LOS ANGELES, MARCH 15, 2023 – Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that uplifts global LGBTQ+ creators in the entertainment industry by providing career support and curating the exhibition and preservation of queer and transgender stories announced today their lineup of films, workshops and special events for their 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival, Presented by IMDb, happening March 24 – April 2 in-person and virtually, which includes 23 world premieres. They also announced filmmaker and Indigenous activist Bird Runningwater will be honored with the 2023 Fusion Impact Award on March 24 during the opening night gala.

The Outfest Fusion slate boasts 23 world premieres, 5 US premieres, 4 International premieres and 3 North American premieres. The program has a strong presence of US filmmakers, alongside works from 16 other countries from around the globe. Over 50% of the films were directed by women, Non-Binary, Two Spirit and gender-nonconforming filmmakers. Notably, Outfest announced last week the lineup will include Sundance favorites Little Richard: I Am Everything and award-winner The Stroll as well as the North American premiere of Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn with director Tim Harris, film producer Lee Daniels and journalist and television personality Al Roker and Malcom Kenyatta himself in person at the screening.

“We are at a moment where our industry is ready to have an honest dialogue about inclusion, investment and representation of people of color and yet our entire LGBTQ+ population is facing a rise in hate that targets us,” said Damien Navarro, Outfest’s Executive Director. “On the 20th Anniversary of Outfest Fusion, we are not only celebrating our stories but continuing our mission of championing themes of intersectionality and diversity in the face of this new wave of attacks on our community.”

Outfest is also honoring Bird Runningwater with their 2023 Fusion Impact Award for his work advancing Indigenous filmmaking for over 20 years. The organization will recognize his commitment to uplifting the work of LGBTQ+ Indigenous filmmakers during his time leading Sundance Institute’s Native Lab and as a producer and consultant.

“Bird Runningwater has been an inspired champion of Indigenous storytellers and independent artists forging their path to narrative impact,” said Outfest Director of Artistic Development Martine McDonald. “His tireless work continues to cultivate generations of nuanced and vibrant representation of Indigenous peoples across media.” 

“As a descendent of First Nation ancestors myself, Bird was someone whom I came to recognize as a leader to look up to, in a time where we were still struggling to find our voice,” added Navarro. “Through his work at Sundance and investing in Indigenous artists and Cinema, he has discovered and fostered some of today’s most notable queer artists and films that are truly changing the game.”

Also being honored, as previously announced, will be Outfest alum Elegance Bratton, director of A24’s The Inspection, who will receive the 2023 Fusion Achievement Award which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBTQ+ visibility in stories, arts and media.

The festival kicks off March 24th through April 2nd in-person and online, offering 10 days of screenings, free community workshops, and networking events. Spread across Los Angeles, Outfest Fusion will celebrate their Opening Night at the JACCC Aratani Theatre, host a series of special screenings and lively programs at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatre, Ovation Hollywood and the Japanese American National Museum, with a free Family Day celebration featuring a short film program, Drag Story Hour and Bob Baker Marionette Theater and more at the Latino Theater Company at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. 

Outfest is hosting their first ever Outfest Fusion Platinum Alchemy Party, an event showcasing LGBTQ+ music and performance with an emphasis on innovative and experimental artists. The Aster, in Hollywood, will host this rooftop extravaganza on March 31 with Ah-Mer-Ah-Su moniker of vocalist, producer and DJ, Star Amerasu, one of the members of New World Dysorder, the all trans DJ and party collective founded by Jasmine Infiniti in Oakland, California, and BAE BAE DJ, producer, organizer, and multidisciplinary artist whose notorious underground party Hood Rave is a radical experiment that imagines a new future for the Black femme and Black queer dance community, while bringing dance music and rave culture back to its Black roots. Headlining will be artist, poet, rapper, activist and disruptor Mykki Blanco reciting poems from his book From the Silence of Duchamp to Noise of Boys, and performing spoken word songs from his latest album Stay Close to the Music

Mykki Blanco writes, “Whether wielding poetry as a tool for activism or illustrating the diaphanous vulnerabilities of life, Queer poets and queer voices are forever urgent, truth tellers allowing us to dream and then manifest those dreams and desires into concrete realities.” 

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Outfest Fusion, Outfest invited community partners to submit community program proposals and collaborate with us in cultivating community-led educational programming. Through this effort, the 2023 Outfest QTBIPOC Film Festival will host a dynamic slate of free community-led in-person and virtual workshops and panels, alongside our annual slate of educational workshops led by Outfest Alumni filmmakers like David Sigurani, Edwin Alexis Gomez and Kase Peña. Our workshops and panels are a free opportunity for the community to attend Outfest Fusion and learn more about the filmmaking process and the film industry at-large.

