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2020 OUTFEST FUSION FILM GUIDE

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FUSION 2020

STAFF &

ASSOCIATES

DAMIEN NAVARRO

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

TRE’VELL ANDERSON

FUSION IN FOCUS WRITER

DANIEL ALVAREZ

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT

OLYMPIA AMMON

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

KAPENA BAPTISTA

SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR

SAM CHASE

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

KEVIN CHIN

PROGRAMMING INTERN

DANIEL CROOKE

PROGRAMMING COORDINATOR

MARISSA FORTUGNO

FUSION IN FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHER

ADAM GOLDBERG

CORPORATE PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR

LEXXI LEDEZMA

PRODUCTION MANAGER

BRENDAN LUCAS

LEGACY PROJECT MANAGER

MOIRA MCFADDEN

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

SARI NAVARRO

BOX OFFICE ASSOCIATE

KERRI STOUGHTON-JACKSON

DEPUTY DIRECTOR

ANDRAE VIGIL-ROMERO

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

SHERYL SANTACRUZ

PROGRAMMING MANAGER

JACKELYN SANTIAGO

MARKETING INTERN

KYOKO TAKENAKA

FUSION KEY ART MODEL

PATRICIO MANUEL

FUSION KEY ART MODEL

WILLIAM TELLEZ

BOX OFFICE MANAGER

NADEEN TORIO

FILM GUIDE GRAPHIC DESIGNER

ZOE URNESS

FUSION IN FOCUS PHOTOGRAPHER

MAGALI VIRULA

INTERNAL OPERATIONS MANAGER

JESS X SNOW

FUSION 2020 KEY ART DESIGNER

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 3


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OUTFEST FUSION 2020

¡Bienvenidos a todos!

Anyone who has met me recently and

heard me talk impassionedly about

Outfest knows that I was most excited to

dig into Outfest Fusion. This festival — founded

with the dedicated mission of celebrating

queer and trans people of color at the center of

the narrative — felt uniquely built to embrace

all parts of me and remind me of my own

experiences as a queer Latinx Angeleno.

Early on in my tenure as Executive Director,

I set out on an informal inquiry from a select

sample of my board members, filmmaker

alumni, students, studios heads, agents and

development executives to uncover the value

of what a program like Fusion might evolve

into for the 2020 decade — a decade that

will celebrate our 40th Anniversary as an

organization and our 20th Fusion.

What quickly became apparent is that unlike

our flagship festival, it was Outfest Fusion that

many still considered undiscovered. From its

proud beginnings, Fusion had all the elements of

an early SXSW — industry and public workshops,

a day-long on-site studio symposium for its

filmmakers, a One-Minute Movie Contest, today’s

most promising POC storytellers and shorts,

feature-length and international premieres.

However, I see this as just the beginning. I

want to dig deeper into our community and push

our storytellers even further into the industry

here in our backyard. I know there still needs

to be a stronger effort to support POC artists

across a broader cross-section of entertainment,

and within our own community, as well.

When it comes to driving representation in the

business of filmmaking for diversity and inclusive

storytelling at scale, I believe Fusion just barely

scratches the surface. Our workshops and career

mentorship of persons of color need to embrace

those from broader backgrounds. We must

continue to expand exhibition of multicultural and

multinational stories from artists of every swatch

and corner of the world.

That begins now…

I hope you enjoy Outfest Fusion’s new

look, program, flavor, expanded industry

representation, and venues. The team has been

working non-stop to get us here — and it’s just

the beginning.

Muchas gracias por venir a mi gente y

bienvenidos a Outfest Fusion.

Warmest regards always,

Damien S. Navarro

Executive Director

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 5


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OUTFEST FUSION 2020

29

19

Letter from Outfest

Fusion Programmers

8

14

Opportunity. Amidst all the exciting features, short films,

panels, workshops, and performances you’ll get to witness

at Outfest Fusion 2020, the one word we find most

represents the audience experience of this festival is “opportunity.”

When a program focused on LGBTQIA+ people of color

comes together, the opportunities that it creates for our

audience are almost exponential. You get the chance to

experience budding talent creating their first works that buzz

with the electricity of invention and inspiration; you’re able,

perhaps for the first time, to view queer life through the lens

of a country that you may never have fully considered — India,

Kazakhstan, Brazil; and you have the rare opportunity to interact

with those creators in an environment that is safe, inclusive,

and encourages lively conversation.

Outfest Fusion’s potential has grown and evolved in its nearly

two decades. We feel honored to be the conduit through which

so many gifted artists will get to share their visions, and through

which successful craftspeople can pass their knowledge along

through workshops and talkbacks. And we hope that in doing

so, you feel empowered to recognize the value and importance of

your sharing your own story. Fusion is not only about celebrating

the full rainbow of talent in our community but also about breaking

down boundaries so others can find it in themselves.

