North American rights to director Laurie Lynd‘s family comedy “Breakfast with Scot,” which will open Outfest 2008: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, has been acquired by here! Films, the theatrical distribution and worldwide sales division of here! Networks, the company announced Tuesday. Sister company Regent Releasing will open the film in autumn. “Scot” will launch one of Southern California’s largest festivals Wednesday evening, July 9, ushering in an event with 212 films from 25 countries in addition to panels, parties, special events for an audience estimated to be upward of 50,000 at eight venues throughout the L.A. area through July 21.
Screening at LA’s historic Orpheum Theatre, “Breakfast wtih Scot” is a tale about a makeshift family engaged in a struggle over hockey pucks and perfume. Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) and Ben Shenkman (“Angels in America”) star as a fairly closeted gay couple that become temporary guardians of a recently orphaned 11-year-old boy, played by newcomer Noah Bernett, who has a penchant for “feathered boas, rose hand cream and all that glitters,” according to Outfest. The opening night gala will continue with an after-party complete with food from 30 L.A. restaurants and purveyors.
World premieres slated for this year’s Outfest include “A Place to Live,” “Friends and Lovers: Ski Trip 2,” “Laughing Matters…Next Gen,” “The New Twenty,” “The Ode” and “Sizzle.” Among the big screen debuts, filmmaker Chris Mason Johnson and his dramatic feature “The New Twenty” have also been chosen as one of this year’s Four in Focus films which celebrates first-time feature film directors who represent the next wave of hot new talent. Other Four in Focus directors include Brian Pera for “The Way I See Things,” Jennifer Phang for “Half-Life” and 20-year-old Luke Eberl for “Choose Connor.”
“Affinity,” a film based on Sarah Waters‘ novel, set in Victorian London, will screen as Outfest’s Dramatic Centerpiece on Wednesday, July 16, while director Parvez Shama‘s “A Jihad for Love,” is slated for Thursday, July 17 as the fest’s Documentary Centerpiece. The film, produced by “Trembling Before G-D” director Sandi DuBowski, follows the stories of Muslims who grapple reconciling their homosexuality with their religious upbringings. “Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell” will screen as the fest’s Platinum Centerpiece July 15 about the avant-garde composer/singer-songwriter/cellist and disco producer, Arthur Russell. Thomas Gustafson‘s “Were the World Mine” will screen as the festival’s awards night screening. A favorite at the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and NewFest earlier this year, the film is a “spin” on Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in which two boys are cast in the play opposite each other with mischief, love and song ensuing.
“I continue to be impressed by the caliber of filmmaking and the diversity of subjects tackled by Outfest filmmakers each year and 2008 is no exception”, commented Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest’s Interim executive director in a statement. “The stories are passionate, entertaining and meaningful – they provide audiences a window into the lives of LGBTQ people that not only shows their struggles, but presents the same joys and accomplishments seen in ‘straight’ films.” [For more information and a full line up, visit Outfest’s website.]