Outfest LA Film Festival 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the queer film festival as it celebrates and preserves the history of queer cinema and invites and shapes its future. I spoke with Mike Dougherty, Director of Festival Programming about what live and virtual attendees can expect this year, from big names to darling features. Outfest LA 2022 runs from July 14-24, with nearly two-thirds of its programming available online as well for those not in Las Angeles.
Some of the major highlights of the festival were the premiere of Billy Porter’s director debut, Anything’s Possible, a trans high school romance starring Eva Reign, and the premiere of They/Them, a trans and queer-fronted horror film set at a conversion therapy camp from director John Logan and Blum House. As Dougherty champions, however, the festival isn’t just about the big names you already know. He’s excited for the smaller films and the amazing, often unsung cinematic experiences they provide too. He highlights Jewish, Danish horror film Attachment and a host of other horror entries, short films, and documentaries.
I’m particularly excited for the number of features centering sports and athletics, from the debut of the first two episodes of Amazon Prime Video’s A League of Their Own to short films First Down and One Lift at a Time. Whether narrative features or documentaries, these pieces show how queering sports has made them richer for all and more accessible for many. They also show how queer people always have been and always will be simply a part of sports because often, it’s just as much a mundane part of everyday life for us as it is for everyone else who plays them.
Dougherty also takes time in our interview to reflect on the impact Outfest has had over its first 40 years, helping platform new artists and preserve the history, and currency, of queer cinema. We also delve into his hopes for the future as he believes Outfest can help ensure the future of queer cinema is accessible to all kinds of creatives, not just those with certain backgrounds, certain resources, and certain specific kinds of stories to tell.
Outfest LA Film Festival 2022 runs from July 14-24. You can catch all of our coverage here.