Director Peirce to Receive Achievement Award; Sedaris Film to Screen at Outfest’s Opening Night Gala July 11

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Outfest’s Opening Night Gala on July 11 will honor director Kimberly Peirce (“Carrie,” “Boys Don’t Cry), and feature “C.O.G.,” based on the short story by David Sedaris, to kick off the 31st Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival.

The Achievement Award recognizes a body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media. Peirce will receive the award prior to the screening of “C.O.G.” at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

“One of Outfest’s principal goals has been to celebrate the many voices of LGBT storytelling on film,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Outfest executive director. “We couldn’t be more excited to honor Kimberly Peirce’s extraordinary filmmaking career, while also heralding writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s stunning sophomore feature capturing David Serdaris’ hilarious tone. The mix promises to make this our most memorable Opening Night.”

“C.O.G.” stars Jonathan Groff (Glee), Denis O’Hare (True Blood) and Corey Stoll (House of Cards). Groff plays David, a recent college graduate, who gets closer to nature and the working class by spending a summer picking apples in Oregon. Whether trying to interpret the possible flirtations of a co-worker (Stoll) or resisting the religious hard-sell from a Bible thumper (O’Hare), David finds himself on a complicated path to find out who he is and what he wants. “C.O.G.” is the first feature based on the writings of David Sedaris.

Writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, 29, premiered his second feature film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. His first film, “Easier With Practice” (2010) earned the prestigious “Someone to Watch” Award at the Independent Spirit Awards and was nominated for Best First Feature.

Peirce received her BA from the University of Chicago, her MFA from the Columbia University Graduate Film Program, and is a graduate of Sundance Institute’s Writing and Directing Film Labs.  She served on the 2011 Sundance Film Festival US Dramatic Jury. She is a member of the WGA, the Academy of Motion Pictures, and serves on the Directors Guild of America Independent Film Committee and the Academy Directors Branch Executive Committee.

Peirce’s debut feature, “Boys Don’t Cry,” earned numerous honors, including the Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe for the film’s star, Hilary Swank. Chloe Sevigny was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Peirce won honors as Best Debut Director from the National Board of Review and Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics. Peirce also directed and co-wrote, “Stop-Loss,” starring Channing Tatum and Ryan Phillipe, a topical and emotionally penetrating drama inspired by real-life stories of American soldiers, including her own brother, fighting in Iraq and coming home.

Peirce’s latest film, a contemporary version of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, and is scheduled for release this fall. “I’m honored and excited to be getting this from Outfest,” says Peirce, “and thrilled I get to show everyone ‘Carrie’ soon.”

Outfest will be held July 11 – 21, 2013. The complete lineup will be announced at the beginning of June. The festival is presented by HBO; grand sponsors include Absolut and Ease Entertainment.  For more information about Outfest 2013 sponsorship, visit www.outfest/org/sponsor.

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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