Outfest, the Los Angeles LGBTQ film festival originally founded by UCLA students in 1982, has announced the lineup for its 36th edition, which will take place July 12-22 and includes titles from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico.
The Dramatic Features section of the festival includes the U.S. premiere of the Chilean family melodrama and explicit erotic thriller Cola de mono by Alberto Fuguet. Set in the 1986 Christmas Eve, the film follows Borja, a precocious teenager with a passion for film. As his extended family comes together to celebrate the holiday, the combined forces of the suffocating Chilean heat, free-flowing drinks, and repressed desire contribute to the eruption of long-held secrets.
Having its North American premiere, Colombian film Eva & Candela (¿Cómo te llamas?) by Ruth Caudelli, is a portrait of two strong, independent women: a female director and the star of her first film, drawn together by a powerful attraction and their shared desire to take on the movie world. The passion between them creates a seductive and fascinating intimacy. But over time, their relationship evolves, swinging from infatuation to sensuality, which turns to tenderness, and then routine. They never wanted to be a conventional couple, and yet that’s just what they’ve become.
Also screening is the Mexican epic coming-of-age film Cuernavaca by Alejandro Andrade Pease, which tells the story of Andy, who moves into the palatial residence of his strict, no-nonsense grandmother (played by frequent Almodóvar collaborator Carmen Maura) in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca, after the sudden death of his mother. He finds comfort and refuge in Charly, the estate’s young gardener, who introduces him to an exciting world of danger, risk, and temptation.
Rounding up the Latin American fiction films is the Brazilian Berlinale Teddy Award winner Hard Paint / Tinta Bruta by Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, who follows Pedro who smears neon paint across his body for pay-per-view voyeurs hungry for his webcam erotica. IRL, he rarely sees the sun or speaks to another soul in Porto Alegre. After catching word of a rival ripping off his rainbow-colored act, he ventures from the shadows to settle their score—but finds an unlikely new friend in the process.
The Brazilian documentary film Bixa Travesty / Tranny Fag by Claudia Priscilla and Kiko Goifman will screen as part of the festival's Platinum Section dedicated to experimental cinema. The film follows black Brazilian transgender singer Linn da Quebrada who weaponizes the trans body and music for political protest. Linn and childhood friend Jup do Bairro use extravagantly costumed performances to dazzle audiences while opposing their country’s white heteronormative order. Figuring her embodied existence as resistance, Linn eschews the role of cis woman, instead choosing a fluid gender identity.
Other Latino titles include Jeremiah Zagar's We the Animals, to be screened as a U.S. Centerpiece, based on Justin Torres' bildungsroman about three wild brothers of white and Puerto Rican parentage who live a rough and tumble childhood in rural upstate New York during the 1980s.
Peruvian-American filmmakers Dante Alencastre will be presenting a sneak preview of AIDS Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman, about the trailblazing trans activist who seized her power as she confronts her mortality, and evolves as an irrepressible, challenging and soulful voice for the AIDS and queer communities of early 90's Los Angeles.
And the 2004 Mexican film Duck Season / Temporada de patos by Fernando Eimbcke will be screened as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, dedicated to preserving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender moving images at risk of becoming lost due to deterioration and neglect. Set in a Mexico City apartment block, the film follows 14-year-olds Moko and Flama, whose plans for a perfect Sunday afternoon of Xbox and junk food are turned upside-down by a power outage. Along with beleaguered pizza delivery man Ulises (and an assist from girl-next-door Rita’s special brownie recipe), they learn the joy of unplugging and reconnecting with one another.