Queer News

Newfest | New York’s LGBT Film Festival, Announces Full Lineup for Their 29th Annual Festival

 

Features More Than 140 Films From 26 Countries Over 6 Days

NewFest Previously Announced Opening, Closing, Centerpiece Films

Festival Runs October 19 – 24 and is Presented by HBO and Programmed in Partnership with Outfest

All info newfest.org

Following the announcement of their Opening, Closing and Centerpiece films, NewFest, which is programmed in partnership with Outfest, today announced the full lineup of their 29th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world. The program of more than 140 narrative features, documentaries, episodic series and shorts runs from October 19-24 at the SVA Theatre, Cinépolis Chelsea, and The LGBT Community Center in New York City.

In addition to the previously announced galas, this year’s festival will also feature a Spotlight Screening & Conversation presentation of Angela Robinson’s PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN, the story of how the superhero Wonder Woman came to be and the secret life of her creator, Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans), his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive (Bella Heathcote). The screening will be followed by a conversation on bisexuality and polyamory with director Angela Robinson and guests to be announced.

This year NewFest received a wealth of international submissions, with films being submitted from 34 countries spread across 6 continents, and 33 percent of the features were directed by women. Overall, the festival will screen 40 feature length films (including over 20 feature works from first-time feature filmmakers, such as Trudie Styler), 97 shorts and an episodic sidebar featuring 8 web-based projects for a total of 145 selections. The US Narrative, International Narrative and Documentary  Feature sections will include 11 films in each group, with 16 countries represented, including new works from the Philippines, Canada, Chile, Germany, Finland, Qatar, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“This year’s festival takes a cross-generational look at the LGBTQ community through the lens of our history, our culture, and our sexual and gender identities,” said Executive Director Robert Kushner. “Through these established filmmakers and vibrant emerging voices of LGBTQ cinema, we’re given the opportunity to reflect on our progress, highlight our strengths, and illuminate the challenges we experience both as individuals and as a community.”

“We are so proud of the caliber of films in this year’s NewFest lineup. The work from this year’s creatives shares a collective queer consciousness–looking at sexual fluidity, the gender spectrum, and resistance as a way of life,” said Director of Programming Lucy Mukerjee-Brown. “We’ve collected stories from our queer family across the globe in order to inspire New Yorkers for the 29th year in a row. Join us to take part in the post-screening conversations and make a statement about the value of LGBTQ visibility and community.”

“The varied stories and forms from around the world within this year’s electric festival program spiritually emulate the vitality of New York’s LGBTQ cultural and political landscape both past and present,” said NewFest’s Programming and Operations Manager Nick McCarthy. “And with so many New York-set films, we’re beyond excited to provide a space and platform for multiple storytellers to reflect on the LGBT experience through the power of cinema in their hometown. We are all looking forward to sharing the auspicious work of our talented filmmakers with the audiences of New York, and to facilitate engagement between artists and guests–highlighting the unity within community .”

New feature-length work includes narratives DISCREET from Travis Mathews (INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR), Canadian entry PORCUPINE LAKE from Ingrid Veninger (THE ANIMAL PROJECT) and the BBC-produced AGAINST THE LAW from Fergus O’Brien, documentaries MY WONDERFUL WEST BERLIN from German filmmaker Jochen Hick (THE GOOD AMERICAN), OUT OF ORDER from Amanda Bluglass (VIVA) and BONES OF CONTENTION from Emmy-winner Andrea Weiss (U.N. Fever). The festival also includes exciting premieres of debut features such as FREAK SHOW from Trudie Styler, starring Bette Midler, Abigail Breslin, AnnaSophia Robb, Laverne Cox, John McEnroe and Larry Pine, ONE LAST THING from Tim Rouhana, starring Wendall Pierce (THE WIRE) and Jurnee Smollet, as well as Jennifer Gerber’s THE REVIVAL, Mike Roma’s DATING MY MOTHER, Samantha Lee’s MAYBE TOMORROW, Gail Freedman’s HOT TO TROT, and Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer’s ALABAMA BOUND, among others.

Rounding out the US Narrative offerings are Christopher Schaap’s PROM KING, 2010, David Berry’s SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER, William Sullivan’s THE RING THING, Jenée LaMarque‘s THE FEELS, Albert Alarr’s A MILLION HAPPY NOWS and Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s THEY, while Itako’s BOYS FOR SALE, Paul Oremland’s 100 MEN, Jeffrey Schwarz’s THE FABULOUS ALLAN CARR, Tristan Milewski’s DREAM BOAT and Arshad Khan’s ABU complete the feature length documentary entries.

The remaining International narratives include Marília Hughes and Guerreiro Cláudio Marques’ THE CITY OF THE FUTURE (Brazil), Carlos Lechuga’s SANTA & ANDRES (Cuba), Darren Thornton’s A DATE FOR MAD MARY (Ireland), Victor Villanueva’s  JESUS IS DEAD (the Philippines, East Coast Premiere), Joselito Altarejos’ TALE OF THE LOST BOYS (Taiwan, the Philippines, North American Premiere), Lokesh Kumar’s MY SON IS GAY (India, North American Premiere), Nicolas Videla’s THE DEVIL’S MAGNIFICENT (Chile, International Premiere) and Nils-Erik Ekblom’s SCREWED (Finland).

