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.
Santa & Andrés
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.
A Cidade do Futuro
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.
A Million Happy Nows
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.
Something Like Summer
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.
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.
Plays as part of Boys Shorts
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.
Out Of The Box
Plays as part of Drawn This Way: Queer Animation
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.
The 3rd Try
Plays as part of Girls Shorts
Two women (Imana Breaux, Rain Dove Dubilewski) confront hopelessness head-on, but at least they are doing it together. Directed by Alfonso M. Rodriguez.
Plays as part of Queer + Positive
In the complex age of social media, these content creators have a direct cause.
Plays as part of The Queer Resistance
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.
America In Transition
Plays as part of Trans Tales
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.
Plays as part of Trans Tales
Dancer-choreographer Darling Shear & filmmaker Diana Quinones Rivera join forces to create this groundbreaking, inclusively post-gender show and beautifully evocative dance piece.
Dare and Truth
Plays as part of Young, Queer & Woke
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.
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.