Award Recipients

and our annual Festival Awards

The NewFest Voice & Visibility Award

NewFest awards a powerful force in the LGBT community who has contributed positive representations of LGBT characters through their involvement in film, television, or public advocacy. NewFest mission is to give voice & visibility to the full scope of the LGBT community and believes it is essential to highlight those who promote effective change in the hearts and minds of audiences around the world. NewFest presented its inaugural Voice & Visibility award in 2016 on Opening Night.

Tituss Burgess, 2016 Recipient.  

The star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was awarded for his work both on and off screen, which have resonated with LGBT audiences through his positivity, presence, and wit. The award was presented by Debra Messing. 

The NewFest Visionary Award

NewFest awards a well-deserving individual who has made a powerful impact on the LGBT community through their involvement in LGBT film. From directors, writers and producers to actors and film subjects, we thank our past Visionary Award recipients for positively impacting our lives and being part of a lasting legacy of films that resonate in our hearts. Following are our past three recipients:

sachs-newfest_fwIra Sachs, 2014 Recipient.  

Writer, director and producer of films that capture the humanity of the LGBT experience, including Keep the Lights On and Love is Strange.




Christine-Vachon_fwChristine Vachon, 2013 Recipient.  

Award-winning producer of over 60 groundbreaking independent films, including Boys Don’t Cry and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.




Edie-Windsor-2012-Newfest-Opening-Night-_53AuHiZq9sl_fwEdie Windsor, 2012 Recipient.  

LGBT rights influencer in Windsor vs United States, and compassionate subject in Edie & Thea:  A Very Long Engagement.

2016 Audience Awards

NewFest annually awarded prizes to four films–a narrative feature and a short, as well as a documentary feature and short–that scored the highest with NewFest Audiences. The awards are presented at the Closing Night Party.

Narrative Feature
Suicide Kale








Documentary Feature
Political Animals









Narrative Short








Documentary Short
Shape Up: Gay in the Black Barbershop


Changing Lives

NewFest ensures that stories of LGBT people are created, shared and protected.

Promoting Equality

NewFest  uses the power of movies to promote acceptance and equality for all LGBT people.

Inspiring Storytellers

NewFest develops the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers.

Building Community

NewFest connects diverse populations to discover, discuss and celebrate stories of LGBT lives.