterious record player lands outside of her house, a disillusioned painter journeys through her tumultuous breakup, guided by her ex-girlfriend.
*"Jupiter & Europa" *directed by Milo Ferguson
Living on Jupiter’s moon Europa isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. One day, on a boring maintenance mission, Owen breaks free from routine with someone who makes outer space feel a little warmer.
*"In The Air Tonight" *directed by Tito Soto
In a nod to such legends as Freddie Mercury, KISS, and Elton John, this hi-production drag performance centers around the journey of healing lifelong trauma.
**NOTE: Live performance elements are subject to change as policy around Los Angeles’ mask mandate evolves
*"Aids Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman"*
Seizing her power as she confronts her mortality, trailblazing trans activist Connie Norman evolves as a voice for the AIDS and queer communities of early 90's Los Angeles.
The men behind San Francisco’s wildly popular gay All-Male Revue reveal all in this look behind the curtain.
**Screening will be accompanied by a live Baloney show and a Q&A moderated by RuPaul’s Drag Race star BenDeLaCreme!
*"The Extinction of Fireflies"* directed by James Andrew Walsh
When playwright James invites a legendary TV diva, as well as his actor friend, to workshop his new creation over a long weekend, the feedback is unforgettable.
*"La Queenciañera" *(World Premiere) directed by Pedro Peira
A portrait of a Los Angeles legend, Latina transgender activist and founder of TransLatin@ Coalition, Bamby Salcedo.
*"The Legend Of The Underground" *directed by Giselle Bailey, Nneka Onuorah
Logline: Several bold and charismatic queer youth in Nigeria fight against anti-LGBTQ laws in this urgent documentary.
*"Prognosis - Notes On Living" *by Debra Chasnoff
Logline: When maverick Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff is diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, she faces down injustice as she always has: with her camera.
*"Shit & Champagne"* directed by D’Arcy Drollinger
San Francisco’s legendary stage show is adapted to the screen with great flourish in this hilarious, over the top, 70s inspired romp.
** Champagne White will host a ridiculous pre-show with members of the cast and the world's trashiest “strippers”. Straight from San Francisco, D’Arcy Drollinger and the Oasis crew are bringing you the raunchiest film in Outfest! With a title too dirty for mainstream media! Everything you’ve heard about it is true! Once you see it, you’ll never be the same! Witness the shocking phenomenon, that is…SHIT & CHAMPAGNE!
*"This Is Jessica" *directed by Andrea Meyerson
Jessica Bair, a longtime LGBTQIA+ rights advocate with Human Rights Campaign, shares her struggle to remain in her Mormon faith despite coming out as transgender.
*Outfest Screenwriting Lab Live Read*
Several scenes from Outfest’s 2020 Screenwriting Lab fellows are performed live at the festival.
*"Boy Culture" - *Episodes 1 & 2 (World Premiere)
*"Noah's Arc: The 'Rona Chronicles" *
Logline: Two trailblazing and beloved gay classics revamp and reboot in 2021!
In the continuation of Q. Allan Brocka’s 2006 fan favorite Boy Culture, Derek Magyar returns as X, still working hard as an escort for hire. But in 2021, he’s up against a younger generation who have gained a competitive edge on the market in the digital age. As X keeps his aging body fit, and his unusual roster of kinky clients happy, he’s also dealing with the realities of still living with Andrew (Darryl Stephens), who’s aiming to move on from their former romantic entanglements.
Darryl Stephens also headlines the reunion special of "Noah’s Arc."
Outfest will run Aug. 13 to Aug. 22.