Outfest Launches This Year’s Film Festival With Billy Porter, Horror-Thriller ‘They/Them’ (Exclusive)

The 11-day event kicks off Thursday, July 14 at DTLA’s iconic Orpheum Theatre

Outfest is back again for another array of showings, all suited for Angelenos’ summer celebrations. Attendees of the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ festival should put on their best outfits, as Outfest will also be presenting a star-studded lineup of galas and centerpiece events to headline the event, which takes place from July 14 to 24 around the city.

The 11-day festival, presented by a tag team of Warner Bros. Discovery and IMDb, will start up on Thursday, July 14 at downtown LA’s iconic and eternal Orpheum Theatre. Opening night kicks off with a cameo from Billy Porter, who is to be honored with the Outfest Achievement Award, alongside appearances from a laundry list of notable figures— Christine Vachon and cast, including newcomer lead actress Eva Reign, Abubakr Ali, Simone Joy Jones, Kelly Lamor Wilson, and Broadway legend Renée Elise Goldsberry. Porter will also be premiering his newest film, Anything’s Possible, which focuses on the trials and tribulations of a modern Gen-Z girl who encounters a, rather, unexpected romance.

An up-close and personal photo of Billy Porter. (Photo by Shavonne Wong)

“What better way to celebrate our 40th year of Outfest LA than to honor Billy Porter at our Opening Night with his incredible directorial debut,” said Outfest Executive Director, Damien S. Navarro. “We’re excited to host audiences and fans across the city to celebrate just how far queer cinema and entertainment have come.  The body of work we have curated from nearly every continent, increasingly represents adventurous styles and genres – from vibrant romantic comedies, where the trans lead gets the boy, to horror films that balance the scares and the sexy.”

The festival will have a range of “centerpieces,” including a Legacy Centerpiece celebrating the 20th anniversary of Todd Hayne’s Far From Heaven, a U.S. Centerpiece featuring Juan Felipe Zuleta’s Unidentified Objects, a Documentary Centerpiece for Daresha Kyi’s Mama Bears, and a Platinum Centerpiece showing the world premiere of Jake McClellan, Adam Lenhart, and Eric Griffin’s HeBGB TV.

A still from ‘They/Them.’ (Photo courtesy of Outfest)

Events will come to a swift—and memorable—close on July 24 at none other than The Theater at the Ace Hotel in DTLA with yet another premiere of Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Logan’s directorial debut, They/Them (‘they slash them’). The Blumhouse production—home to Insidious, The Purge, and The Conjuring—will support yet another horror film, highlighted by an LGBTQIA+ conversion camp setting. Young residents will have to band together against their counselors to identify who has been tallying up victims. Logan, himself, will be on-site for the premier, as well as cast members Kevin Bacon, Theo Germaine, Quei Tann, Carrie Preston, Anna Chlumsky, Austin Crute, and more.

A full Outfest LA 2022 LGBTQ+ Film Festival lineup will be released in the coming weeks. For more information and to book your spot, please visit OutfestLA.org.

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