Los Angeles’ Outfest movie extravaganza opens up for drive-in screenings

Query, starring Justice Smith and Graham Patrick Martin, is among the presentations at this year’s Outfest

Los Angeles’s much-loved Outfest movie festival was originally due to run in July. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put those plans on hold. The 2020 festival will now run this month: August 20-30.

At first, it was thought that the whole festival would move online, and that remains the case for many of the screenings. However, organizers have announced that there will be six nights of drive-in screenings spread over two weekends.

The event is sponsored by WarnerMedia and will offer around 175 screenings. These will include socially-distanced, drive-in events at the beautiful Calamigos Ranch and Hotel Resort grounds in Malibu.

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Tickets for the drive-in screenings go on sale to the general public today (Friday, August, 14th). They are sure to sell out quickly. Some of the screenings will include Q&As and live performances.

Drive-in screenings will include the opening night, Los Angeles premiere of The Nowhere Inn, featuring musicians Carrie Brownstein and Annie Clark (St. Vincent). The closing-night presentation is Travis Fine’s Two Eyes, which centers on LGBTQ+ people living in three different eras in the American West.

The ranch will also host Three Chords and a Lie, which focuses on gay country music artist Brandon Stansell’s return to his conservative hometown. This screening will include a live concert from Stansell.

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Other notable features include the acclaimed Sundance hit, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, from director Ali LeRoi, and Monsoon, directed by Lilting director Hong Khaou and starring Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians).

The Obituary of Tunde Johnson
Steven Silver in The Obituary of Tunde Johnson

The full-line up of presentations will include 35 world premieres. Some of these will be movies that were due to be premiered at other film festivals, but which have now been snapped up by Outfest after those festivals were canceled, such as musician Big Freedia’s anti-gun advocacy doc, Freedia Got A Gun.

Over 70% of films at Outfest LA have been directed by female, trans, and POC filmmakers.

“This year’s film festival is not only a reflection of Outfest’s historic trajectory — mixing innovation with media to cast an ever-widening net of diverse and global stories — it is also a testament to Outfest’s commitment to thrive in a moment in which the future of live events, independent film, and our own rights are threatened,” said Damien S. Navarro, Outfest’s executive director, in a statement.

“We must continue to create opportunities for our LGBTQIA+ storytellers to navigate the tumultuous environment of entertainment, media and communications, year-round.”

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All the virtual screenings will be available to view via the Outfest Now app, available for smartphones and tablets. However, you will still need to purchase a pass to view movies. The full festival pass costs $59.99, which will allow you access to all virtual screenings over the 11 days of the festival. Films will be released daily and remain online for 72 hours. The pass also allows you a one-year subscription to Outfest Now, the festival’s associated streaming service.

Full details via the Outfest website.

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