There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Fusion: The Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival for People of Color (March 11-13) is not, in fact, fused to its presenting entity, Outfest (the esteemed Los Angeles LGBT film festival, which happens in July). But on closer inspection, while Fusion shares some of the Outfest’s mission -- namely the presentation and protection of LGBT films -- it is indeed its own separate animal, deserving a festival all its own.
So yes, like at Outfest, attendees of Fusion will have the opportunity to mix, mingle, network and party at a splashy premiere (Quentin Lee’s delightful romantic comedy The People I’ve Slept With -- see the trailer above), view some exceptional queer short films (which aren’t the easiest to come by), and see a rare entry from The Legacy Project (Outfest’s essential film conservation partnership with the UCLA film archive) which will screen the landmark 1967 hustler film, Portrait of Jason. But Fusion, which is now in its seventh year, also includes its own special programming, unique in the industry. Prior to film screenings, Fusion sponsors Fusion Access LA, a day of panels and sessions devoted to networking and getting work in a business which isn’t always hospitable to queer filmmakers of color. Television writers, directors and executives will be on hand to discuss the business and an afternoon seminar will cover Internet content and how filmmaking is evolving.
When 2010 marks the very first time an African American is nominated for a Best Director Academy Award, it’s clear that more needs to be done to help people of color find their footing in Hollywood. Fusion is doing just that. So while the festival celebrates the work and diversity of our community, it also cultivates the voices of tomorrow.
To be a part of it, call 213-480-7088 or visit www.Outfest.org/fusion.
-- EDDIE SHAPIRO
Previously > Earning Your Oscar