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Queer-Themed Films Win Big at the L.A. Film Festival


The lesbian-themed Becks and two trans-themed films were awarded top prizes. 

It was a good year for LGBT films at the L.A. Film Festival, with two features and a short nabbing top prizes. The festival, while not an LGBT film festival per se, screened an impressive seven queer-themed features and several shorts over the past week. When prizes were announced on Thursday, the lesbian-themed Becks,And Then There Was Eve, featuring a trans lead, and the short Swim, about a trans girl, walked away with prizes, according to a press release from the festival.

Directors Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell took home the U.S. Fiction Award for Becks, which made its world premiere at the L.A. Film Festival. The movie stars Lena Hall (Tony winner for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) as a musician who crashes with her mom, a former Catholic nun (Christine Lahti), after being unceremoniously dumped by her girlfriend within the first few minutes of the film. Mena Suvari costars as Beck's love interest in the sweet, affecting movie.

(RELATED: Lena Hall Rocks the Queer Film World in Becks)

And Then There Was Eve director Savannah Bloch landed the L.A. Muse Fiction Award for her film, which is part thriller, part love story. The film, which also made its world premiere at the Los Angeles fest, tells the story of Alyssa, a photographer who wakes up to find her apartment torn apart and her husband missing. Enter Eve (played by transgender actress Rachel Crowl), a colleague and a jazz pianist who helps Alyssa move past her husband's disappearance in more ways than one. The movie features an excellent jazz score from Robert Lydecker.

(RELATED: Watch an Exclusive Clip From And Then There Was Eve)

Mari Walker's Swim, a semi-autobiographical piece about a trans teen becoming herself over the course of several clandestine midnight swims, won the Audience Award for Short Film.

Not only did the L.A. Film Festival screen several LGBT films and award them prizes, the festival also hosted the Diversity Speaks program, a series of panels on diversity in film that included one on the problematic casting of cisgender people in trans roles and a Q&A with Master of None's Lena Waithe.

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