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Outfest to honor Bryan Fuller of 'American Gods,' announces 2017 gala screenings

Bryan Fuller, the prolific writer-producer, will be honored at this year's Outfest. (Rich Fury / Invision / Associated Press)
Bryan Fuller, the prolific writer-producer, will be honored at this year's Outfest. (Rich Fury / Invision / Associated Press)

Outfest, Los Angeles' LGBTQ film festival, announced Monday plans to honor prolific writer-producer Bryan Fuller during the 10-day festival happening July 6-16.

It also revealed its gala screenings, including Francis Lee's "God's Own Country," "Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall" and Trudie Styler’s comedic "Freak Show."

This year is the 35th anniversary of the festival, a moment to be celebrated, said Executive Director Christopher Racster.

"What started as a three-day media conference on the campus of UCLA is now a year-round organization with global impact," he said in a statement. "Outfest Los Angeles remains ahead of the curve in showcasing the work and stories of women, people of color and the trans community.

"When I look at the galas for this year's Outfest Los Angeles, I can see that impact and leadership — with incredible efforts by female directors, the international discussion around trans rights and the dignity in their stories, and the spotlight on new avenues of storytelling to get stories out," Racster added.

Fuller will be honored on the festival's opening night with the Achievement Award, the organization's highest honor presented to someone whose body of work has made significant contributions to queer film and media. He has been responsible for a number of television's LGBTQ characters with shows such as "Dead Like Me," "Wonderfalls" and "Pushing Daisies." His latest creation is the much-talked-about "American Gods." 

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"From the unabashed queer aesthetic in 'Pushing Daisies' to the groundbreaking sex scene between two Muslim gay men in 'American Gods,' Bryan has decidedly put LGBT lives into America’s living rooms," Racster said. "It is through his unapologetic storytelling — its newness, its frankness and its honesty — that audiences have not only accepted these stories but asked for more."

Lee's feature debut, "God's Own Country," which won the coveted Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year along with a directing award at Sundance, will open the festival. Styler's "Freak Show," starring Bette Midler, Alex Lawther, Abigail Breslin and Laverne Cox, will close. 

Additional gala screenings include: the West Coast premiere of the TV series “Strangers"; the groundbreaking, Japanese trans family drama "Close Knit" from Naoko Ogigami; the world premiere of Lori Kaye's doc on makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, "Kevyn Aucoin: Beauty & the Beast in Me"; and Awesomeness Films’ "Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall" doc about the multi-hyphenate former YouTuber turned Broadway leading man and worldwide phenom.

The complete lineup for the festival will be announced June 1.

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