Octavia Spencer to Be Honored With Outfest’s Ally Award

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Octavia Spencer will receive the James Schamus Ally Award at this year’s edition of LGBTQ film festival Outfest.

The announcement comes just after the recent news, first reported by Variety, that the Oscar winner has boarded the documentary “Right to Try” as a producer. The Zeberiah Newman-directed film, which will have its world premiere at Outfest, chronicles casting director Jeffrey Drew’s participation in a treatment trial to cure him of HIV after living with the virus for more than 30 years.

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“I am so honored to be recognized with the 2021 Annual James Schamus Ally Award,” Spencer said in a statement Monday morning. “I am proud to bring LGBTQIA+ stories to audiences all over the world and am thrilled that our own film, ‘Right to Try,’ will be making its premiere at this important festival. It speaks to the kind of stories I want to see on screen — celebrating everyday heroes with a true sense of hope.”

The award will be presented at the closing night gala on Aug. 22 at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

“In honoring Octavia, we are paying tribute to one of the most incredible, talented, and inspiring voices and storytellers of our generation,” Outfest executive director Damien S. Navarro said. “Her body of work is made up of such a diversity of roles, and has brought great empathy and opened conversations about aspects faced by many members of our QBIPOC community and audiences.”

Outfest runs from Aug. 13-22. The festival kicks off with an outdoor screening of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” at the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

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