Outfest Celebrates 30 Years With John Waters, Chris Colfer And Haley Joel Osment

Turning the big 3-0 this year, Outfest, Los Angeles’ legendary LGBT film festival, has announced its lineup for 2012. And with 147 films, plus a mass of panels, parties and a special John Waters tribute, 30 is looking hotter than ever.

“Outfest began with just three films, and now we are screening nearly 150 high quality movies that represent the rich diversity of our community,” said festival director Kristin Schaffer. “It’s remarkable to see the evolution of queer storytelling.”

Considering the lineup, Ms. Schaffer ain’t wrong.

On July 12, the festival opens with Jeffrey Schwarz’s acclaimed Vito, a powerful documentary about gay-rights pioneer Vito Russo, who shamed the media for its portrayal of the LGBT community in the aftermath of Stonewall. His seminal book, The Celluloid Closet, explored representations of LGBT characters in film, both direct and covert.

Ira Sachs’ award-winning romantic drama, Keep the Lights On, and Chilean director Marialy Rivas’ Young and Wild  are centerpiece films this year. Sachs’ film (left) is based on his real-life rocky relationship with Bill Klegg, while Rivas’ film focuses on a 17-year old blogger who refuses to let her strict religious upbringing get in the way of her libido.

Activist group ACT UP gets the documentary treatment as well, in David France’s How to Survive a Plague, about the devastating early days of the AIDS epidemic and how activists learned to work the system to save lives.

Closing out the fest on July 22 is the highly anticipated Struck by Lightning, starring Glee‘s Chris Colfer, who also wrote the script. He stars as Carson Phillips, a teenager who recounts his rough high school days and the many people who attributed to his misery. Co-starring Dermot Mulroney and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks, Struck by Lightning (right) should end things with a bang.

Other titles showing this year include the lesbian road flick Cloudburst with Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker; White Frog with BD Wong, Joan Chen and Twilight‘s Booboo Stewart; the gay-parenting drama Any Day Now with Alan Cummings and Garret Dillahunt; and the off-kilter comedy That’s What She Said with Anne Heche and Carrie Preston (True Blood).

But we’re most eager to check out Sassy Pants, Coley Sohn’s coming-of-age comedy about a young girl (Ashley Rickards) who runs away from home to live with her dad (Diedrich Bader) and his boyfriend, played by former child star Haley Joel Osment.

Yup, the Sixth Sense kid is playing a leather boy toy.

 Outfest runs July 12-22 in Los Angeles



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  • stoopid louie

    I maybe be stoopid, but the only gay-themed movie I ever enjoyed was “The Broken Hearts Club.” Funny and sad, see it if you have not.

  • Daez

    It was a really good movie. However, I can not help but to think that you have probably only seen the stuff that came out of Hollywood and made it to the big screen. There are many smaller, independent movies that are just awesome. Edge of Seventeen and the Eating Out moves are very well done.

  • Cam

    Has anyone noticed the rather high amount of washed-up actors in these films?

  • UsualPlayers

    You can always tell someone’s taste level what they list as “good.” Eating Out series is poorly acted and the written, but if you don’t care about that, then it is good. Just because something approximates porn fantasies and eye candy doesn’t make it good.

    There is a looong list at this point of good gay movies that actually are good as movies from Shelter to Beautiful Thing to My Beautiful Laudrette to Bad Education (Pedro Almodavar) to Paris is Burning to to Gods and Monsters to Priscilla Queen of the Desert to Paragraph 175 to Bent. This is not even including movies with major gay characters, but who are not the main story line. The list goes on and on.

    If you can’t find a good gay movie to watch, you aren’t looking for them or lack taste.

  • UsualPlayers

    No Cam, but I have noticed a lot of bitching at this site. I am starting to get tired of it. I don’t mind the articles here, but the comment section is always full of bullshit.

  • Rockindad

    “All Over the Guy” is another “Hollywood” gay movie that is hugely overlooked. Probably the best performed and scripted gay romantic comedy I’ve seen, also of the “Broken Hearts Club” era.