Through the film selection process this year’s event, the festival’s programming team chose to highlight several themes, including the history of LGBT activism in New York City, the global condition of LGBT communities and the ways in which different generations of LGBT artists, activists and storytellers influence each other by looking both backwards and forward in time.

To that end, they chose to program a Legacy section of shorts entitled Out of the Archive: Queer New York, containing 7 short films spanning the past 50 years of LGBT filmmaking, including a 2010 short documentary from Ira Sachs comprised of footage of the exteriors of houses where New York artists were living when they died of AIDS; QUEENS AT HEART, a short doc about two pre-Stonewall transgender women; and I NEVER DANCED THE WAY GIRLS WERE SUPPOSED TO, Dawn Suggs’ mediation on black lesbian subjectivity.

The Legacy feature is Hettie Macdonald’s 1996 narrative feature BEAUTIFUL THING. Two decades after its initial release, the film still stands as one of the most poignant and honest depictions of the coming-out process ever presented on screen, and represents this year’s festival’s theme of self-expression.

Considering the massive growth in LGBT-oriented TV and web-based episodic content over the past several years and a successful panel last year focused on Queer Storytelling in a Digital Age,  NewFest decided to add an Episodic Showcase that is comprised of three episodic programs for 2017, and including works such as Brooklyn-local Chanelle Aponte Pearson’s 195 LEWIS; THE T; DARLING SHEAR; Andre Perez’s AMERICA IN TRANSITION; Kit Williamson’s EASTSIDERS; MARICAS; and SNUGGLR.

This year’s lineup of 97 new LGBT shorts have been divided into thematic programs, as follows:

DRAWN THIS WAY: QUEER ANIMATION

This bold and inventive series of formally adventurous and engaging shorts highlights animation’s varied capacity to capture self-expression, identity, and communication. Beauty encompasses the fluidity of everyday life, whether going for a swim, cooking your father’s favorite dish, or reconnecting with a lost love. This eclectic combination of narrative and nonfiction works features stories from all around the world, yet possesses universal qualities and a brilliantly beating heart at its core. Audacious, heart-warming, inspiring, and a little absurdist—get ready for a gorgeously realized emotional roller coaster!

YOUNG, QUEER & WOKE

A collection of films announcing a generation coming into its own—unwilling to allow traditional boundaries to restrict them or their stories. Whether navigating crushes, discovering and celebrating their identity, or reconciling who they truly are with family, these protagonists use their queer sensibilities to do it with style. They may not be able to vote, drink, or rent a car legally, but this program illustrates there’s no minimum age to have self-love and be yourself without fear. Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

THE QUEER RESISTANCE

We’re in the fight of our lives, and these shorts give us the pep talk we’ll need to keep going. Resistance is fertile material for the talented filmmakers in this lineup. Whether it’s personal, political, or visceral—the queer experience is intertwined with the need to push back against authority. The year 2017 has provided us with many opportunities to exist out loud and make our voices heard. Find inspiration on screen with this program!

MILITARY SHORTS

Moving from the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” to a more welcoming military, and then moving in reverse with President Trump’s Executive Order at hand, LGBTQ people have faced excessive trauma in the US Armed Forces. From returning home to family discoveries to dealing with the lasting effects of service to the daily struggles of trans military, these stories explore different perspectives of queer identity in relationship to life in the armed forces.

BEYOND THE BINARY

Gender is expansive and fluid–more than just “masculine” and “feminine.” Mixing non-fiction and narrative filmmaking, this program goes beyond the binary to delve into the lives and stories of people of trans and intersex experience. Exploring familial relationships, acceptance from peers, self-discovery, and more, this program is an honest snapshot of what it means to live outside restrictive gender boundaries today.

FAITH AND FURY

At a time when the Church still seems far away from fully accepting queer and trans folks, we bring together stories from all over the world about love and resilience to offer examples for living fully—and with faith. LGBTQ+ people are once again forced to defend ourselves against bigotry and oppression in a world where it is often easier to ignore the hearts and lives of real people in favor of adhering to ancient doctrine.

GIRLS SHORTS

The future is bright for the young women in this program of female-focused stories. Love, lust, and all the tension in between are included in a collection that truly represents this moment in history, exploring best friends, lovers, loss, and femininity.  It’s an inclusive and impactful look at what it means to be a girl, a woman, a fighter, and an inspiration to others. Most importantly, it’s a good time!

BOYS SHORTS

Our signature showcase of gay men’s stories is back and this year’s lineup is hot, hilarious and heartwarming.  From a gay uncle with dating tips for his newly out nephew, a closeted 20-something using his best friend as a beard, anonymous fellatio, an unlikely adoption, a poolside reunion, a wedding invitation, and the question we’ve all contemplated: can two men go from hooking up to dating? These adventurous shorts are sure to  capture your imagination.

