The Outfest Empathy Campaign Annual Fund is a fundraising campaign that supports the expansion of our programs to have greater REACH, FREQUENCY & IMPACT.  The fund was launched in 2020 to significantly expand Outfest’s mission digitally, nationally and globally. 

Our ultimate goal is to increase our visibility and acceptance amongst our industry, whilst fostering a new community of allies and fans  by exponentially increasing the access to our stories, and by building new opportunities for a new generation of both domestic and international filmmakers to create those stories from every corner and color of the rainbow.


What will be Funded by the Empathy Annual Fund?

We believe that Outfest has something special that many across the planet have had yet to experience and discover – and that is some of the most unique events, programs and stories that we know provides attendees, viewers, our alumni and our partners undeniable, quantifiable positive impact in their lives and community. The impact we believe translates to Empathy, Unity and Fusion of Mindset. 


GOAL: To increase the capacity of our Outfest Forward programs by 200%, launch our first endowment, and double the funding of film restoration programs.

The initiative focuses on INCREASING OUR IMPACT AND OPPORTUNITIES for LGBTQIA+ STORYTELLERS of all ages, especially our QTBIPOC members  of our community.  We must create more pathways and opportunities to enter the entertainment industry and to participate in content creation; provide capital and crew resources for their projects;  and mentor those are climbing the career ladder. OUTFEST FORWARD and LEGACY PROJECT PROGRAMS will expand to include below and above the line skills-based and professional development programs,  as well as labs and financing opportunities.


GOAL:   To bring Outfest programming to every community and household in first the US and then Globally by 2024. 

Outfest will EXPAND OUR REACH AND VISIBILITY by coupling the 2020 launch of our Outfest Now exhibition streaming platform and digital film festival, alongside partnerships with municipalities, theatre chains, like-minded festivals and brands to create a multi-faceted network that brings OUTFEST EVERYWHERE.  We will expand our reach to the furthest corners of rural and middle America where Outfest programming will be available in every neighborhood for attendees of all ages to engage and participate in. 


GOAL: Leverage cutting-edge technology to increase the production capacity and connectivity of our storytellers and stories.

EXPAND THE FREQUENCY of ways the  LGBTQIA+ community can engage  with OUTFEST we believe will significantly increase the speed of content creation, deal-making and global distribution of Queer and LGBTQIA+ artist and filmmaker produced content. This includes building a new resource-rich  FILMMAKER PORTAL,  investing in TECHNOLOGICAL UPGRADES TO CONNECT a global community of storytellers, distributors and financiers;  and to provide our alumni, Forward Program fellows and LGBTQIA+ talent and crew to discover one another with a robust OUTFEST DIRECTORY.


Imagine a family-friendly and digital version of our world-renowned film festivals that can reach the furthest corners of America.  Outfest will also be able to provide our Outfest Forward programs for attendees regardelss of their geography. 


In order to increase LGBTQIA+ diversity and influence in Entertainment, we must create more pathways for those to participate in content creation, find capital and crew resources for their projects, and/or mentorship as they enter and climb the career ladder. The Outfest Forward Programs will expand to include below and above the line skills-based and professional development programs, as well as labs and skills-based training for both in front of and behind the camera.


Outfest will significantly increase the speed of content creation, deal-making and global distribution of
LGBTQ content by building a new resource-rich FILMMAKER PORTAL, launching a digital content
streaming platform – THE OUTFEST CHANNEL, and an Outfest alumni and LGBTQ talent and crew directory.