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Lesbian Themed Films Win Big at Outfest 2011

Lesbian Themed Films Win Big at Outfest 2011

The 29th annual Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Outfest, wrapped up with an awards gala to honor the most thought-provoking, honest, creative work from our talented community. Catherine Opie, Lisa Udelson, Madeline Olnek, Marie Losier, and Mitsuyo Miyazaki were among the filmmakers recognized for their compelling achievements at this year’s Outfest.

The 29th annual Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Outfest, wrapped up with an awards gala to honor the most thought-provoking, honest, creative work from the talented community.

Catherine Opie, Lisa Udelson, Madeline Olnek, Marie Losier, and Mitsuyo Miyazaki were among the filmmakers recognized for their compelling achievements at this year’s Outfest.

No Look Pass, directed by Melissa Johnsons, was awarded a Special Programming Award for Freedom, sponsored by GLAAD, “For its unflinching look at the life of a young lesbian basketball star facing the hardships of coming out and a relationship challenged by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, directed by Marie Losier, was also awarded for it’s Artistic Acheivement and “matching the conceptual daring and aesthetic bravado of its subjects’ lives with an equally powerful filmmaking style and for never losing sight of the love story that flourished in an atmosphere of gender experimentation and conceptual music.”

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same’s writer/director Madeline Olnek received a nod for Emerging Talent “For her witty and creative vision, her skill at eliciting memorable performances, for deftly blending old school science fiction and deadpan comedy, and for believing that true love exists even if it means going to another planet to find it.”

Same Difference, directed by artist Catherine Opie and Lisa Udelson, received the Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary Short, while Tsuyako, directed by Mitsuyo Miyazaki, took home the Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short.

For her fierce and sensual portrayal of a young woman struggling to balance the tumultuous landscape of her sexuality in a world in flux around her, the Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film goes to Nikohl Boosheri for her portrayal of Atafeh in Circumstance.

The nation’s leading LGBT festival and the oldest continuously running film festival in the city ran from July 7 to 17.  In addition to the 163 films (67 features and 96 shorts) from 25 countries, Outfest hosts over a dozen panels and special events at seven venues across Los Angeles, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. Outfest 2011 closed with Anne Renton’s The Perfect Family, starring Kathleen Turner, Jason Ritter, Emily Deschanel and Richard Chamberlain.

For more on all the films and the Outfest Festival, visit Outfest.org.

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Lily Shavick