08/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Lisa Kudrow, Josh Brolin, Chaz Bono, Christina Ricci Come out to Support LGBT Film at Outfest 2009

If the walls at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles could speak they would tell you that last night was the kick off of the 27th Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Outfest, 2009. Outfest is one of the oldest, continuously running film festivals in Los Angeles and will feature 181 films from 25 countries over a ten-day event that will put focus on LGBT Rights in response to Prop 8.

Cultural change is often led by artists. Outfest has been on the cutting edge of supporting diverse, bold LGBT artists in creating change and remains a pioneer in this festival. Jon Korn, one of the programmers for the festival says that he thinks "one of the biggest trends we're seeing in LGBT documentaries recently is an increased diversity in the types of stories being told and an increased range in their subject matter. Whereas fifteen, or even ten years ago, a lot of films focused [solely] on the sexuality of their subjects as an exclusive topic."

Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Outfest, "In response to the passing of Proposition 8 in California and similar bans against gay marriage and adoption across the United States, we are proud to put a particular focus on LGBT rights and equality, and believe that this is a great time for the entire Los Angeles community - gay or straight - to come out and support one another during Outfest 2009."

Prior to the Opening Night Gala screening of "La Mission," Lisa Kudrow, and Christina Ricci, awarded Outfest's 13th Annual Achievement Award to Dan Roos. The award is Outfest's highest honor recognizing artists in film whose body of work has made a significant contribution to LGBT film and media. Roos is the screenwriter of "Love Field," "Single White Female," "Boys on the Side," and the 1996 remake of "Diabolique." In 1998 he made his directorial debut with "The Opposite of Sex,"(starring Lisa Kudrow and Christina Ricci). Upon receiving his award Dan made some poignant remarks. He said that there was a time when a film could stand out just because it was a "gay" film. However, now, we need to make "gay" films of great quality that speak to the human experience. I asked Kudrow why it was important to her to be at the festival to present Roos with his award. In addition to believing strongly in Roos' work she shared that her brand of humor has always been from the perspective of the person who is the "outsider" not fitting into the mainstream and that many in the LGBT community resonate with that experience.

The festival kicked off with a screening of "La Mission," Peter Bratt's rich and powerful story of a man's journey toward redemption and his struggle with violence and homophobia, which stars Benjamin Bratt. About the film Bratt declared that he is grateful to be part of a film that not only deals with homophobia but also breaks down cultural barriers in the Latino/Mexican community.

Among other guests at last night's even were Chaz Bono, Josh Brolin and wife Diane Lane. Brolin was present to support his friend Peter and Benjamin Bratt but also shared with me that after working on the film Milk, he feels more connected to the gay community than ever, and is happy to step out in support whenever the opportunity arises. Chaz Bono shared with us from the podium that it was seeing affirming films at Outfest that contributed to his decision to make his female to male transition.

The film festival is presented at various locations throughout Hollywood and Los Angeles including: DGA, Fairfax 1, Redcat at the Disney Concert Hall, Ford Amphitheater, and Laemmle Monica. To purchase tickets and for further details visit


Opening Night Gala - La Mission (Writer/Director: Peter Bratt)
Closing Night Gala - Dare (Director: Adam Salky; Writer: David Brind)
Outfest Legacy Project Gala (Restoration Premiere) - Choosing Children (Directors: Debra Chasnoff and Kim Klausner)
U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece - Mississippi Damned (Writer/Director: Tina Mabry)
International. Dramatic Centerpiece - El Nino Pez (The Fish Child) (Writer/Director: Lucia Puenzo)
Platinum Centerpiece - Fig Trees (Director: John Greyson)

U.S. Dramatic Features
American Primitive (Director: Gwendolyn Wynne, Screenplay: Gwendolyn Wynne & Mary Beth Fielder)
And Then Came Lola (Directors/Screenplay: Ellen Seidler & Megan Siler)
Drool (Director/Screenplay: Nancy Kissam)
Fiona's Script (Director/Screenplay: Florencia Manovil)
Fruit Fly (Director/Screenplay: H.P. Mendoza)
Hannah Free (Director: Wendy Jo Carlton, Screenplay: Claudia Allen)
Hollywood, je t'aime (Director/Screenplay: Jason Bushman)
Lucky Bastard (Director/Screenplay:: Everett Lewis)
Make the Yuletide Gay (Director/Screenplay: Rob Williams)
Misconceptions (Director: Ron Satlof, Screenplay: Ron Satlof & Ira Pearlstein)
Motherland (Director/Screenplay: Doris Yeung)
Pornography (Director/Screenplay: David Kittredge)
Rivers Wash Over Me (Director: John C. Young, Screenplay: John C. Young & Darien Sills-Evans)
We Are the Mods (Director: E.E. Cassidy. Screenplay: E.E. Cassidy & Bruce Pavalon)

International Dramatic Features

Ander (Director/Screenplay: Roberto Caston)
The Baby Formula (Director: Alison Reid, Screenplay: Richard Beattie)
Bandaged (Director: Maria Beatty, Screenplay: Claire Menichi)
Boy (Director: Auraeus Solito, Screenplay: Jimmy Flores & Arturo Calo)
Chef's Special (Director: Nacho G. Velilla, Scr: Nacho G. Velilla, Oriol Capel, Antonio Sanchez & David S. Olivias)
The End of Love (Director/Screenplay: Simon Chung)
An Englishman in New York (Director: Richard Laxton, Screenplay: Brian Fillis)
Ghosted (Director: Monica Treut, Screenplay: Astrid Stroner & Monjka Treut)
Give Me Your Hand (Director: Pascal-Alex Vincent, Scr: Pascal-Alex Vincent, Martin Drouot & Oliver Nicklaus)
Greek Pete (Director/Screenplay: Andrew Haigh)
Lion's Den (Director: Pablo Trapero, Scr: Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui, Santiago Mitre & Pablo Trapero)
The Man Who Loved Yngve (Director: Stian Kristiansen, Screenplay: Tore Renberg)
Mr. Right (Director: Jacqueline Morris, Screenplay: David Morris)
Patrik, Age 1.5 (Director/Screenplay: Ella Lemhagen)
Raging Sun, Raging Sky (Rabioso Sol, Rabioso Cielo) (Director/Screenplay: Julian Hernandez)
To Faro (Director/Screenplay: Nana Neul)

Documentary Features

After The Storm (Director: Hilla Medalia)
Against A Trans Narrative (Director/Screenplay: Jules Rosskam)
Beautiful Darling (Director/Screenplay: James Rasin)
City of Borders (Director: Yun Suh)
College Boys Live (Director: George O'Donnell)
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement (Director/Screenplay: Greta Olafsdottir & Susan Muska)
Fish Out of Water (Director/Screenplay: Ky Dickens)
It Came From Kuchar (Director/Screenplay: Jennifer Kroot)
Lady Trojans/Training Rules (Lady Trojans Director: Elizabeth Hesik; Training Rules Director: Dee Mosbacher)
Off and Running (Director: Nicole Opper)
On These Shoulders We Stand (Director/Screenplay: Glenne McElhinney)
Pop Star on Ice (Director/Screenplay: David Barba & James Pellerito)
Prodigal Sons (Director: Kimberly Reed)
Sounds Like Teen Spirit (Director: Jamie J Johnson)
Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen (Director: Kortney Ryan Ziegler)
Two Spirits: Sexuality, Gender, and the Murder of Fred Martinez (Director: Lydia Nibley)