QUEER + POSITIVE

For 35 years, the LGBTQ community has been impacted by HIV/AIDS. This collection of shorts give us an intimate look at what it means to live positively, from waiting for test results, to how HIV/AIDS affects specific communities to the realities of day-to-day life. Take a look at where this epidemic stands today, from a contemporary perspective.

EXPERIMENTS IN SEX, LOVE & GENDER

Formations of gender, relationships, and love intersect with comedy, contemplation, exploration, and computer code in this queer experimental program that weaves a rich tapestry of gender and sexual identity that overlap in nuanced and multidimensional ways. You’ll see Love Bailey’s libertines and harlots SLATHER IT UP, explore the seedy world of Echo Park’s underground cactus scene with REDMOND HAND, PRIVATE DICK, and will be asked reflect on time, love, and aging by Robert Gray’s 3 CAFES and Tristian Scott’s CURTAIN DOWN.

Complete Feature Film Lineup:

Opening Night Film & Party

Susanne Bartsch: On Top

New York Premiere

Dir. Anthony & Alex, USA, 2017, 84 mins

A mesmerizingly expressive portrait of a fiercely individual New York counterculture icon, SUSANNE BARTSCH: ON TOP candidly captures the titular “Queen of the Night” and patron saint of LGBTQ inclusion and advocacy with a commanding voice and sharp wit, much like its subject. More than just a tribute to the “Queen of the Night” and staunch LGBTQ advocate, this dynamic debut from directing duo Anthony&Alex captures the essence of Bartsch’s everyday balance between compassion and control. As Bartsch prepares for an FIT exhibit of her nightlife fashions, she faces the challenges of a changing New York City landscape (as well as the construction within her homestead of many decades, the iconic Chelsea Hotel) while reconciling how her legacy lives on today.

Her ability to bring communities together while promoting LGBT rights and self-expression reached its apex with the star-studded Love Ball in 1989, which she hosted to raise money to fight AIDS and celebrated the Harlem Vogue scene before “Paris is Burning” was released. And she continues to gather and inspire multi-generational crowds at her parties to this day. Featuring superstars and LGBTQ nightlife luminaries RuPaul, Simon Doonan, Michael Musto, and Amanda Lepore, this dazzling documentary homecoming for a living icon who has unapologetically been a champion for all things New York and queer.

The screening will be followed by a talkback with Anthony&Alex and Susanne Bartsch, and moderated by Michael Musto.

New York Centerpiece Film

After Louie

New York City Premiere

Dir. Vincent Gagliostro, USA, 2017, 100mins

Sam (Alan Cumming) is an artist and activist from ACT UP who lived through the early years of HIV/AIDS, struggling with survivor’s guilt. He’s bewildered by the younger generation of gay men, until he meets the seductive Braeden (Zachary Booth, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON) at a bar late one night. Their pants quickly come down and, eventually, so does Sam’s guard. An intergenerational relationship blossoms between them—reawakening Sam’s artistic soul and reviving his wilted heart.

Beyond the beautifully evocative performances and setting, Vincent Gagliostro’s AFTER LOUIE is a love letter to New York City: engaging its rich backdrop while honoring the history of the gay rights movement and the progress that’s been made–reconciling the past so we as a community can look forward to the future.

International Centerpiece Film

God’s Own Country

New York Premiere

Dir. Francis Lee, United Kingdom, 2017, 104 mins

Gritty yet tender, austere yet beautiful, carnal yet romantic–GOD’S OWN COUNTRY is masterfully directed with powerful focus and authenticity by first-time feature filmmaker Francis Lee. Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor) is an overworked 25-year-old sheep farmer who feels as though life has already passed him by. He whiles away the time with drunken hookups in his small community in Northern England. When his ailing father takes a turn for the worse, handsome Romanian migrant Gheorghe (Alec Secareanu) is brought in to assist Johnny. Although Johnny resents Gheorghe at first, the two are quickly drawn to each other, and during an excursion to the highlands, they forge an even deeper connection. Winner of Sundance’s World Cinema Directing Award for its beautiful depiction of the English countryside—this assured new milestone marks a bold new epoch in textured, LGBTQ storytelling.

Closing Night Film & Party

Becks

Following a NYC to LA cross country move that ends in a breakup, singer-songwriter Becks (Lena Hall, a Tony Winner for Hedwig and the Angry Inch) returns to her Midwestern hometown, reluctantly moving back in with her mom. The time-warp sensation of being back in her childhood home is interrupted by an unexpected whirlwind affair with self-proclaimed “lonely housewife” Elyse (tenderly played with exceeding warmth by Mena Suvari) whom finds inspired new life through the guitar lessons and generous spirit Becks provides.

This electrifyingly effusive film from co-directors Daniel Powell and Elizabeth Rohrbaugh features strong supporting turns by Dan Fogler as her old classmate-turned-drinking-buddy and Christine Lahti as Becks’ former nun mother who is still coming to terms with her daughter’s homosexuality. But it’s Lena Hall, who contributed original songs to the film and delivers a beautifully assured, live-in performance that makes BECKS really sing.

Special live acoustic performance by Tony Award winner and Grammy Award nominee Lena Hall, the star of BECKS.

