As Outfest, Los Angeles' Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, came to a close, many of the films we've been following all year walked away with major accolades.

Director Daryl Wein shocked audiences – and probably himself – by documenting the invention, and initial rejection, of safe sex in Sex Positive.

Wein's film focuses in on early safe sex pioneer Richard Berkowitz. His life of hustling on the streets of New York came to a crushing end when AIDS started its infectious assault in the 1980s. Berkowitz was one of the first gay men who demanded answers about the disease from the government. His safe sex message, however, was met with resistance from men who were not ready to leave the party.

Sex Positive won in the Outstanding Documentary Feature category.

A daring film about an intersex teenage girl asked to decide on her sex won in the Outstanding International Dramatic Feature category.

Director Lucia Puenzo's XXY is the story of Alex.  Raised a girl her entire life she possesses both male and female sets of reproductive organs. Now at puberty she is being asked to “choose” her sex by her parents who have invited a plastic surgeon to discuss the issue with her. Complications arise when Alex develops a crush on Alvaro, the surgeon's teenage son. He also is suffering gender identity issues. Alex's search for her true identity forces both families to face their worst fears.

The film's powerful message of love transcending sexuality is only heightened by its beautiful backgrounds and dramatic visual style.

Finally, director Tom Gustafson's spellbinding gay musical fantasy Were The World Mine – a feature length follow-up to his award-winning short film Fairies – won the Heineken Red Star Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature.

Timothy is elated when his eccentric teacher casts him as mischievous Puck in a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Timothy, a social outcast in a homophobic community, loves Jonathon. Soon he discovers a potion that allows him to turn his town gay and make Jonathon love him. What happens when he reluctantly gives up his control over the town?

Audiences roared to their feet at the conclusion of Were The World Mine. And that, from a small budget movie, is worth an award.

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