BY Advocate.com Editors
July 07 2011 4:30 PM ET
So many films, so little time. It's a common refrain heard each July in Los Angeles as movie buffs prepare for Outfest, the annual smorgasbord of LGBT films. This year there are 163 films — 67 features and 96 shorts, to be specific — from 25 countries. Naturally, star power is a big component of every film festival, and this year is no exception. Heartthrobs like out actor Cheyenne Jackson (The Green) are represented, as is veteran actress Kathleen Turner (the closing night dramedy The Perfect Family), and so is a certain legendary icon (the aptly titled doc Carol Channing: Larger Than Life). There's even a double dose of Dolly Parton, with the sweet road-trip documentary Hollywood to Dollywood and a sing-along version of the superstar's 1982 hit musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Also, part of the fun of Outfest is discovering fresh new talent. One of the most buzzed-about performers this year is newcomer Harmony Santana, a young transgender actress who is unforgettable in the opening night selection, Gun Hill Road, and she's also featured in the latest installment of the raunch-com series Eating Out: Drama Camp. To make tonight's opening especially memorable, drag maven RuPaul will present the Outfest Achievement Award to accomplished producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the duo responsible for an impressive list of documentaries, including this year's groundbreaking Becoming Chaz.
On the following pages you'll find our choices for some of this year's don't-miss movies.
Outfest 2011: The 29th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes place July 7-17 at the DGA Theatre, REDCAT, Sunset 5, and other venues in L.A. For tickets or more information, visit Outfest.org.