The 2019 Outfest LA LGBTQ Film Festival will celebrate the first same-sex marriages in Asia with a special Taiwan program of screenings and forums.
Taiwan in May became the first place in Asia for same-sex marriages, after years of campaigning, court rulings, referendums, and, finally, legislation.
Outfest, starting Thursday (18 July) until 28 July, will celebrate the milestone with a new selection of Taiwan films.
Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster labeled the event ‘an auspicious moment’.
‘We are proud to be able to showcase the incredible LGBTQ films and filmmakers coming out of Taiwan’.
On Saturday, Taiwanese filmmakers and industry professionals will join for a forum on Taiwan’s LGBTI-friendly film and television industry.
One of the speakers is Jay Lin. Lin set up Asia’s first LGBTQ online streaming platform. He was also a core part of the team pushing for marriage equality in Taiwan.
Taiwanese-American filmmaker Barney Cheng, Pingwen Wang (王品文), Andrew Heitzman, and Taiwanese film consultant Rancy Wang will join him.
Military Dog and Gentleman Spa
Outfest’s program features two LGBT Taiwanese films. Military Dog is about a young officer who derives pleasure from being his master’s loyal dog.
Gentleman Spa, meanwhile, is about a lonely but romantic janitor who bonds with a massage client.
‘The two films challenge, inspire, and touch audiences,’ explained Emmy Yang, director of the Taiwan Academy in LA.
‘Taiwan is committed to LGBTQ rights. Freedom of artistic expression in Taiwan reflects that commitment.’
Outfest, which started in 1982, has become one of the top LGBTI film festivals in the world, bringing together filmmakers from across the globe to share their stories with audiences.
More than 1,000 same-sex couples have wed in Taiwan in the month since it became the first place in Asia for equal marriage.
Taiwan on 17 May finally enacted a bill that allowed same-sex couples to marry.
But, it does not afford them exactly the same rights as same-sex couples.
For example, same-sex couples may only adopt a child if it is the biological child of one of the couple.