US NARRATIVE

A Million Happy Nows

New York Premiere

Dir. Albert Alarr, USA, 2016, 80mins

FilmOut Festival Award, FilmOut San Diego

Concerned by her difficulty memorizing lines, veteran actress Lainey (Crystal Chappell), decides not to renew her soap opera contract. After a visit to the doctor, she is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and Lainey and her longtime partner Eva (Jessica Leccia) must now learn how to navigate this unexpected terrain and make the most of their time together. Chronicling Lainey’s illness and their unconditional love, the film provides a million reasons why we all need to appreciate love to the fullest.

Dating My Mother

New York Premiere

Dir. Mike Roma, US, 2016, 84 min

Freshly out of college with a liberal arts degree and without employment and romance, Danny spends his days in suburban New Jersey aimlessly browsing dating apps or knocking back red wine. His mother, Joan (Kathryn Erbe, Law & Order: Criminal Intent ), is also looking to strike up romance for the first time since Danny’s father passed away. Drawing insightful and hilarious parallels between the two generations’ dating routines and varying levels of confidence, this sweet and spiky comedy also features delightful supporting turns by G.B.F.’s Paul Iacono and the always reliably funny Kathy Najimy.

Discreet

New York Premiere

Dir. Travis Mathews, US, 2017, 80 mins

The director of I WANT YOUR LOVE and INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR. returns with another provocative feature pushing buttons and envelopes. Filmmaker Alex wanders the rural countryside, listening to hate-filled talk radio and indulging in anonymous sex in video booths. After an uncomfortable visit with his mother, Alex seeks a figure from his past, slowly dying in a mysterious compound far from society. This blistering exploration of trauma reverberates from childhood to adulthood, offering neither easy answers nor simple explanations.

Freak Show

New York Premiere

Dir. Trudie Styler, US, 2017, 95 mins,

Teenager Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther, THE IMITATION GAME) learned fabulousness at the feet of his larger-than-life Muvv (Bette Midler). But when he’s shipped off to live with his conservative father (Larry Pine), Billy’s classmates at Ulysses S. Grant Academy don’t know what to make of this flamboyant newcomer and his seemingly endless array of colorful ensembles (with matching makeup). After being severely bullied, Billy bounces back with the help of his new friends, sensitive jock Flip (Ian Nelson, THE HUNGER GAMES) and the loquacious BlahBlahBlah (AnnaSophia Robb). Eventually, our glamorous hero decides to wave his freak flag as high as he can by running for homecoming queen, even if that means facing off against Bible-thumping mean girl Lynette (Abigail Breslin). Based on the novel by James St. James, the film features a superb ensemble cast, including Laverne Cox, Celia Weston, and Willa Fitzgerald (MTV’s SCREAM). It’s a charming coming-of-age tale—as witty and as fearless as its protagonist—that celebrates the outsider within us all.

One Last Thing

World Premiere

Dir. Tim Rouhana, US, 2016, 92 mins

A middle-aged dentist in Florida receives some unexpected news that upends his peaceful routine and sends him on a life-altering journey of discovery. Doctor Dylan Derringer (Wendell Pierce, THE WIRE) is content with his solitary life, but when a figure from his past re-emerges with information, Dylan drops everything to find Lucy (Jurnee Smollett), the twenty-five year old daughter he didn’t know he had. This African American family drama dares to crush cultural taboos with a heart-warming story of LGBTQ acceptance.

Prom King 2010

New York Premiere

Dir. Christopher Schaap, United States, 2017, 102 mins

New Vision Award, Feature Film, 2017 Cinequest San Jose Film Festival

Charlie, a 20-year-old movie-crazy college student, is looking for love in New York City, and having trouble reconciling the harsh realities of modern dating with the romantic ideals of the classic romantic films he idolizes. First-time director and star Christopher Schaap imbues Charlie with a recognizable honesty and vulnerability. Featuring strong widescreen location photography and an engaging cast, this feel-good romance is a genuine charmer.

Something Like Summer

New York Premiere

Dir. David Berry, US, 2017, 115 mins

Audience Award, Best First Narrative Feature, FilmOut San Diego

Benjamin is an out-of-the-closet theater kid, while Tim is the hunky town jock. When Benjamin discovers his attraction to Tim is reciprocated, this delightfully musical tale takes off. The boys’ relationship spans years, encapsulating all of the delirious highs and painful lows of young love. This crowd-pleaser brings a beloved series of YA novels to life as these two young men explore the complex lines between being friends, lovers, and strangers.

The Feels

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Jenée LaMarque , US, 2017, 90 mins

Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film, Outfest LA

Two brides-to-be (Angela Trimbur and FRESH OFF THE BOAT’S Constance Wu) throw a joint bachelorette party that ends up calling their whole relationship into question. Equal parts laughs, tears, and introspection, this modern take on a romantic comedy unravels the secrets that can plague even the strongest relationship. Outstanding performances and an earnest script make up the heart of this crazy-enjoyable film.

