2018 Film Guide

Get tickets now for the 30th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival (October 24-30)

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Featured Events

Opening Night Film & Party

1985 (Opening Night Film & Party)

Wednesday October 24 @ 7:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Yen Tan, USA, 2018, 85 mins
Set during the early AIDS crisis, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, GOTHAM, CAROL) returns to his Texas hometown for Christmas, keeping quiet about his sexuality and HIV status. Award-winning writer-director and NewFest alum Yen Tan (PIT STOP, CIAO) delivers a poignant period piece about a gay man tying up loose ends — whether it’s with his conservative parents (Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen and Emmy Award winner Michael Chiklis), a high school ex-girlfriend (Jamie Chung), or his younger brother (Aidan Langford, BOSCH), who shows an interest in Madonna and may be following Adrian’s footsteps.
Q&A with filmmaker and select cast to follow
Ticket includes film and entrance to the Opening Night Party with special guest DJ Sammy Jo [Scissor Sisters]

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Centerpiece

Boy Erased (U.S. Centerpiece)

Thursday October 25 @ 8:00 pm
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011 United States

Dir. Joel Edgerton, USA, 2018, 114 mins
Set in the uber-conservative suburbs of Arkansas, this grippingly vital drama stars Academy Award-nominee Lucas Hedges (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LADYBIRD) as a young gay man sent to Refuge, a church-run conversion therapy program that aims to “cure” homosexuality, upon the insistence of his Baptist preacher father (Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe) and religious yet conflicted mother (Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman). Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley and adapted for the screen by director and featured actor Joel Edgerton, this urgent drama stirs a challenging yet compassionate portrait of a family—and perhaps country—at odds with its differing ideas of empathy and identity. In addition to powerhouse performances by Hedges, Kidman, and Crowe, the ensemble includes stellar supporting turns from multitalented queer artists Troye Sivan, Xavier Dolan, and Cherry Jones. BOY ERASED is at once an evocative coming of age story about finding your voice, and a compelling tale of personal survival and family reconciliation in the face of ignorance.
Extended introduction with writer/director/star Joel Edgerton

Read more / Trailer »

International Centerpiece

Rafiki (International Centerpiece)

Friday October 26 @ 6:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya/South Africa/Germany/Netherlands/France/Norway/Lebanon, 2018, 83 mins
Fresh from its triumphant Cannes premiere, RAFIKI is a must-see film that delivers a beautifully acted, nuanced portrayal of being queer in Nairobi. This vibrant romance follows the burgeoning relationship between Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), the playful Beyonce-wannabe who lives in the city’s affluent Skyview Towers, and Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), the shy, responsible tomboy who hangs out on the overcrowded Slopes estate with the local Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) boys. The film’s delicious pink-hued color palette is part of the African film aesthetic known as the afrobubblegum movement, and sets the joyous tone for this rare look at first love between two women in Kenya. Banned in its home country of Kenya for its positive depiction of two young women in love, RAFIKI is a global call to action that proves a work of art does not have to be explicit in order to stir resist in the face of oppression.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Centerpiece

Dykes, Camera, Action! (Documentary Centerpiece)

Saturday October 27 @ 6:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Caroline Berler, USA, 2018, 60 mins
One of the most glaring omissions in the film canon has been the work of queer women. Thankfully this once-hidden population picked up the camera and transformed the visibility of lesbians in cinema through classics such as GO FISH (1994), THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996), HIGH ART (1998), all of which premiered in New York at NewFest. Pioneering filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, Cheryl Dunye, critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others discuss with humor and depth how they’ve expressed their queer identity through film, while also revealing personal stories from their own experiences of looking for themselves on screen. First-time director Caroline Berler expertly balances films clips with candid interviews, making DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! a joyous response to the days of the celluloid closet, culminating in a groundbreaking celebration of empowerment and visibility for the ages.

This screening will be followed by a conversation on female representation in the film industry and lesbian visibility in cinema with featured cast, moderated by Terry Lawler (Executive Director, New York Women in Film & Television).

Presented in Partnership with New York Women in Film & Television

Read more / Trailer »

New York Centerpiece

Mapplethorpe (New York Centerpiece)

Saturday October 27 @ 8:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

Dir. Ondi Timoner, USA, 2018, 102 mins
Emmy-nominee Matt Smith (DOCTOR WHO, THE CROWN) plays renegade queer artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Set in the gay leather communities and highbrow galleries of New York City in the 70s and 80s, Ondi Timoner’s biopic is an unflinching look at the life and career of the icon made famous for his striking black-and-white images of phalluses and flowers. From the Chelsea Hotel to Bond Street, this film takes a chronological look at the influences and practices that captured male homo-erotic desire so poignantly in the face of the devastating toll of the AIDS crisis.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Legacy Centerpiece

High Art (1998)

Sunday October 28 @ 5:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

20th Anniversary Screening in 35mm
Dir. Lisa Cholodenko, USA, 1998, 102 mins
Twenty years ago, this intelligent and unassuming indie drama took home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance ‘98 and quickly became anchored in the LGBTQ consciousness as a lesbian classic. The debut feature from Lisa Cholodenko (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) was praised by Roger Ebert upon its release as “masterful, perceptive and mature” and made countless critics Top 10 Lists. When magazine editor Syd (Radha Mitchell) moves into the same building as German actress Greta (Patricia Clarkson) and photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy) her arrival prompts Lucy to consider leaving her reclusive drug-fueled days behind. Caught at the center of this triangle, Lucy is torn between keeping her work intimate versus venturing back into the photography business.
Q&A with filmmakers and select cast to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Closing Night Film & Party

Making Montgomery Clift (Closing Night Film & Party)

Tuesday October 30 @ 7:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Robert Clift and Hillary Demmon, USA, 2018, 88 mins
The iconic Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift—described in many accounts as “tragically self-destructive” and “tormented” by his sexuality—is brought to new light by his nephew Robert Clift, who uncovers never-before-seen footage and exclusive audio interviews collected by the filmmaker’s father. The viewer gains insight into a fresh portrait of the legendary actor who was unashamed of his sexuality, maintained a great sense of humor, and even defied the studio system. Robert’s access to interviews with family and close friends of Monty turn against the faulty narrative made popular by previous biographies and documentaries that considered him “the slowest suicide in Hollywood history.” Thoroughly well-researched and edited, Robert—along with co-director Hillary Demmon— brings to the surface a personal account of his uncle Monty and his father Brooks Clift that forces us to ask: Why was so much of Monty’s story left out? How were previous accounts so wrong? Who do we trust to write our history? MAKING MONTGOMERY CLIFT brings the star out of the archive, and further out of the closet.
Q&A with filmmakers to follow
Ticket includes film and entrance to the Closing Night Party

Read more / Trailer »

Upcoming Events

October 2018

Opening Night Film & Party

1985 (Opening Night Film & Party)

Wednesday October 24 @ 7:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Yen Tan, USA, 2018, 85 mins
Set during the early AIDS crisis, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, GOTHAM, CAROL) returns to his Texas hometown for Christmas, keeping quiet about his sexuality and HIV status. Award-winning writer-director and NewFest alum Yen Tan (PIT STOP, CIAO) delivers a poignant period piece about a gay man tying up loose ends — whether it’s with his conservative parents (Academy Award nominee Virginia Madsen and Emmy Award winner Michael Chiklis), a high school ex-girlfriend (Jamie Chung), or his younger brother (Aidan Langford, BOSCH), who shows an interest in Madonna and may be following Adrian’s footsteps.
Q&A with filmmaker and select cast to follow
Ticket includes film and entrance to the Opening Night Party with special guest DJ Sammy Jo [Scissor Sisters]