But the experience shouldn’t end on closing night at the

Finale. Another opportunity for you, the audience, is to spread

the word. Some of the artists in our Fusion program have already

won awards, had major festival play, and are beginning exciting

careers in their chosen field — others are just finding their

footing. You play a crucial role in their development, simply by

telling others about what you’ve seen and loved. If the work you

see at Fusion moves you like it moved us, go tell somebody. You

might help an artist get their work seen by a wider audience, or

you might help light a fire in another aspiring artist.

Sincerely,

Mike Dougherty, Director of Festival Programming

Sheryl Santacruz, Programming Manager

Outfest Fusion is the people of color-focused and

international film, music and storytelling festival that

spotlights breakthrough works from today’s most

exciting underground artists, musicians, and creators.

Fusion is where the next generation of storytellers

and cultural ambassadors are discovered.

3 Sponsors

5 Letter from

Executive Director

7 Letter from

Programming Team

9 In Focus: Andrew Huang

11 Fusion Gala & Fusion Finale

12 Fusion Films

14 In Focus: Mary Evangelista

16 Panel & Screening:

Making a Lasting Mark in

the Entertainment Industry

17 Schedule at a Glance

19 In Focus: Elegance Bratton

& Chester Algernal Gordon

26 Fusion Workshops

29 In Focus: Isabel Sandoval

30 Film Index

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 7


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

(LILY CHAN AND THE DOOM GIRLS)

PHOTO CREDIT ZOE URNESS

Andrew Huang’s way of thinking

is otherworldly. One look at his

short Lily Chan and the Doom

Girls, a spinoff of a feature film he’s

working on, and that becomes clear. A

coming-of-age fantasy about a Chinese

American girl in the 60s, the short

serves two purposes: as an amusebouche

of sorts to introduce us to a

new visual language where beehives,

hair, and cigarettes come together; and

to assert the enduring visibility of Asian

folks onscreen.

“I grew up seeing photos of my

parents during the 60s and 70s and

I have yet to see a film that puts

Asian faces in the center of that era,”

he says. “It’s important to show

audiences that we were there and

existed at that time and place.”

With a background in fine art, visual

effects, puppetry, and animation, the

Los Angeles-based filmmaker is known

for his works that meld Sinofuturist

folklore, mysticism, and spiritual

realism. He was Grammy-nominated

earlier this year for the music video

to FKA twigs’ “Cellophane” and has

collaborated in the past with Björk.

And the fact that his work has been

exhibited worldwide, from New York

City’s Museum of Modern Art and Los

Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art

to The Sydney Opera House, should

come as no surprise considering his

filmmaking inspirations: Thai director

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, British

screenwriter Terry Gilliam, and Italian-

Canadian director Floria Sigismondi, a

perfect mix of his interests in “dreamy

spiritual realism, Hollywood-level fantasy

production without being in Hollywood,

and post-goth,” he says, laughing.

“I hope queer creators of color are

inspired to put their own stories on

screen that live outside the confines of

social realism,” he continued, sharing

his wishes for Fusion audiences

viewing his work. “There’s so much to

imagine beyond this reality, time, and

place. Let’s take ourselves there.”

Lily Chan and the Doom Girls

plays in SHORTS: HOW DO I

SAY THIS? on Saturday, March 7

at 8pm at Regal L.A. Live.

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 9


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OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Friday | March 6 | 7:30pm | JACCC

FUSION GALA

Outfest Fusion 2020 opens with a

night of celebration. We are back at

the Japanese American Culture &

Community Center where Outfest

Fusion started over 16 years ago. The

night kicks off with a special award

presentation honoring Blackhouse

founder Brickson Diamond with the

Fusion Achievement Award and writerdirector

Nancy Mejia with the inaugural

Spotlight Award. The Fusion Gala

Shorts program showcases a collection

of exemplary QTPOC short films by

emerging artists that brim with a mastery

of craft, adventurous and incisive

storytelling, humor and heartbreak, and

truly embrace the intersectionality of

our LGBTQIA+ family. The night is only

beginning as we move outside onto

the Plaza for a fun-filled night OF music,

dancing, bites sponsored by Hyundai and

AN Effen Vodka and Angel City Brewery

hosted bar. The Fusion Gala connects our

community with one another in a joyous

atmosphere of inclusivity.

BUBBLE (dir. Alyssa Lerner, USA); BUCK

(dirs. Elegance Bratton & Jovan James, USA);

DARLING (dir. Saim Sadiq, Pakistan/USA);

KILLER WORKOUT (dir. Sara Werner, USA);

SEXTPERT ADVICE (dir. Tobit Raphael, USA);

SPILT MILK (dir. Cierra Glaude, USA).

Tuesday | March 10 | 6:00pm Pre-Reception |

7:30pm Screening | 9:00pm Post-Reception | Los Angeles Theater Center

FUSION FINALE

plus ONE MINUTE MOVIE CONTEST

Come join us as we wrap Outfest Fusion 2020 with style and talent like no

other. Celebrate the closing night of the festival with libations, food, music,

and see the premiere showcase of films submitted for the One-Minute

Movie Contest. Previous winners have included a host of leather daddies,

everyday citizens, and even a mad-mom-in-a-minivan who have joined the

ranks of the most cherished and celebrated filmmakers up on the stage to

collect the coveted award.

