Like everything else within the creative and entertainment community, Outfest 2020 is adapting to pandemic times. The popular LA-based gay film festival will be livestreaming content as well as offering an “under the stars” six night drive-in schedule at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu this year, and as always the works spotlight LGBTQA+ visibility, inclusivity, and empowerment aimed at promoting equality and social change.


Drive-in screenings kick off with the Sundance-produced film The Nowhere Inn, starring Annie Clark and Carrie Brownstein in a mockumentary exploring Clark’s St. Vincent persona. The music fueled movie amusements continue with country artist Brandon Stansell, who performs a live set and screens his documentary Three Chords and a Lie. There’s also the world premiere of Two Eyes, exploring queer and trans people in the American West, which is followed by a live music set from cast members Ryan Cassata and Nakhane.

For those who choose to enjoy Outfest at home, the streaming options are plentiful. John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) presents a marathon of his musical podcast Anthem: Homunculus, with performances by Mitchell, Glenn Close, Cynthia Erivo, Patti LuPone, Nakhane, Denis O’Hare and Laurie Anderson. Lily Tomlin and partner Jane Wagner will take part in a live discussion with director Joan Churchill about the 1986 bio-doc Lily Tomlin: The Film Behind the Show, which will be streamed. LGBTQA+ filmmaker Cheryl Dunye and producer Effie Brown offer a live Q&A about Dunye’s 2001 HBO original film Stranger Insidea previously unavailable title that Outfest is airing for free during the festival.


Other online highlights include Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby screening; The Obituary Of Tunde Johnson with director Ali LeRoy, writer Stanley Kalu and star Steven Silver talking about the film afterward; and the provocative documentary Bloodsisters: Leather, Dykes, & Sadomascism streamed and discussed with a post-movie panel featuring director Michelle Handelman and figures from fetish and leather community. Outfest’s always inspiring Trans Summit with speeches and panels is also not to be missed.

Outfest is happening now thru August 30. Passes to view all films and panels are $59.99 and include a subscription to Outfest’s new streaming platform for the next year. For more information on the fest’s array of full length and short premieres as well as curated programs (there’s more than 160 from the U.S. and around the globe this year) visit


LA Weekly