Outfest – the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization promoting equality by creating, sharing, and protecting LGBT stories on the screen – has announced that Christopher Racster has been named Executive Director of the organization.
Racster succeeded Kirsten Schaffer as Interim Executive Director when Schaffer left Outfest in the spring. Racster assumes his official position as Executive Director effective immediately.
“After an extensive search that yielded many highly qualified candidates, it became clear that our best prospect had been in front of us all along. In the six months since Christopher stepped up as Interim Executive Director, he and the Outfest staff executed an incredibly successful summer festival, and he has proven himself a strong and capable leader with the vision to take this organization into the future,” Outfest Board of Directors co-presidents Ari Karpel and Laura Ivey said.
“It’s an honor to work with the Outfest Board on shaping the future of the organization and enhancing its continued efforts to serve both the LGBT community and our storytellers,” said Racster. “As a former Outfest filmmaker myself, I have seen firsthand the multiple levels of influence that the organization can have. I am excited to support our efforts to increase that impact and to support change through the power of LGBT storytelling.”
Racster’s bio as per Outfest:
Starting in 1994, Racster produced Divine Design for Project Angel Food, which he elevated to a million-dollar annual fundraiser over the course of five years. Fueled by the challenges the LGBT community continued to face in the late ‘90s, Racster realized his dream of becoming a film producer. His first film, “April’s Shower,” was selected for Outfest Los Angeles, beginning a decade-long relationship with the organization that would be critical to his ongoing success as a filmmaker. His other producing credits include “Say Uncle,” “Save Me,” and “Spork,” all of which also screened at Outfest Los Angeles. In 2011, Racster joined Outfest as Director of Individual Giving, promoted in turn to Director of Development, and then in 2014, Deputy Director. In 2015, when Kirsten Schaffer announced her departure from Outfest, Racster was promoted to Interim Executive Director.