We all know that submitting your first film for exhibition is a big step, so come

and join your own premiere party or if spectating is more your style, join us for a

first look at tomorrow’s brightest voices, and get in on the ground floor!

Did we mention there will be music and performances you will love,

along with cocktails, wine and food? Oh, what will you wear? So whether

you’re a filmmaker, artist, student, parent, barista, industry local, executive,

or just someone who loves movies — don’t miss this final party.

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 11


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Saturday | March 7 |

12:00pm | Regal Cinemas

LINGUA

FRANCA

DIR. ISABEL SANDOVAL/USA

Olivia works as a caregiver

to an elderly Russian-

Jewish woman, while

planning a marriage of

convenience to obtain a

green card and worrying

about whether I.C.E. will

discover her before that

can happen. But when

she becomes involved

with her employer’s

troubled grandson, the

line she walks as an

undocumented Filipina

trans woman begins to

unravel. Writer-directorstar

Isabel Sandoval

sensitively tackles these

heavily politicized issues

from a personal and wholly

authentic viewpoint, giving

us a heroine imbued with

grace, determination, and

nuance.

Saturday | March 7 | 2:45pm | Regal Cinemas

WE ARE THE RADICAL

MONARCHS

DIR: LINDA GOLDSTEIN KNOWLTON/USA

WE ARE THE RADICAL MONARCHS synopsis cuts off before it’s

finished. Should read as: Meet the Radical Monarchs, a scouting

troop in Oakland where Thin Mints are put aside in favor of

earning badges like “Black Lives Matter” and “Radical Beauty.”

Queer activists Anayvette Martinez and Marilyn Hollinquest cofounded

the Monarchs to create a safe space in their community

for young women of color to learn about social justice, selfacceptance,

body positivity, inclusion, intersectionality, allyship,

and more. From their upstart beginnings through the divisive

2016 election, the urgency of their mission is ever-salient as they

inspire a new generation of fierce, feminist warriors!

Saturday | March 7 | 1:30pm | Regal Cinemas

SHORTS: OUR FRIENDS

& LOVERS

Whether you’re a long-term couple, an extended chosen family,

or a pair of boyfriends getting physical for the first time, there’s

no doubt that queer relationships of all stripes come with

guaranteed drama. The characters in these shorts handle the

rough roads of love, sex, and friendship with the warmth and

biting humor that it’s sometimes necessary for a queer person

to wear like armor in today’s world.

BDAY (dir: Andrew Lush, USA); DIRTY (dir: Matthew Puccini, USA);

DRIP LIKE COFFEE (dir: Anaiis Cisco, USA); FLOURISH (dir: Heather

María Ács, USA); GAMERS (Searit Huluf, USA); WHO CAN PREDICT

WHAT WILL MOVE YOU (dir Livia Huang, USA).

12 @outfest #outfestfusion


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Saturday | March 7 | 4:15pm | Regal Cinemas

TWENTIES

Creator Lena Waithe’s energetic and

hilarious new BET series chronicles the

lives of Hattie, a queer black woman in

Los Angeles, and her two best friends as

they pursue their dreams, manage parttime

lovers and demanding bosses, and

pause for necessary Waiting to Exhale

soundtrack sing-alongs. Cast members

JoJo Gibbs, Christina Elmore, and Gabrielle

Graham will join us for a sneak peek of the

series’ first two episodes, followed by a

post-screening discussion!

Saturday | March 7 | 6:15pm | Regal Cinemas

SHORTS: TO BE YOUNG,

QUEER, AND BLACK

Defying barriers and binaries in community, culture, and family,

these films dive deeply into the world of self-made spirits

cultivating belonging through the truth of artistic expression.

Reaching beyond their neighborhood, societal and family

expectations, we are invited to witness the gifted journey of

young, queer, and Black voices as innovative, bold, and bravely

calling in a future of dynamic equity, expression, and wonder

rising from grief to personal and collective triumph.

HOMEGOING (Dir: Carlton Daniel, USA): LIME (Dir: Donta Storey,

USA); WHERE MY GIRLS (Dir: Mads Engel, USA); SHÉÁR AVORY:

TO BE CONTINUED (Dir: Abram Cerda, USA); -SHIP: A VISUAL

POEM (Dir: Terrance Daye, USA); SUPER ZEE (Dir: Nathalie

Younglai, Canada).

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 13


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

(LA GLORIA)

PHOTO CREDIT MARISSA FORTUGNO

La Gloria plays in SHORTS: LATINXCELLENCE on

Monday, March 9 at 9:30pm at Plaza de la Raza.

Mary Evangelista’s filmic inspirations can be boiled down

into three people. The first is Xavier Dolan “because of

the way he’s brought Preston Sturges-level melodrama

to contemporary queer cinema.” The second, she says, is “Jane

Campion because every feeling and tone in The Piano springs forth

from the screenplay.” The third is Lucrecia Martel “for her ability to

craft realistic multigenerational and nuanced narratives with such

innovative and beautiful cinematography and sound design.”

