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Outfest has new logo and website

Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest Executive Director
Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest Executive Director

As we wind down our 30th anniversary, I am excited to share some big changes at Outfest. You will notice in the upper corner of this website the new Outfest logo: In creating this logo, we surveyed key stakeholders who told us that at the heart of Outfest is community – the LGBT community (and our allies), the filmmaking community and the entertainment community. BPG Communications, who created this logo, took the idea of community and captured that essence in the concentric “O” circles. I like to think of the circles as rings in water when you throw a rock in a pond – they keep emanating out, growing larger and larger, expanding the circle. This image represents the power of film.

In addition to our new brand, we have launched a new Outfest website! Please check it out at – I think you will find it easier to navigate and more informative. We will regularly add new information about Outfest programs and upcoming screenings and events. Visit it often for updates. Over the next few months it will become more interactive as we add content to the Outfest UCLA Legacy Gallery, Fusion Lab, our blog and a space for you to share your Outfest love stories.

Finally, we know you are busy and that your inbox is inundated with messages. We are shifting our emails from weekly to twice a month and moving to a more visual format. The Tuesday before major events – like Outfest Fusion or Outfest Los Angeles – you will receive an email highlighting things not to miss. We will continue to do a daily email during the festivals, and we’ll send targeted emails for member events and campaigns.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our new logo and website.

Kirsten Schaffer

Becoming a Storyteller

Albert Payano, OutSet fellow.
Albert Payano, OutSet fellow.

Meet Albert Payano, a 21 year-old OutSet fellow whose short script was chosen to be produced.  All 15 fellows arrived to their first class on November 8th 2012 with a simple pitch of an idea they had for a story.  The fellows, all between the ages of 16-24 years old, had never met before and were asked during class to write down their pitch on piece of paper without their name.  They were prompted to fold it into a paper airplane, or for those who experienced anxiety with that prompt, just to simply crumble into a ball…most chose the later.  Five Outfest Alumni filmmakers sat across the room in the LifeWorks office at The Village and asked them to throw their ideas into the air at them.  Let them go.  Fly them across the room…. or dramatically whip them as needed.  Without knowing whose was whose at this point, mentor Deondray Gossett, picked up a paper airplane off the ground and read the following aloud, “Jake, a confident teen who is out to his mom as gay, is unaware that his mother has been snooping in his room and found condoms and incriminating writings on his computer about the most recent invitation from his friends: an all-boy weekend away at the cabin of Jake’s crush. She is as torn as ever.  Their trust in one another will dramatically be tested.”  This of course caused some fellows in the class to gasp and laugh out loud.  Everyone discussed what the themes were, how the story could be told, and what could happen to test their relationship.  It was very exciting for Albert who sat silent and listened to the buzz of ideas and then finally revealed it was his idea. Read more