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Outfest Sets ‘Vito’ As Opening Film of 30th Edition; John Waters To Receive Achievement Award

Outfest Sets 'Vito' As Opening Film of 30th Edition; John Waters To Receive Achievement Award

Jeffrey Schwarz’s “Vito” will open the 30th anniversary edition of Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, it was announced today. In addition, the festival announced that John Waters will receive the 16th annual Achievement Award.

The Achievement Award will be presented to Waters prior to the Opening Night Gala screening of “Vito” on Thursday, July 12 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

Outfest will run July 12 – 22, 2012. Full press release below, including more programming details.

Los Angeles, May 16, 2012 – Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media – announced today that Jeffrey Schwarz’s documentary “Vito” has been selected as the Opening Night gala of the 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.  “Vito” chronicles the story of Vito Russo, founding father of the gay liberation movement, author of “The Celluloid Closet,” and vociferous AIDS activist in the 1980s. The film features Lily Tomlin, Armistead Maupin, Bruce Vilanch, Richard Berkowitz and Larry Kramer.
Outfest will also present its 16th annual Achievement Award to filmmaker, author and artist John Waters. The Achievement Award is Outfest’s highest honor and is presented in recognition of a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media. John Waters is a filmmaker, visual artist, author, comedian, and essayist. With films ranging from the taboo-pushing PINK FLAMINGOS to the teen-dance spectacular HAIRSPRAY, Waters and his work have been unapologetically queer, championing outside values and personal expression in a world that rarely appreciates difference. The Achievement Award will be presented to Waters prior to the Opening Night Gala screening of “Vito” on Thursday, July 12 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.
“Honoring two legendary figures Vito Russo and John Waters is the perfect way to launch Outfest’s 30th anniversary,” said Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer. “Over that past three decades, Outfest has had a global impact on LGBT lives by promoting understanding, launching world-class talent and preserving our filmed history for generations to come.”
The nation’s leading LGBT film festival, and the oldest film festival in the city of Los Angeles, will be held July 12 – 22, 2012.
Waters will also be performing his show “This Filthy World: Gayer and Filthier” on July 11th in the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever. Focusing in on Waters’ early negative artistic influences and his fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy, and the extremes of the contemporary art world, this joyously devious monologue elevates all that is trashy in life into a call to arms to “filth followers” everywhere. Tickets for this screening are available at HollywoodForever.ticketfly.com.
As part of its 30th anniversary year, Outfest will celebrate this milestone across all of its programs by producing the best film festival to date, premiering its most significant feature film restoration and debuting an impressive youth filmmaking project, among many innovative and expanded initiatives.
A series of seminal LGBT films from the 1960’s to the 2000’s including a recreation of the first festival in 1982: QUEEN OF SHEBA MEETS THE ATOM MAN (1963-4), MAKING LOVE (Hill, 1982) and TAXI ZUM KLO (Ripploh, 1981). This series is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
·        DOWNTOWN 30
A monthly screening series taking place at the Downtown Independent Theatre, presenting new and classic films of interest to LGBT audiences.
The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, a partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, will unveil its most significant restoration to date, arguably the earliest surviving cinematic work made explicitly about LGBT people .Thispeople. This restoration is partially funded by a grant from the Andrew J. Kuehn, Jr. Foundation.
Stories of Outfest filmmakers, volunteers and members from the last thirty years whose lives and careers have been deeply impacted by Outfest will be posted weekly on our website. Filmmakers and audiences will also have the opportunity to post their own story of how Outfest changed their lives by uploading a video to the site.
Absolut Vodka, one of Outfest’s longest supporters is also turning 30th this year. Absolut, celebrating supporting the gay and lesbian community going out and coming out for 30 years, is joining the Outfest 30th anniversary celebration and the iconic vodka is bringing a special gift to the party. In honor of OutfestUTFEST’s anniversary, our long termlong-term partner, Absolut Vodka, has pledged an Absolut OUTrageous cash gift of $30,000 for the Outfest Legacy Project.  
Outfest 2012: The 30th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival is presented by HBO.  Grand Sponsors include Absolut and Ease Entertainment Services.  For more information about Outfest 2012 sponsorship, visit www.outfest/org/sponsor.

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