Outfest is set to honor Sandra Oh with the James Schamus Ally Award and Stephanie Beatriz with the Fusion Achievement Award on April 8 at the opening night Gala of the 2022 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival.
This year’s fest and summit will kick of with the gala and continue through April 13 with its in-person festivities and then will go virtual from April 13-17, offering 10-days of education and entertainment providing the public and storytellers alike with the opportunity to hear and learn from a spectrum of today’s most prominent culturally-rich voices. Attendees are able to engage via screenings, community workshops, a One-Minute Movie Contest and networking events.
The 2022 Fusion Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBTQIA+ stories, arts, and media visibility, will honor Beatriz for her body of work and dedication to bisexual visability. Past recipients of the Award include Michaela Coel, Nisha Ganatra, Angela Robinson, Rose Troche, Wilson Cruz, Alec Mapa, Patrik-Ian Polk, Cheryl Dunye, Brickson Diamond, and Rikki Beadle-Blair.
“In order for representation to be truly meaningful, it needs to be nuanced and authentic. Through her work in Encanto, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and In The Heights, Stephanie has brought bold, original and engaging characters to life on screen whilst also proudly standing up for our community as well as immigrant rights,” said Outfest Executive Director, Damien S, Navarro. “As a queer, immigrant, women-of-color that has openly embraced and discussed her bisexuality, she has profliterated an often misunderstood, missing or broadly stereotyped representation for what amounts to what may be one of the largest self-identified queer populations in the world. We are inspired and honored by her bravery.”
The James Schamus Ally Award, which recognizes a great ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, will be presented to Oh, who has starred in numerous movies including Sideways, Under the Tuscan Sun, and the most recent horror Umma as well as the critically acclaimed Pixar film Turning Red. More recently she starred in The Chair and has reached iconic status with her role in Killing Eve, for which she also serves as Executive Producer.
“Ms Oh’s allyship is far-reaching, unwavering and all-encompassing, standing up for the countless individuals that continue to feel a sense of ‘othered’ in our society. She has been a true trailblazer and consistent advocate before and now throughout her career, and we are honored to call her a friend of Outfest for nearly two-decades,” commented Navarro.
Oh has been a longtime supporter of Outfest, having attended Outfest Los Angeles for multiple programs, including appearing at the Outfest Honors Gala to benefit their Legacy Project for LGBTQ film preservation, and presenting close-friend Alec Mapa with his own Outfest Fusion Achievement Award in 2014.
“Outfest’s mission closely aligns with my own desire to drive change and creativity, and I am humbled to be chosen for this incredible honor,” said Oh.
In addition to these honorees, Outfest Fusion will also present a variety of panels and workshops, both in-person and virtually, for filmmakers and the general public to attend for free throughout the 10-day festival. Also, filmmakers that enter the One-Minute Movie contest will compete for the brand’s Evolve Innovation Award, a $5,000 grant. The prize also includes an opportunity to attend and shadow the directors and production team of a Hyundai commercial shoot in 2022 .
Read the programming below and visit www.outfestfusion.com for more details.
IN PERSON EVENTS
April 9: 11 AM PDT | THE DISTRIBUTION DOWN LOW: SHORTS & WEB SERIES WITH SEED&SPARK
Seed&Spark’s Bri Castellini will break down the current landscape of distribution for independent short films and web series, including the economics of different avenues to take, the right questions to ask potential partners, and other information to arm yourself with as you enter negotiations.
April 9: 2 PM PDT | HOW TO MAKE A MOVIE ON YOUR SMARTPHONE
Have a story to tell but don’t know where to start? Come learn tools and techniques in this crash course on how to make high-quality short films using what you already have. This workshop will give you expert techniques and tricks for how to put your ideas in front of the camera. You will leave inspired and ready to create your own film!
April 9: 6:45 PM PDT | THE HOUSE
As the climate of the country and the world shifts into one of greater inclusion, the empowering of diverse voices has never been more paramount. This series aims to not only provide a platform for the underrepresented and marginalized fringe of society, but also to offer a home where every viewer can find a friend and a place where they are welcomed. Where four outspoken Black LGBTQIA+ friends host a fun and raucous dinner party, discussing the day’s hot topics.
