Oscar award-winning actress Octavia Spencer will be receiving the Outfest Annual James Schamus Ally Award at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival this month.
The award will be presented to Spencer at the Outfest L.A. closing night gala on Sunday, Aug. 22, at the Orpheum Theatre.
“I am so honored to be recognized with the 2021 Annual James Schamus Ally Award,” Spencer said in a statement upon hearing the news. “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.”
Spencer is a producer of the upcoming documentary, “Right to Try,” via her production company Orit Entertainment.
According to Variety, the documentary tells the story of casting director Jeffrey Drew’s participation in an experimental trial for an HIV cure. The crew aims to release the documentary on Dec. 1 to mark the 40th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
“It is important to stand with your friends and give them the same respect you want for yourself. Being honored validates the way I feel everyone should be treated and hopefully encourages others to do the same,” Spencer told Entertainment Weekly.
“In honoring Octavia, we are paying tribute to one of the most incredible, talented, and inspiring voices and storytellers of our generation,” said Outfest Executive Director Damien S. Navarro. “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.”
The country’s leading LGBTQ festival will be held August 13-22 and will return to in-person screenings following last year’s pandemic.