FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nick Alan Jones / MPRM Communications
WRITER/DIRECTOR NISHA GANATRA TO BE HONORED WITH THE FUSION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD EVENT RUNS MARCH 4-16, 2016 INCLUDING FILM SCREENINGS & FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS
LOS ANGELES, CA (February 10, 2016) – Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, today announced its lineup for the 2016 Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival. Outfest Fusion, the only multicultural LGBT film festival of its kind, will be held March 4-16 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and various locations throughout Los Angeles.
Now in its 13th year, Outfest Fusion will include 3 days of short and feature film screenings, filmmaker Q&A’s, and networking events that celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, followed by 10 filmmaking workshops. Outfest Fusion is presented by HBO. Premiere sponsors are Comcast NBCUniversal and Los Angeles County Health Department.
Emmy nominee and Golden Globe-winning Director, Producer and Writer Nisha Ganatra (“Transparent,” Chutney Popcorn) will receive the 2016 Fusion Achievement Award, which will be presented at the Fusion Gala on Saturday, March 5.
“We have reached a moment in Hollywood’s history where the discussion on diversity has extended to the mainstream,” said Christopher Racster, Executive Director of Outfest. “For the past 12 years, Fusion has been at the forefront of showcasing filmmakers of color and we are proud of the multiplicity of voices that have been represented at this festival.”
Outfest Fusion 2016 kicks-off on Friday, March 4 with the US Premiere and 20th Anniversary screening of the digital restoration of The Watermelon Woman, courtesy of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and 13th Gen. Director and screenwriter Cheryl Dunye will host a panel discussion on the influence her classic film has had on the next generation of filmmakers on Saturday, March 5.
Also on Friday evening are the Los Angeles premieres of Canadian Aboriginal drama Fire Song, which played Toronto International Film Festival, and Hong Kong’s provocative Utopians, fresh off its North American premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The weekend of screenings includes the recent GLAAD Media Award-nominated BET documentary, Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church, which will be followed by an enlightening post-screening discussion about the intersections of gender identity, sexual orientation and religion; Jake Witzenfeld’s Oriented, a film that explores the Israel-Palestine conflict through an intimate, distinctly queer lens; and Made in Bangkok, an exhilarating documentary by Florencio Flavio that follows Morganna who, in her quest for womanhood, enters a prestigious transgender pageant in Thailand to vie for the crown of “Ms. International Queen.”
“This year’s Fusion program showcases 10 feature films and 20 shorts from 11 countries around the world.” said Lucy Mukerjee-Brown, Outfest’s Director of Programming. “8 of the feature films are from first time feature filmmakers and 12 of the directors are female. We are thrilled to put the spotlight on these incredibly talented storytellers, and bring the many communities of Greater Los Angeles together to celebrate and support them at Outfest Fusion.”
Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the bold new voices of queer cinema with the Fusion Gala Shorts screening, which boasts four world premieres that include the rockabilly fable Whittier Boulevard, Vámonos, Counter Act, as well as the anime-inspired Robo Saints. Additional world premieres can be found in the Fusion Doc Shorts program, including Poshida: Hidden LGBT Pakistan and Libertad.
Following the Outfest Fusion screenings, there will be a series of 10 filmmaking workshops taking place at various locations around Los Angeles, led by QPOC alumni, and covering topics that include screenwriting, guerilla feature filmmaking, web series production, smart phone cinematography, social media marketing, editing and directing. The Instructors include award-winning filmmakers like Angela Robinson, Quentin Lee, Doug Spearman, Deondray Gossfield and Quincy LeNear Gossfield.
Fusion rounds out with Fusion Finale that will include the annual One Minute Movie Contest on March 16th at Angel City Brewery where all the submissions will be screened and prizes awarded.
Outfest Fusion will once again include InFusion, presented by Comcast NBCUniversal, a symposium led by industry professionals including speakers, panels, workshops and an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour at Universal Studios, the world’s largest motion picture and television studio. InFusion’s mission is to forge connections between emerging filmmakers who are LGBT people of color, and established entertainment professionals in Los Angeles.
For complete listings and to purchase tickets, log on to www.Outfest.org/fusion2016
or call 213-480-7088. Outfest Fusion 2016 is presented by HBO. Premiere Sponsors include Comcast NBCUniversal and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Supporting Sponsors are Angel City Brewery, Centers for Disease Control, Findlandia, HereTV, KLCS, Seed & Spark, Total Wine & More. Media Sponsors include Adelante, The Advocate, Frontiers Media, Landscape Latino, Latino Weekly, Lesbian News, and Pride.com.
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 35,000 LGBT films and videos. Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival spotlights the diversity of the LGBT community.
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO®and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. In April 2015, HBO NOWSM, the network’s highly anticipated standalone premium streaming service, began providing audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. HBO NOW is available directly through Apple or Optimum Online for a monthly subscription. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO OnDemand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
ABOUT NISHA GANATRA
NISHA GANATRA is an Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner for her work as the Director/Producer for ‘Transparent.’ She recently sold a half-hour pilot to NBC/UTV with Amy Poehler producing. She is the Co-Executive Producer/Director of the first season of DirecTV’s show ‘You Me Her.’ Currently, Nisha is the Co-EP/Director for the upcoming FX show, ‘Better Things’ with Louie CK and Pamela Adlon.
Nisha’s acclaimed début feature, Chutney Popcorn with Jill Hennessy, won Audience Awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, Newport Film Festival, Outfest Los Angeles, Frameline The San Francisco Gay and Lesbian film festival and many more.
Her sophomore feature, Cosmopolitan starring Carol Kane and Roshan Seth, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and was selected by Input as one of the top ten films shown on public television. It was the only narrative film chosen for this distinction.
She also created Code Academy for the ITVS/PBS series FUTURESTATES. Code Academy stars Alexa PenaVega, Makenzie Vega and Janina Gavankar. Code Academy was recently optioned by Big Beach to be turned into a television series.