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

A Moment in the Reeds (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 10:30 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Mikko Makela, Finland, United Kingdom, 2017, 107 mins
In the Finnish countryside, Leevi, who is home from studying abroad to help his father renovate their lakeside house, encounters Tareq, a Syrian asylum seeker they hire as a handyman. Leevi’s father returns to town on business as tension builds between the two young men, and they give in to their mutual attraction. One of the first LGBT-themed films made in Finland, Mikko Makela’s intimate drama places at its center the freedom and acceptance of sexual and ethnic minorities amid the backdrop of the breathtaking Finnish landscape.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

A Moment in the Reeds (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 9:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Mikko Makela, Finland, United Kingdom, 2017, 107 mins
In the Finnish countryside, Leevi, who is home from studying abroad to help his father renovate their lakeside house, encounters Tareq, a Syrian asylum seeker they hire as a handyman. Leevi’s father returns to town on business as tension builds between the two young men, and they give in to their mutual attraction. One of the first LGBT-themed films made in Finland, Mikko Makela’s intimate drama places at its center the freedom and acceptance of sexual and ethnic minorities amid the backdrop of the breathtaking Finnish landscape.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S Narrative Feature

Bitter Melon

Sunday October 28 @ 7:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Dir. H.P. Mendoza, USA, 2018, 95 mins
Who knew that the insensitive way some of his Filipino-American family members treat his sexuality would be the least of Declan’s worries when he returns home for the holidays? As he and his siblings tiptoe around his freeloading brother’s volatile personality, long-buried secrets are revealed to set in motion a hilarious plan of revenge. A black comedy with heart, the latest from H.P. Mendoza (FRUIT FLY) deftly explores toxic masculinity and abuse— emotional and physical—with absurdity and true empathy.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Bixa Travesty

Friday October 26 @ 9:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Teddy Award for Best Documentary/Essay Film, Berlinale 2018
Dir. Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscila, Brazil, 2018, 75 mins
Black Brazilian transgender singer Linn da Quebrada weaponizes the trans body and music for political protest. Linn and childhood friend Jup do Bairro use extravagantly costumed music performances to dazzle audiences while opposing their country’s white heteronormative order. Figuring her embodied existence as resistance, Linn eschews the role of cis woman, choosing a fluid gender identity instead. Full of funny and intimate moments, the film advocates for personal choice against a society that imposes static gender identity.

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Centerpiece

Boy Erased (U.S. Centerpiece)

Thursday October 25 @ 8:00 pm
SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011 United States

Dir. Joel Edgerton, USA, 2018, 114 mins
Set in the uber-conservative suburbs of Arkansas, this grippingly vital drama stars Academy Award-nominee Lucas Hedges (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LADYBIRD) as a young gay man sent to Refuge, a church-run conversion therapy program that aims to “cure” homosexuality, upon the insistence of his Baptist preacher father (Academy Award-winner Russell Crowe) and religious yet conflicted mother (Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman). Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley and adapted for the screen by director and featured actor Joel Edgerton, this urgent drama stirs a challenging yet compassionate portrait of a family—and perhaps country—at odds with its differing ideas of empathy and identity. In addition to powerhouse performances by Hedges, Kidman, and Crowe, the ensemble includes stellar supporting turns from multitalented queer artists Troye Sivan, Xavier Dolan, and Cherry Jones. BOY ERASED is at once an evocative coming of age story about finding your voice, and a compelling tale of personal survival and family reconciliation in the face of ignorance.
Extended introduction with writer/director/star Joel Edgerton

Read more / Trailer »

Shorts Program

Boys Shorts (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 11:00 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

From a fast-paced chase to a lazy summer day, this year’s Boys Shorts explore what it means to bring your full self to both the mundane and the extraordinary moments in life. In cities across the globe, these films capture the contemporary lives of a panoply of gay men from many different backgrounds in 2018.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Shorts Program

Boys Shorts (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 5:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

From a fast-paced chase to a lazy summer day, this year’s Boys Shorts explore what it means to bring your full self to both the mundane and the extraordinary moments in life. In cities across the globe, these films capture the contemporary lives of a panoply of gay men from many different backgrounds in 2018.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

Canary (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 3:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir, Christiaan Olwagen, South Africa, 2018, 124 mins
Drafted during apartheid by the South African Army, Johan’s love for Boy George and Depeche Mode lands him a spot in the Kanaries — the military’s traveling choir — but romance on the battlefield forces him to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity. Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

Canary (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 6:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir, Christiaan Olwagen, South Africa, 2018, 124 mins
Drafted during apartheid by the South African Army, Johan’s love for Boy George and Depeche Mode lands him a spot in the Kanaries — the military’s traveling choir — but romance on the battlefield forces him to reckon with his long-repressed sexual identity. Examining the effects of nationalism on the soul, while also exploring the tender brotherhood among misfits, this musical comedy revels in the discovery of finding your voice and learning to fly.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Cherry Grove Stories

Saturday October 27 @ 1:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Michael Fisher, USA, 2017, 74 mins
This fascinating documentary captures the unique community of Cherry Grove, Fire Island – from its early days as a center for drag culture to the present day – featuring interviews with residents, old-timers, and captivating new and archival footage. Starting in the 1950s, Cherry Grove provided gays, including the likes of Tennessee Williams, with a safe space to express themselves at a time when interactions by people of the same sex were often the target of police raids. Michael Fisher’s oral history navigates the rich history and unknown stories of this vibrant beachfront community.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Features

Cherry Grove Stories (Tuesday Encore)

Tuesday October 30 @ 4:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Michael Fisher, USA, 2017, 74 mins
This fascinating documentary captures the unique community of Cherry Grove, Fire Island – from its early days as a center for drag culture to the present day – featuring interviews with residents, old-timers, and captivating new and archival footage. Starting in the 1950s, Cherry Grove provided gays, including the likes of Tennessee Williams, with a safe space to express themselves at a time when interactions by people of the same sex were often the target of police raids. Michael Fisher’s oral history navigates the rich history and unknown stories of this vibrant beachfront community.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Coby

Saturday October 27 @ 2:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Christian Sonderegger, France, 2017, 78 mins
A paramedic in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Coby shares a satisfying life with his supportive girlfriend Sarah, their pack of dogs, two brothers, and his parents. Nearly a decade after transitioning, the quotidian movements of his day-to-day—from receiving a shot of testosterone from his girlfriend to escorting a toddler to the ER—are quietly yet candidly documented by Christian Sonderegger. A contender in the ACID program at Cannes, COBY revolutionizes the use of the now-ubiquitous YouTube transition video as a conduit for telling the stories that rest in the silent white space between video updates.

Read more / Trailer »

Spotlight Screening & Conversation

Conversations with Gay Elders: Daniel Maloney

Sunday October 28 @ 2:30 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. David Weissman, USA, 2017, 67 min
Presented in Partnership with Generations Project and SAGE
“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Director,” says New Yorker and subject Daniel Maloney, 77; and so begins the start of a stimulating interview between Maloney and director David Weissman (WE WERE HERE, THE COCKETTES). A principal dancer with Martha Graham in the 1970s, Maloney recounts his experiences facing racism, serving in the army, moving to New York, and first sexual encounters–all the while carrying on the art so closely linked to culture, community, and civilization: oral tradition. This film is part of a documentary series in which Weissman collaborates with a young editor–in this case, Jake Stein, 24 and newly out–to capture illuminating stories from elders that represent a cross-section of the LGBTQ community.
This screening will be followed by an extended conversation with the filmmakers and subject, moderated by Adam Golub (Film Team Leader, The Generations Project).

