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 1996 Outfest began a relationship with Sundance, another film festival. [5]

2004 Was the first year the idea of a queer film festival curating around people of color came about. Outfests then executive Stephen Gutwilig and Kirsten Schaffer are the name behind the idea. [6]

In 2005 UCLA Film & Television Archive and Outfest teamed up to save movies and videos made by LGBTQ people. They called this project the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. [7]   Since, Outfest and UCLA have continued to grow their collection making it one of the biggest attainable resources for moving images. [8]

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

The 2018 Outfest film festival was held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California. [9] In 2019 the executives of the Outfest film festival decided it was time for a change in location once the Directors Guild of America began renovating. [9] The TCL Chinese Theater also in LA, then became the new home for Outfest film festival. [9]

In June 2020, Outfest partnered with Film Independent to launch the United in Pride digital film festival. [10] 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]

In January 2022, Outfest celebrated its 26th queer brunch at Sundance. [11]




Outfest supports youth through education, mentoring and access to meaningful LGBTQ stories. It also includes:


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


Outfest Los Angeles gives annual awards in 16 categories. Awards are given by Grand Juries, festival audiences and the Programming Committees. Jury awards are given for:

Audience Awards are given for:

Programming awards are given for:

Outfest also presents the Outfest Legacy Awards every fall.

See also

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  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". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  4. Mark Olsen (July 5, 2009). "At Outfest, redefining gay film". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  5. Reul, Katie (January 18, 2023). "Outfest Outpost to Celebrate Queer Storytelling at 2023 Sundance Film Festival". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  6. Rastegar, Roya (June 1, 2009). "The de-Fusion of Good Intentions". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 15 (3): 481–497. doi:10.1215/10642684-2008-033. ISSN   1064-2684.
  7. "Outfest UCLA Legacy Project | UCLA Film & Television Archive". www.cinema.ucla.edu. Retrieved April 27, 2023.
  8. Pepe, Kristin (KP) (October 1, 2011). "Outside the Hollywood Canon". GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. 17 (4): 632–638. doi:10.1215/10642684-1302433. ISSN   1064-2684.
  9. 1 2 3 Donovan, Sean M. (April 3, 2022). "Over the corporate rainbow: LGBTQ film festivals and affective media networks". New Review of Film and Television Studies. 20 (2): 268–291. doi:10.1080/17400309.2022.2064178. ISSN   1740-0309.
  10. "Outfest Partners With Film Independent's Project Involve To Launch Inaugural UNITED IN PRIDE". broadway world. June 11, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  11. "2022 Outfest House @ Sundance". Outfest. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  12. "OutMuseum, Outfest: https://www.outfest.org/outmuseum/". American Journalism. 39 (2): 237–239. April 3, 2022. doi:10.1080/08821127.2022.2064168. ISSN   0882-1127.{{cite journal}}: External link in |title= (help)