Last updated

LocationLos Angeles, United States
Founded byJohn Ramirez
Stuart Timmons
Website outfest.org

Outfest is an LGBTQ-oriented nonprofit that produces two film festivals, operates a movie streaming platform, and runs educational services for filmmakers in Los Angeles. Outfest is one of the key partners, alongside the Frameline Film Festival, the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival, and the Inside Out Film and Video Festival, in launching the North American Queer Festival Alliance, an initiative to further publicize and promote LGBT film. [1]



In 1979, John Ramirez and Stuart Timmons, two students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), founded a gay film festival on campus. [2] By 1982, it had become known as the "Gay and Lesbian Media Festival and Conference." The name was changed to Outfest in 1994. [3] [4]

In September 2016, Outfest held its first traveling film festival in Northampton, Massachusetts, at the Academy of Music Theatre.

In June 2020, Outfest partnered with Film Independent to launch the United in Pride digital film festival. [5] Outfest was also one of the key partners, alongside the Frameline Film Festival, the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival and the Inside Out Film and Video Festival, in launching the North American Queer Festival Alliance, an initiative to further publicize and promote LGBT film. [1]




Outfest supports youth through education, mentoring and access to meaningful LGBTQ stories


Outfest promotes works by its alumni and encourages them to help educate new and upcoming filmmakers.

Outie awards

Outfest gives annual "Outie" awards in 16 categories. Awards are given by grand juries, festival audiences and the Program Committees. Jury awards are given for:

Audience awards are given for:

Programs awards are given for:

Outfest also presents the Outfest Achievement Award, the Outfest Honors, the Outfest Screenwriting Lab Award and the Screen Idol Award.

See also

Related Research Articles

Jenni Olson

Jenni Olson is an American film curator, filmmaker, author, and LGBT film historian. She was born and raised in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. She co-founded the pioneering LGBT website PlanetOut.com, and campaigned to have a barrier erected on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent suicides.

NewFest: The New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival put on by The New Festival, Inc., is one of the most comprehensive forums of national and international LGBT film/video in the world.

Inside Out Film and Video Festival

The Inside Out Film and Video Festival, also known as the Inside Out LGBT or LGBTQ Film Festival, is an annual Canadian film festival, which presents a program of LGBT-related film. The festival is staged in both Toronto and Ottawa. Founded in 1991, the festival is now the largest of its kind in Canada. Deadline dubbed it "Canada’s foremost LGBTQ film festival."

Vito Russo

Vito Russo was an American LGBT activist, film historian, and author. He is best remembered as the author of the book The Celluloid Closet, described in The New York Times as "an essential reference book" on homosexuality in the US film industry. In 1985 he co-founded the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a media watchdog organization that strives to end anti-LGBT rhetoric, and advocates for LGBT inclusion in popular media.

Frameline Film Festival

The Frameline Film Festival began as a storefront event in 1976. The first film festival, named the Gay Film Festival of Super-8 Films, was held in 1977. The festival is organized by Frameline, a nonprofit media arts organization whose mission statement is "to change the world through the power of queer cinema". It is the oldest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world.

The Iris Prize, established in 2007 by The Festivals Company, is an international LGBT film prize which is open to any film which is by, for, about or of interest to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex audiences and which must have been completed within two years of the prize deadline.

Catherine Crouch is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, and actor. She has been active in independent film-making for over two decades. Most of her work explores gender, race, and class in lesbian and queer lives. She is known for Stranger Inside (2001), Stray Dogs (2002), and The Gendercator (2007).

Julie "J. D." Disalvatore was an American LGBT film and television producer/director and gay rights activist. She was also an animal rights activist. She was openly lesbian.

<i>Cruel and Unusual</i> (2006 film)

Cruel and Unusual is a 2006 American documentary film directed and produced by Janet Baus, Dan Hunt and Reid Williams about the experiences of transgender women in the United States prison system. It was screened on television as Cruel and Unusual: Transgender Women in Prison.

Stu Maddux

Stu Maddux is American freelance writer, editor, and cinematographer. He is a movie producer and director of his own non-fiction independent films. He is best known for his work Gen Silent, a documentary about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender older people who hide their sexuality or gender change in order to survive in the long-term care system. He also wrote and produced the films Bob and Jack's 52-Year Adventure and Trip to Hell and Back. His work has been featured internationally on television including on Showtime, TLC, and the BBC.

Cecilio "Cece" Asuncion is a Filipino-American director, producer, filmmaker and executive. He is the founder, owner and director of Slay Model Management in Los Angeles.

Ronni Lebman Sanlo is the Director Emeritus of the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center and an authority on matters relating to LGBT students, faculty and staff in higher education. She recognized at an early age that she was a lesbian, but was too afraid to tell anybody. Sanlo went to college then married and had two children. At the age of 31, Ronni came out and lost custody of her young children. The unfair treatment towards the LBGT community and her rights as a mother are what gave Sanlo the drive to get involved in activism and LGBT politics.

Silas Howard is an American director, scriptwriter and actor. His first feature film was By Hook or by Crook in 2001 with Harry Dodge, and he earned an MFA in directing at UCLA. He began directing episodes during the second season of Transparent, making him the show's first trans director.

Stuart Timmons

Stuart Timmons was an American journalist, activist, historian, and award-winning author specializing in LGBT history based in Los Angeles, California. He was the author of The Trouble With Harry Hay: Founder of the Modern Gay Movement and the co-author of Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians with Lillian Faderman.

Johnny Symons is a documentary filmmaker focusing on LGBT cultural and political issues. He is a professor in the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, where he runs the documentary program and is the director and co-founder of the Queer Cinema Institute. He received his BA from Brown University and his MA in documentary production from Stanford University. He has served as a Fellow in the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.

Queering the Script is a Canadian documentary film, directed by Gabrielle Zilkha and released in 2019. Beginning at ClexaCon, a fan convention for lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender women, the film explores the issue of LGBTQ representation in media, including the ways in which social media activism has influenced the telling of queer women's stories in entertainment by organizing campaigns against storytelling tropes such as queerbaiting and Dead Lesbian Syndrome.

<i>Queer Japan</i> 2019 documentary film

Queer Japan is a 2019 documentary film directed, edited, and co-written by Graham Kolbeins. The documentary profiles a range of individuals in Japan who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Queer Japan is produced by Hiromi Iida with Anne Ishii, written by Ishii and Kolbeins, and features an original score composed by Geotic.


  1. 1 2 Jeff Ewing, "Major LGBTQ Film Festivals Partner To Create The ‘North American Queer Festival Alliance’ (NAQFA)". Forbes , June 17, 2020.
  2. "Our History". UCLA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Campus Resource Center. UCLA. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
  3. Susan King (July 7, 2011). "Outfest 2011 film festival to open Thursday in Los Angeles" . Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  4. Mark Olsen (July 5, 2009). "At Outfest, redefining gay film" . Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  5. "Outfest Partners With Film Independent's Project Involve To Launch Inaugural UNITED IN PRIDE". broadway world. June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.