The Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival is ten days of not to be missed world-class films, panels, and events celebrating the queer experience.

Since our founding in 1982, Outfest has screened thousands of US and international films for audiences of well over half a million people. Great opportunities await filmmakers at Outfest Los Angeles, the largest film festival of any kind in LA.

Outfest is the leading queer media arts organization, and its location in the heart of the entertainment industry means more industry executives attend Outfest Los Angeles than any other LGBTQ film festival.

Our Outfest Forward program offers comprehensive services for emerging filmmakers to forge connections in Hollywood. These include networking mixers, panels hosted by industry insiders, and one of the most extensive awards program of any LGBTQ film festival.

Outfest Los Angeles receives media coverage from national outlets such as Vanity Fair, CNN, USA Today, E! Entertainment Television, Access Hollywood, Variety, Entertainment Tonight, US Weekly, The Advocate, OUT, MTV, Hollywood Reporter, Genre and the Independent Film Channel — as well as key local outlets such as the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Lesbian News, Frontiers, Edge, XY Magazine, Nightlife, local network news, and many others.

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short Film
Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Short Film
Grand Jury Prize for Best US Narrative Short Film
Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature
Grand Jury Prize for Best International Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize for Screenwriting, US Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize for Best Performance, US Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Prize for Best US Narrative Feature

Special Programming Award for Freedom
Special Programming Award for Emerging Talent
Special Programming Award for Artistic Achievement

Audience Award for Best Platinum (Experimental) Short
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short
Audience Award for Best Narrative Short
Audience Award for Best Episodic Series
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Best Narrative First Feature

Films should be of interest to the queer community. We are seeking narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films (both features and shorts) and episodic content. (Upon acceptance, Outfest will provide exhibition options. IF THE FILMMAKER CANNOT PROVIDE REQUIRED FORMATS, THE FILM WILL NOT BE SCREENED.)

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission if the completed film will be ready for QC by July 15th, 2021. Please label the screener “Rough Cut” and specify what is missing (i.e. temp sound, needs color correction, etc).

By submitting your work to Outfest Los Angeles, you grant to Outfest a non-exclusive license to use an excerpt of your submission of up to two minutes in length, for promotional purposes only if selected.

Still photos from your work are requested with your submission and are required for all films selected for the festival. Good stills make a difference in film placement and press coverage, particularly for short films. Even the shortest short can get press coverage or festival prominence with a captivating still. Stills must be in TIFF or JPEG format and 300dpi (dots per inch).

You are also encouraged to enclose a synopsis, production credits, press information, and other collateral regarding your film.

I have read and agree to the festival submission and participation requirements and certify that I am authorized to submit this film to Outfest Los Angeles. I understand that, in the event this work is selected for the festival, Outfest will retain a physical submission or back-up copy at the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. I hold Outfest harmless from damage to or loss of the print en route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film.

Overall Rating
  • Jessica Smith

    An absolute honour and joy to screen with this incredible festival! To the filmmakers, the switch to an online festival felt seamless and all the virtual catch ups, Q&As, events, etc. were well organised and great fun to be part of. Mike and the whole team were communicative and supportive - an all round wonderful experience.

    February 2021
  • Excellent film festival. I screened during the pandemic 2020. Great communication and execution. The love was felt even though it was virtual. Wonderful festival!

    October 2020
  • Jill Shinefield

    With so many film festivals cancelling and postponing, we tip our hat to Outfest for staying the course and making the bold switch to an online festival this year. True, there were no red carpets or after-parties, but there was a slate of wonderful films that needed to be seen –and were available to be seen in virtual mode and at a make shift drive-in movie theatre. The festival also organized several on-line meet-and-greets that allowed us to Zoom-mingle with fellow filmmakers and Industry representatives. We also participated in a recorded Q&A that ran with our film. All this gave us a tremendous sense of connection in this time of social distancing. Thanks again to Mike Dougherty and the wonderful team at Outfest for pulling off an amazing event.

    September 2020
  • Steve Chivers

    Outfest is the gold standard for festivals. This year was very challenging as they had to switch to an online format at the 11th hour. They did an incredible job. There were online seminars and zoom mixers so I got to meet all the other filmmakers, which probably wouldn't have happened in a traditional format. The festival was an amazing experience and I feel lucky to have been part of it.

    September 2020
  • Sam The Film

    A fantastic festival, with outstanding professional communication and filmmaker care. Highlight of the year for us and so happy we could be part of this with our short film S.A.M

    September 2020