Outfest targets wide audience for upcoming film festival

LOS ANGELES: Outfest, an organization dedicated to showcasing LGBT film, is going beyond the LGBT community in its outreach for the annual Outfest Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, held July 9-19.

LOS ANGELES: Outfest, an organization dedicated to showcasing LGBT film, is going beyond the LGBT community in its outreach for the annual Outfest Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, held July 9-19.

Entertainment agency mPRm, which worked with the organization in the past, came on at the beginning of May to help target local media in and around Los Angeles, as well as national publications to promote the festival.

"It's not just the LGBT press and community that we're targeting," said Kimberly Yutani, , director of programming for Outfest. "It's important that [we target] more mainstream and online publications to reach the widest possible audience."

The organization, which has a presence on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, and Twitter, is working more with social media to interact with its audience. For example, the community will be able to vote, via social media, on which film airs during a festival sing-along event. The effort has "given Outfest as an organization a real kick-start," said Yutani. "It's made us rethink what we want our online presence to be in terms of connecting more with people and getting them to our events."

Overall, the campaign is going out with the message that there are a lot of strong films being featured at this year's festival, including several that focus on LGBT rights and history. Participating filmmakers are also spreading the word.

"There has been so much going on with Proposition 8 here in California," said Guido Gotz, SAE at mPRm, "so we're trying to put a positive word out there and have the community, gay or straight, come together during our festival."

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