  • Cam

    @UsualPlayers: Then perhaps you should not come here if it displeases you so much. This site will survive without you.

  • DenverBarbie

    There are so many fantastic LGBTQ-themed movies, but it unfortunately makes sense that many of us miss them; a lot of queer films see limited release in large cities only and fight long battles for DVD distribution. As such, I do encourage everyone to explore the “Gay & Lesbian” section of Netflix. There really is a story for everyone, and I think all gay film skeptics will be pleasantly surprised.

  • MIKE


  • Jordan

    John Waters needs to make a new movie and stop writing essays about serial killers like the Manson crew who he thinks should be parolled, and claiming that Travolta is “Straight” in his book of essays which many had been published before titled “Role Models”.

  • James M. Martin

    @stoopid louie: “Wild Reeds,” “Maurice,” “Brokeback Mountain,” a few others.

  • Henry Holland


    I don’t know what the age of consent laws are where everyone lives –I’m not officially allowed to notice him in this movie– but Haley Joel Osment was 16 when he did the excellent Secondhand Lions with Michael Caine and Robert Duvall. He not only holds his own acting-wise against those two, he wears some really really really tight pants and shirts, he was in good shape then. Looking forward to seeing him in Sassy Pants, furry chest and all.

    Favorite gay movie: Ivory & Merchant’s Maurice. “Now we shan’t ever be parted”. *sigh*

  • Russ

    Brokeback mountain was a movie about bisexual men, not gay men. It’s still a BLGT movie though.

    I like Y Tu mama tambien, Mala Educacion (Bad education), Priscilla queen of the desert, and other movies.

  • Damon

    HenryHolland-You’re a creepy chickenhawk.

    What a surprise the guy from GLEE is playing a nellie queen that is a professional victim.

  • Dabba

    Rupert Graves makes me wet. See also “A Room With A View”.

  • Janelle

    Did you say this guy is looking hotter than ever???? What, are you crazy or in other words, psychotic?

  • UsualPlayers

    @Cam: Or, I can read the articles that I like, and comment on the stupidity of the comment section too. The problem is you. Not me. so, you aren’t going to chase me away from articles I like because of your nastiness.

  • UsualPlayers

    @DenverBarbie: I agree with you about the distribution issue for more obscure tiles, but the people whining above aren’t complaining because of lack of access. Nearly everything I listed is readily available to anyone who wanted to see it. In fact, all it would take is a Google search of “best gay films” or “best gay movies” and there are several sites that host top 100 lists and top 10 lists, and many of those movies are in fact available. The real issue here is that in every comment section the exact same nastiness. For example, they posted an article the other day about some gay actor doing a straight part, and there was this parade of comments basically lying about the guys acting background claiming he did no gay roles since he came out. When I pointed out that he did ‘The Normal Heart’ then the comments shifted to saying that “The Normal Heart” is a bad play, etc.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Russ: Y Tu was technically Bi as well, but the truth is there is something for everyone out there like TransAmerica and if one is into lesbian thrillers Bound was also very good

  • UsualPlayers

    Also check out : I Think I Do. Its one for the Gen X’ers since I recently saw it again and was reminded of life in the 90s and being that way.

  • David Gervais

    “He stars as Carson Phillips, a teenager who recounts his rough high school days and the many people who attributed [sic] to his misery.”

    Are you sure you mean that? I know that last week’s news claims the literacy of congress has declined to a high school level, but seriously, we are better than that.

  • James

    Has anyone seen the Rock Hudson movie? Incredibly sad and moving.

  • James

    Biopic movie I mean sorry.

  • Eli

    I saw Struck By Lightning (Chris Colfer’s Film) at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and it was SO good. Strikingly different then most “coming of age” movies, whip-sharp in wit and pace, with nice visuals as well. Fantastic Performances by Allison Janney, Polly Bergen and Chris Colfer in particular. It doesn’t hurt that Chris is looking more and more handsome by the day. This role is really different than Kurt on Glee and I laughed out loud a bunch of times. I can’t wait to see it again in wider release. Glad Chris is getting the time to shine at Outfest.

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