Knowing this, it’s no surprise that Evangelista aims “to make

something that instigates people to feel deeply, to possibly have

them consider something in a way they haven’t before.” After all,

she says, “it is the filmmaker’s job to surprise the audience.”

Perhaps then that’s precisely what viewers of her short La

Gloria, written by Stephanie Adams-Santos, should expect.

About the yearning to be seen and recognized by someone you

love, the film conveys “absolutely how powerful and redemptive

a connection between two generations of women can be,

especially for queer folks going through a hard time,” she says.

“I hope the Fusion audience feels the warmth and hopefulness

we’ve tried to imbue in this story of this young queer hero of

ours,” she adds, “and to relive or experience the feeling of being

seen by another, especially by a family member. It can be such an

uplifting feeling of release to have that.”

14 @outfest #outfestfusion


Proud to be

Part of the

Outfest Fusion

Family.

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OUTFEST

FUSION 2020

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213-483-8050 LANGERSDELI.COM


16 @outfest #outfestfusion

OUTFEST FUSION 2020


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

FRIDAY, MARCH 6TH

THEATER 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

JACCC ARATANI

THEATRE (880)

7:30pm FUSION GALA

JACCC

COURTYARD

9:30pm-12 midnight

GALA AFTER-PARTY

SATURDAY, MARCH 7TH

THEATER 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

REGAL L.A.

LIVE 11 (286)

11:30am MAKING A

LASTING MARK IN

THE ENTERTAINMENT

INDUSTRY PANEL

4:15pm SPECIAL

EVENT: TWENTIES

6:15pm SHORTS: TO BE YOUNG,

QUEER, AND BLACK

9pm EL PRINCIPE

REGAL L.A.

LIVE 13 (175)

12pm LINGUA FRANCA

2:45pm WE ARE THE

RADICAL MONARCHS

5:30pm I AM THE

OTHER ONE

8pm SHORTS:

HOW DO I SAY THIS?

SECOND

HOME

11:30am - 1:30pm

WORKSHOP: THE LGBTQIAS

OF ACTING

2 - 4pm WORKSHOP:

MAKING A MOVIE WITH

YOUR SMARTPHONE

4:30 - 6pm WORKSHOP:

BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC

ONLINE BRAND

SUNDAY, MARCH 8TH

THEATER 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

REGAL L.A.

LIVE 11 (286)

2:30pm WALKING

WITH SHADOWS

5pm FUSION’S RISING

STARS PANEL

7pm: DRIVEWAYS 9:15pm: BREAKING FAST

REGAL L.A.

LIVE 13 (175)

12:30pm SHORTS:

BEYOND BORDERS

3:15pm WELCOME

TO THE USA.

8:30pm SHORTS: THE ART

OF SELF-EXPRESSION

SECOND

HOME

12 - 1:30pm

WORKSHOP:

CRAFTING A PITCH

THAT SELLS

2 - 3:30pm WORKSHOP:

FILM JOURNALISM

& CRITICISM—A

CRASH COURSE

4 - 5:30pm

ROUNDTABLE:

WRITERS ON

WRITING

MONDAY, MARCH 9TH

THEATER 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

PLAZA DE LA

RAZA (200)

7pm MOSQUITA Y MARI 9:30pm LATINXCELENCE

TUESDAY, MARCH 10TH

THEATER 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00 15:30 16:00 16:30 17:00 17:30 18:00 18:30 19:00 19:30 20:00 20:30 21:00 21:30 22:00 22:30 23:00

THE LOS ANGE-

LES THEATRE

CENTER (400)

6pm FUSION FINALE PARTY & ONE MINUTE MOVIE CONTEST

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 17


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OUTFEST FUSION 2020

(BUCK, -SHIP: A VISUAL POEM, HOMEGOING)

The world loves a power couple,

and Elegance Bratton and Chester

Algernal Gordon are well-deserving

of the moniker. They’ve been quietly

creating works that center the Black

queer and trans experience for some time

now, as writers, directors, producers, and

costume designers. A quick sampling

of their filmography includes Viceland’s

award-winning docuseries My House,

the Martin Scorsese-backed and Cannespremiering

Port Authority, and the feature

documentary Pier Kids, which earned

Bratton Outfest’s Emerging Talent award

last year, among others. The pair is back

in these industry streets this year with

three projects. They both produced

Terrance Daye’s Sundance-winning short

-Ship: A Visual Poem and Carlton Daniel’s

Homegoing and Bratton co-wrote and

co-directed and Gordon produced the

Sundance-selected short film Buck with

Jovan James.

Of Buck, which is inspired by the tragic

deaths of Gemmel Moore and Timothy

Dean at the hands of major political donor

and West Hollywood resident Ed Buck,

Bratton says he and James “crafted a

tale that explores the power dynamics

between white gay men and young Black

men in the world of chemsex.”

