Outfest L.A. 2022: Winners Revealed For Event’s 40th Anniversary Edition

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Outfest has announced the award winners of its 40th Anniversary Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

Top prizes went to Amanda Kramer’s Please Baby Please, starring Andrea Riseborough, Henry Melling, Karl Glusman and Demi Moore, for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature; Gabriel Martins’ Brazilian family drama Mars One took the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding International Narrative Feature, and the newly-named Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Feature went to Rita Baghdadi’s Sirens, about the Lebanese female thrash metal band Slave to Sirens. The Academy Award-qualifying festival’s two Grand Jury prizes for Narrative shorts went to April Maxey’s Work (Outstanding U.S. Narrative Short) and Dania Bedir’s Warsha, both of which are now Oscar eligible. Outstanding Documentary Short went to Brydie O’Connor’s Love, Barbara.

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Audience awards went to Juan Felipe Zuleta’s crowd-pleasing Unidentified Objects, and documentary feature Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story, which chronicles the life of trans pro skateboarder Leo Baker and was recently acquired by Netflix. Complete list of winners is below.

The nation’s leading LGBTQIA+ festival was bookended by two world premiere screenings. The fest opened with Billy Porter’s directorial debut Anything’s Possible at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, where Porter was on hand to receive Outfest’s Achievement Award and gave a fiery acceptance speech addressing the political moment. The festival closed at the Theater at the Ace Hotel with the world premiere of Peacock and Blumhouse Productions’ They/Them, with cast members Kevin Bacon, Carrie Preston, Theo Germaine, Austin Crute and Quei Tann in attendance.

Narrative Feature selection Chrissy Judy and Documentary Feature selection A Run for More were both picked up by The Film Collaborative for worldwide festival distribution during the Festival.

Just over 30,000 attendees experienced Outfest LA programming this year. This included dozens of red-carpet premieres, parties and receptions at the DGA, REDCAT and Ford Amphitheater; a private event celebrating the 2022 Architects of Outfest; as well as educational and industry programming, including; a week-long breakfast filmmaker breakfast series held at Second Home, Hollywood, the Festival’s inaugural Industry Summit: State of Queer Media, held at NeueHouse Hollywood, and a heralded Industry Networking Event, held at The West Hollywood Edition hotel.

Outfest also awarded filmmakers over $100,000 at its awards ceremony on Sunday.

The winners of the Grand Jury Prizes for Outstanding U.S. Narrative Short, Outstanding Documentary Short, Outstanding International Narrative Short, Outstanding International Feature and Outstanding North American Feature all received a $1000 cash prize awarded in partnership with Entertainment Partners.

New this year, due to the support of Outfest Empathy Fund Benefactors’ Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis, the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature section will now proudly carry their names, and the awarded filmmaker receives a $5,000 cash prize. For the next ten years, the Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Feature will not only mark true queer excellence in the field of documentary filmmaking but also, through their generosity, directly support the growth and development of a filmmaker’s career.

Select 2022 jury and audience-favorite award-winning films, including popular features Unidentified Objects, My Emptiness and I, and Jeannette, will be available for a special 72 hours of encore viewing, as well as the vast majority of the festival’s short film program. Streaming packages range from $8 to $24.99. Catch the winners below streaming at outfestla.org.

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AUDIENCE AWARDS

Audience Award for Best Documentary Short
CANS Can’t Stand
dir: Matt Nadel & Megan Plotka

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story
dir: Nicola Marsh & Giovanni Reda

Audience Award for Best Narrative Short
Troy
dir: Mike Donahue

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Unidentified Objects
dir: Juan Felipe Zuleta

Audience Award for Best Platinum Short
Remnants
dir: Primo Justice Schiappa

Audience Award for Best Episodic
Sleep With Me
dir: Samantha Lee

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GRAND JURY AWARDS

Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Feature
SIRENS
dir: Rita Baghdadi
For its nuanced and universal perspective of an all-female queer metal band in Lebanon against the backdrop of conflict, the Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Feature goes to SIRENS, directed by Rita Baghdadi.

Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature
JEANNETTE
dir: Maris Curran
For its evocative observation of one woman’s journey through grief — as a mother, an athlete, and a survivor of gun violence

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding North American Narrative Feature
PLEASE BABY PLEASE
dir: Amanda Kramer
For its dazzling and inspired vision, its confident and inventive direction, its daring and committed performances, its luscious visual style, its thematic relevance and its delightful queer sensibility, one that pays homage to legendary queer filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and Fassbinder, and yet manages to stand on its own.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance in a North American Narrative Feature

Matthew Jeffers in UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS
For his funny, heartrending, and hopeful performance as a man discovering himself while on a road-tripping odyssey.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Screenplay in a North American Narrative Feature
Juan Pablo González, Ana Isabel Fernández and Ilana Coleman for DOS ESTACIONES
This film speaks volumes using minimal dialogue, displaying the power of its conceptualization. For presenting a unique perspective of a queer woman taking on the traditionally macho role of a tequila factory owner.

Honorable Mention for North American Narrative Feature
YOUTOPIA
dir: Scout Durwood
For her innovative, hilarious, and politically erudite storytelling and exceptional musical numbers.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding International Narrative Feature
MARS ONE
dir: Gabriel Martins
For its nuanced, layered and touching portrayal of family life that will linger in our hearts.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Screenplay in a International Narrative Feature
SUBLIME by Mariano Biasin
For its subtle and heartfelt representation of young love and connection.

