The festival is in partnership with Outfest, and presented by HBO – Runs October 22-27
Posted by Melanie Nathan, September 21, 2015.
New York, NY (September 21, 2015) – NewFest, in partnership with Outfest, today announced the lineup of their 27th annual celebration of the year’s best LGBT films from around the world. The program of nearly 100 narrative features, documentaries and shorts runs October 22-27 at the newly renovated Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas, and at the recently completed screening room at The LGBT Community Center in New York City. The festival is presented by HBO.
Opening night will see the New York premiere of legendary filmmaker Peter Greenaway’s EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO, a visually stunning, sexually explicit celebration of pioneering Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s gay coming of age during a trip to Mexico in the 1930s. The cinematic masterpiece, which had its world premiere to wide acclaim at the Berlinale this year, has been hailed as one of the finest films of Greenaway’s long, illustrious career. Called “outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane” by Variety, the film is sure to be the talk of the opening night party!
Closing out the festival on the 27th is Alexandra-Therese Keining’s GIRLS LOST, a thrilling story about three bullied girls who are drawn into a wild and chaotic journey when they find a magical plant whose nectar temporarily transforms them into boys. Fresh off its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it received critical acclaim, Kreining’s bold and stylish coming-of-age tale is a fascinating exploration of sexuality, identity and desire across the LGBT spectrum.
This year also features Centerpiece film CAROL, Todd Haynes’ highly-anticipated and award-winning lesbian romance starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara which won the 2015 Cannes Best Actress award for Blanchett, as well as the Queer Palm.
Other narrative highlights this year include the New York premiere of Matt Sobel’s chilling and suspenseful thriller TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (called “one of the great discoveries of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival” by Indiewire), starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert, Richard Schiff and Josh Hamilton; the New York premiere of Mika Kaurismäki’s sumptuous period piece THE GIRL KING, about the rise and fall of Sweden’s lesbian Queen Christina; the 2015 Sundance World-Cinema Directing Award-winner THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE; and FOURTH MAN OUT, a hilarious and heartwarming twist on the coming-out genre starring Evan Todd, Chord Overstreet (GLEE) and Kate Flannery (THE OFFICE) that won the Audience Award for Dramatic Feature Film at this year’s Outfest Los Angeles.
Another major highlight of this year’s event is the world premiere of Executive Producer Eve Ensler and Katherine Fishers’ upcoming HER STORY, a web series written by transgender activist Jen Richards (I AM CAIT) and writer/actor Laura Zak (#HASHTAG) and directed by Sydney Freeland (DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST), focusing on the dating lives of Trans women in Los Angeles, followed by a panel about the series. Also featured is a SAG-AFTRA panel discussion on the evolution of transgender representation in film and television, to be moderated by trans activist Tiq Milan.
While the mainstream media seemingly embraced trans identities and lives this year, NewFest has set out to dig deeper, looking for fresh stories and unique characters. Highlights include LA VISITA (THE GUEST), a beautiful Chilean drama featuring a breakout lead performance by trans actress Daniela Vega; the documentary PEACE OF MIND about well-known transmale artist and activist Flo McGarrell’s untimely death during the 2010 Haiti Earthquake; and a TRANS SHORTS program featuring the acclaimed shorts A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE and Cheryl Dunye’s BLACK IS BLUE.
Two additional trans documentary programs, TREASURE: FROM TRAGEDY TO TRANS JUSTICE, MAPPING A DETROIT STORY, and the 25th anniversary screening of the rarely-seen documentaries THE SALT MINES and THE TRANSFORMATION offer a chance for audiences to reflect on how much work still needs to be done to protect and empower trans people of color.
“Our world is almost impossibly diverse,” said NewFest programmer Adam Baran, “and as a film festival, it is our duty to showcase that world as best we can. From people of color to youth films to more films by and about women, we want to illuminate as many aspects of the LGBTQ experience as possible.”
