The best of Outfest

I attended the 25th Anniversary edition of Outfest (The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival) this year, and I’m happy to report that the programming rocked — and that’s not just the free Absolut cocktails talking!

I saw some great films, met some of the filmmakers, and invaded a few good parties along the way. Folks like Anna Margarita Albelo (A Lez in Wonderland) and Dee Rees and Nekisa Cooper (Pariah) were not only entertaining to talk to, but also made some of my favorite films screened at the festival.

My pal, director, Michelle Ehlen won an acting award for her feature film Butch Jamie, I got to watch my friend Jill Bennett (Dante’s Cove) work the red carpet and present an award, and I ran into a couple of AfterEllen.com contributing writers, Lydia Marcus and Kaki Flynn. In addition to all of this glamour and excitement, I was also able to find parking at every single event!

I’ll tell you a bit more about my adventures there in my upcoming "Scene: Los Angeles" column, but in the meantime, here’s a rundown of the recently announced Outfest award winners.

GRAND JURY AWARDS:

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film:
Michelle Ehlen in Butch Jamie

Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film:
Merlin Gaspers and Dorian Brockington in 25 Cent Preview

Outstanding American Narrative Feature:
25 Cent Preview (directed by Cyrus Amini)

Outstanding International Narrative Feature:
Tuli (directed by Auraeus Solito)

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
Jerusalem is Proud to Present (directed by Nitzan Gilady)

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
Pariah directed by Dee Rees

Outstanding Screenwriting:
Casper Andreas and Jesse Archer for A Four Letter Word

Outstanding Documentary Short:
Legacy directed by Inge Blackman

SPECIAL PROGRAMMING AWARDS:

Outstanding Emerging Talent:
Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert, directors, Finn’s Girl

Outstanding Artistic Achievement:
Angelina Maccarone, director, Vivere

Freedom Award:
Through Thick and Thin (directed by Sebastian Cordoba)

AUDIENCE AWARDS:

Outstanding Dramatic Short:
Pariah directed by Dee Rees

Outstanding Documentary Short:
Freeheld directed by Cynthia Wade

HBO Outstanding First Dramatic Feature:
Shelter (directed by Jonah Markowitz)

Outstanding Dramatic Feature:
The Bubble (directed by Eytan Fox)

Outstanding Documentary Feature:
For the Bible Tells Me So (directed by Daniel Karslake)

Outstanding Soundtrack:
Michele Mulroney and Micah Schraft for Sunny and Share Love You

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