Join us for a special screening of Episode 2 of this groundbreaking talk show with special guest Minister Benjamin Carlton, followed by a panel with the series’ creators. Learn what it takes to build a show from the ground up, and how to overcome the obstacles to get a deal with a network. This is where you are loved and understood.
This is THE HOUSE.
April 10: 11 AM PDT | HOW TO CRAFT THE PERFECT PITCH WITH DAVID SIGURANI
Discover the best way to present your project in order to hook a producer, actor, or executive. Having developed and sat through way too many pitches, queer Latinx producer and creative executive David Sigurani will work you through the elements of an undeniable story pitch. From your story’s world, theme, and tone to your beats and characters, stir up all the necessary ingredients to establish why you should be the one to make the next hit film or TV series! Participants in this workshop are encouraged to prepare a three minute pitch of their current project for potential feedback.
April 10: 2 PM PDT | WHERE YOU AT? GET IN HERE! THE FILM PUBLICITY/MARKETING/IMPACT WORLD NEEDS YOU!
As the film landscape quickly evolves with new filmmakers/artists growing and creating even more inclusive and important content – the need to reach this exploding consumer market is now front and center. PR, marketing and impact campaigns are in full swing, and the need for BIPOC LGBTQ experts is in demand to reach this growing consumer audience who are now the “majority.”
Film PR strategist David Magdael (President/CEO David Magdael & Associates) brings together an impressive panel of film publicists, marketing pros, and impact leaders to share their experience and knowledge, and ultimately inspire more BIPOC LGBTQ pros to enter into this demanding and exciting world. History is being made and we are a part of it. Get in here!
All of the virtual panels will be available starting April 13 at 12 pm PDT.
FUSION RISING STARS
For the third year in a row, Outfest Fusion gathers some of the most exciting up-and-coming QTBIPOC acting talent for a probing discussion about the state of their industry, their individual pathways to success, and their advice to young hopefuls seeking to follow in their footsteps. Confirmed panelists include Owen Thiele (Dollface), Tian Richards (Tom Swift), and Jojo Brown (Single Drunk Female) with more to be announced.
EMERGING AT YOUR OWN PACE: BREAKING THE NARRATIVE OF SUCCESS WITH GHETTO FILM SCHOOL
Hosted by Ghetto Film School Roster. Establishing yourself as a filmmaker takes determination and resolve. As the industry evolves to better reflect a diverse society and a diverse community of storytellers, how can we tackle the challenges that are still preventing underrepresented voices from being fully included in the conversations?
The panel will discuss “success” and what that means to different people, what does emerging mean, and how to negotiate working in an industry that is still very youth-centric. They’ll speak about the importance of style, individuality and originality, taking into consideration their own methods, influences and inspirations.
April 15: 1 PM PDT | STRETCH THAT BUCK: FILM BUDGETING 101 WITH SEED&SPARK (virtual)
You’ve got a script you’re proud of, and now you want to bring it to life! But first: what should your crowdfunding goal be?
In this workshop, Seed&Spark’s Meghan Ross will teach you how to build your first budget, utilize loans to make up your budget (conceptually as well as literally), navigate the ask, break down your script, and cut costs without sacrificing your vision. Make that dollar stretch!
April 16: 11 AM PDT | CELEBRATING YOUR VOICE AND PRACTICE OF WONDER WITH MARTINE MCDONALD
Let’s create together! “What do I sound like when I connect with my care?” As we cultivate stories of inclusion as a social arts practice for narrative change, creatives of all ages must center our self care, document our joys and design a practice of wonder to nourish the journey ahead.
With cinematic wonder and youth at the center, we’ll use creative collage, and writing prompts in our time together is an invitation to focus on the creative process as an act of wonder and justice. We’ll explore storytelling templates of wonder to stimulate creativity in individuals and collaborative teams. Connecting visual inspiration and words through integrating various disciplines including personal photography, writing, performance, film, music, and artifacts of your personal practices, to cultivate new habits of expression and live out the images inside us that motivate care and connection.
April 16: 1 PM PDT | EARLY CAREER NETWORKING SESSION
A film or TV set is filled with numerous roles, from gaffers to hair stylists to colorists, but there is not always clarity on how to get these roles. During this workshop, you will hear from established industry members about how they got into their fields and what their jobs are really like. All film professional levels encouraged to attend.