Another addition to the festival is an exciting new partnership with New York’s newly renovated LGBT Community Center, which will feature three days of screenings from Sunday, October 25 – Tuesday, October 27.
“We’re thrilled to be back downtown this year with a far more expanded festival and on more screens than in recent years,” said Robert Kushner, NewFest’s Executive Director. “I couldn’t be more proud of the program our team has put together in partnership with Outfest, and through our wonderful, new partnership with The LGBT Community Center, our programming is sure to reach a wider and more diverse audience.”
Other special events include a can’t-miss Master Class with acclaimed filmmaker Ira Sachs (LOVE IS STRANGE, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON) who will sit for an illuminating discussion about the joys and challenges of being a queer filmmaker, as well as a panel on “The Renaissance of Women In Entertainment,” moderated by New York Women In Film & Television’s Executive Director Terry Lawler.
And because NewFest lands one week before Halloween this year, the festival will present its first ever Queer Horror Night aimed at LGBT horror fanatics, featuring three terrifying tales: Jorge Torres-Torres’ SISTERS OF THE PLAGUE, Jim Hansen’s YOU’RE KILLING ME, and Marçal Forés’ EVERLASTING LOVE, which won the Jury Award for Outstanding International Dramatic Feature at Outfest LA this year.
Olympic champion Greg Louganis will be on hand for a special screening and discussion of HBO’s BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS, while other notable faces and names in this year’s festival films include: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler, Bette Davis, Mae West, Chord Overstreet, Kate Flannery, John Waters, Rose Troche, Stacie Passon, Harmony Santana, Robin Weigert, Josh Hamilton, Clea Duvall, Josephine Decker, Drew Droege, Jack Plotnick, Chi Chi La Rue, Jeff Stryker, Amanda Lepore, Michael Musto, Zachary Quinto, Mike McCreedy, Carrie Brownstein, Patty Schemel, Macklemore, Shirley Manson, Janet Mock, Irm Hermann, Harry Baer, Lea DeLaria, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Casey Legler, Jen Richards and many more!
Tickets for NewFest will go on sale Wednesday, September 30th. A pre-sale to NewFest Members begins on Thursday September 24th. Opening and Closing Night tickets, which include an after-party as well as the screening, are $50 and $40 respectively; $40 and $30 for NewFest Members. The Centerpiece Film is $20; $16 for NewFest Members. For all other screenings, tickets are $16; $12 for students and seniors (62+); $12 NewFest Members. Visit www.NewFest.org/2015 for details as well as complete film festival information.
NewFest is dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences to build a community that passionately supports giving visibility and voice to a wide range of representations of the LGBT experience. We are committed to nurturing emerging LGBT and allied filmmakers. We support those artists who are willing to take risks in telling the stories that fully reflect the diversity and complexity of our lives. For more information, visit NewFest.org.
Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest is the world’s 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 decades, Outfest has showcased thousands of films from around the world, educated and mentored hundreds of emerging filmmakers, and protected more than 35,000 LGBT films and videos.
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 122 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. In April 2015, HBO NOWSM, the network’s highly anticipated standalone premium streaming service, began providing audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. HBO NOW is available directly through Apple or Optimum Online for a monthly subscription. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO OnDemand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.
2015 NEWFEST NYC LGBT FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO – Opening Night Gala
Dir/Scr: Peter Greenaway, Netherlands, 2015, 105 min
Acclaimed director Peter Greenaway (THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE & HER LOVER) serves up perhaps the finest film of his esteemed career with this bold, sexually explicit celebration of pioneering Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s gay coming-of-age during a trip to Mexico in the 1930s. Free of Soviet constraints, the visionary director discovers his wild side upon meeting and bedding a gorgeous tour guide, experiencing the power of romance for the first time. Greenaway’s lavishly produced and deliciously taboo film kicks dust in the face of the rickety biopic genre with the help of stunning sets and costumes, impressive cinematography, and an opulent Prokofiev-inspired score.
