Michaela Coel, Andra Day in the spotlight at the Outfest Fusion Film Festival
Coel, best known for creating and starring in “Chewing Gum” and “I can destroy you”, Will be awarded the Fusion Achievement Award; Day, star of Lee Daniels’ biopic “United States vs. Billie Holiday”, will receive the James Schamus Ally Award.
“Coel’s work in ‘Chewing Gum’, ‘I May Destroy You’ and others portray complex characters who have helped open the door to more empathetic conversations about the issues facing members of this QTBIPOC community.” Festival executive director Damien Navarro said in a statement.
Past Fusion Achievement Award recipients include Nisha Ganatra, Angela Robinson, Rose Troche, Wilson Cruz, Alec Mapa, Patrik-Ian Polk, Cheryl Dunye, Brickson Diamond and Rikki Beadle-Blair.
“Outfest Fusion believes that honoring one of the most incredible, talented and inspiring voices and storytellers of our generation will inspire the black creators of Outfest Fusion, across all mediums, and will also send a strong message within the industry that we must include, support, and fund exponentially more independent voices, ”said Navarro.
Day, a long-time supporter of the LGBTQIA + community, will be recognized as a great ally at the festival for her song “Rise Up,” which has been adopted as the anthem for the community’s struggles and victories, as well as for its performance. of jazz and swing icon Billie Holiday.
In addition to these winners, Outfest Fusion will also feature a variety of panels and workshops, live and pre-recorded, that filmmakers and the general public can attend for free starting April 17 at 6 a.m. PT. A highlight is the Outfest Fusion Rising Stars panel, hosted by Out magazine editor David Artavia and starring Harvey Guillén (“What We Do In The Shadows”), Shalita Grant (“Search Party “), Vico Ortiz (” Vida “), Ian Alexander (” Star Trek: Discovery “) and Sherry Cola (” Good Trouble “).
Other panels include an AARP fireside talk about longevity in the high-speed, youth-centric sector of Hollywood, and a media roundtable on building a “better normal” post-pandemic. The discussion on how to improve the changing landscape of media journalism will be led by Marissa Wallace, Vice President, BPRS-LA and Director of Multicultural Communications, Rogers & Cowan PMK; Stephen Macias, Executive Vice President, Multicultural Marketing and Communications, Rogers & Cowan PMK; Latashia DeVeaux, President, BPRS-LA and Talent Relations Consultant, BET Networks; and freelance writers Valerie Complex and Beandrea July.
See below for a breakdown of the current program and its participants. Guests and additional panels will be announced later on the website.
April 15: 4 p.m. PT | How to Make a Movie on Your Smartphone with Lauren Neal – A crash course on how to make high quality short films using what you already have with the winner of the Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival One Minute Movie 2020 competition.
April 16: 1 p.m. PT | Stretch that Buck: Film Budgeting 1010 with Seed & Spark – Learn how to budget, use loans to build your budget, navigate demand, break down your script, and get creative with ways to cut costs without sacrificing vision.
April 16: 6 p.m. PT | Outfest Fusion Opening Night Poetry Showcase – A virtual poetry launch led by emcee Féi Hernandez, with appearances by Yosimar Reyes, Tyris Winter, Bella BAHHS and Jade Phoenix.
April 17: 1 p.m. PT | Early Career Networking Session – Hear from established members of the film industry, HMUA, art and more, about how they got into their fields and what their work looks like on them. film and television sets, with Barbie Leung (“Hysterical”), Jason Orion (“Moxie”), Marc Kelly (“Summertime”) and Cheyenne Ford (“Shiva Baby”).
April 18: 11 a.m. PT | Aspiring to Breathe Free: LGBTQIA + Immigration & Asylum Seekers – Join the directors of Outfest Fusion 2021’s “Nowhere” and “Caught” feature films with experts in the field for a discussion on solving the issues facing queer immigrants and trans and asylum seekers from the perspective of politics, legal protections and mental health in a safe and supportive space.
April 18: 3 p.m. PT | Documentary 101: A Guide to Non-Fiction Filmmaking with PJ Raval – Raval (“Call Her Ganda”, “Before You Know It”) shares his personal experience in creating powerful documentaries and the resources he used to put his ideas on screen.
April 19: 1 p.m. PT | Crowdfunding to Build Independence with Seed & Spark – Learn how to find and structure your audience for your crowdfunding campaign, as well as choose the right goal, incentives and more.
April 19: 3 p.m. PT | Producing a Podcast with Domino Sound – A useful workshop for beginners in podcasting with Kanya Denise and Alexandra di Palma from Domino Sound.
April 20: 6 p.m. PT | How to Create the Perfect Pitch with David Sigurani – Queer Latinx Producer and Creative Director David Sigurani will walk you through all the ingredients needed for an unmistakable movie or TV series pitch. Participants are encouraged to prepare a three-minute pitch of their current project for potential comments.
Since its founding in 2004, Outfest Fusion has presented more than 10,000 works of and for queer and trans people of color to nearly 250,000 spectators and has reached 2,500 up-and-coming industry members with its workshops, contests and events. Outfest Fusion is also hosting the Outfest InFusion Studio Summit in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, which will take place this summer. Outfest Fusion alumni and filmmakers who attend engage with studio partner speakers, participate in panels and workshops, and network with emerging LGBTQIA + filmmakers of color and established studios.
Outfest Fusion 2021 is presented by Comcast NBCUniversal and exclusive automotive partner Hyundai. Main sponsors include AARP, The Fight Magazine, Gilead, LA Times, Rainbow Media Co. and Variety.