ABOVE: Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Film Inquiry)
LA’s Outfest has been hosting a famous Queer Brunch at the Sundance Film Festival for years, but this year the organization has announced plans to expand its presence there for the first time in more than a decade.
The world-renowned LGBTQ Film Festival announced Jan. 20 that it was launching the Outfest House @ Sundance, an afternoon of celebration and education for festival alumni, community and fans of cinema celebrating the LGBTQ films at Sundance. Taking place in the heart of the festival at Kimball Terrace, it will offer a program of panels and discussions with industry professionals, exploring the history, politics and purpose of queer cinema.
The panels include:
THE PAST AND FUTURE OF QUEER CINEMA
A panel discussion moderated film critic and scholar B. Ruby Rich, who almost three decades ago coined the term “New Queer Cinema” to describe the 90s wave of boundary-pushing filmmaking from queer artists like Cheryl Dunye, Gregg Araki and Isaac Julien. She will lead a discussion with filmmakers whose work spans that 30-year period, as well as talents who represent the future of queer filmmaking.
Panelists include filmmaker Andrew Ahn (“Spa Night,” “Driveways”), producer Christine Vachon (“Go Fish,” “Boys Don’t Cry,” Sundance 2020 selection “Shirley”) and filmmaker Tom Dolby (“Last Weekend,” “The Artist’s Wife,” Executive Producer for “Call Me By Your Name”).
THE POLITICS OF QUEERNESS
This one is described by Outfest as follows: “Existing as an out member of the LGBTQIA+ family, and putting our stories onscreen, are inherently political acts. There is virtually no country on Earth where the basic rights of our community are not consistently up for debate in the political sphere, and ensuring our voices continue to be heard in that debate through queer storytelling and activism unites the talent on this panel.”
The conversation will include queer filmmakers, actors and activists featured in Sundance 2020 films, moderated by Zackary Drucker. Among the participants are Levan Akin and Levan Gelbakhiani (director and lead actor, respectively, “And Then We Danced”) and Jen Richards (actor in HBO’s “Mrs. Fletcher” and Netflix’s “Tales of the City”).
THE FULL RAINBOW: CENTERING UNDER-REPRESENTED QUEER VOICES
Exploring the topic of visibility in today’s media landscape, this panel will include discussion of both the strides that have been made with intersectional representation on screen and the long road still ahead to achieve true parity. As Outfest puts it, “On the heels of yet another #OscarsSoWhite, we ask: How do we make it past the gatekeepers to have our stories seen and heard?” Queer and trans artists and filmmakers representative of under-served communities will candidly discuss authentic storytelling, their experiences working in the industry and how opportunities have changed in the past few years. Moderated by Tre’vell Anderson, the panelists will include Justin Simien and Angel Lopez (both of Sundance 2020 selection “Bad Hair” and “Dear White People”), Rain Valdez (“Razor Tongue,” “Why Women Kill,” “Transparent”) and Wilson Cruz (“My So-Called Life,” “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Visible: Out on Television”), with possible “surprise guests” teased in the lineup.
The Outfest House @ Sundance has WarnerMedia as house sponsor and the Los Angeles Times as media sponsor. Lyft, Adobe, Storyblaster, Post Hub and Vybes are the event sponsors and Rava Wines is featured as well. The programming is presented in partnership with Apple TV+’s “Visible: Out on Television.”
The Sundance Film Festival will be in Park City, Utah Jan. 23–Feb. 2. Outfest House@ Sundance will follow the Outfest Queer Brunch on Jan. 26. For more details visit the Outfest website.