“As a queer and trans person of color, it is always a joy to carve out space in our programming for community partners and Outfest alumni to shine,” said Kieran Medina, Outfest’s Artist Development Manager. “Our slate of workshops and panels showcases the abundance of the QTBIPOC community and is a moving reminder of our ability to create change through the power of community collaboration.” 

Individual tickets go on sale to the general public starting today. This year, the festival is announcing the brand new All-Access Pass, providing fans access to all galas, screenings, workshops, parties, and special events in-person and online. Passes are on sale now to the public. 

*For more information and to purchase individual tickets and passes visit outfestfusion.com

Outfest Fusion 2023 is presented by IMDb; additional sponsors include Comcast NBCUniversal, Gilead, The Fight Magazine, West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, Bank of America, The Aster, Ovation Hollywood, ABC7 and On The Red Carpet, and Clear Channel Outdoor.

Outfest Fusion is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts & by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.gov & www.arts.ca.gov.

Here are all the films playing at this year’s festival:



Finding Her Beat (dir. Dawn Mikkelson, Keri Pickett | USA, Japan | Los Angeles premiere)

Follow The Protocol (dir. Fábio Leal | Brazil)

Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn (dir. Timothy Harris | USA | North American premiere)

Little Richard: I Am Everything (dir. Lisa Cortés | USA)

Soft (dir. Joseph Amenta | Canada | United States premiere)

Soy Niño (dir. Lorena Zilleruelo | France, Chile | Los Angeles premiere)

Summer With Hope (dir. Sadaf Foroughi | Canada, Iran)

The Harvest (dir. Caylee So | USA | Los Angeles Premiere)

The Stroll (dir. Zackary Drucker, Kristen Lovell | USA | West Coast premiere)

This Place (dir. V.T. Nayani | Canada | United States premiere)



Adore (Dir. Beth Warrian | Canada | International Premiere)

After Bed (Dir. Tt Takemoto | USA | World Premiere)

After Sunset, Dawn Arrives (Dir. Andy Yi Li | USA)

Agents Of Change, Project: Polymer (Dir. Jett Garrison | USA | World Premiere)

Amina (Dir. Shanrica Evans | USA)

Angelo (Dir. Alex Plumb | New Zealand)

Baba (Dir. Sam Arbor, Adam Ali | United Kingdom)

Banana Clementine (Dir. Angela Vang, Rogelio Salinas | USA | World Premiere)

Beast (Dir. Urvashi Pathania | USA)

Bertie the Brilliant (Dir. Gabriela Garcia Medina | USA)

Boi Band “Mainstream” (Dir. Federico Friciello | USA)

Can We Play (Dir. Emerson Basco | USA)

Chaac And Yum (Dir. Roberto Fatal, Xav Sf | USA)

Chicho (Dir. Arlen Aguayo Stewart | Canada, Venezuela | World Premiere)

Claudia (Dir. Erin Nene-Lee Ramirez | USA)

Co-Pilots (Dir. Tess Paras | USA)

Coming (Dir. Matthew Tyler | USA | World)

Coming Out With The Help Of A Time Machine (Dir. Naman Gupta | USA)

Compositions For Understanding Relationships (Dir. David Delafuente | USA)

Curious (Dir. Rikki Beadle-Blair | United Kingdom | International Premiere)

Dear Dad (Dir. Ibrahim Rana | Pakistan)

Enamorado (Dir. Eduardo Salas | USA | United States Premiere)

Ensouled (Dir. Kamee Abrahamian | Armenia | World Premiere)

eXcape (Dir. Molly Rose Heller | USA)

Fat Lip (Dir. Ryan Craver | USA | World Premiere)

Forever (Dir. Marco De Luca | United Kingdom)

Get Free (Dir. Ray De Mesa | USA)

Gorditx (Dir. Malik Ever | USA)

Grocery List (Dir. Joanne Mony Park | USA)

Habib & The Thief (Dir. Naures Sager | Sweden)

Hard (Dir. Robin Takao D’oench | USA)

Headdress (Dir. Taietsarón:Sere ‘tai’ Leclaire | USA)

Heritage (Dir. Sebastián Rea | USA | World Premiere)

Hex The Patriarchy (Dir. Anne Brashier | USA | World Premiere)

Hold On To Me (Dir. Rajvi Desai, Te Shima Brennen | USA)

Hotter Up Close (Dir. Leland Montgomery | USA)

House Of Tulip (Dir. Cydney Tucker | USA)

I Am Poem (Dir. Maite Bonilla | USA)

I Identify As Me (Dir. Tina Colleen, Monick Monell | USA)

Imran And Alykhan (Dir. Shakil Jessa | Canada | United States Premiere)

