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Outfest Los Angeles gay & L fest awards

Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media, held its 14th annual film competition awards ceremony on July 20 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.
A total of 17 Outie Awards were distributed before the packed house of festival goers, celebrity guests and presenters, and Outfest 2008 filmmakers. The presentation of awards was followed by the Los Angeles premiere of Tom Gustafson’s WERE THE WORLD MIND, which nabbed Outfest’s coveted Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature/ Heineken® Red Star Award.

Outfest 2008: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival provides filmmakers the largest awards program of any LGBT film festival in the world - 17 Outie Awards selected by grand juries, festival audiences and the Programs Committee. The following awards were presented to the respective filmmakers at the 14th annual film competition ceremony:

Grand Jury Awards
Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature (Heineken® Red Star Award):
WERE THE WORLD MINE directed by Thomas Gustafson

Outstanding International Dramatic Feature:
XXY directed by Lucia Puenzo

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
SEX POSITIVE directed by Daryl Wein

Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film:

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film:
Nicole Bilderback in THE NEW TWENTY

Outstanding Screenwriting:
James Bolton, screenwriter, DREAM BOY

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
COUNTERTRANSFERENCE directed by Madeleine Olnek

Outstanding Documentary Short:
LA CORONA (THE CROWN) directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

Special Programming Awards
Outfest Freedom Award:
FOOTBALL UNDER COVER directed by David Assmann and Ayat Najafi

Outstanding Emerging Talent ($5,000 product grant from Kodak):
Dave O'Brien, director, EQUALITY U

Outstanding Artistic Achievement:

Audience Awards
HBO Outstanding First Dramatic Feature ($5,000 cash prize):
WATERCOLORS directed by David Oliveras

Outstanding Dramatic Feature:
HAMLET 2 directed by Andrew Fleming

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
A PLACE TO LIVE directed by Carolyn Coal

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
I'M JIN-YOUNG directed by Lee Sung-eun

Outstanding Documentary Short:
LA CORONA (THE CROWN) directed by Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

Outstanding Soundtrack:

Select Outie Awards are decided by the Outfest 2008 film jurors including:
U.S. Dramatic Features Jury
Calpernia Addams is an actress, musician, author and activist known for her work in and for the transsexual community through Deep Stealth Productions. Recently she performed alongside Jane Fonda in the 10th anniversary production of The Vagina Monologues at the New Orleans Super Dome, benefiting victims of Hurricane Katrina. Addams stars in Logo's “Transamerican Love Story," a show examining dating and romance for trans people.

Cheryl Dunye, a Liberia native, holds an MFA from Rutgers University. She is the director of THE WATERMELON WOMAN, STRANGER INSIDE, and MY BABY’S DADDY. She has served on the boards of Outfest, the DGA and the IFP, and been honored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Women in Film and Television. She is the recipient of Outfest’s Fusion Award, and is one of the 2008 POWER UP Top Ten Women In Showbiz.

Randal Kleiser’s USC thesis film, PEEGE, so impressed executives at Universal that they signed him as a director. In 2007, the film was added to the Library of Congress National Registry. His first feature, GREASE, is the most successful movie musical ever made. Other credits include THE BOY IN THE PLASTIC BUBBLE, THE BLUE LAGOON, FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR, WHITE FANG and the 1996 AIDS drama IT’S MY PARTY.

Bahman Naraghi is a seasoned film executive, with nearly two decades of diverse industry experience. He is currently consulting with The Halcyon Company, owner of the TERMINATOR franchise and executive-producing the next installment in the iconic film series, TERMINATOR SALVATION. Naraghi founded Red Envelope Entertainment at Netflix and ran Intermedia - after more than a decade of senior studio executive positions at Universal Pictures and Miramax Films.

International Dramatic Features Jury
J. Halberstam is Professor of English and Gender Studies at USC. Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. A prolific author, Halberstam’s titles include SKIN SHOWS: GOTHIC HORROR AND THE TECHNOLOGY OF MONSTERS (a study of popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries), FEMALE MASCULINITY (a groundbreaking argument about non-male masculinity) IN A QUEER TIME AND PLACE: TRANSGENDER BODIES, SUBCULTURAL LIVES (which describes and theorizes queer reconfigurations and the emergence of transgender visibility). Halberstam is currently starting a book on THE L WORD.

