Pride month may be over, but Outfest Los Angeles is very much ready to keep its spirit alive this month of July. The annual LGBTQ film festival has, as always, curated a program that showcases the wild variety of the queer experience. Indeed, for the second year in a row, more than two-thirds of Outfest Los Angeles’ content is directed by women, people of color, and trans filmmakers. “The festival is about the extraordinary, diverse, adventurous, and politically engaged work from more than 240 filmmakers who have the courage and confidence to share their visions with us,” said Christopher Racster, executive director, and Mike Dougherty, director of festival programming.

With films from all over the globe, the 2019 roster will offer LA audiences the chance to see some of the best LGBTQ cinema coming out of Latin America, as well as some of the most exciting queer U.S. Latino work being produced. This is particularly the case in the Episodic and Shorts selections that tell stories of Dominican teenagers in the Bronx, indigenous young men living in the Amazon, and budding lesbians who love going to Church. They also feature work from both established (Lizette Barrera) and up-and-coming (Kayden Phoenix) Chicana directors.

If you’re looking for recommendations on what feature films to catch, look no further than these 11, which cover everything from the perils of so-called gay conversion therapy in the U.S. and Guatemala to leather competitions in Brazil. Take a look at them below.

Outfest Los Angeles runs July 18-28, 2019.

1

Esto no es Berlín

Director Hari Sama
Country Mexico
Production Year 2018
This is not Berlin - Still 2
Xabiani Ponce de León appears in 'This is not Berlin' by Hari Sama. Photo by Alfredo Altamirano. Courtesy of Sundance Institute
This is not Berlin - Still 1
'This is not Berlin' photo by Alfredo Altamirano. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.
Synopsis

As Mexico anticipates the 1986 World Cup, 17-year-old Carlos is less interested in soccer and more interested in listening to his record collection and admiring Rita, the older sister of his best friend, Gera. Carlos and Gera’s suburban, juvenile monotony is interrupted when Rita’s goth band introduces them to an underground nightclub, the Azteca. The teens are instantly seduced by the Azteca’s regulars and their exhilarating world of performance art, sexual fluidity, and prescription drugs. Carlos and Gera’s friendship is tested as the two explore new identities and face the consequences of adult decisions. Infused with a post-punk soundtrack and brimming with enchanting performances from a promising young cast, Esto no es Berlín delivers an energetic portrait of a clandestine sanctuary propelled by youth fleeing the societal repression of their time.


Film Details
This Is Not Berlin
Director: Hari Sama
Country: Mexico
Genre: Drama
Writer: Rodrigo Ordóñez, Hari Sama, Max Zunino
Producer: Ale García, Antonio Urdapilleta, Hari Sama, Verónica Valadez P.
Production Year: 2018
Running Time: 115
2

Fin de siglo

Director Lucio Castro
Country Argentina
Production Year 2019
Fin de siglo End of the Century
Courtesy of Film Society of Lincoln Center
Synopsis

An Argentine man from New York (played by Juan Barberini) and a Spanish man from Berlin (played by Ramón Pujol) hook up by chance while in Barcelona. What seems like a one-night encounter between two strangers, becomes an epic, decades-spanning relationship. Argentine director Lucio Castro depicts their relationship in a nonlinear fashion, and in which time and space refuse to play by the rules. Castro’s inventive and enigmatic feature debut is consistently surprising, turning a love story into a cosmic voyage with no clear beginning or end.


