NewFest, New York’s LGBT Film Festival, returns to the city for its 29th edition. Programmed in partnership with Outfest, which takes place in Los Angeles, the annual event brings together the best and brightest in LGBT media. This year, the festival will screen 40 feature length films (including over 20 feature works from first-time feature filmmakers), 97 shorts and an episodic sidebar featuring 8 web-based projects for a total of 145 selections. “This year’s festival takes a cross-generational look at the LGBTQ community through the lens of our history, our culture, and our sexual and gender identities,” said Executive Director Robert Kushner. “Through these established filmmakers and vibrant emerging voices of LGBTQ cinema, we’re given the opportunity to reflect on our progress, highlight our strengths, and illuminate the challenges we experience both as individuals and as a community.”

From its Opening Film selection, Susanne Bartsch: On Top, which chronicles the New York City icon to its Closing Film, the lesbian romantic musical Becks, NewFest remains committed to offering the largest variety of queer-centered stories on the East Coast. With the New York City premiere of the controversial Cuban drama Santa y Andres, not one but two films featuring Wilson Cruz, as well as plenty of shorts from solid US Latino talents, the LGBT festival has plenty to offer and Remezcla has rounded up our Top Latino picks to help you choose what you should catch next week in New York City.

NewFest runs October 19-24, 2017.

1

Santa & Andrés

Country Cuba, Colombia, France
Production Year 2016
Synopsis

Set in 1983, the second feature from Cuban writer-director Carlos Lechuga (Melaza) chronicles an encounter between Andrés, a novelist ostracized for his “ideological problems” and his sexuality, and Santa, a woman charged with keeping this ostensibly dangerous dissident from disrupting a political event and gaining the attention of the foreign press. Santa & Andrés is at once intimate and expansive, a chamber drama whose central action is a dialogue between two souls on either side of a profound cultural divide. Proximity inevitably prompts both the captive and warden to realize how much they have in common — and how completely the last six decades have affected the Cuban psyche.


Film Details

Director Carlos Lechuga
Country Cuba Colombia France
Genre Drama
Writer Carlos Lechuga
Producer Claudia Calviño
Production Year 2016
Running Time 105 minutes
2

A Cidade do Futuro

Country Brazil
Production Year 2016
The City of the Future 2
Courtesy of Outfest
The City of the Future 1
'A Cidade do Futuro' - Courtesy of Outfest
Synopsis

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


Film Details
The City of the Future
Director Claudio Marques Marilia Hughes Guerreiro
Country Brazil
Genre Drama
Writer Claudio Marques
Producer Marília Hughes Guerreiro Cláudio Marques
Production Year 2016
Running Time 76 minutes
3

A Million Happy Nows

Director Albert Alarr
Production Year 2016
A Million Happy Nows 01
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
A Million Happy Nows 02
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
Synopsis

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


Film Details

Director Albert Alarr
Country United States
Genre Romance Drama
Writer Marisa Calin
Producer Crystal Chappell Christa Morris Hillary B. Smith
Production Year 2016
Running Time 80 minutes
4

Something Like Summer

Director David Berry
Production Year 1984
Something Like Summer 02
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
Something Like Summer 01
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
Something Like Summer 03
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
Synopsis

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


Film Details

Director David Berry
Country United States
Genre Romance Music Drama
Writer Carlos Pedraza
Producer David Berry Susan Funk Tom Ly Carlos Pedraza J.T. Tepnapa Christopher Toyne
Production Year 1984
Running Time 60 minutes
5

Billy's Blowjobs

Director Michael Hyman
Production Year 2016
Billy's Bowjobs
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Boys Shorts

Synopsis

Starring My So-Called Life‘s Wilson Cruz, Billy’s Blowjobs follows a gay man seeking the numbing comfort of anonymous sex, until a chance encounter changes his outlook on life.


