2018 Film Guide
Get tickets now for the 30th Annual New York LGBT Film Festival (October 24-30)
Opening Night Film & Party
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]
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
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
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 & TelevisionRead more / Trailer »
New York Centerpiece
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
Wild Hearts: Shorts
In this collection of the best dramatic shorts on the LGBT festival circuit, you’ll meet people navigating passionate relationships including lesbian actresses, an anorexic trans man, and two gay Chilean lovers.
Includes: ACTRESSES, BROTHER ON LOW, LIKE HOPE, RELAPSE, MA/DDY, SAN CRISTOBAL.Read more / Trailer »