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

Daddy (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 9:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

World Premiere
Dir. Jonah Greenstein, USA, 2018, 75 mins
A homeless man survives in New York by sleeping with men he meets on Grindr. Longing for a better life but also intimacy, he becomes a hustler and falls in love with one of his clients. Gorgeously shot and displaying intimate moments that are at once passionate and melancholic, DADDY explores themes of poverty, sex as currency, and what it is to be human. Jonah Greenstein’s feature debut paints a portrait of gay New York City through the lens of a young man and his encounters.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

Daddy (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 9:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

World Premiere
Dir. Jonah Greenstein, USA, 2018, 75 mins
A homeless man (Alexander Horner) survives in New York by sleeping with men he meets on Grindr. Longing for a better life but also intimacy, he becomes a hustler and falls in love with one of his clients (Thomas Jay Ryan, HENRY FOOL). Gorgeously shot and displaying intimate moments that are at once passionate and melancholic, DADDY explores themes of poverty, sex as currency, and what it is to be human. Jonah Greenstein’s feature debut paints a portrait of gay New York City through the lens of a young man and his encounters.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S Narrative Feature

Devil’s Path (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 7:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Matthew Montgomery, USA, 2018, 88 mins
While searching for his missing brother in a remote gay cruising park, Noah (Stephen Twardokus) sets his sights on a handsome stranger (JD Scalzo). When Noah is viciously attacked, he and his new companion escape through the woods with two menacing thugs in hot pursuit. Lost and frightened, they begin to turn on each other and slowly unravel the truth of what’s really going on around them. This moody, picturesque psychological thriller from first-time director Matthew Montgomery features unexpected twists and turns, and seamlessly blends sharp, opposing perspectives about sex and love with suspenseful set pieces filled with existential dread.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

Devil’s Path (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 4:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Matthew Montgomery, USA, 2018, 88 mins
While searching for his missing brother in a remote gay cruising park, Noah (Stephen Twardokus) sets his sights on a handsome stranger (JD Scalzo). When Noah is viciously attacked, he and his new companion escape through the woods with two menacing thugs in hot pursuit. Lost and frightened, they begin to turn on each other and slowly unravel the truth of what’s really going on around them. This moody, picturesque psychological thriller from first-time director Matthew Montgomery features unexpected twists and turns, and seamlessly blends sharp, opposing perspectives about sex and love with suspenseful set pieces filled with existential dread.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Shorts Program

Drawn This Way 2.0: Queer Animation (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 6:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Intimate and inspiring, this collection encapsulates the complexity of the queer experience in all of its brilliance. Both narrative and non-fiction stories utilize the illusion of movement to reveal personal truths, explore new boundaries, and create connections with one another. An inventive and eclectic array of perspectives and forms come together in moving ways.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Shorts Program

Drawn This Way 2.0: Queer Animation (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 4:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Intimate and inspiring, this collection encapsulates the complexity of the queer experience in all of its brilliance. Both narrative and non-fiction stories utilize the illusion of movement to reveal personal truths, explore new boundaries, and create connections with one another. An inventive and eclectic array of perspectives and forms come together in moving ways.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Centerpiece

Dykes, Camera, Action! (Documentary Centerpiece)

Saturday October 27 @ 6:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Caroline Berler, USA, 2018, 60 mins
One of the most glaring omissions in the film canon has been the work of queer women. Thankfully this once-hidden population picked up the camera and transformed the visibility of lesbians in cinema through classics such as GO FISH (1994), THE WATERMELON WOMAN (1996), HIGH ART (1998), all of which premiered in New York at NewFest. Pioneering filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, Cheryl Dunye, critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others discuss with humor and depth how they’ve expressed their queer identity through film, while also revealing personal stories from their own experiences of looking for themselves on screen. First-time director Caroline Berler expertly balances films clips with candid interviews, making DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! a joyous response to the days of the celluloid closet, culminating in a groundbreaking celebration of empowerment and visibility for the ages.

This screening will be followed by a conversation on female representation in the film industry and lesbian visibility in cinema with featured cast, moderated by Terry Lawler (Executive Director, New York Women in Film & Television).

Presented in Partnership with New York Women in Film & Television

Read more / Trailer »

Episodic Sidebar

Episodic Showcase (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 7:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Some of the most well-crafted LGBTQ characters these days can be found in episodic content. This sampler platter of seven new shows gives an authentic, unfiltered look at our community, without the censorship of the networks. Catch them here first, and decide which series to add to your must-binge list.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Episodic Sidebar

Episodic Showcase (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 1:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Some of the most well-crafted LGBTQ characters these days can be found in episodic content. This sampler platter of seven new shows gives an authentic, unfiltered look at our community, without the censorship of the networks. Catch them here first, and decide which series to add to your must-binge list.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

Eva + Candela (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 6:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Ruth Caudeli, Colombia, 2018, 90 mins
South America’s evocative answer to BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, this stirring portrait captures the dynamic interplay between two strong, independent women: a female director and the star of her first film. The two are, drawn together by a powerful attraction and their shared desire to take on the movie world. The passion between them creates a seductive and fascinating intimacy. But over time, their relationship evolves, swinging from infatuation to sensuality, which turns to tenderness, and then routine. They never wanted to be a conventional couple, and yet that’s just what they’ve become. Can Eva and Candela withstand the inevitable effects of time to overcome the metamorphosis of their relationship?
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

International Narrative Feature

Eva + Candela (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 9:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Ruth Caudeli, Colombia, 2018, 90 mins
South America’s evocative answer to BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, this stirring portrait captures the dynamic interplay between two strong, independent women: a female director and the star of her first film. The two are, drawn together by a powerful attraction and their shared desire to take on the movie world. The passion between them creates a seductive and fascinating intimacy. But over time, their relationship evolves, swinging from infatuation to sensuality, which turns to tenderness, and then routine. They never wanted to be a conventional couple, and yet that’s just what they’ve become. Can Eva and Candela withstand the inevitable effects of time to overcome the metamorphosis of their relationship?
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Every Act of Life

Monday October 29 @ 6:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

Dir. Jeff Kaufman, USA, 2018, 92 mins
Playwright Terrence McNally has redefined contemporary gay theater with an extraordinary body of work that includes The Ritz, Corpus Christi, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, and Love! Valour! Compassion!, to name just a few. But his life offstage has been just as fascinating, encompassing activism, addiction, romance, and the constant pursuit of artistic excellence. McNally shares his story onscreen with the help of friends and colleagues like Angela Lansbury, Rita Moreno, Nathan Lane, F. Murray Abraham, and many more, as captured by documentarian and NewFest alum Jeff Kaufman (THE STATE OF MARRIAGE).
Q&A with Terrence McNally to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Féminin/Féminin (Season 2)

