OutSet: The Young Filmmakers Project operates in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center, under the umbrella of Outfest, a LGBTQ+ annual film festival OutSet is a filmmaking program that empowers young LGBTQ+ creatives to tell their stories through film.

Over the course of six months, creatives participated in a filmmaking lab covering topics like storytelling, collaboration, and production. They also experienced the mentorship of industry filmmakers as well as Outfest alumni filmmakers.

Below, you will find a review of three different short films from the program.

Prudence (2015)

Director/Writer: Angela Jude , Producer: Lauren Mok

Image: Outfest

This short film stars Rosemary Thomas as Prudence and Lina Green as Mildred. This film is skillfully executed from the direction to the costuming, the score, and the casting. This short film depicts the perspective of Prudence, an elderly woman who through dreamy flashbacks is reminded of the love of her youth, Mildred.

As she follows her wistful yearnings, she is led to Mildred’s relative, Jazz, played by Web Crystal. The two have a pleasant exchange in which they discuss the nature of her relationship to Mildred and her time in the U.S. military. This film tells a blissfully stylized tale that illustrates the power of love and it’s capability to endure through the ages and pass through the people we love, touching their life in addition to the lives that they in turn touch. In summary, love is love!

Protected (2019)

Director/Writer: Sal Rubio

Image: Outfest

This eight-minute film stars Lexter Santana as Antonio and Ralph Cole Jr. as Jared. In just a few minutes this film explores the complexities of sexuality and sexual health, especially as it relates to the Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community. It is stylistically simple; the bulk of the film is one conversation between two people in a health clinic waiting room. It is heartfelt and intimate.

Their conversation illustrates the generational differences and misunderstandings that come along with interactions between individuals of different ages. The conversation also acknowledges the fear and stigma that are often associated with a HIV positive diagnosis. This film is a gentle reminder to queer youth that no matter what, an individual can be healthy and happy regardless of their status.

Promise Me a Lie (2012)

Director: Amasha Alexandra Scott , Writer: Danny Hernandez

Image: Promise Me a Lie

This film stars Ror Morrison as Pedro and Justin Galindo as Carlos. It discusses the intersections that stem from the coupling of two young men, Pedro and Carlos. Their cultures, Mexican and El Salvadorian intersect in the same way that poetry and visual elements are intertwined together in this short film. The story is personal and specific, yet simple and consisting of only a few short scenes. Through a series of flashbacks we are led through Pedro’s turbulent emotions as he grapples with the pitfalls of young love. This film illustrates that the promises we give and receive in the throes of youth and passion are difficult to live up to.

These films show the importance of programs like OutSet which gives young filmmakers and writers the tools and materials to bring their ideas to life as well as hone their craft. These storytellers are often from marginalized communities. Whether these young creatives are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, are women, people of color, or a mixture, their voices are exponentially necessary and so is their art. It is important that we celebrate and draw attention to programs like OutSet, that enact the work of representation that is necessary in the realm of the arts.

More information about the OutSet mentorship program can be found here.