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2019 OUTFEST OPENING NIGHT GALA: CIRCUS OF BOOKS

MUSE TV & Culturally Obsessed’s Jennifer Ortega & Breanna Hernandez recently attended the 2019 Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival’s Opening Night Gala at the Orpheum Theater. This year, Rachel Mason’s documentary, Circus of Books, screened to kick off the film festival. Filmmaker Rachel Mason turns the camera on her parents in this intimate and absorbing documentary to better understand the personal and political history behind the family business. Featuring revealing interviews with relatives, former employees, and Larry Flynt himself, she weaves together a most unusual home movie that reflects the freedom and family values that only a life in gay porn can provide. 

MOTHERS’ LITTLE HELPERS stars Melanie Hutsell, Breeda Wool, Milana Vayntrub, and Sam Littlefield Photographer Credit: Amanda Pedroza

To those unfamiliar of what an important part of Los Angeles history, Circus of Books, created, let us explain. Circus of Books was right in the center of West Hollywood. It was a gay erotica emporium and unofficial community center. You’d never expect to find that the owners of Circus of Books were a clean-cut mom-and-pop duo running sexually explicit contraband by day while raising a family of five in the suburbs by night.

Trixie Mattel
Photographer Credit: Amanda Pedroza 

It was a wonderful night as celebrities and filmmakers came out to celebrate Outfest 2019. Celebrity guests included Trixie Mattel, Scott Evans (Outfest’s Sell By), SNL’s Melanie Hutsell, (Bridesmaids, Transparent), Patricia Richardson (“Home Improvement”, Outfest’s Cubby), Breeda Wool (UnReal, GLOW), David Giuntoli (ABC’s A Million Little Things, NBC’s Grimm), Milana Vayntrub (Netflix’s Love, HBO’s Silicon Valley), Sam Littlefield (HBO’s The Leftovers), Sam Harris (Outfest’s HAM: A Musical Memoir). Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla, Pooja Batra (Miss India), Brianna Oppenheimer,  Mercedes Bryce Morgan, Charlotte Roi (“From Russia with love: Natasha & Svetlana”), Karan Soni (Deadpool, Always Be My Maybe, Pokemon), and more.

Jennifer & Breanna making sure there is no lipstick on their teeth in between interviews.
(Photo by David Peralta 2019)

Additional 2019 Outfest Los Angeles feature filmmakers also attended, including James Sweeney (Straight Up), Hannah Utt (Before You Know It), Ben Mankoff and Mark Blane (Cubby), Michael Barnett (Changing the Game), Mike Doyle (Sell By) and many more.

Breanna and Jennifer talked to many filmmakers who were having their films screened during Outfest., They told us about the importance of Outfest. Click below for Part 1 of our Outfest Coverage including interviews with Karen Mason (Circus of Books), Neelu Bhuman (Transfinite), Davia Spain (Transfinite), Ryka Aoki (Transfinite), Blossom C. Brown (Transfinite), Rodrigo Bellott (Tu Me Manques) and Kai Kreuser (Label Me). Stay tuned for Part Two of our coverage. 

Filmed & Edited by David Peralta (2019)

ABOUT OUTFEST

Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 40,000 LGBT films and videos. Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

More information go to: www.outfest.org

Films play through Sunday, July 29th, 2019. Click here for schedule.

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Jennifer Ortega

Co-owner of Muse TV & Culturally Obsessed | Executive Producer | Film Nerd | Ultimate Valley Girl

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