Outfest will honor award-winning actor and trailblazing activist Elliot Page at the 2021 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival with the Outfest Annual Achievement Award.
The award will be presented to Page by Kieran Medina (they/he), lead programmer of Outfest LA’s Annual Trans & Nonbinary Summit, at Outfest LA’s Closing Night Gala on the evening of August 22 at the Orpheum Theatre.
“When determining the recipient of our highest honor we look for those that have been a powerful representative for our community, that have soared to the highest levels of recognition for their talent and who have stepped into the shoes themselves as an independent filmmaker and creator. There is no one more poised to receive this year’s Outfest Annual Achievement Award than Elliot,” said Outfest Executive Director Damien S. Navarro. “His courage, advocacy and personal journey have made him one of the most admired and respected public figures of his generation and his talent and voice are leading a new generation within the LGBTQIA+ and entertainment community.”
The Oscar-nominated actor has an affinity for storytelling and social justice. He uses his global platform to shed light on important social and LGBTQ+ issues. “It gives me great honor to be the recipient of this year’s Outfest Annual Achievement Award and represent the LGBTQ+ community,” Page said. “Now more than ever, it is so important for our voices to be amplified and represented in film and media, and for people to hear our stories.”
Page is most well-known for his acting roles in Juno, The Umbrella Academy, Hard Candy, and Inception, amongst others. His much anticipated directorial debut, There’s Something in the Water, was released globally on Netflix last year. Additionally, Page created and produced the ground-breaking, two-time Emmy-nominated documentary series Gaycation, executive produced by Spike Jonze and Shane Smith for VICELAND. The series follows Elliot and Ian Daniel as they explore LGBTQ+ culture, and the often-harsh realities facing queer communities across the world.
Page is in good company as past recipients of the Outfest Annual Achievement Award Award include Todd Haynes, Bill Condon, John Waters, Kimberly Pierce, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato, Angela Robinson, and Nisha Ganatra.
In addition to this news, Medina pointed out that Outfest LA’s 5th Annual Trans & Nonbinary Summit will be a celebration of commUNITY, taking place Saturday, August 21. This year’s summit will consist of 3 separate back-to-back programs.
The Summit will feature a Keynote Address by filmmaker and activist Tourmaline (S.T.A.R, Happy Birthday Marsha!), followed by “Post-Pose: The Future of Trans & Nonbinary Storytelling,” a panel featuring established and emerging trans & nonbinary creators, such as filmmaker and Outfest board member Zackary Drucker and screenwriter/producer Our Lady J; a curated Shorts Program titled “Trans Genre” highlighting up-and-coming trans & nonbinary filmmakers playing with genre to explore themes of being and belonging; and an exclusive Table Read premiere of the Emmy Nominated series Razor Tongue Season 2 lead by creator and star, Rain Valdez, featuring a cast of trans & nonbinary actors, such as Alexandra Grey, Trace Lysette, Jacob Tobia, and more. The Table Read is co-produced with Bowie Starr and Now>Ever Artists, Rain Valdez’s independent production company. The summit will culminate with a reception to both celebrate its fifth year and honor Page.
Also new to Outfest Los Angeles this year is a collaboration with IMDb. For the first time ever, IMDb ratings will be used to select the official Outfest Los Angeles Audience Award winners. Outfest LA attendees are encouraged to register and/or sign in to the IMDb site or app to rate and review more than 100 eligible titles screening at the 2021 festival. IMDb ratings help entertainment fans make informed viewing choices and discover LGBTQ+ films, shows and talent. IMDb registered users can also add all of the Outfest LA titles to their IMDb Watchlist and be notified when a movie or series on the list is now playing in theaters or becomes available on a streaming platform. Among other prizes and recognition, Outfest Los Angeles winners will be eligible to receive a one-year membership to IMDbPro.
“IMDb is committed to celebrating content reflective of our diverse global audience, including helping entertainment fans discover a new generation of LGBTQ+ stories and storytellers,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for IMDb and IMDbPro. “Collaborating with Outfest Los Angeles allows us to leverage our trusted and authoritative ratings data to highlight some of the breakout films at this year’s festival that most resonate with audiences.”
Recently added to the festival’s schedule is a special free screening of Wojnarowicz, the critically acclaimed documentary produced by WOW Docs co-founders Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey and directed by longtime World of Wonder collaborator Chris McKim. Called “a wondrous, intimate, and often outrage-inspiring biographical portrait” by the New Yorker, Wojnarowicz exemplifies the brand of groundbreaking storytelling which earned Barbato and Bailey the Outfest Achievement Award in 2011. Following the screening of Wojnarowicz will be a Q&A with the film’s Emmy-winning director Chris McKim. Wojnarowicz is an autobiographical portrait of the life of downtown New York City artist, writer, photographer, activist David Wojnarowicz. As New York City became the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the artist weaponized his work and waged war against the establishment’s indifference to the plague until his death in 1992 at the age of 37.
The full lineup of live musical performances for Outfest LA’s annual Platinum Alchemy Party has also been announced. The party, which takes place at Bar Franca on Sunday, August 15 will feature live sets from Aziza Bijoü, Ryan Cassata, Samiere, Sebastian Lust, and DJ theywept.
Read the Outfest Film Festival lineup here.