Outfest, the annual LGBT film festival, opens for a 10-day run tonight – Thursday, July 12 – with a special ceremony .
will present its Achievement Award to the openly gay director of such films as Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living, Hairspray and Serial Mom for his body of work that has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media.
The Achievement Award presentation to Waters will take place at the Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles starting at 8 p.m.
Following the presentation ceremony which will include a speech by Waters, the film festival will screen the new documentary, Vito, about the late gay activist Vito Russo.
A founding member of both ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Russo died of AIDS-related complications in 1990.
Russo is best known as the author of The Celluloid Closet, a book published in 1981 (revised in 1987) examining portrayals of gays and lesbians in Hollywood movies. A documentary film based on the book was released in 1996. Lily Tomlin, a longtime friend of Russo, served as that film’s narrator.
Starting on Friday, the majority of the Outfest screenings will take place at the Directors Guild of America building at 7920 Sunset Boulevard (at Hayworth Avenue). More than 140 films will be screened during the festival which runs through July 22. A complete directory of the films being screened is available on the Outfest website.
Outfest is the longest running film festival in the Los Angeles area. It began at UCLA in 1982 and has grown to be one of the leading LGBT film festivals in the world. In addition to the annual film festival held every July, Outfest also sponsors LGBT film preservation through its Legacy Project.