Thursday October 25 @ 6:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. Chloé Robichaud, Canada, French, 2017, 121 mins (8 episodes)
Catch up with some of the most charming and relatable ladies in Season 2 of Chloé Robichaud’s (Sarah Prefers to Run) fresh series. Revolving around the intersecting lives of a group of friends in Montrèal, these queer women navigate fear of commitment, the desire for motherhood, generational gaps, infidelity, and more in hilarious and moving ways. With several international awards to its name, the first season was featured on Amazon Prime and Hulu, and on French television channel France 4.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

Fish Bones

Saturday October 27 @ 8:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Joanne Mony Park, USA, 2017, 82 mins
In her debut feature, director Joanne Mony Park delivers a sensitively-drawn portrait of Hana (Joony Kim) a young woman caught between two worlds; the expectations of her Korean family, and her own needs and desires as a university student and model discovering her queer identity. The film’s quiet attention to detail captures charming moments of self reflection and attraction, as Hana falls for Nico (Cris Gris), a charismatic Latina who lives without the self-consciousness that holds Hana back. The chemistry between these two leads captivates the viewer and heralds the discovery of a bold and exciting new directorial voice to watch.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

For Izzy

Saturday October 27 @ 9:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Grand Jury Prize, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2018
Dir. Alex Chu, USA, 2018, 84 mins
A warm, heartfelt film about blending families, featuring powerhouse performances from its all-Asian cast. Beloved late actress Elizabeth Sung plays Anna, a successful business-woman and single mother struggling with a strained relationship with her 20-something queer daughter Dede (Michelle Ang). Her widower neighbor Peter (Jim Lau) is the caretaker of his millennial daughter Laura (Jennifer Soo) who is on the Autism spectrum.  When Laura and Dede form an unlikely friendship they each bond with the other’s parent, ultimately bringing Peter and Anna together to find an unexpected later-in-life romance.
Q&A to follow

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Special Event

Gia (20th Anniversary Screening)

Saturday October 27 @ 10:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Winner, Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Made for Television, Golden Globe 1999
Dir. Michael Cristofer, USA, 1998, 126 min
It’s been 20 years since Angelina Jolie chronicled the life of supermodel Gia Carangi in Michael Cristofer’s now-classic HBO movie. Carangi, who rose to meteoric fame in late 70s New York, was known for her trademark temper and bold, unapologetic fashion style, but died young from AIDS-related complications. While the film has long been considered essential LGBTQ viewing, it’s rarely enjoyed on the big screen. Revisit it with us, your NewFest family and soak up the sultry scenes between Jolie and costar Elizabeth Mitchell, as well as revel in supporting roles from icons Mercedes Ruehl and Faye Dunaway as Gia’s mother and modeling agent respectively. An HBO Original Film.

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Shorts Program

Girls Shorts

Saturday October 27 @ 3:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

From friendship to dating to marriage, these shorts look at love and intimacy through many different lenses and paint a picture of strong, vulnerable, funny, and stubborn women who shine on the big screen. The heartbreak and joy of everyday life weave together in this collection of stories that span cultural and generational gaps too often overlooked in film.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

HalloKween Shorts

Monday October 29 @ 6:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Real and mental demons plague our protagonists in this genre-driven, Halloween-focused line-up that honors the hysterically hallowed holiday.. From a hospital psych ward to high school hallways, and from online conversations to inner-monologues, we cover the scariest grounds on earth in this program of horror shorts.
Q&A to follow

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International Narrative

Hard Paint

Sunday October 28 @ 6:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Teddy Award for Best Feature Film, Berlinale 2018
Dir. Filipe Matzembacher and Marcio Reolon, Brazil, 2017, 117 mins
Online, Pedro smears neon paint across his body for pay-per-view voyeurs hungry for his webcam erotica. In real life, he rarely sees the sun or speaks to another soul in Porto Alegre. After catching word of a rival ripping off his rainbow-colored act, he ventures from the shadows to settle their score — but finds an unlikely new friend in the process. This Berlinale Teddy Award winner conjures a dark, sensual atmosphere of alienation and discovery. We’re proud to welcome this dynamic young filmmaking duo back to the festival after 2016’s mini-series O Ninho (THE NEST).

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Legacy Centerpiece

High Art (1998)

Sunday October 28 @ 5:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

20th Anniversary Screening in 35mm
Dir. Lisa Cholodenko, USA, 1998, 102 mins
Twenty years ago, this intelligent and unassuming indie drama took home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance ‘98 and quickly became anchored in the LGBTQ consciousness as a lesbian classic. The debut feature from Lisa Cholodenko (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) was praised by Roger Ebert upon its release as “masterful, perceptive and mature” and made countless critics Top 10 Lists. When magazine editor Syd (Radha Mitchell) moves into the same building as German actress Greta (Patricia Clarkson) and photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy) her arrival prompts Lucy to consider leaving her reclusive drug-fueled days behind. Caught at the center of this triangle, Lucy is torn between keeping her work intimate versus venturing back into the photography business.
Q&A with filmmakers and select cast to follow

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Shorts Program

Hip to be Queer: Youth Shorts (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 4:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Through an inclusive and vibrant collection of short films from around the world, this program is exclusive for high school students and provides access and empowerment for LGBTQ+ youth to see themselves on screen while promoting media literacy and encouraging self-expression. This collection of short films range from comedy to drama, and vary in topics that cut across the youth experience, including interpersonal relationships, bullying, family, gender, identity, self-care, and cultural divides.
Presented by The New York City Department of Education. In Partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME).

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Shorts Program

Hip to be Queer: Youth Shorts (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 4:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Through an inclusive and vibrant collection of short films from around the world, this program is exclusive for high school students and provides access and empowerment for LGBTQ+ youth to see themselves on screen while promoting media literacy and encouraging self-expression. This collection of short films range from comedy to drama, and vary in topics that cut across the youth experience, including interpersonal relationships, bullying, family, gender, identity, self-care, and cultural divides.
Presented by The New York City Department of Education. In Partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME).

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Shorts Program

Hip to be Queer: Youth Shorts (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 4:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Through an inclusive and vibrant collection of short films from around the world, this program is exclusive for high school students and provides access and empowerment for LGBTQ+ youth to see themselves on screen while promoting media literacy and encouraging self-expression. This collection of short films range from comedy to drama, and vary in topics that cut across the youth experience, including interpersonal relationships, bullying, family, gender, identity, self-care, and cultural divides.
Presented by The New York City Department of Education. In Partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME).

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Documentary Feature

I Hate New York (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 9:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

North American Premiere
Dir. Gustavo Sánchez, Spain, 2018, 75 mins
From 2007 to 2017, Gustavo Sánchez followed seasoned transfemme artists Chloe Dzubilo, Sophia Lamar, and Amanda Lepore around Manhattan’s rapidly-changing East Village with a humble Sony Handycam, capturing hundreds of hours of footage. I Hate New York is the result of these intimate conversations between the debut filmmaker and his triptych of captivating and driven female artists. In yellow cabs, Tompkins Square Park, and impossibly small apartments, Dzubilo, Lamar, and Lepore offer their unfiltered thoughts on everything from success and rivalry to gentrification and the utter pointlessness of nostalgia. These interviews are supplemented by commentary from the women’s fellow Village characters and creatives, including Penny Arcade, Bibbe Hansen, T De Long, and iO Tillett Wright. Through patient and devoted direction, Sánchez has created a documentary that offers unprecedented access to three transwomen who not only made their mark on New York’s ephemeral underground, but lived to see middle age. Despite its name, I HATE NEW YORK is a hopeful love letter to a hostile city and the transwomen who’ve called—and continue to call—NYC home.
Q&A to follow

