An undocumented queer man tells his story of living in North Carolina. Two boys lounge around in a dreamy dystopian future in Brazil. An Argentinean lesbian couple deal with their teenage daughter. A photographer follows aging female sex workers in Mexico. There’s only one place where you’ll find all of these stories back to back: NewFest.
The 28th edition of New York’s LGBT Film Festival is brimming with stories that cut across genres and genders, sexualities and nationalities. Opening with Russell Tovey’s soccer drama The Pass and including a screening of cinema’s first overt depiction of gay life (the German 1919 film Different From The Others) NewFest reminds us of the value and endurance of LGBT cinema.
With over 40 films as well as well as numerous panels and short film screenings, there’s maybe no way to catch everything at this year’s NewFest. That’s why we’ve combed through the entire program and singled out below our top Latino picks which feature the latest from Anna Muylaert as well as contemporary meditations on gay US Latinos in New York and Ohio.
NewFest runs October 20-25, 2016 in New York City.
Set in the leafy Midwestern town of Akron, Ohio, this feature follows Benny Cruz (Texan native Matthew Frias) and Christopher (Edmund Donovan) as two young men falling in love with one another during their first year in college. But once they decide to take their idyllic romance on the road to Florida for spring break, Benny and Christopher learn they share a connection to a tragedy from years before—will their relationship endure this jarring revelation?
Paying homage to the French New Wave, director Daniel Armando’s black and white feature film weaves the stories of several men in New York City who navigate a world of interlocking intimacies in a city that never sleeps.
We partnered with NewFest to present the East Coast premiere of Esteros. Join us on Sunday, October 23rd at the Cinepolis Cinema in Chelsea for the 7 p.m. screening.
Childhood friends Matías and Jerónimo reunite in their hometown of Paso de los Libres, Argentina, on the banks of the Uruguay River. The summer before high school, the teens’ close friendship transformed into something deeper, but their mutual attraction never came to fruition. More than a decade later they meet again, and the chemistry between them is palpable, but now Matías has a girlfriend who has traveled to his hometown for Carnival. Seeing his old friend, now so comfortable and confident in his skin, reawakens Matías’ feelings.
Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America
When Moises Serrano was a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico in search of the American Dream. Growing up in the rural South as an undocumented gay man, forbidden to live and love in the country he calls home, Serrano sees only one option — to fight for justice and equality. Driven by a deep love for his family, who have come to accept being treated as invisible, Moises seeks to change the world.
Plaza de la soledad
Maya Goded’s documentary is twenty years in the making. That’s how long she’s known the five women that make up her tender portrait of ageing prostitutes in Mexico City’s neighborhood of La Merced. It’s a topic the photographer-turned-filmmaker is intimately familiar with as it was the subject of her 2006 photography book by the same name. Imbuing these women with the same humanity that she brought out in her photos, Plaza de la soledad paints a lively if wistful look at these women’s lives all the while asking necessary questions about female sexuality, friendship, and the emotional inner lives of these oft-forgotten women.
Sarah is a child of divorce. She shuttles between her father (now living with his new wife) and her mother (living with her lesbian partner). While her father asks her whether she’s been picked on given her mother’s “sexual choice,” she gets warned at school that she may turn out to be gay given that some of her schoolmates believe it to be hereditary. Amidst custody squabbles and coming-of-age revelations, Rara marks a strong debut by Pepa San Martín.
In the lugubrious future (a breezy 2040), Earth is abandoned for interplanetary colonization and only the disaffected remain. Too bored to travel and immunized from the need to sleep, they lounge languidly in ornate interiors, whiling away the hours with hookups. This confident first feature brims with vibrant ambiance and lush cinematography, taking its time to reveal the namesake cult and its rituals, which run just this side of Kenneth Anger. It’s Kubrick by way of Coppola (Sofia, that is) with a dash of Ozon to keep things queer.
On leave from the military, handsome twenty-something soldier Bruno travels to Porto Alegre determined to find his estranged older brother Leo. What he finds instead is a vibrant queer community that happily embraces him, inviting him into their alt social scene. Through these unconventional new friends, Bruno discovers a new space where he is free to explore his sexuality. Away from home, he’s found a new family and found himself, and his lost brother feels closer than ever.
Mãe Só Há Uma
At seventeen, garage-band-playing bisexual Pierre is presented with a jarring, life-changing piece of information: he was stolen from the maternity ward as a child by the woman he’s called mother his whole life. His real name is Felipe, and his beloved younger sister is from another family entirely, as well. Now Pierre’s wealthy biological family wants him back and he is forced to adjust to living them as certain aspects of his personality become difficult to ignore
Fed up with being abused and harassed on the brutal inner-city streets of Washington D.C., a group of gay and trans teens form a gang to fight back. The writer-director behind the Emmy award-winning documentary Latinos in Beisbol teamed up with Toby Oppenheimer for this raw and intimate portrait follows four Check It members as they struggle to find a way out of gang life through an unlikely avenue: fashion.