The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival, which ran from July 6th to July 16th, announced the award winners. Chavela won both the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award; and Best US Narrative Feature Film prize went to Jennifer Reeder for Signature Move. The 2017 Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival closed with Trudie Styler’s comedic Freak Show, starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, AnnaSophia Robb, Abigail Breslin, Ian Nelson, Larry Pine and featuring a cameo from Laverne Cox.
Outfest Los Angeles 2017 Award Winners
Best Documentary Short Audience Award
Little Potato, Directed by Wes Hurley and Nate Miller
Best Documentary Feature Audience Award
Chavela, Directed by Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi
Best Narrative Short Audience Award
The Real Thing, Directed by Brandon Kelley
Best Narrative Audience Award
The Chances, Created by Shoshanna Stern and Josh Feldman, Directed by Anna Kerrigan
Best Experimental Short Audience Award
Pussy, Directed by Renata Gasiorowska
Audience Award for Best First U.S. Narrative Feature
A Million Happy Nows, Directed by Albert Alarr
Grand Jury Awards
Documentary Grand Jury Prize
“We award Best Documentary Feature to Chavela, for its artistic style that elegantly and poetically brings together raw archival footage, animation, editing, and sound design.”
Documentary Special Mention
“For Excellence in Filmmaking we award a Special Jury mention to Girl Unbound: The War to Be Her, for its brave, humorous, and inspired depiction of Maria, a world class SQUASH player and her rock star family who live on their own terms and challenge misconceptions of feminism and Islam in the Muslim and Western worlds. This film illustrates Maria’s nonbinary journey, her quest for athletic excellence and her desire to show all girls everywhere that, “Fear is taught. That you are born free and you are born brave.””
U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actor
For his quiet intensity in a fresh and non-traditional coming of age role and his on-screen transformation both physically and emotionally, the US Narrative Jury honors Luka Kain for his outstanding performance in Saturday Church.
U.S. Narrative Jury Prize Best Actress
In a cast of strong female performances, she not only supported the ensemble cast but stood out with her comic timing and effortlessly hilarious presence. The US Jury Prize for Best Actress goes to Ever Mainard in The Feels.
Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Feature
For its naturalistic yet spare and unforced dialogue, even in the most harrowing of situations the award for Best Screenwriting in a U.S. Narrative goes to Eliza Hittman for Beach Rats.
U.S. Grand Jury Prize
For a delightful, well-acted and incisive romp into Chicago’s multi-cultural neighborhoods and a moving exploration of the unique bonds between mothers and daughters. Its inspiring message of love and acceptance explodes with humor and heart. We award the Best US Narrative Feature Film prize to Jennifer Reeder for Signature Move.
U.S. Narrative Special Mention
The US Narrative Jury would like to present a Special Mention for amplifying unheard voices with authenticity, highlighting the contemporary life of queer black woman with flair, vibrancy and substance to 195 Lewis.
International Grand Jury Prize
This film breaks new ground through skillful storytelling and stunning cinematography and an unflinching focus on masculinities – toxic or otherwise. The Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature goes to the South African film The Wound, directed by John Trengove.
International Special Mention
For authentic, grounded storytelling that successfully captures a universal tale of youth, the International Narrative Feature Special Mention for Directing goes to Marcelo Caetano for his work on Body Electric.
Best Documentary Short
For its elegant storytelling, its economical sweep of history, and its sensitivity to lovers together in the struggle, whose intimate point of view enlightens and moves us to see the intricacies of the personal & political victories we can achieve together. The Best Documentary short prize goes to: Bayard & Me by Matt Wolf.
Creatively employing the few surviving archival interviews to illuminate a forthright, outspoken, dynamic and sexy old school butch who was unstoppable in her quest for equality & fairness for lesbians, women and the queer community. The Best Documentary short prize goes to Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies & Feminism by Gregorio Davila.
Documentary Short Special Mention
The Special Mention goes to Al Otro Lado (The Other Side), directed by Rodrigo Alvarez Flores and Pedazos, directed by Alejandro Pena.
Best Narrative Short
Demonstrating restraint in both dialogue and narrative while also presenting a rich visual tapestry in a claustrophobic household, the film portrays an intense, simmering passion between two women yearning to break free from the norms of sexuality and caste (class) in a matriarchal Indian household. The Best Narrative Short Film Award goes to Goddess (Devi), directed by Karishma Dube.
Special Programming Awards
This assured debut feature film combines dreamy cinematography, honest and energetic performances, and snappy, contemporary dialogue, heralding the arrival of a fresh new voice in queer Asian cinema, the 2017 Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Samantha Lee for Maybe Tomorrow.
This long overdue BIOGRAPHY of a civil rights icon merges empathetic documentary filmmaking with the tenacity of investigative journalism to highlight the injustices that trans people still face today, the 2017 Programming Award for Freedom goes to David France and Victoria Cruz for The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.
For a chilling tale that blends Hitchcockian suspense filtered through the eerie Icelandic countryside with a rumination on the lingering effects of past trauma, the 2017 Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Erlingur Thoroddsen for Rift.
Fox Inclusion Feature Film Award
Boys For Sale, Directed by Itako
Fox Inclusion Short Film Award
Ma, Directed by Vera Miao