By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Outfest Los Angeles Fetes Winners

 OUTFEST LOS ANGELES LGBT FILM FESTIVAL 
ANNOUNCES 2017 AWARD WINNERS

Los Angeles, July 16, 2017 – Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen – has announced the award winners of its 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, presented by HBO.

The nation’s leading LGBT festival ran from July 6-16.  The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival closes tonight with Trudie Styler’s comedic Freak Show, starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Abigail Breslin, Ian Nelson, Larry Pine and featuring a cameo from Laverne Cox.

Outfest Los Angeles 2017 Award Winners
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Audience Awards

Best Documentary Short Audience Award
Little Potato, Directed by Wes Hurley and Nate Miller

Best Documentary Feature Audience Award
Chavela, Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi

Best Narrative Short Audience Award
The Real Thing, Directed by Brandon Kelley

Best Narrative Audience Award
The Chances, Created by Shoshanna Stern and Josh Feldman, Directed by Anna Kerrigan

Best Experimental Short Audience Award
Pussy, Directed by Renata Gasiorowska

Audience Award for Best First U.S. Narrative Feature
A Million Happy Nows, Directed by Albert Alarr
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Grand Jury Awards

Documentary Grand Jury Prize
We award Best Documentary Feature to Chavela, for its artistic style that elegantly and poetically brings together raw archival footage, animation, editing, and sound design.

Documentary Special Mention
For Excellence in Filmmaking we award a Special Jury mention to Girl Unbound: The War to Be Her, for its brave, humorous, and inspired depiction of Maria, a world class squash player and her rock star family who live on their own terms and challenge misconceptions of feminism and Islam in the Muslim and Western worlds. This film illustrates Maria’s nonbinary journey, her quest for athletic excellence and her desire to show all girls everywhere that, “Fear is taught. That you are born free and you are born brave.”

U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actor 
For his quiet intensity in a fresh and non-traditional coming of age role and his on-screen transformation both physically and emotionally, the US Narrative Jury honors Luka Kain for his outstanding performance in Saturday Church. 

U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actress
In a cast of strong female performances, she not only supported the ensemble cast but stood out with her comic timing and effortlessly hilarious presence. The US Jury Prize for Best Actress goes to Ever Mainard in The Feels.

Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature
For its naturalistic yet spare and unforced dialogue, even in the most harrowing of situations the award for Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Narrative goes to Eliza Hittman for Beach Rats.

U.S. Grand Jury Prize
For a delightful, well-acted and incisive romp into Chicago’s multi-cultural neighborhoods and a moving exploration of the unique bonds between mothers and daughters. Its inspiring message of love and acceptance explodes with humor and heart. We award the Best US Narrative Feature Film prize to Jennifer Reeder for Signature Move.

U.S. Narrative Special Mention
The US Narrative Jury would like to present a Special Mention for amplifying unheard voices with authenticity, highlighting the contemporary life of queer black woman with flair, vibrancy and substance to 195 Lewis.

International Grand Jury Prize
This film breaks new ground through skillful storytelling and stunning cinematography and an unflinching focus on masculinities – toxic or otherwise. The Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature goes to the South African film The Wound, directed by John Trengove.

International Special Mention
For authentic, grounded storytelling that successfully captures a universal tale of youth, the International Narrative Feature Special Mention for Directing goes to Marcelo Caetano for his work on Body Electric.

Best Documentary Short
For its elegant storytelling, its economical sweep of history, and its sensitivity to lovers together in the struggle, whose intimate point of view enlightens and moves us to see the intricacies of the personal & political victories we can achieve together. The Best Documentary short prize goes to: Bayard & Me byMatt Wolf.

Creatively employing the few surviving archival interviews to illuminate a forthright, outspoken, dynamic and sexy old school butch who was unstoppable in her quest for equality & fairness for lesbians, women and the queer community. The Best Documentary short prize goes to Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism by Gregorio Davila.

Documentary Short Special Mention
The Special Mention goes to Al Otro Lado (The Other Side), directed by Rodrigo Alvarez Flores and Pedazos, directed by Alejandro Pena.

Best Narrative Short
Demonstrating restraint in both dialogue and narrative while also presenting a rich visual tapestry in a claustrophobic household, the film portrays an intense, simmering passion between two women yearning to break free from the norms of sexuality and caste (class) in a matriarchal Indian household. The Best Narrative Short Film Award goes to Goddess (Devi), directed by Karishma Dube.
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Special Programming Awards

Emerging Talent
This assured debut feature film combines dreamy cinematography, honest and energetic performances, and snappy, contemporary dialogue, heralding the arrival of a fresh new voice in queer Asian cinema, the 2017 Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Samantha Lee for Maybe Tomorrow

Freedom
This long overdue biography of a civil rights icon merges empathetic documentary filmmaking with the tenacity of investigative journalism to highlight the injustices that trans people still face today, the 2017 Programming Award for Freedom goes to David France and Victoria Cruz for The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson. 

Artistic Vision 
For a chilling tale that blends Hitchcockian suspense filtered through the eerie Icelandic countryside with a rumination on the lingering effects of past trauma, the 2017 Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Erlingur Thoroddsen for Rift.

Fox Inclusion Feature Film Award
Boys For Sale, Directed by Itako

Fox Inclusion Short Film Award
Ma, Directed by Vera Miao

To download stills, please visit: http://bit.ly/2sxxuby

ABOUT OUTFEST
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 35,000 LGBT films and videos. Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is eleven days of world-class films, panels, and parties.

ABOUT HBO
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 131 million subscribers worldwide.  The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries.  HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

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“Most of these women were in their early twenties. Most of them refused to go any further with him, but a few went to dinner, or to some sort of casting situation, or to someplace private… if the stories were just about some crazed sex addict who approaches thousands of women on the street trying to get laid, I wouldn’t be posting this now. I don’t want to be attacking every Hollywood douchebag who hits on countless women. That type of behavior isn’t cool, but I think it’s important to separate douchebaggery from any kind of sexual coercion. But the women I talked to who DID go someplace private with Toback, told stories that were worse than the women only accosted on the street… So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him… I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly). So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the L. A. Times.”
~ James Gunn

“BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Politics and queerness as spectacle/spectacle as politics and queerness. Pretty delightful, lovely, erotic. A-

“Not since EASY A and CABARET have I seen Emma Stone give a real sense of her range. Here, she has pathos and interiority and desire. I love the cinematography and the ways in which the images of the tennis icons are refracted and manipulated via various surfaces/mediators. Also, wild how a haircut is one of the most erotic scenes in cinema this year. Spine tinglingly tactile that feels refreshing. Proof that *cough* you don’t need to be ~graphic/explicit~ to be erotic *cough*. Also, it made me want to get into tennis. Watching it, at least.

“There are interesting touches and intimations as to the cinematic nature of sports, & unpacking the formal approach of broadcasting sports.Also, I was here for Sarah Silverman smoking. And also, hi Mickey Sumner!! It’s a really interesting film about the ways in which public spectacle is never apolitical, and how spectacle is prone to assignation.

“There’s this one other scene from BATTLE OF THE SEXES that I love, and it’s the one in the bar. You see Billie looking after Marilyn as she dances. Through a crowd. There’s a paradoxical closeness and distance between them. In the purple light, and the kitschy decor, everything is distorted. But Billie catches a glance and you can feel the nervous swell inside.”
~ Kyle Turner