GIRLS LOST – Closing Night Gala
Dir/Scr: Alexandra-Therese Keining, 2016, Sweden, 105 min, In Swedish with English subtitles
For our closing night film, we’re thrilled to present this wildly original teen adventure tale from Sweden, fresh off its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. BFFs Kim, Momo and Bella are bullied by boys at school while their teachers do nothing. On top of that, Kim secretly confesses to Bella she thinks she was born in the wrong body. So when the trio finds a magical plant whose nectar temporarily turns them into boys (with working genitalia), it offers them the thrilling chance to experience freedoms they’ve never known. But when Kim becomes addicted to the plant and pursues a dangerous relationship with a local boy she thinks might be gay, it puts everyone at risk. Though GIRLS LOST is sure to enter the pantheon of lesbian teen films alongside titles like TIMES SQUARE and SHOW ME LOVE, the film is sure to be beloved by gay, trans, and bisexual fans as well. Wherever you fall on the LGBT spectrum, you’re sure to be talking about this exciting new film for a long time to come.
CAROL – Festival Centerpiece
Dir: Todd Haynes, Scr: Phyllis Nagy, 2015, USA, 118min
In 1950’s New York, a department store clerk (Rooney Mara) and an alluring woman in a loveless marriage (Cate Blanchett) find themselves in an unexpected love affair. But as they grow closer together, their illicit relationship brings significant challenges. Acclaimed director Todd Haynes’ (FAR FROM HEAVEN) extraordinary adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Price of Salt” is sure to be a major Oscar contender, with Blanchett, Mara, Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson turning out incredibly nuanced performances. Don’t miss one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.
U.S. DRAMATIC FEATURES
DRIVING NOT KNOWING
Dir/Scr: Dylan Hansen-Fliedner, Dane Mainella, Jay Jadick, Benjamin Davis, USA, 2015, 85 min
Will and Lee make beautiful music together, but Lee can’t cope with his unreciprocated feelings for his sexually confused friend. A year after they part ways, a drunken voicemail message inspires Lee to invite Will to the country for the weekend. It’s the small details of human interaction and attraction that make this fresh and formally ambitious tale so compelling, transporting us to a place where love and conflict threaten to disrupt the still waters.
Dir: Marçal Forés, Scr: Vincente de la Torre, Spain, 2014, 69 min In Spanish with English subtitles
Teenage passion turns twisted in this unconventional horror film from director Marçal Forés (ANIMALS). When a hot-daddy teacher encounters his student in the cruising zone of a local park, the two begin a steamy affair. But when the older man’s interest cools, it’s the student who gives the teacher a lesson he’ll never forget. Calling to mind both STRANGER BY THE LAKE and NBC’s HANNIBAL, EVERLASTING LOVE will leave you both turned-on and terrified.
FOURTH MAN OUT
Dir: Andrew Nackman, Scr: Aaron Dansick 2015, USA, 95 min
Just like his small-town bros, auto mechanic Adam enjoys drinking beer, watching hockey and inappropriate bodily functions. But Adam also likes guys. A hilarious and heartwarming spin on the coming-out comedy, FOURTH MAN OUT observes what happens whens Adam tells his friends he’s gay – and they decide to help him find a boyfriend. Winner of the 2015 Dramatic Feature Audience Award at Outfest, this bawdy comedy features Chord Overstreet (“Glee”) and Kate Flannery (“The Office”).
HENRY GAMBLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Dir/Scr: Stephen Cone, 2015, USA, English, 87 min
Henry Gamble is a Christian teen who has become skilled at hiding his sexuality from his ultra-religious parents and the devout, anti-gay community that surrounds them. When Henry’s parents throw him a pool party for his 17th birthday, tensions erupt, passions flare, and secrets threaten to float to the surface. Director Stephen Cone (THE WISE KIDS) has crafted a gripping and fascinating portrait of a closed community struggling with emerging desires in modern times.
