Outfest 30th Anniversary


1982, Original Program

Outfest was founded by five graduate students on the UCLA campus in 1982. Larry Horne (who would become Outfest’s first Director), Claire Aguilar, Don Diers, Chris Berry and John Ramirez approached Robert Rosen (then Director of the Film & Television Archive) and programmer Geoff Gilmore to initiate an LGBT gay media conference and film festival.

That first festival consisted of just three films. The next year it expanded to ten days with 30 films and seven lively panel discussions. The festival continued to grow, eventually moving off the UCLA campus. In 1988, Outfest found its current home at the Directors Guild of America.

Over the next two decades Outfest inaugurated a slate of programs that were the first of their kind in the world: Outfest Wednesdays, a weekly lesbian and gay screening series, The Outfest Screenwriting Lab, Fusion: The Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival, and the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, a partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Most recently we launched OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project from LifeWorks and Outfest, as well as a partnership with NewFest in New York City. For 30 years Outfest has ensured that life-changing stories of LGBT people are created, shared and protected – and will continue this work for the next 30 years!
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