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Documentary Feature

I Hate New York (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 7:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

North American Premiere
Dir. Gustavo Sánchez, Spain, 2018, 75 mins
From 2007 to 2017, Gustavo Sánchez followed seasoned transfemme artists Chloe Dzubilo, Sophia Lamar, and Amanda Lepore around Manhattan’s rapidly-changing East Village with a humble Sony Handycam, capturing hundreds of hours of footage. I Hate New York is the result of these intimate conversations between the debut filmmaker and his triptych of captivating and driven female artists. In yellow cabs, Tompkins Square Park, and impossibly small apartments, Dzubilo, Lamar, and Lepore offer their unfiltered thoughts on everything from success and rivalry to gentrification and the utter pointlessness of nostalgia. These interviews are supplemented by commentary from the women’s fellow Village characters and creatives, including Penny Arcade, Bibbe Hansen, T De Long, and iO Tillett Wright. Through patient and devoted direction, Sánchez has created a documentary that offers unprecedented access to three transwomen who not only made their mark on New York’s ephemeral underground, but lived to see middle age. Despite its name, I HATE NEW YORK is a hopeful love letter to a hostile city and the transwomen who’ve called—and continue to call—NYC home.
Q&A to follow

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U.S. Narrative Feature

Jules of Light and Dark

Monday October 29 @ 6:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Daniel Laabs, USA, 2018, 85 mins
In present-day Texas, Maya (Tallie Medel) and her on again, off again girlfriend Jules (Betsy Holt) total their car after a night of backwoods raving and teen mischief. They’re rescued from the wreckage by Freddy (Robert Longstreet), a divorced oil worker whose stoic facade crumbles as he comes to see himself, and his repressed desires, in Maya. As Jules recovers, Maya and Freddy develop a rapport that dulls the debilitating silence of their small-town lives. Together, they subtly encourage one another to chase after what they want the most (or at least figure out what that might be). JULES OF LIGHT AND DARK is an iridescent coming-of-age story boasting the rural isolation of Deb Shoval’s AWOL and the wanderlust of Andrea Arnold’s AMERICAN HONEY. Defined by earnest, full performances and a blue palette, Daniel Laabs’ first feature solidly articulates the universality of queer loneliness and uncertainty across genders and generations.
Q&A to follow

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HalloKween

Killer Unicorn

Monday October 29 @ 9:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Drew Bolton, USA, 2017, 75 mins
Flaunting lewks and flouting conventional taste, this deliriously campy romp dashes through slasher tropes with deadly Brooklyn attitude and a distinctively queer spirit. Following a traumatic experience at “Brooklyn’s Annual Enema Party,” party boy Danny is haunted by a hunky masked stranger who causes a massacre of Brooklyn nightlife. Featuring a bevy of Brooklyn’s biggest drag divas, including Bushwig co-founder Horrorchata, this crass creation of cult fervor is John Waters meets John Carpenter. And watch out–these queens aren’t the only ones who came to slay.
Q&A to follow

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HalloKween

Knife+Heart

Sunday October 28 @ 9:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Official Selection, Cannes 2018
Dir. Yann Gonzalez, France, 2018, 110 mins
A Cannes 2018 Official Selection, this steamy and seedy ode to cinema and postured pulp comes from visionary director and NewFest alum Yann Gonzalez (YOU AND THE NIGHT). Vanessa Paradis stars as a no-nonsense gay porn producer on films such as “HOMOCIDE” and “ANAL FURY” who’s befuddled by a crush on her editor (Kate Moran) and the fact that her cast and crew are being knocked off one-by-one by a leather-clad madman. Shot on lush 35mm and featuring a pulsating original score from M83, KNIFE + HEART is a gloriously and gorgeously gory take on the modern slasher flick set in the world of 70s Paris. Celluloid lovers unite—the giallo subgenre has finally gone full-blown queer.
Q&A to follow

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U.S. Narrative Feature

Lez Bomb

Monday October 29 @ 9:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Jenna Laurenzo, USA, 2018, 90 mins
A gut-busting multigenerational comedy of errors following Lauren, a young woman who comes home for the holidays with some life changing news: she has a girlfriend. Little does Lauren know, the eccentric cast of characters that makes up her family have their own string of surprises as well. As it turns out, there is no good time to drop the “lez bomb.” Produced by Bobby Farrelly (THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY) and featuring Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern and Steve Guttenberg.
Q&A to follow

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Special Events

Looking For?

Sunday October 28 @ 7:30 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. Tung-Yen Chou, Taiwan, 2017, 61 mins
Explore the mysteries of dating apps in this charming, infectious documentary that lays all the sexy details out on the table. Young Taiwanese filmmaker Tung-Yen Chou searches for a love of his own, as he questions gay men around the world about their intimate experiences on hookup apps. Can an app lead you to the love of your life? This refreshingly raw and far too relatable look into digital romance is a snapshot of the moment.
Q&A to follow

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Documentary Feature

Love, Scott (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 4:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Laura Marie Wayne, Canada, 2018, 76 mins
After being violently attacked on the street, openly gay musician Scott Jones is left paralyzed from the waist down. Told through the eyes of Scott’s close friend, this heartbreaking and inspiring portrait of grief traces the journey from convalescence to recovery to finally forgiveness. Scott revisits the location of the attack and rebuilds his life as a choir conductor and public speaker. This poignant documentary depicts the universal struggles of LGBTQ people and the people who love them through an incredibly intimate and personal story.
Presented in Partnership with Anti-Violence Project
Q&A to follow

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Documentary Feature

Love, Scott (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 4:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Laura Marie Wayne, Canada, 2018, 76 mins
After being violently attacked on the street, openly gay musician Scott Jones is left paralyzed from the waist down. Told through the eyes of Scott’s close friend, this heartbreaking and inspiring portrait of grief traces the journey from convalescence to recovery to finally forgiveness. Scott revisits the location of the attack and rebuilds his life as a choir conductor and public speaker. This poignant documentary depicts the universal struggles of LGBTQ people and the people who love them through an incredibly intimate and personal story.
Presented in Partnership with NYC Anti-Violence Project
Q&A to follow

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Closing Night Film & Party

Making Montgomery Clift (Closing Night Film & Party)

Tuesday October 30 @ 7:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Robert Clift and Hillary Demmon, USA, 2018, 88 mins
The iconic Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift—described in many accounts as “tragically self-destructive” and “tormented” by his sexuality—is brought to new light by his nephew Robert Clift, who uncovers never-before-seen footage and exclusive audio interviews collected by the filmmaker’s father. The viewer gains insight into a fresh portrait of the legendary actor who was unashamed of his sexuality, maintained a great sense of humor, and even defied the studio system. Robert’s access to interviews with family and close friends of Monty turn against the faulty narrative made popular by previous biographies and documentaries that considered him “the slowest suicide in Hollywood history.” Thoroughly well-researched and edited, Robert—along with co-director Hillary Demmon— brings to the surface a personal account of his uncle Monty and his father Brooks Clift that forces us to ask: Why was so much of Monty’s story left out? How were previous accounts so wrong? Who do we trust to write our history? MAKING MONTGOMERY CLIFT brings the star out of the archive, and further out of the closet.
Q&A with filmmakers to follow
Ticket includes film and entrance to the Closing Night Party