NAZ AND MAALIK
Dir/Scr: Jay Dockendorf, USA, 2014, 86min
Two young, black, gay Muslim boys begin an affair they must keep hidden from their Brooklyn community. But when an undercover FBI agent incorrectly assumes the pair is involved in a criminal enterprise, this sweet ode to love soon transforms into a serious and timely study of racism and religion in everyday America. In his observational and intimate debut, writer-director Jay Dockendorf proves himself an exciting new voice in independent cinema.
SISTERS OF THE PLAGUE
Dir: Jorge Torres-Torres, Scr: Jorge Torres-Torres, Jason Banker, USA, 2015, 74 min
Jo (Josephine Decker) enjoys leading haunted house tours around New Orleans. But when her father moves into the house she shares with her girlfriend, terrifying supernatural things start really happening. Seeking a medium’s help, Jo finds she is facing something way beyond her control. Jorge Torres-Torres’ intensely creepy debut echoes the cult classic POSSESSION in evoking horror from a fractured romantic relationship. Fans of last year’s lesbian horror hit LYLE are sure to love this.
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER
Dir/Scr: Matt Sobel, 2015, USA, 95 min
Artistic, brash, short-shorts wearing teen Ryder plans to come out to his conservative Nebraska relatives at their family reunion, much to his mother’s (Robin Weigert, CONCUSSION) dismay. But when his uncle (Josh Hamilton) suspects him of a mysterious transgression involving his 9-year-old cousin, he discovers that some family secrets might be better left untouched. Matt Sobel’s chilling, superbly-acted directorial debut unfolds in a tense atmosphere of mounting dread that contrasts with its stunning cinematography and idyllic setting.
Dir/Scr: Joey Kuhn, USA, 2015, 89 min
Impressionable young painter Charlie is consumed with best friend and longtime crush Sebastian, whose father’s Bernie Madoff-esque scandal has left him penniless. Sebastian’s coping mechanism is non-stop hedonism, and he insists Charlie join him on his self-destructive ride having sex, drinking and partying at his father’s massive penthouse. Manhattan’s Upper East Side provides the gilded backdrop for a tale of entitlement, privilege, and the potentially disastrous repercussions on young lives and loves.
YOU’RE KILLING ME
Dir: Jim Hansen, Scr: Jim Hansen, Jeffery Self, USA, 2015, 88 min
In this hilarious (and very bloody) horror comedy, George (Jeffery Self) is an internet comedy star whose friends only speak two languages: irony and sarcasm. So when George’s deranged new boyfriend Joe tells him he’s a serial killer, George thinks it’s a joke and plays along, unknowingly encouraging Joe to keep killing – until his increasingly suspicious friends start disappearing. Cult comedy favorites Drew Droege, Jack Plotnick and Mindy Cohn round out the body count.
INTERNATIONAL DRAMATIC FEATURES
THE GIRL KING
Dir: Mika Kaurismäki, Scr: Michel Marc Bouchard, Finland, Canada, Germany, Sweden, 2015, 106 min, in English, French, and German with English subtitles
In 1933, Greta Garbo could only hint at lesbianism in her famous Hollywood historical drama about Sweden’s Queen Christina. This lavish and romantic re-imagining is not so coy, as the queer queen invites her beautiful handmaiden to be her “bed-warmer”, refuses to wear dresses or marry, and then must face the consequences from the conservative political establishment. Anyone addicted to historical dramas like WOLF HALL and REIGN is sure to love this sumptuous and sexy period piece.
LA VISITA (THE GUEST)
Dir/Scr: Maurício López Fernández, Argentina, Chile, 2014, 82 min, In Spanish with English subtitles
After her father’s unexpected death, Elena returns home for the first time in years. Her arrival shocks the household, who last knew her as a quiet, unassuming young man. As everyone struggles to make sense of Elena’s presence during the weekend, Elena struggles to come to terms with her past and the father who never really knew her. Director Mauricio López Fernández’s enthralling first feature is anchored by trans actress Daniela Vega’s remarkable lead performance.
