The 2021 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival announced Wednesday that it will honor Michaela Coel with the Fusion Achievement Award and Academy Award nominee Andra Day with the James Schamus Ally Award on Saturday, April 17th.
The 2021 Fusion Achievement Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to LGBTQIA+ stories, arts, and media visibility will honor Coel’s body of work. Past recipients of the Award include Nisha Ganatra, Angela Robinson, Rose Troche, Wilson Cruz, Alec Mapa, Patrik-Ian Polk, Cheryl Dunye, Brickson Diamond, and Rikki Beadle-Blair.
“Coel’s work in ‘Chewing Gum,’ ‘I May Destroy You,’ and more portray complex characters who have helped open the door for more empathetic conversations about the issues facing members of this QTBIPOC community,” said Festival Executive Director Damien Navarro. “Outfest Fusion believes that honoring one of the most incredible, talented, and inspiring voices and storytellers of our generation will inspire Outfest Fusion’s Black creators, across all mediums, and also send a strong message within the industry that we need to include, support, and finance exponentially more independent voices.”
Day will be honored with the James Schamus Ally Award, which recognizes a great ally to the LGBTQIA+ community.
The 2021 Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC (Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Film Festival announced today that it will honor Michaela Coel with the Fusion Achievement Award and Academy Award nominee Andra Day with the James Schamus Ally Award on Saturday, April 17th. The film festival kicks off next week with five days of entertainment, education, and a celebration of international voices who will share their stories at screenings, community workshops, a One Minute Movie Contest, music performances, and networking events. Outfest is proud of its reputation as the vanguard of queer media arts and a champion of underrepresented voices, and will continue this work by honoring Michaela Coel and Andra Day at this year’s hybrid festival drive-in events.
In addition to celebrating these established actors, Outfest Fusion will highlight five up-and-comers as part of its Rising Stars panel The pre-recorded panel, moderated by Out magazine’s Editor in Chief David Artavia, will be available free of charge on the Outfest Now streaming platform and will include Harvey Guillén (who recently made history as the first queer Latinx actor to be nominated for a Critics Choice award in his category for his role in FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows”); Tony nominee and breakout star of “Search Party” Shalita Grant; “Vida” cast member Vico Ortiz, soon to be seen on season 2 of Freeform’s “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”; “Star Trek: Discovery’s” Ian Alexander, the first out trans actor to be cast in the franchise’s history; and actor and comedian Sherry Cola, who stars on Freeform’s “Good Trouble.”
Other panels include AARP’s Fireside Chat discussing again in a youth-centric business, one for LGBTQIA+ immigration and asylum seekers, and a media roundtable that questions what gets covered and who has access to coverage.
Outfest Fusion will also include educational workshops, masterclasses and networking events for queer and trans filmmakers of color to develop their skills and relationships.
And of course, a diverse and extensive line-up of films — 10 features and 41 shorts — which you can learn more about here.
Outfest Fusion runs in Los Angeles from April 16 to April 20, 2021. Click here for more information on the festival and surrounding events.