“I have many friends who’ve picked up

meth habits as result of survival sex work

and clients who demanded Party ‘n Play

scenarios,” he continues. “At the same

time though, we wanted to keep track of

the humanity of the men who desire this

type of companionship. It’s important for

audiences to experience Buck because

the film is a guide and celebration of

the remarkable power of our shared

vulnerability and a reminder that both

predator and prey are uniquely human.”

Both Bratton and Gordon strive to

broaden the representation of Black

queer and trans folks onscreen through

their work.

“My intentions are to champion voices

who inspire true change in humanity and

make life on the planet better for every

species,” Gordon says. “Creating art and

helping facilitate getting art made and seen

by unique voices that have not been able

to have a spotlight on them in Hollywood

and the art world is very important to me.

It inspires new thought and conversation

that nudges society’s hearts to be a little

softer and minds to be more open.”

And even if the world isn’t ready for

their cinematic visions of yesteryear and

tomorrow — inspired by the likes of Pedro

Almodóvar, Claire Denis, and Mike Leigh

for Bratton and Sheila Nevins, Christine

Vachon, and Radha Blank for Gordon —

they’re coming anyway with a goal of

engendering self-love in audiences.

“I want them to love themselves

and know that whatever they are going

through — emphasis on through — they

will get past it and grow,” Gordon says.

Next on their shared horizon is

Bratton’s fiction feature debut, The

Inspection, about a homeless man who

joins the Marine Corps to change his life

but must conceal his attraction to his drill

instructor to survive boot camp. They’re

also developing a Buck television series,

meaning there’s more Black queer

storytelling to come. We love to see it!

Buck plays in the FUSION

GALA SHORTS on Friday,

March 6 at 7:30pm at the

Japanese American Cultural

& Community Center.

-Ship: A Visual Poem and

Homegoing play in SHORTS:

TO BE YOUNG, QUEER, AND

BLACK on Saturday, March 7

at 6:15pm at Regal L.A. Live.

PHOTO CREDIT ZOE URNESS

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 19


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Saturday | March 7 | 5:30pm |

Regal Cinemas

EU, UM OUTRO

/ I AM THE

OTHER ONE

DIR: SILVIA GODINHO/BRAZIL

(INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE)

Luca Scarpelli, Raul Capistrano,

and Thalles Rocha — three

Brazilian men of trans

experience — invite director

Silvia Godinho into their lives for

a bold filmmaking experiment.

With an enthralling blend of

documentary and performance,

Godinho’s vibrant, politicallyactive

subjects navigate romantic

entanglements, fights with local

government bureaucracy, and

plans for the future. Godinho

allows these men to exist in

heightened versions of their

realities, and in doing so, crafts a

rare and sensitive portrait of their

struggle to live authentically.

Saturday | March 7 | 9:00pm | Regal Cinemas

EL PRINCIPE / THE PRINCE

DIR. SEBASTIÁN MUÑOZ/CHILE, ARGENTINA, BELGIUM (LOS ANGELES PREMIERE)

In a Chilean prison in 1970, handsome 20-year-old convict

Jaime is thrust into the cutthroat world of cruelty, reprisals,

and clandestine arrangements, becoming the protégé of

El Potro, a fearsome older inmate whose domination gives

way to reciprocity. Adapted from a little-known pulp novel,

this gritty, titillating story of sex, longing, and survival in the

tradition of Querelle and Kiss of the Spider Woman explores

the curious affections that form between men amid the most

abysmal of circumstances. Winner of the 2019 Venice Film

Festival’s Queer Lion.

Saturday | March 7 | 8:00pm | Regal Cinemas

SHORTS: HOW DO I SAY THIS?

Amongst tender moments, heartbreaking rejection, and cool SoCal

nights, the films in this program ask: How do you tell someone

what’s really going on — the complete and unadulterated truth?

Whether revealing you want to be more than friends, accepting

a diagnosis that will change your life, or admitting that you need

help, these films focus on one of the hardest things for a person to

do: open up and let themselves be vulnerable.

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE (Dir: Leandro Goddinho, Germany); DOWN DOG

(Dir: Shae Xu, USA); KAMA’INA (Dir: Kimi Howl Lee, USA); LILY CHAN

AND THE DOOM GIRLS (Dir: Andrew Thomas Huang, USA); PLUS (Dir:

Andrew J. Rodriguez, USA); TENDER (Dir: Felicia Pride, USA); TOUCH

(Dir: Song Huang, China); SAME, OLD (Dir. Haya Alghanim, USA).

20 @outfest #outfestfusion


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Sunday | March 8 | 12:30pm |

Regal Cinemas

SHORTS:

BEYOND

BORDERS

Stories centered around first- and

second-generation immigrants

across multiple continents

investigate the tension between

fulfilling familial obligations,

meeting cultural expectations,

and adjusting to a new country,

all refracted through the prism

of a queer lens. From the threat

of deportations to romantic

awakenings, through discovering

histories to revealing traumas,

this program celebrates the

beauty and texture of our

intersectionality and varied

experiences.