LIZ IN SEPTEMBER
Dir/Scr: Fina Torres, Venezuela, 2015, 100 min, Spanish with English subtitles
In Fina Torres’ acclaimed Venezuelan adaptation of Jane Chambers’ groundbreaking 1980 play “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove”, strong-willed womanizer Liz refuses to call attention to her health issues. When she meets the equally troubled Eva, the two sense a powerful chemistry that goes beyond anything either have felt in past romances. Both have secrets to hide, and yet their connection leads them down an unexpected path where their views of love and life change forever.
PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST
Dir/Scr: Christina Zeidler, Canada, 2014, 83 min
As much as Elsie loves her women, what she really relishes is a fast, easy breakup. Long regarded as a highly successful and self-proclaimed serial monogamist, Elsie finds her stride in running free from commitment – until she develops feelings for a recent ex. Diane Flacks proves a sexy and magnetic leading lady throughout this charming romantic dramedy, demonstrating to audiences why girls keep risking their sanity for a woman all too happy to break hearts.
THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE
Dir/Scr: Alanté Kavaïté, France/Lithuania/The Netherlands, 2015, 88 min, In Lithuanian with English Subtitles
Winner of the World Cinema Directing Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Alanté Kavaïté’s THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE is one of the year’s most visually stunning and romantic films. A chance meeting in the Lithuanian countryside brings two restless young women close – the angst-ridden Sangaile, who dreams of becoming a pilot, and the beautiful, fearless fashionista Auste. But they must take a leap of faith together if they want to find love and self-fulfillment.
WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING
Dir: Catherine Stewart. Scr: Vanessa Herman, Amy Jephta, Matthew Krouse, Nodi Murphy. South Africa, 2015, 75 min, English
The complex political and racial climate of South Africa is beautifully encapsulated in this drama about the tension between liberal bourgeois ideals and working-class realities. Affluent mixed-race lesbian couple Dez and Terri struggle to maintain their own desires while reining in their rebellious daughter Asanda. When Asanda falls for a girl from a different background, Dez and Terri must face their own hypocrisies and secrets, which threaten to unravel the seemingly perfect world they’ve crafted.
Dir: Alden Peters, USA, 2015, 72 min
When Alden Peters finally makes the decision to come out, he brings a camera to film each conversation, hoping it will keep any negative reactions at bay. As Peters captures the surprising reactions to his revelation, he also explores the recent phenomenon of young LGBTQ kids coming out to their loved ones on YouTube. Featuring interviews with experts like Janet Mock, COMING OUT is a heartwarming exploration of a common experience across queer generations.
Dir/Scr: Daniel F. Cardone, USA, 2015, 80 min
The introduction of the protease inhibitor “cocktail” meant that an HIV/AIDS diagnosis was no longer an automatic death sentence – but what of the men who expected to die only to discover they would survive? This illuminating documentary introduces us to a group of such men, all of whom have found a community in Palm Springs where they continue to thrive after living with HIV for three decades. The town’s enigmatic allure empowers their ongoing pursuit of a long, happy life.
FASSBINDER: TO LOVE WITHOUT DEMANDS
Dir/Scr: Christian Braad Thomsen, 2015, Germany, 109 min, In German with English subtitles
Between 1966 and 1982, the great gay German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder made 44 films, many of which featured LGBT stories and characters, including QUERELLE, FOX AND HIS FRIENDS and THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT. Director Christian Braad Thomsen had many opportunities to interview Fassbinder over the years, and using these never-before-seen discussions, plus interviews with members of Fassbinder’s company, Thomsen crafts a complex and brilliant analysis of the queer auteur’s controversial, all-too-brief life.
