Fusion Fest a Showcase for Multicultural LGBT Films at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theater

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Cast and crew on the red carpet at the Outfest screening (Ellie Wen in foreground).

Cast and crew on the red carpet at the Outfest screening (Ellie Wen in foreground).

Outfest is celebrating its 10th Anniversary of Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival on March 22-23 at the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood and the state-of-the-art Redcat downtown Los Angeles.

A gala party celebrating diversity in film will accompany the slate of world premieres and LA premieres of feature films and shorts.

Writer-director-producer Angela Robinson, who’s credits include “True Blood,” “Hung,” “The L Word,” “D.E.B.S.,” and “Herbie: Fully Loaded” will be honored with the 2013 Fusion Achievement Award.

“Outfest Fusion has grown from a festival that showcases the best in LGBT films highlighting people of color, to a full-fledged program that works to nurture emerging artists,” says Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer.

Fusion also offers projects such as Outset, which encourages and teaches young people to tell their stories through film. Last year Outset grad Janella Lacson won an audience award at Outfest for her short “The First Date,” and also received two scholarships and entry into the prestigious NYU film school.

In addition to the slate of new films screening at Fusion this year (see the schedule below or at, films from 2012 Outfest to get an encore screening include “Mosquita Y Mari,” “My Brother the Devil,” “White Frog” (featuring Harry Shum Jr. and Booboo Stewart), “Audre Lorde—The Berlin Years,” and “Homeboy.” There is also a special screening of the 1980 musical feature “Fame.”

For the schedule of films and tickets, see

Fusion Lab Offers Resources to New Filmmakers
Fusion Lab continues throughout the month of March in a Highland Park storefront. The micro-cinema and media lab hosts screenings of short films, filmmaking workshops taught by Outfest Alumni and workstations with cameras and editing software.The pop-up shop, located at 5503 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park, is supported by a grant from the Irvine Foundation.To register go to

Fusion Lab Schedule:

March 16, 2 p.m. Writing and Directing Workshop taught by Carlos Portugal (Director of East Side Story). Registration required.

March 17, 2 p.m. Writing Workshop taught by Henry Alberto (She Kills He).  Registration required.

March 20, 7 p.m. Writing Workshop with Alex Kondracke (L Word and Hung) & George Reyes. Registration required.

March 24, 2 p.m.  Editing Theory with Augie Robles (editor Mosquita y Mari, C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigations).  Registration required.

Free Film Screening Series

On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, four different shorts programs will be screened highlighting the best short films from Outfest Fusion and Outfest Los Angeles from the last 30 years. To ensure a seat for screenings, make your reservation now.

Friday March 15 7:30:  Catch Me If You Can. Registration required.

Saturday March 16 5:30:  Hello Darling. Registration required.

Saturday March 16 7:30: Love Me or Leave Me *over 18. Registration required.

Sunday March 17 5:00: Welcome To My World. Registration required.

Friday March 22 7:30 Welcome To My World. Registration required.

Saturday March 23 7:30 Hello Darling. Registration required.

Sunday March 24 5:00 Catch Me If You Can. Registration required.
Friday March 29 7:30: Love Me or Leave Me *over 18. Registration required.

Saturday March 30 5:30: Welcome To My World. Registration required.

Saturday March 30 7:30: Catch Me If You Can. Registration required.


Friday, March 22

7:00 pm – REDCAT Theatre


Dir. Dino Dinco, 2011, 56 min

HOMEBOY takes an unprecedented look at the lives of gay Latino men in the Los Angeles area who are former gang members. Through candid one-on-one interviews, the men vividly describe the realization and acceptance of their sexual orientation and desire, and their experience in a culture defined by masculinity, heterosexuality and violence.



Dir. Leon Le, 2012, 10 min

In the dark of a New York City night, preconceived notions steal more than just peace of mind.


7:00 pm – Egyptian Theatre (smaller theater)

Fusion 10th Anniversary Shorts     

The Fusion Film Festival was founded to celebrate and support filmmaking devoted to bringing stories of queer people of color to the screen. In the decade since Fusion’s inaugural festival, we have had the honor of presenting the very best and most beloved films of queer people of color. This retrospective program is a sweet and poignant look back at the first decade of Fusion. See the stories that made us laugh, turned us on, brought us to tears and reminded us of our own struggles and triumphs.

Pura Lengua

Dir. Aurora Guerrero, 2004, 11 min

The blossoming of a young Xicana poet following a heart-breaking traumatic experience.


Dir. Sharon Barnes, 2007, 11 min

Fighter AJ, an oil wrestler, is on a mission to rescue her girl from the clutches of a gay reformatory.

The Bath

Dir. Lee Mi-rang, 2007, 20 min

Two sisters share a poignant moment of realization, and work to overcome the space between them at a public bath house.