The Revival

East Coast Premiere

Jennifer Gerber, US, 2017, 84 mins,

When Eli begins preaching at his father’s old church, he is desperate to open the minds of the fire-and-brimstone congregation. His plans are quickly derailed when he strikes up a relationship with a fascinating drifter (played by Zachary Booth, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON). Tensions soon come to a head, with simmering resentments and repressed emotions all leading to a revival that will shake this sleepy Arkansas town to its core.

The Ring Thing

New York Premiere

Dir. William C. Sullivan, US, 2017, 106  mins

Real-life chemistry plays a huge role in this romantic drama about what happens in a relationship when a woman proposes to her girlfriend by accident. Peppered with real-life interviews from couples in the LGBTQ community, this story explores what it means to be in a partnership and how those connections change (or not!) when marriage is added to the mix. You’ll leave the theater reexamining what it means to be committed to your partner and committed to yourself.

They

New York City Premiere

Dir. Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, US/Qatar, 2017, 80 min

Fourteen-year-old J lingers somewhere between a state of suspended animation and arrested development. Asked to be referred to as “they,” J has quietly been taking hormone blockers for some time in order to delay the onset of puberty, while they contemplate whether to live an adult life as a female or a male. With a visit to the doctor imminent, J is joined in their Chicago suburb by their sister Lauren and her Iranian Boyfriend Araz, who bring in their own set of identity problems, as Araz struggles with his life as an immigrant living so far away from his homeland. Executive Produced by Jane Campion, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s THEY is a delicate and intimate look at the struggles of living a life in limbo.

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE

A Date For Mad Mary

New York City Premiere

Dir. Darren Thornton, Ireland, 2016, 82 mins

Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards – Won Breakthrough Award – Irish

Mary’s charms are undeniable in this Irish coming-of-age portrayal of the angsty path from youth to womanhood. Mary has just been released from a six-month prison stint for a drunken bar fight. Her best friend Charlene is now getting married and wants to keep Mary at a distance, alienating her from their circle of friends. An encounter with a queer musician changes Mary’s perspective and awakens her romantic spirit. Filmmaker Darren Thornton’s first feature is warm and instantly relatable.

Against The Law

New York Premiere

Dir. Fergus O’Brien, United Kingdom, 2017, 85 mins

Featuring a stunning mixture of biopic and documentary elements, this BBC-produced hybrid drama draws the historical line between 1950s gay repression in the UK and the process through which homosexuality was decriminalized in 1967–and received raves when it World Premiered as the Opening Night Gala of BFI Flare: London’s LGBT Film Festival. This affecting and alarming film cuts between the story of journalist and gay rights activist Peter Wildeblood (Daniel Mays), who was galvanized by the infamous 1954 trial that targeted and outed his friends, and real-life interviews with gay men who lived through this dark but not forgotten period in UK’s history.

Jesus Is Dead

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Victor Villanueva, the Philippines, 2016, 84 mins

QCinema International Film Festival 2016 – Won Gender Sensitivity Award

Iyay, an exhausted and weary single-mother of three, crams her reluctant children — transman Jude, dancer with Down Syndrome Bert, and non-achiever Jay — into her debilitated multicab, and together they take to the road in order to attend the funeral of their estranged patriarch. Gaining and losing an assortment of misfits and oddballs along the way, the family’s solemn journey quickly turns frenzied and uproarious as each new character adds a new dimension of humor and profound insight to their familial plight. Director Victor Villanueva delivers a heartwarming and utterly distinctive take on the family road trip film, reminiscent of the delightfully melancholic Little Miss Sunshine, while imbuing it with his own idiosyncratic, queer flourishes.

Maybe Tomorrow

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Samantha Lee, Philippines, 2016, 84 mins,

Alex is unapologetically out to everyone—the execs who want to remove the queer content from her TV pitch, her overbearing mom, her catty photographer friends—except to her BFF Jess, an up-and-coming TV starlet with whom she also happens to be madly in love. But when Alex’s secret is accidentally revealed, both girls are forced to confront their feelings and navigate the complications of their new relationship in Samantha Lee’s fun and flirtatious debut feature.

My Son Is Gay

North American Premiere

Dir Lokesh Kumar, India, 2017, 105 mins

In this moving Bollywood melodrama, Varun comes out to his best friend’s mother. When the news reaches his own mom Lakshmi, she rejects it, in disbelief that the perfect son she so adores could ever be gay. What follows is a portrayal of the entrenched prejudice that the LGBTQ community still face in India today. With Section 377, the law criminalizing same-sex relationships, currently under review by the courts, this is a timely and important take on queer rights and a test of a mother’s love for her son.

Porcupine Lake

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Ingrid Veninger, Canada, 2017, 84 mins

Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) has recently moved from Toronto to a quiet cottage in rural Ontario. Lonely and isolated, Bea finds solace when she befriends the elusive and alluring local-girl, Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hall). The two girls forge an immediate bond as they both struggle to cope with their bewilderment at the volatility and chaos of their home lives and inner-worlds. In her sixth feature film, Ingrid Veninger depicts with candor and grace two girls dangling on the edge of adulthood, enjoy a fleeting summer of adventure and self-discovery.