Dir/Scr: Swann Dubus, Tran Phuong Thao, Vietnam, 2015, In Vietnamese with English subtitles
This uplifting documentary follows Phong, a Vietnamese transwoman, over the course of a year in which she comes out of her shell while preparing to undergo gender confirmation surgery, which causes conflict with her elderly parents. Mixing traditional documentary and personal documentary formats (Phong uses her own camera to record daily video diaries which reveal her innermost hopes and fears), FINDING PHONG observes a complex yet ultimately inspiring journey of the self.
GAZELLE: THE LOVE ISSUE
Dir/Scr: Cesar Terranova, Brazil/French Polynesia/USA, 2014, 93 min
Paulo is an HIV positive Brazilian flight attendant who travels the world, but at night he becomes Gazelle, an NYC clubkid queen famous for serving truly outrageous looks. But when his health is compromised and other ghosts from the past surface, Paulo must transform himself again in order to heal. Featuring appearances by Amanda Lepore, Joey Arias, Flawless Sabrina, Michael Musto, Kenny Kenny and more, GAZELLE is an exuberant portrait of a truly original character.
THE GLAMOUR AND THE SQUALOR
Dir: Marq Evans, Scr: Marq Evans, Jeff Gilbert, USA, 2015, 80 min
Before iTunes killed rock radio, Seattle DJ Marco Collins took it to its apex by breaking artists like Nirvana, Beck, Garbage and Weezer during the grunge-era of the 1990’s. But despite Collins’ remarkable career, addiction and sexual repression pushed his personal life to the brink. Weaving interviews with alternative icons like Shirley Manson, Carrie Brownstein, Mike McCready and pop star Macklemore alongside archival conversations with Kurt Cobain, director Marq Evans illuminates an unsung gay musical hero.
Dir: Jake Witzenfeld, United Kingdom, Israel, 2015, 79 min, in Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles
This captivating documentary follows three gay Palestinian friends struggling with problems both personal and political. Fadi feels guilt-ridden about dating a Zionist; Khader struggles with the desire to leave Israel; Khaeem worries about coming out to his family. Determined to make a change, they form a non-violent, cultural resistance group making viral content for gender and national equality. Though it may not change the world, sharing their personal struggles helps them to deal with living their multifaceted identities.
PEACE OF MIND
Dir/Scr: Cary Cronenwett, USA, 2014, 77 min. Creole, English with English subtitles
Cary Cronenwett’s portrait of the late transmale artist-activist Flo McGarrell is a stirring meditation on collaboration, longing and loss. While adapting Kathy Acker’s “Kathy Goes to Haiti,” to star artist Zackary Drucker, McGarrell was killed in the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Using footage shot for McGarrell’s film, past collaborations and interviews with the queer Haitians McGarrell mentored at the FOSAJ arts center, Cronenwett blends documentary with lush image-making and a startlingly emotional interiority.
THE SALT MINES & THE TRANSFORMATION
Dir(s):Susana Aikin, Carlos Aparicio, USA, 1990/1995, In English, Spanish with English subtitles, 105 min
In 1990, director Susana Aikin told the stories of three homeless Latina trans women she befriended, all living on Manhattan’s west side piers and hustling to support their drug habits. THE SALT MINES aired on PBS and opened America’s eyes to this marginalized segment of society. One year later, diagnosed with HIV, one of Aiken’s subjects was given help by a church at the cost of renouncing her trans identity. This dramatic change is heartbreakingly depicted in THE TRANSFORMATION. Join Aikin and representatives from local trans activist organizations as we revisit these staggeringly powerful documentaries, and then discuss the obstacles that still exist for trans women of color today.
THE SAME DIFFERENCE
Dir/Scr: Nneka Onuorah, 2015, USA, 78min
Nneka Onuorah’s fascinating documentary examines what happens when African-American lesbians discriminate against each other over violations of the strict code that separates butches from femmes. Onuorah breaks down the rules (no long hair, makeup, getting pregnant) then talks to women who’ve been on the receiving end of hate for crossing these lines. Onuorah shows how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members including THE WIRE’s Felicia “Snoop” Pearson.
