Outfest 2018 announces gala films, Angela Robinson to receive award

HOLLYWOOD — Outfest has announced that a nostalgic documentary on the former New York City discoteque Studio 54 and a Sundance winning feature about conversion therapy will bookend the LGBTQ film festival.

Writer-director Angela Robinson (“True Blood” and “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”) also will receive the Achievement Award during the July 12 opening night at the Orpheum Theatre. Outfest will run through July 22 at various movie houses across Los Angeles.

“Angela has forged a unique path of success within the industry,” Christopher Racster, Outfest’s executive director, said in a statement. “When jobs are hard to come by for women directors, Angela has blazed a path in high-profile television series, lauded independent films, and major studio movies.

“Her unique vision, her sharp humor, and her humanity are constantly on display in each move she makes,” he said.

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Robinson, a writer-producer-executive director who identifies as a lesbian, has worked on HBO’s vampire drama “True Blood,” “The L Word,” and “Hung.” She also wrote and directed “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.”

“It is such an honor to receive the Outfest Achievement Award this year — I premiered the first short film I ever made at Outfest and every film I’ve made since,” Robinson, 47, said in the press statement.

As for the Outfest films, Lucy Mukerjee, director of programming, said in the announcement, that the gala films “capture that queer pioneering spirit that lives across the ages.”

The complete festival lineup will be announced the first week of June.

From left to right: Liza Minelli, Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol, and Halston hold court at Studio 54. Photo: Adam Schull.

Here’s a rundown of the opening and closing night films.

  • “Studio 54” — Matt Tyrnauer’s nostalgic documentary about the iconic dance palace features interviews with many of the legendary disco’s famous patrons and people who worked behind the scenes.
  • “We Are Animals” — Documentary filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar makes his narrative debut with an adaptation of Justin Torres’ novel about three boys navigating their parents’ volatile relationship and the aftermath of their breakup.
  • “Reinventing Marvin” — This sweeping French drama from director and co-writer Anne Fontaine (“The Innocents,” “Coco Before Chanel”) captures a life in the theater, as we see timid young Marvin (Jules Porier) blossom into adult Martin (Finnegan Oldfield) – with a little help along the way from Isabelle Huppert playing herself.
  • “When the Beat Drops” — Famed choreographer and filmmaker Jamal Sims (Madonna, Jennifer Lopez) makes his feature debut with a documentary on the Deep South underground dance phenomenon known as “bucking.”
  • “Our Future Ends” is a multimedia satire about near-extinct lemurs living on long-lost Lemuria, which is populated with Lemurians, queer prehistoric beings.
  • “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” — An adaptation of Emily M. Danforth’s celebrated queer young-adult novel, this film examines the dangerous world of conversion therapy with flourishes of humor. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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