Film critic Austin Dale is here to bring the 15 films he's most excited about during OutFest 2018.
For more information on the event, including screening information, please click here.
Now keep scrolling for the films not to miss.
Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary double feature: Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood and Studio 54.
Valentino: The Last Emperor director Matt Tyrnauer hits Outfest 2018 hard this year with not one but two much-anticipated documentaries on offer. The first is Opening Night Gala selection Studio 54, which tracks the rise and fall of the most famous nightclub in New York history, and which is sure to feature extensive screen time from queer legends past and present. The second is the juicy Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, a biographical look at Scotty Bowers, the longtime Hollywood bartender who had a second career as a secret keeper for Tinseltown’s greatest and gayest.
This year’s American narrative Centerpiece Gala, We The Animals, arrives at Outfest on a wave of acclaim from the Sundance Film Festival, where it received comparisons with Moonlight. Adapted from a novel of the same name by Justin Torres, We The Animals is the compelling story of three brothers experiencing the breakup of their family.
This year’s Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance and Outfest’s Closing Gala selection, The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a YA novel adaptation from Appropriate Behavior director Desiree Akhavan. Starring Chloe Grace Moretz and American Honey breakout Sasha Lane, it is one of two major LGBT films this year to deal with conversion therapy.
Already a hit on the LGBT festival circuit, Wild Nights With Emily is an irreverent, super-gay retelling of the life of Emily Dickinson, directed by Madeline Olnek. The festival guide calls it “part sketch comedy, part historical burlesque,” which piqued my interest... and then I read that Dickinson is played by the legendary Molly Shannon. Sign me up.
Call Her Ganda is a troubling documentary about the murder of Jennifer Laude, a Filipina trans woman, and the subsequent trial of her killer, which became an international wake-up call to the epidemic of violence against the trans community. The film tracks the stories of three women involved in the real-life tragedy: Trans journalist Meredith Talusan, a valiant lawyer working on the case pro-bono, and the victim’s mother.
A small-town documentary set in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Gospel of Eureka shares an interesting peek at the intersections between the Evangelical Christian community and the drag queens who live among them. The film is directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher and narrated by Justin Vivian Bond.
A direct look at Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis, Game Girls follows Tihuana and Teri, a queer couple on an arduous journey to get off the street. Directed by Alina Skrzeszewska, Game Girls follows the subjects through the system, and it is sure to force Los Angeles audiences to recognize and account for the unacceptable status quo.
The feature debut of Crystal Moselle, who last gave us the hit documentary The Wolfpack, Skate Kitchen is about an all-girl gang of New York City skateboarders. The latest in a long tradition of youth culture films made with a cast of new faces, Skate Kitchen made a big splash at Sundance this year.
A coming-of-age drama set in a Mexican suburb, Cuernavaca is the story of an unconventional relationship between a grieving young boy and the gardener who works on his grandmother’s palatial estate. The grandmother is played by frequent Almodovar collaborator and Spanish gay icon Carmen Maura.
A recent rediscovery restored by Vinegar Syndrome, Buddies was a tiny independent 1985 gay drama, the first film of its kind to deal head-on with the AIDS epidemic. An intriguing time capsule ripe for re-evaluation, Buddies is about the emotional friendship between two gay New Yorkers, one of whom is a hospice patient. Arthur J. Bressan Jr. wrote, produced, and directed the film, which was released shortly before his own death in 1987.
I had the opportunity to preview Man Made, T Cooper’s debut documentary feature. A group portrait of five diverse trans men from the bodybuilding community, Man Made is an intimate, devastating, and ultimately triumphant little movie. An assured crowd-pleaser, made with great love and insight.
An interesting selection from the Outfest showcase of LGBTQ Taiwanese movies, is an experimental drama of intersecting gender-nonconforming narratives. The title character is a hairdresser who is conflicted about transitioning. The film also introduces us to Sherry, a trans proprietress, and Chris, a straight drag queen.
An Australian period drama, Riot takes us back to 1978 when homosexuality was still punishable by law, and introduces us to a little-known era in international gay history, depicting a collective of first-time activists and the unpredictable series of events that led to the country’s first-ever Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.