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Documentary Feature

Man Made

Friday October 26 @ 7:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. T Cooper, USA, 2018, 98 mins
From surgeries and T parties to the struggles and joys of transitioning, follow four men as they prepare for Trans FitCon, the only bodybuilding competition exclusively for trans men. Glimpse the intimate relationships between these men and their partners, family, and children as they train throughout the year. This powerful documentary from director T Cooper and executive producer Tea Leoni culminates in a triumphant gesture of acceptance and an understanding of the shared struggles among them as they take the stage and embody their true selves.
Q&A to follow

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New York Centerpiece

Mapplethorpe (New York Centerpiece)

Saturday October 27 @ 8:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

Dir. Ondi Timoner, USA, 2018, 102 mins
Emmy-nominee Matt Smith (DOCTOR WHO, THE CROWN) plays renegade queer artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Set in the gay leather communities and highbrow galleries of New York City in the 70s and 80s, Ondi Timoner’s biopic is an unflinching look at the life and career of the icon made famous for his striking black-and-white images of phalluses and flowers. From the Chelsea Hotel to Bond Street, this film takes a chronological look at the influences and practices that captured male homo-erotic desire so poignantly in the face of the devastating toll of the AIDS crisis.
Q&A to follow

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International Narrative Feature

Mario

Friday October 26 @ 9:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Marcel Gisler, Switzerland, 2018, 119 mins
Mario, a German soccer player, faces a harrowing decision when he must choose between pursuing his career on the field or his forbidden love for Leon, his roommate and a new player on the team. As rumors unfold in the locker room and spread to higher ranks, Mario attempts to deny them, and asks his girlfriend Jenny to pretend they are together. The torment caused by this macho world is reflected in Mario’s mother, who, in one memorable scene, refuses to be photographed during a magazine photoshoot with Jenny and her son, her eyes consumed with anguish.

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Special Event

Milk (10th Anniversary)

Saturday October 27 @ 7:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

Free for NewFest Passholders & Annual Members with RSVP; $10 General Admission
Dir. Gus Van Sant, USA, 2008, 128 mins
This distinctly American tale of grassroots political perseverance won Dustin Lance Black an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for his well-researched and flinty script, and received nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for queer director Gus Van Sant. Anchored by a towering Academy Award-winning performance by Sean Penn and supported by a dynamic ensemble–which includes Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Alison Pill, and James Franco–MILK boasts the activistic power of a strong community working together to create change and awareness. MILK captures the ebullience and spirit of 70s San Francisco and celebrates the doors opened by the titular icon, California’s first openly gay elected official, as well as the legacy he left behind too soon.
With special guest Stuart Milk; Global LGBT Rights campaigner, Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation and nephew of Harvey Milk

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Shorts Program

Our Queer History

Sunday October 28 @ 12:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

Presented in Partnership with Making Gay History and NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Histories are reconstructed then deconstructed in magnificent textures and styles to celebrate and reflect on the narratives of lives on the fringes: from Italian exiles on a remote island in the 1930s, to British farmers in the early 21st century, to families and spaces intimately shaped over years by HIV/AIDS. As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of NewFest, we look back on the past three decades and further not only to remember but also to discover.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

Queer Jewish Shorts (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 1:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

From the U.S. to Israel, this program brings together six short films that examine what it is to be queer and Jewish, and how religion can be a guide for some but an obstacle for others.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

Queer Jewish Shorts (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 3:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

From the U.S. to Israel, this program brings together six short films that examine what it is to be queer and Jewish, and how religion can be a guide for some but an obstacle for others.
Q&A to follow

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International Centerpiece

Rafiki (International Centerpiece)

Friday October 26 @ 6:30 pm
SVA Theatre – 1, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya/South Africa/Germany/Netherlands/France/Norway/Lebanon, 2018, 83 mins
Fresh from its triumphant Cannes premiere, RAFIKI is a must-see film that delivers a beautifully acted, nuanced portrayal of being queer in Nairobi. This vibrant romance follows the burgeoning relationship between Ziki (Sheila Munyiva), the playful Beyonce-wannabe who lives in the city’s affluent Skyview Towers, and Kena (Samantha Mugatsia), the shy, responsible tomboy who hangs out on the overcrowded Slopes estate with the local Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) boys. The film’s delicious pink-hued color palette is part of the African film aesthetic known as the afrobubblegum movement, and sets the joyous tone for this rare look at first love between two women in Kenya. Banned in its home country of Kenya for its positive depiction of two young women in love, RAFIKI is a global call to action that proves a work of art does not have to be explicit in order to stir resist in the face of oppression.
Q&A to follow

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International Narrative Feature

Reinventing Marvin

Sunday October 28 @ 2:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Anne Fontaine, France, 2017, 116 mins
Martin Clement is about to give the performance of his life: his life story, that is, in an autobiographical stage play. As a child, young Marvin Bijoux was bullied by homophobic classmates at school and misunderstood by his often-neglectful parents, making him feel like a lonely outsider in his small rural French village. But when a kind school principal guides him to join the drama club, Marvin discovers his gifts for play-acting the misery that surrounds him. When he qualifies to attend a theatrical school, Marvin acts the role of the brash straight stud until he meets an older mentor who encourages him to acknowledge his sexuality and to exorcise his pain by putting it all on the stage. This sweeping drama from director and co-writer Anne Fontaine (THE INNOCENTS, COCO BEFORE CHANEL) captures a life in the theater, as we see timid young Marvin (Jules Porier) blossom into adult Martin (Finnegan Oldfield, NOCTURAMA) — with a little help along the way from Isabelle Huppert, playing herself. Fontaine masterfully spins a powerful yet subtly heartbreaking tale that reminds us that no matter how far we get from our upbringing, a piece of it remains with us always.

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International Narrative Feature

Retablo

Saturday October 27 @ 1:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, Peru/Germany/Norway, 2018, 95 mins
Teddy Award for Best First Feature, Berlinale 2018
Grand Jury Prizes for Best First Feature, Frameline & Inside Out
As his name suggests, fourteen year-old Segundo Paucar (Junior Behar) is his father Noé’s (Amiel Cayo) most devoted apprentice. Together, they craft intricate storyboxes—consisting of a cabinet, hand-painted figurines, and a lot of heart—for Peruvian families. Upon discovering his father with another man, Segundo struggles to accept his father’s delicate touch and its beautiful byproducts. With this award-winning debut feature, Alvaro Delgado Aparicio emphasizes his devotion to the touching and fraught power structure that afflicts fathers and sons. In RETABLO, patience in art and relationships might be tragically condemned by society, yet they are fiercely rewarded by family.

