TV & Film
The Los Angeles-based nonprofit Outfest, known for its work in elevating global LGBTQ+ creators and preserving and amplifying their stories, announced its lineup of films and special events for its 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival this week. The festival is Presented by IMDb and begins on March 24 and ends on April 2, 2023. It will be running virtually as well as in person and includes 23 world premieres.
The lineup for the festival brags, in addition to its 23 world premieres, 5 US premieres, 4 international premieres and 3 North American premieres. There will be nine features, including two 2023 documentaries that stunned at the Sundance Film Festival, “Little Richard: I Am Everything” from Lisa Cortés and “The Stroll” from Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker.
Over 50% of the films in the eclectic lineup were directed by women, non-binary, Two Spirit and gender non-conforming filmmakers.
“We are at a moment where our industry is ready to have an honest dialogue about inclusion, investment and representation of people of color and yet our entire LGBTQ+ population is facing a rise in hate that targets us,” said Damien Navarro, Outfest’s Executive Director.
“On the 20th Anniversary of Outfest Fusion, we are not only celebrating our stories but continuing our mission of championing themes of intersectionality and diversity in the face of this new wave of attacks on our community.”
The festival plans to honor Indigenous activist and filmmaker Bird Runningwater with the 2023 Fusion Impact Award during the festival’s opening gala. Also being honored at the festival is Outfest alum Elegance Bratton who we previously reported to receive the 2023 Fusion Achievement award which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the visibility of LGBTQ+ stories, arts, and media.
The festival starts March 24th and will host screenings as well as offer community workshops and networking events online and in-person over the course of 10 days, with the festival ending on April 2nd. Outfest will also be hosting its inaugural Outfest Fusion Platinum Alchemy Party which will showcase LGBTQ+ music and performances by Star Amerasu, DJ Bae Bae, and Mykki Blanco who's set to headline with spoken word songs from his latest album Stay Close to the Music.
Mykki Blanco writes, “Whether wielding poetry as a tool for activism or illustrating the diaphanous vulnerabilities of life, Queer poets and queer voices are forever urgent, truth tellers allowing us to dream and then manifest those dreams and desires into concrete realities.”
Lastly, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Outfest Fusion, Outfest made an effort to collaborate with community partners in order to facilitate community-led educational programming.
Thanks to this collaboration, the 2023 Outfest QTBIPOC Film Festival will host a slate of free community-led virtual and in-person workshops. This will take place alongside their annual host of educational workshops led by Outfest Alumni filmmakers.
As a queer and trans person of color, it is always a joy to carve out space in our programming for community partners and Outfest alumni to shine,” said Kieran Medina, Outfest’s Artist Development Manager.
“Our slate of workshops and panels showcases the abundance of the QTBIPOC community and is a moving reminder of our ability to create change through the power of community collaboration.