Film Details
End of the Century
Director: Lucio Castro
Country: Argentina
Genre: Drama
Writer: Lucio Castro
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 84
3

Temblores

Director Jayro Bustamante
Country Guatemala, France
Production Year 2019
Tremors-Still
Courtesy of the Miami Film Festival
Synopsis

In Guatemala City, the very ground the city is built on is fragile and unreliable for its people. It shakes and destroys at will, often with catastrophic results. Under these circumstances, Guatemalans hold strongly onto their faith; it’s the only stable thing they have ever known. Pablo is no different, a good Catholic man who has visited church all his life and is faithful to his wife Isa and their two beautiful children. But when he meets Francisco, he immediately falls for him, which is a sin in the eyes of his church and his family. As Pablo battles his own internalized homophobia, he has to deal with his surroundings’ disgust at this discovery, too: he loses his job, the right to see his children, and the support of his community. Encouraged by Isa and their Pastor, he starts attending conversion therapy, and soon enough, everything seems to be going back to normal — that is, until the ground starts trembling again.


Film Details
Tremors
Director: Jayro Bustamante
Country: Guatemala, France
Genre: Drama
Writer: Jayro Bustamante
Producer: Gérard Lacroix, De Jesus Peralta Orellana Marina, Nicolas Steil, Edgard Tenembaum
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 107
4

For They Know Not What They Do

Director Daniel Karslake
Country United States
Production Year 2019
For They Know Not What They Do Tribeca still
Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival
Synopsis

When the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality across the nation in 2015, many assumed that the fight for LGBTQ rights was won. But politicians and religious conservatives launched a state-by-state campaign to retract the human rights of America’s LGBTQ citizens under the guise of religious freedom. Introducing four American families caught in the crosshairs of scripture, sexuality, and identity, this documentary weaves together footage from the national news and the church pulpit with family photos and intimate testimonies to show the undeniable connection between the personal and the political. Among these is Vico Báez Febo, whose Catholic grandmother locked him out of their house in Puerto Rico when a neighbor outed him, and who later reconnected with his parents after coming out to them when he moved to Miami. An emotionally impactful follow-up to the award-winning For The Bible Tells Me So, this powerful examination of the intersection of religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity offers much-needed healing, clarity, and understanding.


Film Details

Director: Daniel Karslake
Country: United States
Genre: Documentary
Writer: Nancy Kennedy, Daniel Karslake
Producer: Daniel Karslake, Sheri Heitker, Barbara Simon
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 91
5

Las hijas del fuego

Director Albertina Carri
Country Argentina
Production Year 2018
Synopsis

An adventurous polyamorous couple decides to take an impromptu road trip through the Patagonian countryside, inviting every queer woman in their path to come along. When they finally have a van full of ladies of every shape, size, and color, they stop to have an orgy of explosively seismic proportions. Founder of Asterisco, Argentina’s International LGBTQ Festival, Albertina Carri has created an incredible tale of lesbian eroticism intended to topple the patriarchy with its visuals and its sensibility.


Film Details
The Daughters of Fire
Director: Albertina Carri
Country: Argentina
Genre: Drama
Writer: Analía Couceyro, Albertina Carri
Production Year: 2018
Running Time: 115
6

The Garden Left Behind

Director Flavio Alves
Country Brazil, United States
Production Year 2019
the-garden-left-behind
'The Garden Left Behind' still courtesy of SXSW
Synopsis

Tina (Carlie Guevara), a 30-year-old transgender woman, and Eliana (Miriam Cruz), her grandmother, have been struggling to make a life for themselves in New York since emigrating from Mexico when Tina was only six. Tina’s father abandoned them before she was born and her mother died in prison shortly after they arrived in America. Eliana was left alone to raise her grandchild, both as undocumented immigrants, whose dreams of home are markedly different — Eliana longs to return to Mexico, while Tina desires acceptance in America. The ineffable bond formed between the two formidable women has made them not only each other’s stalwart support in a hostile world, but a potential millstone as well.