Dir/Scr: Michael Stabile, USA, 2015, 69 min
Michael Stabile’s sexually charged documentary takes viewers back to the 1980’s, when Falcon Studios, the biggest gay porn company in the world, dictated the fantasies of gay men everywhere. The complicated man behind Falcon was Chuck Holmes, who struggled with both FBI persecution and AIDS. Stabile skillfully traces Holmes’ wild and chaotic story via archival footage and interviews with some of porn’s biggest names and fans, including Jeff Stryker, Jake Shears, John Waters, Chi Chi LaRue and more.
TREASURE: FROM TRAGEDY TO TRANS JUSTICE, MAPPING A DETROIT STORY
Dir/Scr: Dream Hampton, 2015, USA, 63 min
In 2011,Treasure, a black trans teen from Detroit who sometimes did sex work, was found brutally murdered. Though it was initially assumed to be a hate crime, it turned out Treasure was killed by a drug dealer she informed on after police threatened to send her to a men’s prison. Without fetishizing the details, this powerful documentary examines the crime and the way her loved ones have turned themselves into activists to ensure something like this never happens again.
THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE
Dir: Ellen Brodsky, USA, 2014, 68 min
This emotionally powerful documentary profiles True Colors, a remarkable LGBTQ youth theater group in Boston where performers act out their own stories with wit and candor for local schools. From a trans teen kicked out of her home to a Christian standing up to his church, these adolescent artists share their most painful and proud moments. When the Boston Marathon bombing occurs near their studio, the troupe become even more determined that the show must go on.
WHEN BETTE MET MAE
Dir/Scr: Wes Wheadon, USA, 2015, 64 min
In 1973, Wes Wheadon attended a party where legendary actress Bette Davis would first meet the equally iconic Mae West. Wheadon brought along a tape recorder and wound up capturing mutual admiration between the two stars, along with discussions on romantic relationships, censorship, and what they really thought of their drag queen imitators. This unique documentary – a must for fans of the two stars – brings that evening to life in a clever and compelling fashion.
PANELS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
BACK ON BOARD: GREG LOUGANIS + A CONVERSATION WITH GREG LOUGANIS
Dir: Cheryl Furjanic, Scr: Cheryl Furjanic, Karen Sim, Will Sweeney, USA, 2015
With unprecedented access to trailblazing openly gay Olympic champion Greg Louganis, BACK ON BOARD reveals the complicated life of an athlete whose grace, beauty, and courage sparked a worldwide fascination with diving. This intimate portrait chronicles his public triumphs and private struggles as an HIV-positive sports icon as he re-emerges on the world stage to combat prejudice, promote tolerance, and return to the diving world. Followed by a conversation with Greg Louganis himself!
HER STORY: WORLD PREMIERE + PANEL DISCUSSION
Dir: Sydney Freeland, Scr: Jen Richards, Laura Zak, 2015, USA, 65 min
HER STORY is a groundbreaking, much buzzed-about new series about two trans women who have given up on love when chance encounters offer them hope. With an impressive pedigree including director Sydney Freeland (DRUNKTOWN’S FINEST), writers Jen Richards (I AM CAIT) and Laura Zak (#HASHTAG) and Executive Producers Eve Ensler and Katherine Fisher, Her Story promises to be one of the most exciting trans shows of the year. Join us for a sneak preview followed by a Q&A with the creators.
MASTERCLASS: IN CONVERSATION WITH FILMMAKER IRA SACHS
Ira Sachs burst onto the queer film scene with THE DELTA (1996), but when he started telling straight stories he won awards and Hollywood attention. It wasn’t until 2010 that Sachs realized he needed to tell queer stories again, which resulted in the acclaimed dramas KEEP THE LIGHTS ON (2012) and LOVE IS STRANGE (2014). Filmmakers and film fans alike are invited to join us for an illuminating conversation with last year’s NewFest Visionary Award recipient about his career, the joys and challenges of being a queer filmmaker, and how to tell one’s truth on film.
