Outfest ends its 40th anniversary with the horror film “They/Them” with Kevin Bacon

LOS ANGELES – Maybe you had other plans. Perhaps you had Omicron’s anguish. Maybe you forgot. Whatever your reasons, you’d be right to blame yourself now for missing Outfest’s triumphant 40th edition, which just wrapped up its 10-day July presentation of cutting-edge LGBTQ+ entertainment, featuring more than 200 films, over 40 world premieres and dozens of red carpets and parties, all attended by over 30,000 people. But no, not you.

While we can’t recreate Outfesting’s unique party vibe for you, we can give you an exclusive look at where you can still catch many of Outfest ’22’s best films. Just a few years ago, you would have been mostly SOL after Outfest ended, having to wait months for a small handful of the festival’s top selections to eventually show up for quick runs in arts and crafts theaters. LA trial. But thanks to the acceleration of everything virtual during the pandemic, many of the best titles from this year’s Outfest will soon be available on your favorite streaming device – and some already are.


The opening of this year’s Outfest, the world premiere of Everything is possible, Billy Porter’s fun and groundbreaking debut starring Eva Reign and Abubakr Ali in a trans-inclusive high school romance, is already streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Also already on Prime Video through its Mubi partnership is moneyboys, first-time writer/director CB Yi’s beautiful and moving portrayal of a young man from rural China navigating the physical and emotional complexities of sex work in Beijing. Todd Haynes’ masterpiece far from paradisewhich celebrated its 20th anniversary at Outfest 2022 with a screening attended by Haynes, star Julianne Moore and producer Cristine Vachon, is currently streaming on Prime Video and several other services including Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.

Eva Reign and Abubkar Ali in Anything’s Possible, Property of Amazon Studios, © Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

Coming to Netflix on August 11 is Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story, which chronicles professional skateboarder Leo Baker’s courageous quest to break into the sport as a trans man. Directed by Nicola Marsh and Giovanni Reda, the film had its world premiere at Outfest and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Another audience delight from Outfest 2022, winning the audience award for best episodic, was the interabled queer romance series directed by Samantha Lee sleep with mewhich will debut on Filipino streaming service iWantTFC on August 15.

They they, The LGBTQ+ conversion camp horror film starring Kevin Bacon and directed by John Logan which had its world premiere on Outfest’s Closing Night, is coming to Peacock on August 5 as the streaming service’s first-ever original feature. A little further down the road, on December 1, the fascinating Pat Rocco dareddirected by Bob Christie and Morris Chapdelaine and exploring the life and important work of longtime Los Angeles artist, activist and erotic filmmaker Pat Rocco, will be available on Vimeo on Demand.


Although this option was virtually non-existent just a few years ago, savvy moviegoers can now view select Outfest films after the festival has ended through the virtual platforms of other festivals across the country. Your viewing window will almost always be brief, so it will take more planning than with traditional streaming services – but it’s a welcome second chance to catch great films that would otherwise have been much harder to rewatch.

Luckily for us, this year’s edition of CinemaQ, Denver’s LGBTQ+ film festival, will soon be featuring virtual screenings of several great films fresh from Outfest August 11-14. These include Unidentified objects, the reality-bending queer road trip that won both the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance in a North American Narrative Feature and the People’s Choice Award for Best Narrative Feature at Outfest; browniewhich follows the brave but complicated journey of a survivor of the Pulse Nightclub massacre, and won an Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature at Outfest; All Man: The International Male Historywhich traces the sexy and influential history of men’s international magazine; At Chase Joynt Framing Agnes, a hybrid documentary revolving around an outspoken trans participant in a 1950s gender study at UCLA that is already receiving buzz from the 2023 Oscars; Loving Highsmith, a portrait of famous lesbian novelist Patricia Highsmith; and mama bearabout a community of Christian mothers of LGBTQ+ children who are fiercely advocating for gay rights.

A few weeks later, from August 24-28, at aGLIFF Prism 35, the LGBTQ+ film festival in Austin, TX, a virtual screening will be A race for more, a moving doc that follows trans-Latina political candidate Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe as she runs for office in a less than totally friendly Texas district.

Although apparently not yet scheduled, several Outfest standouts will almost certainly be screened virtually at other festivals later this year, including the poignant, funny and terribly acted gay buddy story. Chrissy Judy writer/director/star Todd Flaherty; Outfest Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Feature Sirens, which follows the members of the only all-female thrash metal band in the Middle East; and the sweet doc Art and dynamism, about the longtime owners of Chicago’s iconic gay bar Sidetrack. The next festival dates should be announced soon on the sites linked to these films.


While LA’s arthouse movie theater landscape continues to dwindle, these days only the cream of the crop Outfest has much of a chance to see theatrical releases citywide. The most promising of these is the incredibly powerful Nelly and NadineMagnus Gertten’s superb documentary about two women who met in a German concentration camp and ended up spending the rest of their lives together, which Wolfe Releasing plans to hit theaters and stream in late 2022.

Nadine Hwang and Nelly Mousset-Vos in Nelly & Nadine, © Auto Images

Another strong local theatrical competitor is Dos Estaciones, winner of Outfest’s Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Screenplay in a North American Narrative Feature. The story of Maria, the owner of a struggling rural Mexican tequila factory, and her affection for her new employee, the film will be released at the IFC center in New York on September 9, so a run in Los Angeles will hopefully follow. the. please baby please, another jury winner Outfest (for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature) about a newlywed couple whose sexual identities are reawakened when they become obsessed with a gang of greasers, hits theaters this fall.

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