Outfest 2016 starts tomorrow night at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles. We spoke with Sam Icklow, the Platinum Assistant Coordinator, who is working closely with Bradford Nordeen, Outfest’s Platinum curator, this year and he gave us the scoop on all things film and fabulousness!
[Pictured Filmmaker Sam Icklow (Top), Interviewer Jake Thompson (Bottom)]
WOW: Thanks so much for being able to make time to do this with us! You guys must be so busy with the festival tomorrow.
Sam: Oh my god, of course!
WOW: When is Outfest? How long does it run?
Sam: Outfest starts tomorrow, and it runs from July 7 – 17.
WOW: What is your relationship to Outfest and how has working on it this year shaped your perspective of the festival and festival circuits in general?
Sam: Up to now my relationship has always been as an audience and/or filmmaker, but this year I have been working with Platinum curator Bradford Nordeen on the Platinum section. In case you don’t know, Platinum is Outfest’s notorious showcase of experimental film, video and performance that pushes the boundaries of cinema. Being on the other side has been great to experience how festivals work in terms of building and supporting community.
WOW: When is the opening night and what can we look forward to?
Sam: Opening night is on Thursday July 7 at the Orpheum, and you can look forward to the iconic Clea DuVall’s directorial debut with THE INTERVENTION, starring Natasha Lyonne amongst others– and followed by the glitz and glamor of Outfest’s always epic opening night party.
WOW: I went to OutFest’s opening last year and saw Tig Notaro and Drew Droege. Who can we expect to see this year?
Sam: The awesome thing about this festival is how many filmmakers and artists are going to be participating at the festival. Outfest favourites like Drew will be present as well as countless more!
WOW: With all the visibility and representation we are seeing on television and film, what makes Outfest so special to you personally?
Sam: Outfest is really interesting as a LGBT festival in the way that it showcases more mainstream LGBT cinema alongside work of more underground queer filmmakers, which makes for a really rich audience experience. I mean, we’re showing the new GHOSTBUSTERS this year alongside edgier fare like you can find in our Platinum section.
WOW: What film/films are you most excited to see?
Sam: Well, apart from GHOSTBUSTERS I’m really excited for some of our international features like André Antônio’s sexy, lavish and decidedly queer debut THE CULT, as well as Yony Leyser’s Berlin feature DESIRE WILL SET YOU FREE. But we also have an array of shorts, US features and docs that are really exciting — from Bruce LaBruce to James Franco to Molly Shannon to K8 Hardy there’s definitely something for everyone.
WOW: Have you screened any films and predict any early crowd favorites?
Sam: Aside from our centerpieces, there are many hidden gems, like some that I mentioned. Get into the guide online and start exploring!