Santa & Andres

New York Premiere

Dir. Carlos Lechuga, Cuba, Columbia, 2016, 105 mins

Guadalajara International Film Festival 2017 – 2nd Place – PREMIO MAGUEY – Best Feature Film

Cuba, 1981: For many, the wounds of the revolution have begun to heal, although there are still those who refuse to be compliant with the regime’s silencing of intellectuals and LGBTQ people. Gay writer Andrés spends three days under house arrest, supervised by young revolutionary Santa, who knows nothing of life away from the countryside. During this brief period, the pair form an unpredictable bond. Subtle and moving, yet boldly political and provocative, this is a story of day-to-day lives affected by sweeping change.

Screwed

New York City Premiere

Dir. Nils-Erik Ekblom, Finland, 2017, 100 mins

To celebrate the start of summer, 17-year-old Miku throws a wild party at his parent’s house, which turns destructive quickly. As punishment, Miku is forced to spend the rest of his summer with his provincial family at their secluded country cottage. In the rolling, pastoral Finnish countryside, Miku meets the alluring Elias. The two spend their summer inseparable, discovering themselves, their sexuality, and each other.

The City Of The Future

New York Premiere

Dir: Cláudio Marques and Marília Hughes, Brazil, 2016, 75 mins

In a remote part of Brazil, the triad of Mila, Igor, and Gilmar are determined to break away and form their own nontraditional family, defying the definitions that society has attempted to impose on them. As they prepare for the birth of their child, the three contemplate their intertwining relationships. Cláudio Marques and Marília Hughes Guerreiro have boldly collaborated on a naturalistic film that shuns convention, instead embracing love in all its dazzling iterations.

Tale of the Lost Boys

North American Premiere

Dir. Joselito Altarejos, Taiwan, the Philippines, 2016, 81 mins

Alex, a Filipino mechanic, and Jerry, a Taiwanese aborigine student meet randomly in a Taipei bar and a casual conversation develops into a surprising personal connection. Both realize that they yearn for a deeper relationship with their mothers, since Alex’s abandoned him for a new family, while Jerry is afraid that his will reject him for being gay. An impromptu road trip leads to experiences that will forever redefine their identities…

The Devil Is Magnificent (International Premiere)

International Premiere

Dir. Nicolas Videla, Chile, 2016, 68 mins

Exhausted by the difficulties of her life in the often-inhospitable Paris, Manu, a thirty-three year old trans immigrant, resigns to return to his native Chile after 10 years in France. In the days leading up to her departure, Manu’s platonic friend Daniel proposes marriage with the intention of solving her visa issues. Manu strongly considers the offer, but she’s wholly disheartened at the prospect of a life without love, romance, and sex. That is, until she meets a fellow foreigner who instills in her the hope for a romantic future.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

100 Men

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Paul Oremland, 2017, New Zealand, 2017, 94 mins

Kiwi director Paul Oremland tracks down 100 men he’s slept with in this personal, often humorous look at changing attitudes toward homosexuality over the past 40 years. Interviewed in New Zealand, England, and Poland, his eclectic subjects (including “Toilet Boy,” “Beach Boy,” and “Gary the Optician”) discuss coming out, AIDS, and gay marriage, acknowledging political gains even as some feel a sense of loss. Oremland’s journey brings him closer to these men, helping him realize he’s witnessing a revolution.

A Womb Of Their Own

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Cyn Lubow, USA, 2016, 85 mins

Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition – Won – Award of Exceptional Merit

Considered the exclusive domain of the female experience, pregnancy is generally viewed as the pinnacle of womanhood. But what happens when the act of being pregnant falls outside of the feminine and into a womb of its own? Exploring the experience of pregnancy among a group of diverse masculine-of-center-identified people, this documentary questions what it means to be pregnant and give birth as a masculine person, broadening our understanding of gender, sexuality, and parenthood.

Abu

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Arshad Khan, Canada, 2017, 80 mins

An intimately open and dazzling visual memoir about the complex dynamic the filmmaker has with his father, who was at once extremely modern and also rigidly traditional and unaccepting of his son’s true self. Director Arshad Khan highlights the fascinating intersection between being gay and being an immigrant, as he weaves a dizzying, hypnotic tapestry of personal and familial acceptance by employing home video, animation, and Bollywood films to express his path to self-discovery.

Alabama Bound

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer, USA, 2017, 83 mins

Exploring the legal roller-coaster ride of LGBTQ family rights in the American South, ALABAMA BOUND offers an intimate view into the lives of three Lesbian families in Alabama, including The only openly-gay Alabama State Legislator Patricia Todd, as they make waves in the legal system fighting for the rights of their children. Set along side the turning-point years when federal marriage equality was coming to a head in the courts, this riveting and powerful documentary tactfully imbues the viewer with hope and frustration as Patricia Todd leads the charge in next wave of the LGBTQ fight for equality: legal Non-Discrimination.

Bones Of Contention

East Coast Premiere

Andrea Weiss, Spain and USA, 2017, 75 mins

The brutal Franco dictatorship continues to haunt Spain—literally, as some 120,000 skeletons of the Fascist leader’s enemies were buried in unmarked graves all over the country. If one man has come to symbolize all of these desaparecidos, it’s legendary poet and playwright Federico Garcia-Lorca, whom this film calls “the first LGBT victim of the Franco regime.” Director Andrea Weiss examines the men and women (including the writer’s niece, Laura) who recall Spain’s homophobic past and seek to exhume it by finding these remains.