Honorable Mention for Screenplay in a International Narrative Feature
ATTACHMENT by Gabriel Bier Gislason
For its perfect balance between camp, suspense and heart and its original and unique take on the horror genre.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance in a International Narrative Feature
Aamu Milonoff in GIRL PICTURE
For the understated genius of her performance that was so dynamically conveyed in the quiet moments.

Honorable Mention for Performance in a International Narrative Feature
Raphaëlle Perez in MY EMPTINESS AND I
For the emotional journey that she took us on with her depiction of her authentic and vulnerable self.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding International Narrative Short
WARSHA
dir: Dania Bedir
Poised between prayer and ecstasy, WARSHA suspends audiences in an eternal waltz between the self and the sublime, as we witness the transformation of its protagonist from an everyday laborer and refugee to an everyday super person.

Honorable Mention for International Narrative Short
TANK FAIRY
dir: Erich Rettstadt
A film whose lead character turns heads in Taipei City, rocking a blue pleather jumpsuit while riding a hot pink and purple motorbike as she performs her daily job of delivering tanks of gas with a dash of sass. After she befriends young JoJo, who is in desperate need of a queer fairy god-mother, you’ll never think of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for A Hero” the same. With minimal dialogue and a delicious dance routine, this film plays out like a silent movie with heightened, truthful emotions.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Documentary Short
LOVE, BARBARA D
dir: Brydie O’Connor
For its sincere and intimate remembering of the trailblazing queer filmmaker Barbara Hammer.

Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding U.S. Narrative Short
WORK
dir: April Maxey
For its tenderly observed portrait of queer heartbreak in a specifically queer community.

Honorable Mentions for U.S. Narrative Short
ELE OF THE DARK
dir: Yace Sula
For its formal ingenuity and layered explorations of self.

LOLLYGAG
dir: Tij D’oyen
For its visual confidence and playfully twisted nostalgia.

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SPECIAL PROGRAMMING AWARDS

Emerging Talent
Yusuf Shadeed Nasir for his short REGRET TO INFORM YOU

Freedom
UÝRA: THE RISING FOREST

Artistic Achievement
Mohammad Shawky Hassan for SHALL I COMPARE YOU TO A SUMMER’S DAY?

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2022 ARCHITECTS OF OUTFEST LIST

The inaugural 2022 Architects of Outfest list was announced and presented on stage at the Outfest Opening Night Gala. The list is the beginning of a movement to celebrate and acknowledge the growing number of people who have contributed significantly to the origins and growth of Outfest and its programs since 1982.

This year’s honorees include:

Adriene Jenik

Alan Hergott

Alan Poul

Andrea Meyerson

Andrew Ahn

Angela Robinson

Arthur Dong

Barry Sandler

Brickson Diamond

Bruce Cohen

Catherine Lord

Catherine Opie

Chris Ranta

Christine Vachon

Christopher Berry

Christopher Isherwood

Christopher Racster

Claire Aguilar

Curt Shepard

David Geffen

Deandre Gossfield

Dennis D. Williams

Don Bachardy

Don Diers

Doug Edwards

Drew Droege

Eric d’Arbeloff

Erika Suderburg

Ernest Hardy

Eve Oishi

Gabriel Bustamante

Geoff Gilmore

Geoff Stier

Gus Van Sant

Harlan Levinson

Howard Cohen

Isaac Julien

Jackson

Jeff Guthrie

Jeffrey Friedman

Jenni Olson

John August

John Cooper

John Ramirez

John Schlesinger

Jonathan Howard

Karamo Brown

Kerri Stoughton-Jackson

Kevin Thomas

Kim Yutani

Kirsten Schaffer

Larry Horne

Laura Ivey

Leslie Belzberg

Lucy Mukerjee

Lucy Winer

Martha Wheelock

May Hong HaDuong

Meena Nanji

Michael Ferrera

Michael Lombardo

Morgan Rumpf

Nathalie Magnan

Nazila Hedayat

Nicole Conn

Nisha Ganatra

Patrick Mangto

Patrick Scott

Patrik-Ian Polk

Peter Ansin

Peter Spears

Quincy Gossfield

Rick Mechtly

Rob Epstein

Robert Hawk

Robert Rosen

Roland Emmerich

Ron Athey

Rose Troche

Russell Blackstone

Samantha Sprecher

Sande Zeig

Scott Meckling

Shannon Kelley

Shari Frilot

Shari Page

Silas Howard

Stephen Gutwillig

Stephen Macias

Stuart Timmons

Susan Ferris

Ted Guefen

Terry Lawler

Tess Martin

Tim Kittleson

Vaginal Davis

Vanjie Griego

Vito Russo

Zackary Drucker

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THE JURY

North American Narrative Features Jury
Editor-in-Chief of The Advocate Tracy Gilchrist
Filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León
Roadside Attractions’ Senior Director of Acquisitions Angel An

International Narrative Features Jury
Director of Programming for the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Brighid Wheeler
Actor-Producer Dalila Ali Rajah
Filmmaker Patricia Vidal Delgado

Documentary Jury (Features and Shorts)
Manager, Nonfiction Programs and Fiscal Sponsorship at Film Independent Daniel Cardone
Filmmaker Whitney Skauge
Director of L.A. Times Short Docs Nani Walker

International Narrative Shorts Jury
Co-Director of Programming for the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles Ritesh Mehta
Filmmaker Jett Garrison
Shorts Programmer for the Sundance Film Festival Irene Suico Soriano

U.S. Narrative Shorts Jury
Film Programmer Robert John Torres
Film Critic at Autostraddle Drew Gregory
Film Education & Narrative Inclusion Consultant Martine McDonald

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