Interdimensional Pizza Portal (Dir. Aron Kantor | USA | World Premiere)

Kevin (Dir. Tony Moore, Wesley Quinn | USA)

Knots (Dir. Stephanie Sy | Canada | International Premiere)

Look Like You (Dir. Snigdha Kapoor | USA)

Macaroni Soup (Dir. Alayna Y | Canada)

Man & Wife (Dir. Rahul Roye | India)

Maneki (Dir. Brandon Okumura | USA)

Masaru (Dir. Rubén Navarro | USA)

Mikey’s Army (Dir. Andrew Keenan-Bolger | USA | World Premiere)

Miniature (Dir. Seokyoung Yang | USA)

Mom, If I Were A Vampire (Dir. Deborah Devyn Chuang | Taiwan)

Moonboy (Dir. Rachel Kwan | Canada | International Premiere)

Mooncake (Dir. Rraine Hanson | USA)

My Dear Boy (Dir. Leaf Lieber | USA)

My Mother’s Girlfriend (Dir. Arun Fulara | India)

Nanao (Dir. Jay Swuen | USA)

Next Of Kin (Dir. Timothy Guion Smith | USA | World Premiere)

One Lift At A Time (Dir. Flo Singer, Ben Dame | USA)

One Like Him (Dir. Caitlin Mcleod | United Kingdom, Jordan)

Out In Place (Dir. Nicolas Jara | USA)

Para Vivir (Dir. Jackelyn Santiago | USA)

Périphérie (Dir. Thibault Bru | France)

Pierce Me. (Dir. John E. Kilberg | USA)

Polartropica “What’s Your Fantasy” (Dir. Vanessa Marzaroli | USA)

Prey (Dir. Rico Johnson-Sinclair | United Kingdom | World Premiere)

Recuerdo de una tarde en la azotea (Dir. Tavo Ruiz | México)

Rip Tide (Dir. Luisa Dantas | USA)

River (Dir. Joshua Hernandez | USA | World Premiere)

RONA (Dir. Johaira Michelle Dilauro | USA)

Scaring Women At Night (Dir. Karimah Zakia Issa | Canada)

Sequin (Dir. Averi Israel | USA)

Sheer Qorma (Dir. Faraz Arif Ansari | India)

Shoot Your Shot (Dir. Mishaal Memon | United Kingdom, India)

Slice (Dir. Kelsey Scult | USA)

Sonic Reverbs (Dir. Sarnt Utamachote | Germany | North American Premiere)

Spare Change (Dir. Jesse Randall | USA | World Premiere)

Still Queer (Dir. Yuelei Song | USA | World Premiere)

Still We Thrive (Dir. Campbell X | United Kingdom)

The Angel (Dir. Dorian Wood | USA | World Premiere)

The Dance-Off (Dir. Nicolás Keller Sarmiento | Argentina, Usa | World Premiere)

The Last Time We Came Out Of The Closet (Dir. Bruno Tadeu | Brazil)

The Resemblance (Dir. Derek Nguyen | USA)

This Is You (Dir. Marco De Luca | United Kingdom | North American Premiere)

This One Is For The Neighborhood (Dir. Miguel Melo | USA | World Premiere)

Thriving: A Dissociated Reverie (Dir. Nicole Bazuin | Canada)

Tierra (Dir. Fana Adjani | México)

Tommy Kha’s Bits & Pieces (Dir. Jia Li | USA)

UNIDAD: Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos (Dir. Gregorio Davila | USA)

Viv’s Silly Mango (Dir. Rachel Maxine Anderson | Australia

Welcome To Celibacy Club (Dir. Campbell Moore | USA)

Where Do We Go From Here (Dir. Laquan Lewis | USA | World Premiere)

Will You Look At Me (Dir. Shuli Huang | China)

Zindagi Dobara (Dir. Amritpal Kaur | USA | World Premiere)



A Guide To Not Dying Completely Alone (Dir. Yen Tan | USA)

Mal De Amores (Dir. Fiorella Vescovi Garcia | USA)

Oceanic: Queering The Ocean (Dir. Micha Cárdenas, Gerald Casel, Cynthia Ling Lee, Susana Ruiz, Huy Truong | USA)

Undocumented Tales (Dir. Armando Ibañez | USA | Season 4 World Premiere)



How to Craft the Perfect Project Pitch with David Sigurani

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How to Tell a Story in 60 Seconds with Edwin Alexis Gomez

Making a Movie on Your Smartphone with Kase Peña

The Distribution Down Low: Shorts & Web Series with Seed&Spark

The Art of The Pitch: How To Successfully Pitch Your Story To Entertainment Publications


Press Inquires

Hansen Bursic
Outfest Marketing Manager