AYANEH (Dir: Nicolas Greinacher,

Switzerland); THE HOUSE OF

MARIANA Y GABRIEL (dir: Hena

Ashraf, USA); MARCO (Dir: Saleem

Haddad, UK); SAFE AMONG

STARS (Dir: Jess X. Snow, USA);

TOMGIRL (Dir: Vonne Patiag,

Australia); UNSPOKEN (Dir. Patrick

G. Lee, USA).

Sunday | March 8 | 2:30pm | Regal Cinemas

WALKING WITH SHADOWS

DIR: AOIFE O’KELLY/NIGERIA, UK (WEST COAST PREMIERE)

In Lagos, Nigeria, Ebele Njoko has been running all his life. A

search for acceptance and love from his family has led him to

recreate himself as Adrian Njoko, respected father, husband,

and brother. Suddenly, Adrian’s past and secrets have caught up

with him, and his world soon begins to crumble as he frantically

tries to control the growing ripple effect of a revelation. Adapted

from Jude Dibia’s award-winning novel.

Preceded by SECRET (dir. Sheryl Lee Ralph)

Sunday | March 8 | 3:15pm | Regal Cinemas

WELCOME TO THE USA

DIR: ASSEL AUSHAKIMOVA/KAZAKHSTAN

Aliya has just won the lottery: the Green Card Lottery that will

enable her to emigrate to the United States. In this wonderfully

observed slice-of-life portrait of post-Soviet Kazakhstan,

Aliya navigates keeping her aging mother company, an affair

with a taken woman, her sister’s unhappiness in a strict

Muslim marriage, and the futility of living in a place with little

opportunity to build the life you desire — all while trying to find

a way to tell them she’s leaving it behind.

Preceded by UMBILICAL (dir. Danski Tang)

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 21


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Sunday | March 8 | 5:00pm |

Regal Cinemas

FUSION’S

RISING STARS

Their magnetic talent has lead

their careers to the verge of a

major breakout, and now these

six young, up-and-coming

queer-identified actors of color

will come together at Fusion

to discuss their pathway to

success in the industry, the

relatively new space being

carved out for QTPOC in film

and television, and their advice

to young hopefuls seeking

to follow in their footsteps.

Discussion will be moderated

by Co-Editor in Chief of The

Advocate, David Artavia.

Panelists include: Zuri Adele

( Good Trouble); Adam Faison

(Everything’s Gonna Be Okay);

Alexandra Grey (Empire); Poppy

Liu (Sunnyside); Leo Sheng

(Adam, The L Word: Generation

Q); Tonatiuh ( Vida).

Sunday | March 8 | 7:00pm |

Regal Cinemas

DRIVEWAYS

DIR: ANDREW AHN/USA (LOS

ANGELES PUBLIC PREMIERE)

In Andrew Ahn’s Spirit

Award-nominated sophomore

feature, Kathy (Hong Chau)

and her sensitive, young son

Cody arrive in a small New

York town to clean out the

house of Kathy’s recently

deceased sister. While mother

and son adjust to their new

surroundings and take stock

of a life that’s starved for

direction, they begin to form

surprising new relationships

— including with a kindly old

neighbor (Brian Dennehy)

whose friendship with Cody

awakens deep regrets from

his past.

22 @outfest #outfestfusion


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Sunday | March 8 | 6:00pm |

Regal Cinemas

YEH FREEDOM

LIFE / THIS

FREEDOM LIFE

DIR: PRIYA SEN/INDIA (WEST COAST PREMIERE)

Amongst the cacophony and chaos

of Ambedkar Nagar, a dense, diverse,

and largely working-class district, two

queer Indians maneuver love and the

complications of their relationships.

We are wholly immersed in Sachi’s

and Parveen’s world over the course

of a year; as the city hosts festivals

celebrating outmoded notions of love

and a woman’s worth, they persevere

to be with the women they love despite

cultural and familial pressure to marry

men, unrelentingly searching for the

freedom to live their lives authentically.

Preceded by SAVING CHINTU (dir. Tushar

Tyagi) and I KNOW HER (dir. Fawzia Mirza)

Sunday | March 8 | 8:30pm | Regal Cinemas

SHORTS: THE ART OF

SELF-EXPRESSION

Lyrical, innovative, and exhilarating, these short films examine

queer people from all walks of life discovering their voice, tapping

into their creative powers, and embracing bold new styles of selfexpression.

Deploying a myriad of mediums and visual elements,

this dynamic and eclectic program offers unique cinematic takes

on dance, poetry, sculpture, erotica, and music — all filtered

through the eyes of queer and trans POC individuals feeling their

way through the world. This is an exuberant and vital collection of

vanguard voices staking their claim in life and art.

ACROSS, BEYOND, AND OVER (Brit Fryer and Noah Schamus, USA);

BLOCKED (Dir: Kevin Yee, USA); FLOSS (Dir: Popo Fan, China/Norway/

Hong Kong); GO GO, BOY! (Dir: Oriana Oppice, USA); INFERNO

(Dir: Andrew R. Blackman, New Zealand); JESSE JAMS (Dir: Trevor

Anderson, Canada); SELF WORSHIP (Dir: Asia Brown, USA); SOLARITY

(Dir: Marianne Verrone, USA); 2 BLACK BOYS (Dir: Rachel Myers).

