LOS ANGELES, MARCH 9, 2023 – Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that uplifts global LGBTQIA+ creators in the entertainment industry by providing career support and curating the exhibition and preservation of queer and transgender stories announced today that they will honor Elegance Bratton with the Fusion Achievement Award on Friday, March 24th in-person at the opening gala of the 2023 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival, Presented by IMDb. 

The 2023 Fusion Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBTQ+ visibility in stories, arts and media, will honor Outfest alum Elegance Bratton recognizing his many accomplishments, including his now award-winning, A24-produced narrative feature The Inspection and his efforts to elevate queer Black stories in Hollywood and beyond. Past recipients of the Award include Stephanie Beatriz, Michaela Coel, Nisha Ganatra, Angela Robinson, Rose Troche, Wilson Cruz, Alec Mapa, Patrik-Ian Polk, Cheryl Dunye, Brickson Diamond, and Rikki Beadle-Blair.

“For its 20th Anniversary, Outfest Fusion has emerged from Covid as a global celebration of intersectional stories, conversations and communication,” said Damien Navarro, Executive Director of Outfest. “Its purpose has always been to bring communities together to break down barriers, but we now find that it is also charged with leveraging our stories to battle back against the hate-filled rhetoric, violence and threats to our rights we are now facing.” 

Navarro also added “Being able to honor Elegance has been something I’ve been looking forward to since my tenure at Outfest began. He is one of our most inspiring alumni and his recent body of work only proves that his trajectory is just beginning.”

For its 20th edition, Outfest Fusion was curated collaboratively with a talented group of programmers in the second year of the Outfest Fusion Programming Fellowship, an initiative to expand opportunities for QTBIPOC film curation professionals who often experience barriers toward career development in arts festival spaces. Josslyn Glenn, Rico Johnson-Sinclair, Tishon Pugh, Irene Suico Soriano, and Mara Tatevosian have selected a line-up of films that encapsulate the QTBIPOC experience, uplift emerging talents, and reflect the abundance of our community. Highlights include Sundance favorites like Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director Lisa Cortés’ documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything, and special jury award-winner The Stroll, Kristy Lovell’s and Zackary Drucker’s loving portrait of the NYC’s Meatpacking District and the trans women of color who lived and worked there. The festival will also feature the US premiere of Soft, Joseph Amenta’s tender coming-of-age feature debut as well as the North American premiere of Kenyatta: Do Not Wait Your Turn, which follows Philadelphia politician Malcolm Kenyatta’s unprecedented bid for US Senate. Director Tim Harris, film producer Lee Daniels and journalist and television personality Al Roker will join Malcom Kenyatta himself to present the film in person.

“Outfest Fusion is honoring queer, trans, and nonbinary artists of color who are not waiting to be invited to the creative table,” said Outfest Artist Development Director Martine McDonald.  “These filmmakers are forging a path towards narrative change that moves beyond inclusion and toward leadership and abundance.” 

The festival kicks off March 24th through April 2nd in-person and online, offering 10 days of screenings, free community workshops, and networking events. Now in its 20th year, the festival provides both the public and storytellers with the opportunity to hear and learn from a spectrum of today’s most prominent culturally-rich voices. 

Outfest Fusion’s in-person offerings will culminate with the annual One Minute Movie Contest. Drawing upon this year’s artwork, where QTBIPOC art and artists are centered as the heart of Hollywood, this year’s contest theme is “Envisioning Abundance.” Seasoned and first-time filmmakers of color are called to pick up their cameras or their phones, and tell their story of queer joy in 60 seconds or less. The films will be screened at the Outfest Fusion Finale on Saturday, April 1st. The winners will receive cash prizes and will go on to play the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival in July.

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. With this pass, you’ll get the ultimate festival experience and be able to immerse yourself in a world of powerful storytelling. Passes are on sale now to the public and individual tickets go on sale March 14. 

*For more information and to purchase 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, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Variety.

Here are all the features 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)

More features and the shorts program will be announced closer to the festival.


Press Inquires

Hansen Bursic
Outfest Marketing Manager