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Room to Grow

Saturday October 27 @ 4:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. Matt Alber and Jon Garcia, USA, Canada, 2018, 87 mins
For many queer people, some of our toughest years were when we were teenagers living at home. Homophobic parents and school environments often made life unbearable. Now meet the next generation of queer youth, as they forge a path of love, with the support of their families. In the face of one of the harshest political climates, with homophobia and racism on the rise, these fearless teenagers are claiming their identities and taking the world by storm. ROOM TO GROW is an intimate look into what it means to be an LGBTQ teen today.
Q&A to follow

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Documentary Feature

Sidney & Friends (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 1:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Tristan Aitchison, Scotland/Kenya, 2018, 75 mins
Six people from Nairobi share their candid reality of what it’s like to live as a targeted gender minority, in a region known for the prejudice and discrimination against its LGBTI population. When his family tries to kill him, Sidney, who is intersex, flees to Nairobi where he befriends an underground community. Documentarian Tristan Aichitson discovered this network of trans and intersex people fighting to survive on the edge of Kenyan society, and spent three years capturing their voices in interviews. These are their stories.
Q&A to follow

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Documentary Feature

Sidney & Friends (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 11:00 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Tristan Aitchison, Scotland/Kenya, 2018, 75 mins
Six people from Nairobi share their candid reality of what it’s like to live as a targeted gender minority, in a region known for the prejudice and discrimination against its LGBTI population. When his family tries to kill him, Sidney, who is intersex, flees to Nairobi where he befriends an underground community. Documentarian Tristan Aichitson discovered this network of trans and intersex people fighting to survive on the edge of Kenyan society, and spent three years capturing their voices in interviews. These are their stories.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Silvana (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 9:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, and Christina Tsiobanelis, Sweden, 2017, 94 mins
Years before Hayley Kiyoko and Princess Nokia refused to apologize for being out in love and art, Silvana Imam climbs Sweden’s charts as an openly lesbian creator and one of her country’s only female rappers. Born to Lithuanian and Syrian immigrants, Imam is furiously political and playfully queer, taking her country to task for its racism while spitting verses about lesbianism. Silvana is many films in one: a travel log, a tour diary, an experimental film, and a public service announcement on one of the European Union’s flawed superpowers. Filmed from 2014 to 2016, Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, and Christina Tsiobanelis’ portrait of the artist is an intimate time capsule of the feminist artist’s meteoric rise to superstardom and the early days of her relationship with a fellow musician, the Swedish pop star Beatrice Eli.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Documentary Feature

Silvana (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 4:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, and Christina Tsiobanelis, Sweden, 2017, 94 mins
Years before Hayley Kiyoko and Princess Nokia refused to apologize for being out in love and art, Silvana Imam climbs Sweden’s charts as an openly lesbian creator and one of her country’s only female rappers. Born to Lithuanian and Syrian immigrants, Imam is furiously political and playfully queer, taking her country to task for its racism while spitting verses about lesbianism. Silvana is many films in one: a travel log, a tour diary, an experimental film, and a public service announcement on one of the European Union’s flawed superpowers. Filmed from 2014 to 2016, Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring, and Christina Tsiobanelis’ portrait of the artist is an intimate time capsule of the feminist artist’s meteoric rise to superstardom and the early days of her relationship with a fellow musician, the Swedish pop star Beatrice Eli.

Read more / Trailer »

U.S. Narrative Feature

Solace (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 4:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Tchaiko Omawale, USA, 2018, 80 mins
A visually arresting debut from director Tchaiko Omawale, this dark and dangerous coming of age tale tackles themes of mental wellness while exploring the confusion of an adolescent crush. Recently orphaned teen Sole (Hope Olaide Wilson) is sent to live with her estranged relatives. Quickly becoming infatuated with the rebellious girl next door, Sole falls in with a crowd of queer misfits that light up her dark days. Emmy-winner Lynn Whitfield delivers a satisfying turn as deeply hypocritical grandmother, and emerging artist Syd (of R&B group The Internet) will satisfy those with their finger on the pulse of music from the margins.
Q&A to follow

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U.S. Narrative Feature

Solace (10/29)

Monday October 29 @ 3:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Tchaiko Omawale, USA, 2018, 80 mins
A visually arresting debut from director Tchaiko Omawale, this dark and dangerous coming of age tale tackles themes of mental wellness while exploring the confusion of an adolescent crush. Recently orphaned teen Sole (Hope Olaide Wilson) is sent to live with her estranged relatives. Quickly becoming infatuated with the rebellious girl next door, Sole falls in with a crowd of queer misfits that light up her dark days. Emmy-winner Lynn Whitfield delivers a satisfying turn as deeply hypocritical grandmother, and emerging artist Syd (of R&B group The Internet) will satisfy those with their finger on the pulse of music from the margins.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

The “F” Word: Feminist Shorts (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 9:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

When you think about feminism, do you think about subverting gender stereotypes assigned to female bodies, female athletes succeeding at the top of their game, or small town societal structures being reshaped? Do you think about women and young girls coming into their own? The beauty of the F word is that it means many different things to each of us, and in a post #MeToo world, we have the power to continue to explore feminism through art, reinterpreting and redefining it for ourselves.

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Shorts Program

The “F” Word: Feminist Shorts (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 11:30 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

When you think about feminism, do you think about subverting gender stereotypes assigned to female bodies, female athletes succeeding at the top of their game, or small town societal structures being reshaped? Do you think about women and young girls coming into their own? The beauty of the F word is that it means many different things to each of us, and in a post #MeToo world, we have the power to continue to explore feminism through art, reinterpreting and redefining it for ourselves.

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Episodic

The Bisexual: Episodes 1 & 2

Monday October 29 @ 9:15 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

U.S. Premiere
Dir. Desiree Akhavan, UK/USA, 2018, 65 mins
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Desiree Akhavan (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR) co-writes, directs and stars in this witty new six-part comedy-drama produced by Hootenanny (A Sister Pictures company) for Hulu. BAFTA-nominated Maxine Peake (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) and Brian Gleeson (PHANTOM THREAD) also star in this painfully funny series that explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of Leila–who finds herself, for the first time, doing both. Coming to Hulu this November.
Talkback with Desiree Akhavan and select cast to follow

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Hallokween Sidebar

The Carmilla Movie

Monday October 29 @ 6:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Dir. Spencer Maybee, Canada, 2017, 94 mins
THE CARMILLA MOVIE picks up five years after the events of the award-winning global phenomenon digital series Carmilla. Laura (Elise Bauman) and former vampire Carmilla’s (Natasha Negovanlis) domestic bliss is interrupted by an unknown supernatural threat when Carm shows signs of re-vamping and Laura starts having ghostly dreams. Catch up on seasons 0-3 on YouTube and then join us to celebrate the power of the audience, as our favorite lesbian vampires are reunited in this fan-demanded feature film.
Q&A to follow

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International Narrative Feature

The Heiresses

Sunday October 28 @ 2:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Marcelo Martinessi, Paraguay/Germany/Brazil/Uruguay/Norway/France, 2018, 98 mins
Chela (Ana Brun) and Chiquita (Margarita Irun) are a middle aged lesbian couple living in present day Asunción, Paraguay. Descendants of Paraguayan aristocracy, the women have enjoyed a silver spoon lifestyle together for thirty years. When the couple is abruptly hit by financial hardship, they scramble to find work and auction off their respective heirlooms—silver spoons included—to stay afloat. When Chiquita is imprisoned for her fraudulent side hustle, Chela begins working as a taxi driver, gradually building new relationships and autonomy for the first time in her life. Each caged—one by a gutted lovenest, the other by razor wire—an irremediable distance grows between the two women.

Set in writer-director Marcelo Martinessi’s hometown, THE HEIRESSES embraces minimal dialogue, a twilight palette, and unconventional beauty to tell a melancholy yet satisfying story of new beginnings.

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International Narrative Feature

The Marriage (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 3:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Blerta Zeqiri, Kosovo/Albania, 2018, 97 mins
A decade after the bitter Kosovo war and unaware if her parents survived, Anita’s wedding plans with Bekim slowly come together—until his best friend comes back to town. Tensions grow, as a triangle of love, lust, and drunken nights spilling secrets form. Kosovo’s Oscar submission for Foreign Language category is a culturally infused drama about unforgettable partnerships an isolated society struggles to accept, giving a tiny glimpse of hope that embracing who you are should be the norm.

