OUTrageous: The Santa Barbara Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Film Festival is celebrating 20 years of queer cinematography with a four-day event featuring world premiers, shorts and appearances from filmmakers and stars across the globe.

The event kicks-off today with a free screening of mixed shorts — written for and by the queer community — and an after-party in the MultiCultural Center on campus. Previews of the festival features will also be aired.

Mashey Bernstein, founder and chair of OUTrageous, said he is thrilled to welcome travelling filmmakers and actors to Santa Barbara to share their unique stories and perspectives.

“We’re going to have four world premiers with nearly 20 directors, actors, stars and producers from places like Brazil and England coming especially for this event,” Bernstein said.

This festival is special because it brings the entire community together to talk about meaningful, and sometimes hard-hitting, subjects outside of bars and other social settings, Bernstein said. He also said the festival highlights the social progress and change in attitudes since the inception of the festival, which is all the more cause for celebrating diversity and acceptance.

“We never get to see stuff like this, especially 20 years ago,” Bernstein said. “It’s important to have the community come together and celebrate.”

Some of the films and documentaries that will be aired include: “Revolution,” “Breaking the Chains,” “Mais ou Menos,” “Gay for Pay,” “Wish Me Away,” “3 (Drei)” and “Gun Hill Road.”

Bernstein said the festival will screen “We Were Here,” a heart-wrenching film about AIDS during the ’80s, with a speech from Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider taking place before the showing.

OUTrageous is made possible by volunteers and the Pacific Pride Foundation. The festival strives to provide diverse film and screenwriting to those who are LGBT-friendly or identifying.

For more information, about this year’s OUTrageous Film Festival, tickets and show times, please visit www.outrageousfilmfestival.org


—Staff Report