In a year of #OscarsSoWhite, diversity is the name of the game in Hollywood. But Outfest, Los Angeles' LGBT film festival, has been leading the conversation for years. This year is no different, as its slate of films, announced Thursday for the festival taking place July 7-17, features Paul Feig's "Ghostbusters" and Sundance standouts "Kiki" and "Other People."
"I am proud and honored to present a program that focuses on the most talented queer voices across all media – from film to television to the Web," said Christopher Racster, the festival's executive director. "At a time when the cultural zeitgeist is using differences to drive us apart, these films intimately show us that each of our stories matters and each needs a platform to be heard, understood and respected."
A total of 162 films will screen during the two-week festival. They represent 19 countries, and 43% were directed by women. Movies will screen and events will take place at the Harmony Gold theater and Directors Guild of America on Sunset Boulevard as well as at downtown's REDCAT and the newly renovated Ford Theatres on Cahuenga Boulevard.
Opening the festival is Samuel Goldwyn Films' "The Intervention," directed by Clea DuVall and starring Cobie Smulders, Melanie Lynskey and Natasha Lyonne, among others. Outfest will close with Vertical Entertainment's "Other People," a highlight from this year's Sundance Film Festival that was written and directed by "Saturday Night Live's" Chris Kelly. Its cast includes Jesse Plemons, Zach Woods and June Squibb.
Two highlights of the fest will be "Ghostbusters" and "Kiki." "Ghostbusters," the 2016 all-female remake of the 1984 original, will screen July 13, two days before it opens nationwide. It stars Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon. "Kiki" will be the festival's centerpiece documentary on July 14. The Sara Jordenö and Twiggy Pucci Garcon film received rave reviews after it screened at Sundance earlier this year, with many references to it being an update to "Paris Is Burning," an iconic 1990 documentary about New York's underground ballroom community.
Outfest will also feature a number of spotlight screenings, including the Season 2 premiere of Hulu's "Difficult People," HBO's "Looking: The Movie" and "The Trans List," comedian Tig Notaro's series "One Mississippi" from Amazon, as well as the Season 3 premiere of "Transparent" and TBS' new comedy, "Search Party."
More information about Outfest can be obtained from its website. The festival takes place July 7-17.