Boys For Sale

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Itako, Japan, 2017, 76 mins

L.A. Outfest, Fox Inclusion Outfest Feature Award

In Tokyo’s Shinjuku district there are bars that specialize in “Urisen”, young guys who have sex with men. Featuring candid interviews and interspersed with animation detailing the awkward, sweet, and sometimes hilarious situations these sex workers experience, the boys for sale boldly tell their stories of life in the Tokyo underground. This doc is an illuminating look into a rarely seen world that tantalizingly shows the humanity of sex work.

Dream Boat

East Coast Premiere

Dir.  Tristan Milewski , Germany, 2017, 92 mins

Decked from port to starboard in tops and bottoms, this cruise sets sail every year with leagues of gay men hungry to find their own slice of paradise on the open seas. Far from their families and political restrictions, we follow five men from five countries on a quest for connection. International waters provide the perfect platform to explore the ecstasy, agony, hopes, and dreams that bridge this community behind the bacchanalia, revealing a manifest rife with intersections between the diverse identities aboard, a brotherhood across borders.

Hot to Trot

New York Premiere

Dir. Gail Freedman, US, 2017, 88 mins

Set in the swinging setting of same-sex competitive ballroom dancing, this tremendously entertaining documentary highlights the culture and art of dance as it humanistically profiles the compelling stories of four international dancers. Filmed over three years, director Gail Freedman closely follows the tight ensemble as they face global and health issues, yet they find comfort and hope as they twirl past life’s obstacles with the utmost poise and confidence. Who will take home the top prize and move closest to the rhythm? The heat is on in more ways than one. This special screening will be followed by a live dance exhibition with subjects from the film

My Wonderful West Berlin

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Jochen Hick, Germany 2017, 94 mins

Jochen Hick’s My Wonderful West Berlin reveals, through a precise combination of archival footage and interviews with Berlin’s most notable LGBTQ artists and thinkers, the burgeouning queer community that developed and flourished in post-war West Berlin, despite homophobic laws and public prejudice. Through their collective memories, we see the city transform from having a spirited yet clandestine underground queer community the ‘60s, to the tepid embracing of the gay movements in the ‘70s, to the tragic overlooking of first the horrific AIDS epidemic in the ‘80s. My Wonderful West Berlin chronicles, with profound insight and uncharted access, the immense depths and rich history of the city’s LGBTQ people.

Out Of Order

New York Premiere

Dir: Amanda Blueglass, USA, 2017, 60 mins

This groundbreaking documentary reveals the complex and painful struggles faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer faith leaders as they confront entrenched bigotry, and build loving support within their churches. Due to a growing fear and suspicion toward LGBTQ individuals, many queer parishoners still feel unwelcome in their faith. But a new kind of spiritual leader is pushing for acceptance. Weaving between the personal journeys of queer faith leaders, we witness their tireless work to push for acceptance beyond the wedding chapel, in order to ensure that LGBTQ folks know that they are loved, not only by God but also by their fellow worshippers.

The Fabulous Allan Carr

East Coast Premiere

Dir. Jeffrey Schwarz, USA, 2017, 90 mins

Director Jeffrey Schwarz (VITO, I AM DIVINE) returns with this fascinating look at Allan Carr, one of the most extravagant Hollywood figures of the 1970s and 80s. The film charts Carr’s rise from talent manager to megastar producer of GREASE, before he perpetrated the box-office blunders CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC and GREASE 2, as well as the disastrous 1989 Academy Awards ceremony. Featuring new interviews and archival footage of Carr’s legendary parties, this portrait of a showbiz legend is both hilarious and deeply sympathetic.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Spotlight Screening & Conversation

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

Dir.  Angela Robinson , USA, 2017,  104 mins

In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, Angela Robinson’s entrancing film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans) to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940’s. While Marston’s feminist superhero was criticized by censors for her ‘sexual perversity’, he was keeping a secret that could have destroyed him. Marston’s muses for the Wonder Woman character were his wife Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) and their lover Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), two empowered women who defied convention: working with Marston on human behavior research — while building a hidden life with him that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.

BiView: Bisexuality Representation in Media

Panel Moderated by Eliel Cruz

Join leading bisexual activist and journalist Eliel Cruz and a panel of special guests to discuss bisexuality–arguably the most underrepresented identity in the LGBTQ spectrum. Fresh from a nationwide speaking tour for Bisexual Awareness Week, Eliel will lead the panelists through conversations on the fluidity of sexual and romantic attraction, polyamory, as well as the erasure of bi stories in media and the tangible effects of biphobia on screen. Do filmmakers and content creators have a responsibility to tell positive bi stories, and what are the politics you should be aware of in order to ensure impactful bi representation in your work? Meet these ambassadors of sexual fluidity, and join the conversation.

