The Grand Jury winners of the 41st Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Outfest Film Festival, presented by Genesis Motor and Warner Bros. Discovery, have been announced, with “Something You Said Last Night” and “Anhell69” winning top awards for North American Narrative Feature and Documentary. Selected award winners will be available on the Outfest Los Angeles virtual platform through Sunday, after which the award winners will be announced to the public.
The Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, now in Year 2 thanks to a generous gift from Lerner and Reis to the Outfest Empathy Fund, will see award-winning filmmaker, “Anhell69” director Theo Montoya receive a $5,000 prize.
The festival opened with Aitch Alberto’s “Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe” and closed with Sav Rodger’s “Chasing Chasing Amy”. For the first time in the history of the Outfest LGBTQ+ Summer Film Festival, the opening and closing night films were made by trans artists, underscoring the vast roster of trans, non-binary and intersex talent working in the entertainment industry, as well as the diversity of trans narratives at this time in history.
This year’s festival also honored filmmaker Andrew Ahn with his Outfest Achievement Award, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone with the James Schamus Ally Award, actress/producer/musician Amandla Stenberg with her Platinum Maverick Award, electronic music icon and activist Madame Gandhi with her Platinum Alchemy Award, and presented Karine Jean-Pierre with her Outfest Achievement Award. Award for Press and Media.
Outfest Director of Programming Mike Dougherty said: “In a truly exceptional year for LGBTQIA+ cinema, in which our artists delivered such a diverse collection of provocative, insightful and bold work, the choices made by our esteemed jurors could not have been easy. Congratulations to all the filmmakers at our festival for their unapologetically commitment to queer cinema in all its forms, and to these honorees for their well-deserved recognition.”
Outfest Los Angeles juries represented a diverse cross-section of filmmakers, artists, journalists and industry executives.
American Narrative Characteristics Jury –
Tuck Dowrey, Creative Executive, Page Boy Productions
Allegra Madsen, Director of Programming, Frameline
Breeda Wool, actress
International Jury of Narrative Feature Films –
Jamie Gonçalves, Producer (Two Seasons)
Anna Li, film programmer
Evan Schwartz, Vice President of Content, Wolfe Releasing
Documentary Jury (Feature Films and Short Films) –
Anja Block, Documentaries, Discovery+
Aurora Brachman, filmmaker (Joychild)
Anita Raswant, film programmer
US and International Narrative Short Jury:
Anto Astudillo, Lead Programmer, TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Festival
Nava Mau, Actor
Cameron Scheetz, entertainment editor, Queerty
The winners of the 2023 awards are:
Grand Jury Awards
– The Paul D. Lerner and Stephen Reis Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature:
“Anhell69”, directed by Theo Montoya
Special Mention Documentary Feature Film
“Queendom”, directed by Agniia Galdanova
– Grand Jury Prize for Best North American Narrative
Something You Said Last Night, directed by Luis De Filippis
– Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance, North American Narrative Feature Film
Isaac Krasner in ‘Big Boys’
– Grand Jury Prize for Screenplay, North American Narrative Feature Film
Sebastián Silva for “Rotting in the sun”
Special Mentions for North American Narrative Feature Film
“Fancy Dance” directed by Erica Tremblay
“The People’s Joker,” directed by Vera Drew
– Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Film
“The Fabulous”, directed by Roberta Torre
– Grand Prize of the Screenplay Jury, International Narrative Feature Film
“Asog”, screenplay by Seán Devlin, Jaya and Arnel Pablo
– Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding Performance, International Narrative Feature Film
Choi Hae-jun in “Peacock”
– Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Short Film
“An Avocado Pit”, directed by Ary Zara
– Special Mention International Narrative Short Film
Christopher at Sea, directed by Tom CJ Brown
– Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short Film
Love, Jamie, directed by Karla Murthy
– Special Mention Documentary Short Film
“Here Hopefully” directed by Hao Zhou
– Grand Jury Prize for Best US Narrative Short Film.
Stretching for Maximum Results, led by Nyala Moon
– Special mention to the US narrative short film.
Just As You Are, directed by Daisy Friedman
– Special Programming Awards, presented by Outfest’s Senior Programming Team
Emerging Talent: Alice Maio Mackay, “T Blockers”
Artistic Achievement: “Rumpelstiltskin,” Directed by Ethan Fuirst
Social Impact: “Truth Be Told” Directed by Nneka Onuorah
– Hornitos First Shot Award
“A story of sitting in waiting rooms (or the longer title you prefer)”, directed by Lorena Russi
This inaugural Press & Media Achievement Award is the organization’s highest honor and celebrates the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. The award comes as Outfest makes new investments in journalism for the first time with Outfest’s Inclusive Press Initiative, the first press initiative explicitly for LGBTQ+ entertainment journalists. The program offers emerging film critics, broadcasters and other journalists unrestricted access to cover the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival while receiving a stipend and mentoring from journalists at outlets such as Reuters, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, KABC-TV and more.
This year’s fellows include Gisselle Palomera, Jireh Deng, Joey Harvey, Kayla Thompson, Kelsey Brown, Kristian Fanene Schmidt, Lindsay Lee Wallace, Marcus’Anthony II, Ose Ehianeta Arheghan, Eli Press-Reynolds, and Shahamat Mohammed Uddin.
Genesis Motor America and Warner Bros. Discovery are title sponsors of Outfest LA. Big sponsors are IMDb and Friends at Work. Additional sponsors include West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, Gilead Sciences, Comcast NBCUniversal, Hornitos, Sony Pictures, The Fight Magazine, Los Angeles Times, ABC7 and On The Red Carpet, APLA Health, Bank of America, UTA, Second Home Hollywood, Amazon and Glamazon, and West One Music Group.