Sunday | March 8 | 9:15pm | Regal Cinemas

BREAKING FAST

DIR: MIKE MOSALLAM/USA (LOS ANGELES PREMIERE)

Breaking out of your shell in West Hollywood can be

overwhelming, especially when you’re a practicing gay Muslim

like Mo (Haaz Sleiman, The Visitor ). But on the first night of

Islam’s holiest holiday, Mo’s longtime boyfriend Hassan abruptly

breaks off their relationship, leaving him heartbroken and

without a sous chef for iftar. Romance with the All-American

Kal may be just around the corner if only he can keep his

thoughts pure and the past behind him in Mike Mosallam’s

charming Ramadan rom-com.

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 23


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Monday | March 9 | 7:00pm | Plaza de la Raza

Legacy Project Screening:

MOSQUITA Y MARI

DIR: AURORA GUERRERO/USA

Winner of the Best First Feature Award at Outfest Los Angeles

2012, Aurora Guerrero’s refreshingly earnest portrait follows

the budding friendship between two Chicana high schoolers in

Huntington Park. The shining hope of her Mexican immigrant

parents, Yolanda strives for a better life through academics,

while her rebellious and charismatic neighbor Mari navigates the

precarity of undocumented life with her family. When Yolanda

begins to tutor Mari in geometry, inner uncertainties clash with

outer realities, as they chart their own form of independence

while bound by obligations of family and the obstacles of their

working class upbringings.

Preceded by VIERNES GIRL and PURA LENGUA (Aurora

Guerrero, 2005)

Monday | March 9 | 9:30pm |

Plaza de la Raza

SHORTS:

LATINXCELLENCE

Witness the vibrant cascade of the queer

Latinx spirit in this exciting and rich

collection of new short films. Here are tales

of resilience in a world of hate, of dignity

in the face of oppression, and of love

found in unexpected places. These films

zero in on specific worlds and characters

whose triumphs and struggles resonate

and inspire beyond race or gender. Taken

together, these Latinx short films speak to

the profound transformative powers of a

living life authentically.

ACUITZERAMO (dir: Miguel Angel Caballero,

Mexico/USA); LA GLORIA (dir: Mary Evangelista,

USA); THE NIGHT, UNSHELTERED (Iñaki

Velásquez, Chile); TO BE WITH YOU (Dir: Elliott

Feliciano, USA); TRUE TO YOU (Dir: Jacob

Charton, USA); WONDER (Dir: Javier Molina,

USA); YUNIOR (Dir: Francisco Cabrera-Feo, USA).

24 @outfest #outfestfusion


ADVERTISEMENT


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Saturday | March 7 | 11:30am | Second Home

THE LGBTQIAS OF ACTING

TAUGHT BY RAIN VALDEZ

Calling all LGBTQIA, non-binary, and POC actors! Actress

and filmmaker Rain Valdez will show you acting techniques

to help you navigate Hollywood as a queer actor. Talent of

all levels are encouraged to attend and prepare a one to

two minute monologue for class.

Saturday | March 7 | 2:00pm | Second Home

HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE

WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE

TAUGHT BY CHESTER ALGERNAL (WITH JOVAN JAMES)

Have a story to tell but don’t know where to start? Come

learn the tools and techniques in this crash course on how

to make high-quality short films using what you already

have. Producer Chester Algernal Gordon will use their

expertise to put your ideas in front of the camera. You will

leave inspired and ready to create your own film!

Saturday | March 7 | 4:30pm | Second Home

BUILDING AN AUTHENTIC

ONLINE BRAND WITH

KALEN ALLEN

TAUGHT BY KALEN ALLEN

With over 600 million cross-platform views of his

original content in just two years time, Kalen Allen

has become one of the internet’s most well-known

personalities for his “Kalen Reacts” videos, landing

him over 1 million Instagram followers and a spot on

The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Now, in an age when

younger folks increasingly look to YouTube and social

media to make their voices heard, Kalen will share his

own insights and advice on how to captivate a huge

audience of followers and maximize opportunities.

Participants in this workshop are encouraged to bring

ideas for their own online presence, for potential

feedback from Kalen himself!

26 @outfest #outfestfusion


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

Sunday | March 8 | 12:00pm | Second Home

CRAFTING A PITCH

THAT SELLS

DAVID SIGURANI (NETFLIX’S BONDING,

AMC’S THIS CLOSE, NETFLIX’S VERMIN)

Discover the best way to present your project

in order to hook a producer, actor, or executive.

Having developed and sat through way too many

pitches, queer Latinx producer and creative

executive David Sigurani will work you through

the elements of an undeniable story pitch. From

your story’s world, theme, and tone to your

beats and characters, stir up all the necessary

ingredients to establish why you should be

the one to make the next hit film or TV series!

Participants in this workshop are encouraged

to prepare a three minute pitch of their current

project for potential feedback.

