Outfest 2018: Documentary Overview

The 36th Outfest

July 12-22

Los Angeles’ LGBT festival presents more than 60 features, including nearly 30 documentaries.


Docs are presented as two of the event’s six spotlight slots: Matt Tyrnauer’s Sundance debut STUDIO 54 is the fest’s Opening Night, while Jamal Sims’ exploration of an African-American gay dance subculture, WHEN THE BEAT DROPS, takes one of the Centerpiece positions. Nearly half of the Special Events are nonfiction presentations, including Dante Alencastre’s AIDS DIVA: THE LEGEND OF CONNIE NORMAN, about a key figure in 1990s LA AIDS activism; and William Clift’s A LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM: THE ADVOCATE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS, an expansive overview of LGBT history.


While the bulk of the fest’s Documentary Features lineup showcases popular titles which debuted at other notable events over the past year, some more recent or lesser known work includes Matt Alber and Jon Garcia’s ROOM TO GROW, a look at the lives of queer teens; and David Weissman’s CONVERSATIONS WITH GAY ELDERS: KERBY LAUDERDALE, part of a series of discussions with older members of the LGBT community. Docs in other sections include Abraham Troen’s THE FINDING HOME SERIES: LGBT IMMIGRANTS & ASYLUM SEEKERS, in the Episodics section; and Emily Abt and Bruce Hensel’s BEYOND THE OPPOSITE SEX, which revisits subjects from the 2005 trans documentary THE OPPOSITE SEX.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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