The Queen

Dir. Christina Choe, 2009, 8 min

Bobby, a Korean-American teenage outcast, is working at his parents’ dry cleaners on prom weekend. When the prom queen and her boyfriend stop by with their dress and tuxedo, Bobby has his own prom to remember.

The Kissing Bandito

Dir. Augie Robles, 1995, 2 min

A young boy relays his busy day at school.

El Abuelo

Dir. Dino Dinco, 2008, 3 min

An intimate portrait of local educator and poet Joe Jimenez, shot on location in San Antonio, Texas.

The Young And Evil

Dir. Julian Breece, 2008, 15 min

A highly intelligent but troubled gay black teen sets out to seduce an HIV-positive prevention advocate into giving him the virus.


Dir. Marlon Riggs, 1990, 10 min

Marlon Riggs’ poetic 1990 documentary captures the hopes, fears and desires that ignite an era past.

7:30pm – Egyptian Theatre


Dir. Alan Parker, 1980, 134 min

This sexy, gritty musical about ambitious teenagers looking to launch their show business careers at the legendary New York High School for the Performing Arts became a global phenomenon, winning two Academy Awards (for both its score and unforgettable title song) and spawning a TV series, stage musical and remake. A multi-cultural cast of talented actors, singers and dancers — including Irene Cara, Gene Anthony Ray, Barry Miller and Debbie Allen — create some of the most vibrant musical sequences ever captured on film. (And keep an eye peeled for a young Isaac Mizrahi, who was a student at the real-life high school during production.) Remember!

9:00pm – Egyptian Theatre

Strange Frame: Love & Sax

Dir. G.B. Hajim, 2013, 98 min

Calling all queer cyberpunk freaks, sci-fi lovers and fans of Octavia Butler: this you do not want to miss! Set on Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s moons, this gorgeous animated story follows Naia, a feisty singer-songwriter who falls for saxophonist Parker. A queer Afro-Futuristic time-warping race against impossible odds featuring an other-worldly original score along with sexy, mystical creatures brought to life with the voice talents of Claudia Black, Tara Strong, Cree Summer, Tim Curry, and the iconic George Takei.

9:00pm – REDCAT Theatre

My Brother The Devil

Dir. Sally El Hosaini, 2012, 101 min

This moving story about two British Arab brothers in London follows Mo, a lonely, sensitive boy who idolizes his older brother, Rashid, a charismatic, well-respected member of a local gang. Aching to be seen as a tough guy himself, Mo takes a job that unlocks a fateful turn of events and forces the brothers to confront their inner demons. Rich in beauty, humanity and authenticity, MY BROTHER THE DEVIL is an urban tale that burns with vision and passion. Winner of the World Cinema Cinematography Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and Grand Jury Award for Outstanding International Dramatic Feature Film at Outfest 2012.


Divorcio 2005/2012

Dir. Jacinto Astiazarán, 2012, 7 min

A reprisal of an episode of a feisty Spanish-language divorce court with a secret queer transcript at play.

10:00pm – Egyptian Theatre

The DL Chronicles Return, Chadwick Journals & Hot Guys With Guns

Dir. Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear; Dir. Doug Spearman

This eventful slate of eye candy features new episodes, webisodes, and a sneak peek of delicious manhood. The latest installment of Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear’s sultry drama “DL Chronicles,” filled with hot-bodied brothas working the down-low circuit, does not disappoint, and the gorgeousness continues with Gossett and LeNear’s new web series, “The Chadwick Journals,” which explores the DL life through a dangerously sensuous encounter between a writer and his subject. As a special bonus, we’ll top off the program with a preview of selected scenes from Doug Spearman’s (“Noah’s Arc”) upcoming sexy comedy Hot Guys With Guns.

Saturday, March 23

12:30pm – Egyptian Theatre

White Frog

Dir. Quentin Lee, 2012, 93 min

After the death of his popular brother Chaz (Harry Shum, Jr., “Glee”), Nick (Booboo Stewart, Twilight) struggles to carry on. Nick’s parents (B.D. Wong and Joan Chen) have their own problems coping with the loss, but Chaz’s best friend Randy takes Nick under his wing. As Chaz’s family comes to understand his secret life, they will be forced to reconcile the boy they thought they knew with the man he really was.

1:00pm – Egyptian Theatre

OutSet Shorts

Outfest is thrilled to present the second class of OutSet, the Young Filmmakers Project from LifeWorks and Outfest, created to empower and educate LGBT youth to tell their stories through film. Fifteen LGBTQ youth aged 16-24 years old participated in a filmmaking lab over the span of three months, taught by industry professionals and mentored by Outfest Alumni Filmmakers. Don’t miss the inspiring screening of five short films written, directed, produced and edited by a new generation of storytellers. Stick around for a great reception to celebrate this accomplishment after the screening.