Sunday | March 8 | 4:00pm | Second Home

FILM JOURNALISM &

CRITICISM: A CRASH COURSE

TAUGHT BY TRE’VELL ANDERSON

Who gets to write about the films, stories, and artists that

matter to you? QTPOC writers are largely underrepresented

at major outlets, and access to opportunity can be tough.

Journalist and critic Tre’vell Anderson will guide you through

the business of pitching to outlets, surviving the freelance

game, while also advising you on the basics of writing style

that’ll get your work noticed by the right outlets. Participants

encouraged to bring in maximum 200-word capsule reviews

or write-ups for possible feedback!

Sunday | March 8 | 4:00pm | Second Home

TV WRITERS’ ROUNDTABLE

MODERATED BY NNEKA ONUORAH

Join this diverse group of writers as they discuss their

professional experiences in the television industry. Geetika

Lizardi, Henry Alberto, and Mfoniso Udofia will get real

about what really happens in the writers’ room and what it

takes to survive and thrive.

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 27


PROUD SPONSOR OF

MARCH 2020


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

(LINGUA FRANCA)

PHOTO CREDIT MARISSA FORTUGNO

Lingua Franca plays on Saturday,

March 7 at 12pm at Regal L.A. Live.

Isabel Sandoval is clear that as a trans Filipina, the act of filmmaking is inherently

political. In fact, “it’s a brazen act of defiance and resistance,” she says, noting

her hope to “inspire and embolden other filmmakers and creators of color [to]

tell our stories.”

Lingua Franca is Sandoval’s third dramatic feature, and her first film shot and

produced in the United States. About an undocumented trans Filipina caregiver

trying to obtain a green card, she’s unapologetically leaning into the poltics of

it all. But she cautions that the picture is more than just the “social-issue film

[it appears to be] on paper” as it showcases her distinctive sensibilities as a

filmmaker.

“I gravitate to stories of marginalized women who find themselves making

personal choices in fraught sociopolitical milieus,” she says. “Having undergone

my gender transition as an immigrant of color in the U.S. in the last few years, I

felt drawn to the fictional predicament of Olivia, the main character.”

Seemingly, others in the broader filmmaking community are also drawn to

Lingua Franca’s subject — and its “sensuous, beguiling, and lyrical” nature —

as it world premiered at the Venice International Film Festival last year, making

Sandoval the first trans director to ever compete at the festival.

“Creativity is what fuels me, so I’m very grateful that my work has been

supported by prestigious international films festivals and critics, reassuring me

that I’m not totally [absurd] to pursue this path,” she says, adding “I can’t imagine

a life without cinema.”

“I’ve always taken artistic risks with every new film I make and trusting my

instincts all the way have paid off more often than not so I’m not going to stop now.”

TICKETS: 213.480.7065 | outfest.org 29


OUTFEST FUSION 2020

-Ship: A Visual Poem 13

2 Black Boys 23

Across, Beyond, and Over 23

Acuitzeramo 24

Ayaneh 21

BDay 12

Before It’s Too Late 20

Blocked 23

Breaking Fast 23

Bubble 9

Buck 9

Darling 9

Dirty 12

Down Dog 20

Drip Like Coffee 12

Driveways 22

El Principe (The Prince) 20

Floss 23

Flourish 12

Gamers 12

Go Go, Boy 23

Homegoing 13

I Am The Other One 20

I Know Her 23

Inferno 23

Jesse Jams 23

Kama’āina 20

Killer Workout 9

La Gloria 24

Lily Chan & The Doom Girls 20

Lime 13

Lingua Franca 12

Marco 21

Mosquita y Mari 24

Plus 20

Protected 16

Pura Lengua 24

Safe Among Stars 21

Same, Old 20

Saving Chintu 23

Secrets 21

Self Worship 23

Sextpert Advice 9

Shéár Avory: To Be Continued 13

Solarity 23

Spilt Milk 9

Super Zee 13

Tender 20

The House of Mariana y Gabriel 21

The Night, Unsheltered 24

To Be With You 24

Tomgirl 21

Touch 20

True To You 24

Twenties 13

Umbilical 21

Unspoken 21

Viernes Girl 24

Walking with Shadows 21

We Are The Radical Monarchs 12

Welcome to the USA 21

Where My Girls 13

Who Can Predict What Will Move You 12

Wonder 24

Yeh Freedom Life 23

Yunior 24

30 @outfest #outfestfusion


PRIDE IS AGELESS

And so are you. Still blazing new trails, tearing down barriers and empowering

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your side every step of the way — opening doors and exploring a new vision for

aging that’s full of real possibilities. Today is your day to live life as you choose —

equally, openly and proudly.

Learn more at aarp.org/pride


Better Drives Us.

Love Steers Us.

At Hyundai, we believe in the spirit of innovation to make a positive impact

on our world. We are committed to designing amazing cars with cutting-edge

technology, to providing our customers with the best quality service and to

actively supporting agents of change, education and opportunity.

Hyundai is honored to be the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of Outfest Fusion.

Together, we stand in support of the LGBTQ community to drive inclusivity

and acceptance.

FUSION

Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of Outfest Fusion

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