By Kim Kennedy
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 7/30/19 – The Closing gala of Outfest is a cocktail of feelings, a subtle mix of competing flavors, which somehow marry into a well balanced evening. That is, excitement for the screening of “Before You Know it”. Pride for all the work that has been created and screened over the past 10 days. And finally you are smacked in the face, with a little sadness that’s it’s all over. Yes the Los Angeles Outfest film festival itself has come to an end, for another year. But let us remember, around the corner we will be celebrating Queer People of Color in Outfest fusion film festival and the work is still going on all year round.
Something that is truly the end of and era, is (now former) Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster stepping down from his position, allowing the newly selected Damien Navarro take proud positioning as the captain of Outfest moving forward.
Emotions ran high as Christopher gave a heartfelt speech, focusing on the future, whilst touching on the past and his journey to his current position. His words of inspiration were only seconded and expanded on by Outfest Honeree, Nisha Ganatra. She spoke of her childhood, spent dreaming of working in film and television. Taking the Universal Studios tram tour, wishing and hoping one day she would have a chance to be working in that studio. Well today she does more than just work there. She has headlined shows such as Brooklyn Nine Nine, The Mindy Project, Mr.Robot, Shameless, Dear White People and Fresh Off the boat, to name a few. She also announced she’d be working on her first “big budget studio feature”. Merely days prior, Nisha was out on the Universal lot, now on the other side of the tram, where she saw the conductor and tourists point her way. She spoke of this moment with a tear in her eye.
Nisha Ganatra “Every year you can read the statistics, it gets harder and harder, but dreams do come true”.
If that isn’t impactful, I don’t know what is. Dreams are made here.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Let us remember that.