Outfest 2011 announces winners for 29th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

OUTFEST 2011 announces winners for 29th Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival during Awards Brunch held at Directors Guild of America

"CIRCUMSTANCE" and "THE WISE KIDS" wins two awards each

LOS ANGELES, CA (July 17, 2011) - Outfest, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing, showcasing and protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media, has announced the award winners of its 29th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

It was a double-win for Stephen Cone's THE WISE KIDS. It won Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film as well as this year's Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Screenwriting. For a script that transports to a world with rare authenticity and plunges into the lives of a myriad of characters with surprising depth and compassion and never judges its characters. THE WISE KIDS is a moving film not only as a love letter to the community it depicts but as a universal portrayal of characters both coming of age and coming of middle age. Outfest believe this film represents American independent cinema at its best and marks the discovery of a filmmaker with a compelling cinematic voice.

Lead star of "THE WISE KIDS" Tyler Ross received two awards from Outfest in absence of his writer-director Stephen Cone who is currently in Chicago's play "Homosexuals."

Audience Award for Outstanding First U.S. Dramatic Feature Film (sponsored by HBO (cash prize of $5,000 from HBO) was received by CIRCUMSTANCE, Directed by Maryam Keshavarz. For her fierce and sensual portrayal of a young woman struggling to balance the tumultuous landscape of her sexuality in a world in flux around her, the Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film went to Nikohl Boosheri for her portrayal of Atafeh in CIRCUMSTANCE.

Lead star of "Circumstance" Reza Sixo Safai (right) received the awards for his co-star Nikohl Boosheri (Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film) in diesbelief, posed here with writer/director Mitsuyo Miyazaki (shown on left) who received the award for Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short Film (sponsored by Wolfe Video).

For its unflinching look at the life of a young lesbian basketball star facing the hardships of coming out and a relationship challenged by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" the Outfest Special Programming Award for Freedom (sponsored by GLAAD) goes to NO LOOK PASS, directed by Melissa Johnson

For matching the conceptual daring and aesthetic bravado of its subjectsí lives with an equally powerful filmmaking style and for never losing sight of the love story that flourished in an atmosphere of gender experimentation and conceptual music, the Outfest Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement goes to Marie Losier, director of THE BALLAD OF GENESIS AND LADY JAYE.

For her witty and creative vision, her skill at eliciting memorable performances, for deftly blending old school science fiction and deadpan comedy, and for believing that true love exists even if it means going to another planet to find it, the Outfest Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent goes to Madeleine Olnek, the writer/director of CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME.

Here is the list for the Audience Awards:

Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary Short Film (sponsored by Ramada Plaza Hotel West Hollywood) goes to SAME DIFFERENCE, Directed by Catherine Opie & Lisa Udelson.

Audience Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature Film (sponsored by World of Wonder (cash prize of $1,500 from World of Wonder) went to WE WERE HERE, Directed by David Weissman & Bill Weber.

Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Feature Film (sponsored by Relativity Media) went to 3, Directed by Tom Tykwer.

The Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary Short Film was awarded to THANK YOU FOR YOUR CALL, directed by Shawn Nee for its moving examination of one man's emotional journey through a complex and systematic issue of inequity that has affected many GLBTs.

The award for Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Short Film went to I DONíT WANT TO GO BACK ALONE, directed by Daniel Ribeiro, for its sensitive and original portrayal of a young manís self-realization of his sexuality, and for the quality of its direction, writing, and its performances.

The Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Documentary Feature Film goes to HABANA MUDA, directed by Eric Brach. This yearís winning documentary is a beautifully crafted narrative that reveals multiple worlds and gives access to intimate moments and complex relationships. Itís a very personal story that rises above the issues it explores, and entertains in every moment.

The Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding International Dramatic Feature Film goes to WEEKEND, directed by Andrew Haigh. WEEKEND is a touching, authentic portrayal of gay life as what one truly experience it: not stylized, not glamorized, but heartfelt, perceptive and absorbingly real. From the first frame it manages to get beneath the artifice we are used to. In its own quiet, unflinching way it leaves you a little bit changed, and yet more yourself than you ever were.

British filmmaker Andrew Haigh (in blue shirt, winner of Outfest 2009's Artistic Achievement Award for "Greek Pete") wins a second feat at this year's Outfest with his second feature film "Weekend", an intimate modern gay romance that culminated a delicate emotional climax.

For bringing fresh life to a timeless love story and infusing each moment with a 21st century immediacy that balances naked passion with longing and delivering it all with brilliant coherence, the Outfest 2011 Grand Jury Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film goes to the entire cast of PRIVATE ROMEO.

The ever funny and witty Momma (left) hosted the Awards Brunch shown here with Programming Festival Director Kimberly Yutani.

The nationís leading LGBT festival and the oldest continuously running film festival in the city ran from July 7 to 17. In addition to the 163 films (67 features and 96 shorts) from 25 countries, Outfest hosts over a dozen panels and special events at seven venues across Los Angeles , including Hollywood , West Hollywood, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles . Outfest 2011 closed with JAnne Rentonís ďThe Perfect Family,Ē starring Kathleen Turner, Jason Ritter, Emily Deschanel and Richard Chamberlain.

More information about the festival and the organization can be found on www.Outfest.org