Outfest to Honor Press Sec Karine Jean-Pierre July 23

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Outfest will honor White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with the inaugural Outfest Achievement Award for Press and Media on July 23, 2023, Closing Night of the 41st Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone were also slated to attend Closing Night to receive the James Schamus Ally Award, but canceled, in support of SAG-AFTRA.

“We understand that Melissa and Ben are unable to join us for our closing night due to the strike,” Outfest Executive Director Damien Navarro said in a statement. “We will miss them, as our closing night will be a wonderful celebration of our community.”

The Closing Night film is the documentary “Chasing Chasing Amy” (read about the film on Goweho.com).

Outfest’s inaugural Achievement Award for Press and Media that Jean-Pierre will receive is an honor celebrating the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the media. 

“Outfest is thrilled to recognize the continued contributions of Karine Jean-Pierre for her barrier breaking and historic achievement in Press and Media,” said Nii-Quartelai Quartey, Outfest Board Co-President. “Throughout her career, the Black and LGBTQ+ community has been reminded of what is possible. Our fellow Americans have been reminded of our humanity and inherent dignity.”

Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary since May 2022, is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the position.  She was previously deputy press secretary from 2020-2022, and before that served as chief of staff for Kamala Harris during the 2020 presidential campaign. 

Prior to that, she served as Chief Public Affairs Officer for MoveOn.org, and served as Regional Political Director for the White House Office of Political Affairs during the Obama-Biden administration and as Deputy Battleground States Director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The award comes as Outfest makes new investments in journalism with the Outfest Inclusive Press Initiative, the first-ever press initiative explicitly for LGBTQ+ entertainment journalists. The program offers emerging film critics, broadcasters and other journalists unrestricted access to cover the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ+ Film Festival while receiving a stipend and mentorship from journalists at media outlets including ReutersThe New York TimesThe Hollywood Reporter , KABC-TV and more.

Outfest Closing Night, Sunday, July 23, 2023, 7-9:15 p.m., at the Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St, Hollywood, CA 90028. Tickets: outfestla.org.   

Virtual Screenings: Some films will be available virtually after July 23, check for the full program at outfestla.org.  

Presenting sponsors of Outfest 2023 are Genesis Motor America and Warner Bros. Discovery. Grand Sponsors are IMDb and Friends at Work. Additional sponsors include West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board, Gilead Sciences, Comcast NBCUniversal, Hornitos, Sony Pictures, The Fight Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, ABC7 and On The Red Carpet, APLA Health, Bank of America, UTA, Second Home Hollywood, Amazon and Glamazon, and West One Music Group. 


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