Film Details

Director Michael Hyman
Country United States
Genre Short Drama
Writer Michael Hyman
Producer Jonathan Maurer
Production Year 2016
Running Time 17 minutes
6

Two Fish

Production Year 2016
Two Fish
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Boys Shorts

Synopsis

Max (Aurelio De Anda) is spending a lonely summer on campus when his best friend Taylor comes back from Europe and their relationship takes a new turn.


Film Details

Director Antoine Dupont-Guerra
Country United States
Genre Short Drama
Writer Antoine Dupont-Guerra
Producer Anja Paul
Production Year 2016
Running Time 11 minutes
7

Out Of The Box

Director Marcel Saleta
Production Year 2017
OutOfTheBox_Still-02
Courtest of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Drawn This Way: Queer Animatio

Synopsis

Directed by Dominican Marcel Saleta, Out of the Box is an animated short about mimes. Yes, mimes: In a world of mimes and clowns, Miles the mime must choose between his happiness and the acceptance of his mother as his dream of becoming a clown just gets stronger.


Film Details

Director Marcel Saleta
Country United States
Genre Short Animation
Production Year 2017
Running Time 6 minutes
8

The 3rd Try

Production Year 2016
The 3rd Try
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Girls Shorts 

Synopsis

Two women (Imana Breaux, Rain Dove Dubilewski) confront hopelessness head-on, but at least they are doing it together. Directed by Alfonso M. Rodriguez.


Film Details

Director Alfonso M. Rodriguez
Country United States
Genre Short Drama
Writer Alfonso M. Rodriguez
Producer Lindsay Carlson
Production Year 2016
Running Time 5 minutes
9

Positive YouTubers

Country Germany, Brazil
Production Year 2017
Positive-Youtubers-Still-1-1
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Queer + Positive

Synopsis

In the complex age of social media, these content creators have a direct cause.


Film Details

Director Leandro Goddinho
Country Germany Brazil
Genre Short Documentary
Production Year 2017
Running Time 15 minutes
10

Last Night

Production Year 2017
Last Night Still
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of The Queer Resistance 

Synopsis

Music, love, dance. Who has not felt the need to go out with their friends one night? An ode to the victims of Pulse nightclub and the urge we all feel to go out and dance with our friends.


Film Details

Director Nico Fernández Irvin Castro
Country Costa Rica Chile Argentina
Genre Short
Writer Irvin Castro Nico Fernández
Producer Nico Fernández Irvin Castro
Production Year 2017
Running Time 4 minutes
11

America In Transition

Director Andre Pérez
Production Year 2017

Plays as part of Trans Tales

Synopsis

America in Transition (AIT) is a documentary series and community engagement campaign that explores community, family, and social issues for trans people of color across the United States.


Film Details

Director Andre Pérez
Country United States
Genre Documentary Series
Production Year 2017
Running Time 21 minutes
12

Darling Shear

Production Year 2017
Darling-Shear
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Trans Tales

Synopsis

Dancer-choreographer Darling Shear & filmmaker Diana Quinones Rivera join forces to create this groundbreaking, inclusively post-gender show and beautifully evocative dance piece.


Film Details

Director Diana Quiñones Rivera
Country United States
Genre Series
Production Year 2017
Running Time 15 minutes
13

Dare and Truth

Production Year 2017
DAREANDTRUTH_6
Courtesy of NewFest 2017

Plays as part of Young, Queer & Woke

Synopsis

Gabriel and his friends decide to play Truth or Dare one day after school. They don’t except things to take a serious turn and Gabriel’s secret to be revealed.


Film Details

Director Thomas Rivera Montes
Country United States
Producer Natalie Chau Casey Denaro
Production Year 2017
Running Time 15 minutes
14

Alterations

Production Year 2015
Alterations
Courtesy of NewFest 2017
Synopsis

An adolescent trans woman, previously known as Jesus, sets out to reconnect with her amnesic mother for the first time as a woman. Directed by Cuban-born Juan Carlos Zalivar.


Film Details

Director Juan Carlos Zalivar
Country United States
Genre Short Drama
Writer Juan Carlos Zaldívar
Producer Eric Gottlieb Juan Carlos Zaldívar
Production Year 2015
Running Time 18 minutes