3:00pm – Egyptian Theatre

Mosquita y Mari

Dir. Aurora Guerrero, 2012, 85 min

Studious, sweet-natured 15-year-old Yolanda feels the pressure to succeed under the eyes of her hard-working, immigrant parents. When she meets her new neighbor, the feisty and alluring, BMX-riding Mari, Yolanda’s humdrum high school routine gets a jolt. The two girls don’t have much in common on the surface but they become fast friends and their deep bond develops into a tension that neither one expected nor quite knows how to handle. MOSQUITA Y MARI, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, marks an impressive feature film debut from writer-director Aurora Guerrero, whose shorts have screened at both Outfest and Fusion. The atmospheric beauty and authenticity of Guerrero’s vision is deeply rooted in the cityscapes and community of Huntington Park, while skilled lead performances by Fenessa Pineda and Venecia Troncoso embody the awkwardness and cautious desire of two teenage girls experiencing love and desire for the first time. Winner of the  Audience Award for Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film and Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film at Outfest 2012.

3:15pm – Egyptian Theatre

Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years

Dir. Dagmar Shultz, 2012, 81 min

Famed lesbian African-American poet Audre Lorde empowered women to create allies within German society and abroad. She also became an important voice of support for South African women during their struggles against apartheid. Twenty years after her passing, never-before-seen archives reveal the private life and passions of the award-winning, influential woman who ignited a worldwide movement. Exploring her brilliant writings and her inspiration to feminist lesbians around the world, Lorde’s profound legacy is honored in this engrossing film.



Dir. Chinoonye Chu Kwu, 2013, 7 min

A sweet moment between girlfriends takes an intense turn.


Dir. Kortney Ryan Ziegler, 2012, 2 min

A meditation on the power and beauty of tears.

5:00pm – Egyptian Theatre

Talking With The Taxman About Poetry

Dir. Lamont Pierre, 2012, 90 min

When an unconventional elementary school teacher (Kareem Ferguson) loses his job he meets a charming trumpet player (Steph Jones) who coaxes him out of his shell. Through jazz and the written word these men open up to each other but not without risking their pride. Their encounter awakens the artistic and sexual impulses of a frustrated author who dances that fine line between madness and brilliance.



Dir. Andrew Huang, 2012, 10 min

An experimental fantasy filled with elaborate costumes, stunning visual effects, and underwater puppets about otherworldly beings whose minds and bodies converge into one entity designed to transport viewers through a hypnotic, dream-like experience.

5:30pm – Egyptian Theatre (smaller theater)

Tribute To Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee was a groundbreaking and transgressive filmmaker whose work touched many lives.  His films Trappings of Transhood and Alley of the Tranny Boys were just part of his varied résumé — he was co-founder of Tranny Fest (which evolved into the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival) and also the first FTM grand marshall of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade. Devoting his energy to art and activism alike, he is remembered by his many friends and peers as a unifying force in the trans community, and his films resonate as boldly honest and fearless documentation of trans identity and sexuality. His tragic death by suicide at the age of 48 took him from us all too soon, but his work as a filmmaker and as a political force will continue to have an impact in the decades to come.

8pm – Egyptian Theatre

Gala Shorts

Chance meetings in the wilderness, love lost despite best intentions, and epic fails that forge stronger and deeper bonds make this year’s Gala Shorts program spectacular. Filmmakers from L.A. to Vietnam bring us stories that will quicken our heartbeats, make us dab away the tears, inspire hearty laughter, and let us revel in a little romance.

Heart’s Mouth

Dir. Erica Cho, 2013, 3 min

This chance encounter amidst lush greenery is a dance of queer-transgender desire.

Forgiving Heart

Dir. Adelina Anthony, 2013, 13 min

This throwback to the mid-’80s stays true to the music and fashion of the era and movingly captures the social pressures of high school that defy time and place.

Rookie and the Runner

Dir. Augie Robles, 2012, 10 min

A yearning for afternoon delight in a public park puts a wily young jogger’s stamina to the test.

Uncle and Son

Dir. Dinh Anh Nguyen, 2012, 15 min

This Vietnamese fable brought to life shows how a young boy’s naïveté threatens the precious bond that he and his uncle share.

Kimchi Fried Dumplings

Dir. Jason Karman, 2012, 15 min

The tension between brothers reaches a boiling point when they all come together to celebrate Christmas with their aging parents.

The First Date

Dir. Janella Lacson, 2012, 7 min

When commiserating in the bathroom goes wrong…this playful film sweetly captures the awkwardness and excitement of new love. Winner of the Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short Film

Maybe Next Season

Dir. Lex Kennedy, 2012, 7 min
Andrew arranges a fancy dinner under the stars to introduce his family to his boyfriend Dante. If the quaint setting doesn’t soften them up, maybe something else will.

Rad Queers

Dir. Graham Kolbeins, 2013, 9 min

A playful yet inspiring documentary about a group of Latino go-go dancers who bring a clown aesthetic to the leather scene.

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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