Outfest 2015 will undoubtedly go down as one of the most spirited film festivals in memory, with anniversary screenings of queer classics such as Truth or Dare, 54, Velvet Goldmine, as well as an evening with actor-pop star Nick Jonas on the incredible roster this year. To mark the queer film celebration’s 33rd anniversary this summer, the festival will offer screenings of dynamic new LGBT-themed motion pictures from around the globe, in addition to many recognized classics, as well as various panels and special events that will take place between July 9-19.
Many of the gala screenings, such as the opening night selection Tig, about comic Tig Notaro, and Out to Win, a non-fiction look at openly LGBT athletes, were announced last month. As with every year, there’s more than just movies to watch, with illuminating panel discussions, intriguing sneak previews and sure-to-be memorable live performances planned. Jonas, who has become both a bona-fide hearthrob and ally to the LGBT communities, will appear in person July 12 to chat about his turn as a gay MMA fighter in the provocative DirecTV series Kingdom and offer a sneak peek at season two. Festival-goers will also get an advance look at other fall TV shows including Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s Sandy Passage, a parody of the beloved doc Grey Gardens, and the new reality series I Am Jazz, which chronicles the life of transgendered teen model Jazz Jennings. Lypsinka (left), one of the indisputably brilliant living drag performers, will perform her recent New York hit, The Passion of the Crawford, on July 10.
This year we’re particularly excited about the 10th anniversary of Outfest’s Legacy Project, which will showcase many essential queer films, including a restored print of the powerful AIDS-themed comedy-drama Parting Glances and the world premiere of the remastered Totally F***ed Up, the first of Gregg Araki’s “teenaged apocalypse trilogy.”
Killer Films, the production company headed by maverick producer Christine Vachon and which has given us such acclaimed works as Boys Don’t Cry and Far From Heaven, will celebrate 20 years as an industry leader with a July 11 screening of Todd Haynes’ breathtaking 1998 glam musical Velvet Goldmine.
Approximately 40 minutes of footage that was excised from 54, the drama about the heady days of notorious NYC nightspot Studio 54, when it was released in 1998, has been lovingly restored by director Mark Christopher. A July 16 screening of 54: The Directors Cut at the iconic Hollywood Forever cemetery promises to be a lively event.
Funeral Parade of Roses, a rarely-screened 1969 Japanese New Wave film about transgender women in Tokyo from director Toshio Matsumoto and that is said to have been an influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, will be shown on July 18.
Born in Flames, Lizzie Borden’s nervy futuristic tale that follows the aftermath of the assassination of a black feminist leader, will screen July 12.
Late filmmaker Bill Sherwood’s gripping comedy-drama Parting Glances was one of the first unapologetic depictions of gay lives during the AIDS crisis, and will be shown July 11.
Gregg Araki’s Totally F***ed Up, which chronicles a group of angst-y young people navigating the mean streets of L.A., remains one of the seminal films from the New Queer Cinema movement of the early ’90s, and will screen July 11.
Fearless prediction: The place to be in gay L.A. on July 12 will be the screening of Alek Keshishian’s Truth or Dare, the vividly entertaining look at Madonna and her merry band of backup dancers as they travel the globe during her Blond Ambition tour. Bring your own water bottles.