Vicci Ho has been the director of the Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival since 2006. Raised in Australia, she returned to Hong Kong after university and worked on several film and TV productions before taking her post at the HKLGFF. She also worked as web editor of Variety Asia and remains an occasional contributor for Variety. Ho was a member of the 2008 Teddy Jury at the Berlinale, and has recently relocated to Toronto to work as program coordinator for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Barry Sabath is Senior Lecturer and Senior Mentor at the American Film Institute. He teaches Approaches to World Cinema, Feature Development and mentors thesis films, including a recent Student Academy Award winner. Sabath ran the film division of Marsha and Robin Williams' Blue Wolf Productions, was Senior Vice President of Production for Paul Schiff Productions at Twentieth Century Fox and was Executive Story Editor and Vice President of Production at Columbia Pictures. He is currently producing a horror film at MGM, and is serving as a mentor for the Korean Film Council Filmmakers Development Lab.

Documentary Features Jury
Kibi Anderson, a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University, was a 2000 Fortune Magazine top talent to watch. In 2001, Anderson started Key Bee Entertainment and produced the Emmy-winning “The Mighty Warriors Of Comedy,” a documentary about an Asian comedy troupe. Her other credits include UNIVERSAL REMOTE, ANIMAL STORY, HATEST GRITS, CUBA LIBRE and BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, which was an official selection at the Pan African and Chicago Shorts Film Festivals. Anderson was also a 2005 screenwriting fellow with the Guy Hanks & Marvin A. Miller Writing Program and a 2004 Project: Involve (Film Independent) Honoree.

Maria San Filippo, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Cinema and Media Studies at Wellesley College, is writing a book examining sexual fluidity in post-Stonewall fictional film. She holds a Ph.D. in Film & Television from UCLA, where she recently taught a course on the Outfest Legacy Collection. Her research specialties include media representations of gender and sexuality, queer theory, art cinema and contemporary American cultural politics. Her film criticism and essays appear in Cineaste, Film History, the Journal of Bisexuality, Senses of Cinema, and the forthcoming anthologies American Movie Masculinity, Global Art Cinema and Race and Independent Media.

Rob Williams is VP Acquisitions & Theatrical Distribution for Liberation Entertainment, and oversees the acquisitions and theatrical releasing of new Liberation Entertainment feature films (recent films include TAKE, starring Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner; and TOKYO! from directors Michel Gondry, Bong Joon-ho and Leos Carax). Prior to this, he served as acquisitions executive for Red Envelope Entertainment, an independent film distribution initiative wholly owned by Netflix. Before Red Envelope, he acquired films for Wellspring / Genius Entertainment, distributor of such films as TARNATION and THE BROWN BUNNY. Rob also worked in theatrical marketing for DreamWorks Pictures, and is a graduate of Boston University.

Short Film Jury
Jessica Graham is originally from Philadelphia, where she both acted in and produced theater and film. Since moving to LA in 2005 she has completed 3 feature films, including the festival hit 2 MINUTES LATER, now available on DVD. She will appear in the upcoming features AND THEN CAME LOLA, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE and SOCIALLY REGISTERED and upcoming shorts TREMBLE AND SPARK and DIRE STRAIGHTS.

Todd Luoto is a Chapman University film school graduate. After a stint in development at Miramax/Dimension Films, he worked as a journalist for Kodak, while touring the festival circuit with his own - very flawed - short film. Loving the festival community, he became a programmer at Newport Beach Film Festival, Special Projects Director for Silver Lake Film Festival and a feature screener for the Sundance Film Festival. Luoto currently serves as a Shorts Programmer and Shorts Coordinator for Sundance, as well as Associate Programmer for CineVegas.

Dee Rees is a recent alumna of New York University’s graduate film program. Her most recent film, PARIAH, has won several awards, including the Audience Award at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival and Best Narrative Short Awards at Outfest, Urbanworld VIBE and the Palm Springs International Shorts Festival. Her feature script for PARIAH was selected for development at the 2008 Sundance Director’s Lab. Rees is also a 2008 Rockefeller Foundation grant recipient. A Nashville, Tennessee native, Rees is currently in post-production on a feature documentary, EVENTUAL SALVATION.

For more information and for a complete listing of films in the Festival, log on to or call 213-480-7065. Outfest’s 26th film festival is presented by HBO® and the grand sponsors are ABSOLUT® and Heineken®.


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