As you all know we like to get to the bottom of everything (no pun intended) so we reached out to our friends at FilmOut San Diego to get the inside scoop! Here is all the deets from our good friend Michael McQuiggan, longstanding programmer of the festival.
What makes FilmOutSD stand out among similar LGBT film festivals?
"This year we are especially lucky to stand out because we are having our festival before both Outfest and Frameline. We have 3 World Premiere Films, including our Closing Night Film "Nate & Margaret,” which is a fantastic film about a 19 year old gay man and his friendship with a 52 year old straight woman directed by Nathan Adloff. Also, we have 3 U.S. Premiere’s including Todd Verow’s very sexy, raw, gritty and controversial film “The Endless Possibility of Sky” which stars Michael Vaccaro and Brad Hallowell. We also have a film direct from Sundance directed by Carrie Preston (True Blood) called “That’s What She Said which is executive produced by local, well respected San Diego filmmaker/writer/producers James Vasquez and Mark Holmes. We also have 14 West Coast Premiere’s. Our Opening Night film stars Oscar Winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker – which is an outstanding road movie from acclaimed director Thom Fitzgerald called “Cloudburst”. Overall, there are nearly 40 films playing over the 5 day film festival – representing over 10 countries!"
What should guests expect from this years events?
"We will have filmmakers and talent from the majority of the films screened this year, plus our Opening Night Party at Sunset Temple and Closing Night Party at West Coast Tavern. Additionally, we have Dixie Longate coming into town for an hour of outrageous standup. Dixie will also play hostess to the Del Shores Lifetime Achievement Award that same night. We will then screen his already cult classic film, “Sordid Lives” with actors from the film there to salute Del and participate in a Q&A. This night of comedy and film will be an audience favorite, so I encourage people to get tickets NOW!"
What can you tell us about the growth of the festival?
"The festival is in its 14th year and is now a filmmaker festival destination. Filmmakers/Actors truly dig our film festival. We are accommodating, low key, supportive and our proud to be present their art to the San Diego (and beyond) communities. This year, we hope to have over 7500 people attend the film festival."
What can you tell us about the historic Birch North Park Theatre?
"This is our 6th year at the historic, completely renovated, 731 seat Birch North Park Theatre. We love this venue. Joe, Wes, Brian, James, Mike, Gio and the rest of the staff/volunteers all go above and beyond to support FilmOut. We can attribute our success by having our festival at this event which rivals houses in San Francisco and Los Angeles with its grandeur, class and sophistication. Also, West Coast Tavern is attached via lobby to the Birch and audience members are actually allowed to drink alcohol in the theatre, drink in the hip bar or enjoy an incredible meal in the restaurant as well! Thanks to West Coast Taverners David and Bobby for being so supportive of FilmOut. With our Monthly Screenings, Special Event Screenings and annual film festival, we are proud to call the Birch the home of FilmOut."
Can you give us some history on FilmOut SD?
"FilmOut started as a thesis project for my good friend and founder of FilmOut, Joe Ferrelli. This project started in the early 1990’s and has snowballed as one of the best LGBT film festivals in the U.S. Since Joe moved to the East Coast several years ago, we have kept the festival alive with his vision and integrity and will continue to grow and keep LGBT film (along with genre cinema) alive in San Diego!"
Is there anything else you would like to add?
"FilmOut would not be successful if it were not for Executive Director Kaleb James, Board President Rick Goldenstein and my Co-Programmer Ana Pines. We are also fortunate enough to have a dedicated and resourceful Board of Directors who truly believe in FilmOut! Lastly, we would not be here without the support of our loyal Sponsors, enthusiastic Volunteers and above all, are wonderful audience members!"
You can see the extended details about the festival on their website.