Outfest has just announced its opening and closing films.

Outfest Los Angeles, the LGBTQ+ film festival taking place from July 13-23, is one of the biggest annual festivals for LGBTQ+ movies, and this year won’t be any different. The festival’s opening film has now been announced as the highly anticipated YA drama Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

Based on the best-selling YA novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante centers on the friendship between two teen Mexican-American boys in 1987 El Paso. They explore “a new, unusual friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery.”

Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales star in the lead roles, alongside Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, Veronica Falcón, and Kevin Alejandro. It premiered at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival and currently has a 100 percent Tomatometer critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Pelayo plays Aristotle, also known as Ari Mendoza. He’s described as “a bored and lonely teenager” who seeks out companionship and finds it in Dante. Gonzales plays Dante Quintana, who teaches Ari how to swim, talks to him about literature and poetry, and shows him how to better connect with people.

With Aristotle and Dante opening the festival, and the documentary Chasing Chasing Amy closing it, it marks the first time in Outfest’s history that both the opening and closing films will be made by trans filmmakers (Aitch Alberto for Dante and Sav Rodgers for Chasing Chasing Amy).

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