THE RENAISSANCE OF WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT: PANEL DISCUSSION
Presented in partnership with New York Women in Film And Television. Moderated by Terry Lawler.
In a year where the spotlight is firmly on female filmmakers, women in entertainment take the stage to share their stories. Expect to hear anecdotes, insights, and advice as well as uncensored reactions to the recent media coverage addressing women in film. New York Women In Film & Television’s Executive Director Terry Lawler moderates a conversation that you won’t want to miss, featuring Writer/Director/Producer Rose Troche (THE L WORD, GO FISH), Writer/Director Stacie Passon (CONCUSSION), documentary filmmaker Nneka Onuorah and more. With the support of the Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales.
TRANS HOLLYWOOD PANEL
Presented in partnership with SAG AFTRA. Moderated by Tiq Milan.
Join a candid discussion about the evolution of transgender representation in film and television. The media is abuzz with trans representation. Some have called this a revolutionary development, while others in the trans community have expressed skepticism. SAG AFTRA’s National LGBT Committee discusses the pros and the cons of the “trans”-formation of mainstream media with a panel of trans actors and moderator Tiq Milan. Featuring Harmony Santana (GUN HILL ROAD), Michelle Hendley (BOY MEETS GIRL) and more.
This deliciously dirty collection of sexy gay shorts revolves around that age-old gay pastime: cruising! Turn off GRINDR and SCRUFF and join us for some late night fun… Includes: PIX, HATTIE GOES CRUISING, POP-UP PORNO:M4M, THE TRICKS LIST, HOLE, JUST A FEW THINGS, CATHARSIS, LIMANAKIA.
IN YOUTH IS PLEASURE: SHORTS
When you’re young everything seems really intense: Your first kiss, your first heartbreak, your first time expressing yourself as you really are. In this collection of mixed shorts, you’ll see how LGBTQ youth navigate the alternatively thrilling and treacherous path toward adulthood. Includes: AN AFTERNOON, CHARLOTTE, HOUSE NOT HOME, READ ALOUD, MONA, TREMULO, PEACOCK.
NewFest’s experimental shorts showcase transports you to the other side with Charles Atlas, Milli Vanilli, Xina Xurner, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, M Lamar, a heavy dose of glitter and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Includes: COLOR NEUTRAL, UNTITLED (AM I PRETTY MOMMY?), ADVENTURES OF PEPPRE ANN AND FROENDS, BERLIN MIX LIVE, DEAR LOU SULLIVAN, FORMER MODELS, THE LAMPS, THE FALL OF COMMUNISM, SURVEILLANCE PUNISHMENT AND THE BLACK PSYCHE PART TWO OVERSEER, SASHAY AWAY.
QUEERER THAN FICTION: DOC SHORTS
Stories of strength, struggle and survival come to life in this compelling program of nonfiction shorts about LGBT people fighting back against oppression, revisiting moments from their past, and trying to unravel complex mysteries. Includes: THE LITTLE DEPUTY, DYLAN, AFTER SILENCE, IN THE HOLLOW, SEX, POLITICS AND STICKY RICE, BEDDING ANDREW, GAYSIANS, A LEGACY OF DEVOTION, WHO STOLE THE RUBY SLIPPERS?
This compelling collection of narrative and documentary shorts looks beyond the trans stories embraced by the mainstream media to highlight trans and gender non-conforming individuals charting bold and complex paths. Includes: FIRST NIGHT OUT, A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE, THE FRIEND FROM TEL AVIV, FLOAT, BROCKINGTON, BLACK IS BLUE, OYA: SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO WEST AFRICA.
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.