Film Details

Director: Flavio Alves
Country: Brazil, United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: John Rotondo, Flavio Alves
Producer: Roy Wol
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 88
7

Tu Me Manques

Director Rodrigo Bellott
Country Bolivia, United States
Production Year 2019
Tu Me Manques
Courtesy of Outfest
Synopsis

Starring Argentine actor Oscar Martinez and Spanish actress and Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma, Tu Me Manques is an emotional exploration of three men’s struggles to reconcile identity and heritage. Following his son Gabriel’s death, Jorge travels from conservative Bolivia to New York City to confront Gabriel’s boyfriend Sebastian. While the two battle over Jorge’s inability to accept his son, Sebastian channels his grief into a bold new play in honor of his lost love, in which Gabriel’s inner turmoil is transformed into an eye-popping gay fantasia. Directed by Rodrigo Bellot, the film in itself is an adaptation of his own stage play, a sensation in his native Bolivia.


Film Details

Director: Rodrigo Bellott
Country: Bolivia, United States
Genre: Drama
Writer: Rodrigo Bellott
Producer: Rodrigo Bellott, Elisa Lleras
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 105
8

Mr. Leather

Director Daniel Nolasco
Country Brazil
Production Year 2019
Mr Leather
Courtesy of Outfest
Synopsis

Daniel Nolasco’s sexy and modern film interposes live re-enactments of enticing Tom of Finland illustrations — known for their deliciously homoerotic takes on leathermen and men in uniform — with the lives of the five men vying for the title of Mr. Leather Brazil 2018. As we are taken into an introspective view of the leather gear in their closets, these men suit up for the opportunity to share their love for leather and fetish and to educate the queer community of São Paolo about this often underappreciated subculture.


Film Details

Director: Daniel Nolasco
Country: Brazil
Genre: Documentary
Writer: Daniel Nolasco
Producer: Daniel Nolasco
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 85
9

Breve encuentro del planeta verde

Director Santiago Loza
Country Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina
Production Year 2019
Breve encuentro
Courtesy of Outfest
Synopsis

In director Santiago Loza’s Teddy Award winner, young trans woman Tania (Romina Escobar) is tasked with caring for her recently deceased grandmother’s closest companion — an alien, whom she and her comrades must safely return to its origins. As the group makes the journey on foot through rural Argentina, Tania finds herself supernaturally linked with her extraterrestrial charge, confronting past trauma that manifests as remorseful childhood bullies and as past lovers with new commitments. Each traveler overcomes their fears and heartbreak on this tender, epic journey.


Film Details
Brief Story from the Green Planet
Director: Santiago Loza
Country: Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Writer: Santiago Loza
Producer: Paulo Carvalho, Ángeles Hernández, David Matamoros, Constanza Sanz Palacios, Luana Melgaço
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 90
10

Queering the Script

Director Gabrielle Zilkha
Country Canada
Production Year 2019
QUEERING THE SCRIPT - STILL 2
'Queering the Script' still courtesy of Outfest
Synopsis

Gabrielle Zilkha’s latest film gathers a dynamite roster of fans, creators, and actors for an incisive discussion of the inspiring, yet often troubled, history of queer female representation on television. Galvanized by the upsetting trend of stereotyping, neglecting, or outright killing-off of TV’s beloved queer characters, Zilkha’s subjects beautifully articulate their frustrations and their ideas for better, more accurate, and more inclusive visibility. Queering the Script features interviews with Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and more.


Film Details

Director: Gabrielle Zilkha
Country: Canada
Genre: Documentary
Production Year: 2019
Running Time: 90
11

José

Director Li Cheng
Country Guatemala
Production Year 2018
jose movie guatemala
Courtesy of IFF Panama
jose-movie-five
Courtesy of IFF Panama
Synopsis

José is a 19-year-old who lives with his mother in Guatemala, one of the world’s most dangerous, religious, and impoverished countries. He spends his days on crowded buses and delivering food on the streets. Resigned to his fate, he plays with his cellphone during free time, goes on dating apps, and hooks up in street corners. When he meets Luis, he is thrust into a dimension of passion, pain, and self-reflection.


Film Details

Director: Li Cheng
Country: Guatemala
Genre: Drama
Writer: Li Cheng
Production Year: 2018
Running Time: 85