By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire March 26, 2012 at 5:01PM
Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is expanding their reach to New York.
Today, Outfest announced a new partnership with NewFest, New York's LGBT film festival, effectively taking over programming duties for this year's edition of NewFest. Their intent is to create "one national arts organization," according to their release.
So what does this all mean for NewFest staff? Well for the last three years NewFest has not had a full-time staff, hiring instead on a seasonal basis. (Full disclosure: Indiewire contributor Bryce Renninger served NewFest's head programmer for last year's edition.) The exception was executive director Lesli Klainberg, who resigned at the start of this year to work at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
According to a festival representative, Outfest intends to hire an operations manager to coordinate the festival on the East Coast, and possibly others, who will work along with the staff of Outfest on the West Coast.
NewFest Board Co-President Steve Mendelsohn said of the development, "Outfest brings a wealth of knowledge and wide-ranging capabilities to NewFest and will enable us to enhance our annual festival and expand our year-round programming. The potential benefit for NewFest and New York's LGBT film community as a whole is something we’re very excited about."
Whether NewFest will partner up with the Film Society of Lincoln Center again this year for its gala presentations remains to be seen, under this new intiative.
The 24th edition of NewFest runs July 27-30 in New York.
Full release below:
OUTFEST and NEWFEST Form Strategic Partnership
Outfest to Program New York LGBT Festival
Los Angeles, March 26, 2012 -- Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, announced today that it is forming a strategic partnership with NewFest, the New York LGBT film festival, with the intent of merging NewFest into Outfest and creating one national arts organization.
Outfest, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, will be responsible for programming this year’s edition of NewFest which will take place July 27 – 30, 2012 at a venue to be announced.
"Extending the reach of Outfest as a national organization and ensuring that Outfest continues to be a leader in bringing stories of the LGBT community to audiences is a great way to celebrate our 30th anniversary milestone," said Outfest board Co-Presidents Jon Larson and Laura Ivey. “We look forward to working with the team at NewFest on their festival this year and on future initiatives,” added Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest.
NewFest Board Co-President Steve Mendelsohn said, “Outfest brings a wealth of knowledge and wide-ranging capabilities to NewFest and will enable us to enhance our annual festival and expand our year-round programming. The potential benefit for NewFest and New York's LGBT film community as a whole is something we’re very excited about."
Outfest, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is the leading organization showcasing, nurturing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender film images and artists. For three decades, Outfest has brought together film lovers, innovative artists, celebrities and entertainment industry professionals to create a world-class forum for stories that reflect and often transform LGBT lives. Outfest has showcased over 5,600 films to audiences, totaling close to one million people, educated hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected 18,000 stories and images through the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, the only program of its kind in the world.
As one of New York City's premier LGBT arts organizations for over twenty years, NewFest empowers, educates, entertains, and provokes the culturally rich and diverse communities of the greater metropolitan region. Through its annual film festival and year-round programming, NewFest showcases international, US,