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International Narrative Feature

The Marriage (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 6:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York City Premiere
Dir. Blerta Zeqiri, Kosovo/Albania, 2018, 97 mins
A decade after the bitter Kosovo war and unaware if her parents survived, Anita’s wedding plans with Bekim slowly come together—until his best friend comes back to town. Tensions grow, as a triangle of love, lust, and drunken nights spilling secrets form. Kosovo’s Oscar submission for Foreign Language category is a culturally infused drama about unforgettable partnerships an isolated society struggles to accept, giving a tiny glimpse of hope that embracing who you are should be the norm.

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U.S Narrative Feature

The Skin of the Teeth (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 9:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. Matthew Wollin, USA, 2018, 80 mins
This sinister drama-thriller evokes the feel of a contemporary film noir, with a shades of GET OUT-meets-Grindr. When Josef arrives at John’s apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to an unusual and genuine chemistry. But after Josef takes a pill with unclear effects, the night takes a shocking turn, and he is plunged into a surreal interrogation of just who and what he is. Pascal Arquimedes’ compelling lead performance keeps the viewer holding their breath from beginning to end.
Q&A to follow

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U.S Narrative Feature

The Skin of the Teeth (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 4:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

East Coast Premiere
Dir. Matthew Wollin, USA, 2018, 80 mins
This sinister drama-thriller evokes the feel of a contemporary film noir, with a shades of GET OUT-meets-Grindr. When Josef arrives at John’s apartment for a date, their prickly energy slowly gives way to an unusual and genuine chemistry. But after Josef takes a pill with unclear effects, the night takes a shocking turn, and he is plunged into a surreal interrogation of just who and what he is. Pascal Arquimedes’ compelling lead performance keeps the viewer holding their breath from beginning to end.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

Three’s Company (10/25)

Thursday October 25 @ 3:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Enjoy the experience of polyamory without all the drama in this queer collection of threesomes. As relationships evolve, so must our art. And this collection of powerful films about modern dating is an example of how to use art to push back on societal norms and redefine the lives we want to live.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

Three’s Company (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 9:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

Enjoy the experience of polyamory without all the drama in this queer collection of threesomes. As relationships evolve, so must our art. And this collection of powerful films about modern dating is an example of how to use art to push back on societal norms and redefine the lives we want to live.
Q&A to follow

Read more / Trailer »

Shorts Program

Trans and Non-Binary Shorts (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 7:15 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

A blend of documentary and fiction films showing an inclusive array of protagonists facing personal obstacles and experiencing universal life lessons. These endearing films show us the humanity within our community and the various ways we can transcend gender.
Q&A to follow

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Shorts Program

Trans and Non-Binary Shorts (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 11:30 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

A blend of documentary and fiction films showing an inclusive array of protagonists facing personal obstacles and experiencing universal life lessons. These endearing films show us the humanity within our community and the various ways we can transcend gender.
Q&A to follow

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Spotlight Screening & Conversation

TransMilitary (Screening & Panel with GLAAD)

Sunday October 28 @ 5:00 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

Audience Award, SXSW 2018
Dir. Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson, USA, 2017, 93 mins
At the risk of being discharged and losing their livelihoods, trans service members come out to top brass at the Pentagon to challenge the transgender military ban. From 2015 to the present day, we follow four trans service members—Senior Airman Logan Ireland, Corporal Laila Ireland, Captain Jennifer Peace, and First Lieutenant El Cook—as they fight to defend their equal right to serve their country.
This screening will be followed by a conversation with the filmmakers and subjects, moderated by Zeke Stokes, Vice President of Programs, GLAAD.

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International Narrative Feature

Tucked (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 6:45 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 7, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Jamie Patterson, United Kingdom, 2018, 80 mins
When veteran drag queen Jackie Collins receives a diagnosis with six weeks left to live, all he wants to do is perform his long-running act, and behave as if all is normal. But between a surprising new friendship with a rising young queen and unfinished business with his estranged daughter, he may just have the most eventful month and a half of his life. A feel-good film with charm and humor as well as surprising insight into our evolving understanding of gender identity across generations, TUCKED marks the first queer film from prolific young British director Jamie Patterson.
Q&A to follow

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International Narrative Feature

Tucked (10/27)

Saturday October 27 @ 11:45 am
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere
Dir. Jamie Patterson, United Kingdom, 2018, 80 mins
When veteran drag queen Jackie Collins receives a diagnosis with six weeks left to live, all he wants to do is perform his long-running act, and behave as if all is normal. But between a surprising new friendship with a rising young queen and unfinished business with his estranged daughter, he may just have the most eventful month and a half of his life. A feel-good film with charm and humor as well as surprising insight into our evolving understanding of gender identity across generations, TUCKED marks the first queer film from prolific young British director Jamie Patterson.
Q&A to follow

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U.S Narrative Feature

Two in the Bush (10/26)

Friday October 26 @ 9:00 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 8, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere

Dir. Laura Madalinski, USA, 2018, 97 mins
After losing her job, Emily arrives home early from work to find her girlfriend in the throes of passion with someone else. In an instant, her entire life is turned upside down. Moving in with her best friend, Emily lands a new gig working for a dominatrix, and promptly falls for her new boss, and her boss’s boyfriend. In this wise and witty look at the world of bisexuality, polyamory and dungeons, filmmaker Laura Madalinski asks us to consider what risks are worth taking for love.
Q&A to follow

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U.S Narrative Feature

Two in the Bush (10/28)

Sunday October 28 @ 6:30 pm
Cinépolis Chelsea – Theater 9, 260 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

New York Premiere

Dir. Laura Madalinski, USA, 2018, 97 mins
After losing her job, Emily arrives home early from work to find her girlfriend in the throes of passion with someone else. In an instant, her entire life is turned upside down. Moving in with her best friend, Emily lands a new gig working for a dominatrix, and promptly falls for her new boss, and her boss’s boyfriend. In this wise and witty look at the world of bisexuality, polyamory and dungeons, filmmaker Laura Madalinski asks us to consider what risks are worth taking for love.
Q&A to follow

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Special Event

Until Rainbow Dawn

Monday October 29 @ 7:30 pm
Screening Room at The Center, 208 West 13th Street
New York, 10011 United States

U.S. Premiere
Dir. Mika Imai, Japan, 2018, 63 mins
When Hana falls in love with Ayumi, a girl she meets in her sign language group, she comes out to her parents who swiftly reject her. In an effort to cheer her up, Ayumi takes Hana to a deaf LGBTQ group in Tokyo, as they both find self-acceptance. A landmark film with a deaf cast and crew, this tender and sweet story showcases the beauty found within intersectionality and will warm the hearts of deaf and hearing audiences alike.
Presented in Partnership with ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York and Japan Society

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Wigged Out: Drag Shorts

Sunday October 28 @ 8:00 pm
SVA Theatre – 2, 333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011 United States

In celebration of Emmy-winning show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and its tenth year of taking the untucked revolution to TV, we exalt the art of drag and the fearless queens who inspire and wow us with their jaw-dropping talents and vital stories on and off the runway. By turns hysterical and moving — and starring beloved queens such as Bob the Drag Queen and Latrice Royale — these films add up to one enormous eleganza extravaganza that will leave you gagged.
Q&A to follow

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