Drag Roast: The Roast of Sherry Vine

World Premiere

Dir: Evan Zampella and Kyle Burt, US, 2017, 65 min

Cruel, harsh, tasteless. And that’s just the roasters. Join us for a special screening of the DRAG ROAST of SHERRY VINE, as a panel of legendary New York nightlife performers grill a drag legend with more than 25 years of drag experience and tea to spill. Featuring Bob the Drag Queen, Ruby Roo, Monet Xchange, Anita Buffem, Miz Cracker, Sutton Lee Seymour, Marti Gould Cummings, Tina Burner and Special Guests.

EPISODIC SHOWCASE

Queer Women Mixtape

Featuring premieres of web-based content from Snugglr (46m) & 195 Lewis (45m)

Trans Tales

Featuring premieres of web-based content from The T (14m), Darling Shear (15m), America In Transition (20m)

For The Boys

Featuring premieres of web-based content from London Nights (3m), Eastsiders (30m), LA Nights (3m), Maricas (30m), Tel Aviv Nights (3m), Michaels (7m)

LEGACY FEATURE

BEAUTIFUL THING

Dir: Hettie Macdonald, United Kingdom, 1996, 90 min

Released in 1996, the beloved coming-of-age classic that tells the story of two teenage boys living in the same London housing project, who hold the same secret: they think they might be gay. After a fight with his abusive father, Ste ends up crashing in Jamie’s bed, allowing the two to open up to each other and begin the process of embracing their identities. Two decades after its initial release, the film still stands as one of the most poignant and honest depictions of the coming-out process ever presented on screen.

LEGACY SHORTS PROGRAM

Out of the Archive: Queer New York

An epicenter of queer culture, New York has long been a focal point of LGBTQ cinema. This program features both rare and restored short films (and sometimes raw footage) shot in New York City between the 1960s and 2000s by influential LGBTQ New York filmmakers, and presents the city’s history through a queer lens and even provides an early look at the trans experience. Run time: 84 minutes

Queens at Heart

Director unknown

1967

22 min.

Restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project

This short exploitation documentary offers a glimpse into the lives of four transgender women in pre-Stonewall New York.

Epilogue/Siam

Tom Chomont

1968

6 min.

Restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project

Filmmaker and curator Jim Hubbard states, “Chomont’s films offer a lyric depiction of the ordinary world.” Here, Chomont presents two portraits–one warm, and one cold.

Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day [excerpt]

Kate Millett and Susan Kleckner

1971

5 min.

Restored by the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project

Shot by the Millett, Kleckner, and an all-female crew, this raw footage documents New York’s second annual Christopher Street pride parade.

Alphabit Land: The Backyard Tour Featuring Wigstock 89

John Canalli

1990

28 min.

John Canalli takes his cousin on a tour of his Manhattan neighborhood. A search for the coolest party in town leads them to the annual Wigstock drag festival.

I Never Danced the Way Girls Were Supposed To

Dawn Suggs

1992

7 min.

Suggs meditates on Black lesbian subjectivity, exploring the connections between daily rituals and sexuality.

I Like Dreaming

1994

Directed by Charles Lofton

6 min.

Lofton muses on the pleasures of cruising “straight-acting, straight-appearing” men.

Last Address

Ira Sachs

2010

9 min.

Comprised of footage of the exteriors of houses where New York artists were living when they died of AIDS, this haunting film serves as an elegy to a generation of lost queer voices.

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Tickets for NewFest will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, September 26th. A pre-sale to NewFest Members begins on Tuesday, September 19th for Platinum Members and above and Thursday, September 21st for all NewFest Members. Opening and Closing Night tickets, which include an after-party as well as the screening, are $60 and $50 respectively, $50 and $40 for NewFest Members. The Centerpiece Films are $20; $15 for NewFest Members. For all other screenings, tickets are $16; $12 for NewFest Members.

Visit www.newfest.org for details as well as complete film festival information.

 

Download hi-res stills from the Opening, Closing, Centerpiece films HERE.

 

Download hi-res stills from US Narrative, International Narrative, Documentary Features, and Special Events HERE .  

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About NewFest

Founded in 1988, NewFest: New York’s Film and Media Arts Organization presents year-round screenings and events, including the annual New York LGBT Film Festival. NewFest’s mission is to give voice and visibility to the full scope of New York’s LGBT community through films and programs that entertain, educate, and empower. In bringing diverse audiences and filmmakers together, NewFest creates spaces and conversations that have the capacity to open minds, shift cultural bias, and create positive change. NewFest is dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences to build a community that encompasses the wide range of representations of the LGBT experience. We are committed to nurturing and presenting LGBT stories and emerging filmmakers. For more information, visit www.NewFest.org.

About Outfest

Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the leading organization that promotes equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. Outfest builds community by connecting diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives. Over the past three plus decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world to audiences of nearly a million, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers and protected more than 36,000 LGBT films and videos.

NewFest is presented by HBO, and would like to thank the following sponsors: Room & Board, Showtime and INTO (Premier Sponsors); Stoli (Major Sponsor); Ace Hotel New York, Norwegian Airlines, APA and Ogilvy (Official Sponsors); and Bontá and Comcast NBCUniversal (Supporting Sponsors).  

About HBO

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

All info newfest.org