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NewFest

NewFest

Wednesday, 23 October 2019 until Tuesday, 29 October 2019

"At NewFest, an LGBTQ film festival becomes a form of resistance" --Entertainment Weekly

Founded in 1988, NewFest: New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival is an annual celebration of the year’s best queer films from the U.S. and abroad, as well as parties, panels and events bringing together filmmakers, movie lovers, and the LGBTQ community.

This year NewFest will celebrate its 31st annual edition of New York’s LGBTQ Film Festival, which takes place over seven days and kicks off on Wednesday, October 23rd! Presented by HBO, NewFest’s collection of narratives, documentaries and shorts portrays the diverse and compelling stories from across the LGBT spectrum. NewFest 31 is a festival that is not to be missed!

New York's LGBTQ Film Festival is produced annually by NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ Film and Media Arts Organization. NewFest gives voice and visibility to the full spectrum of the LGBTQ experience by championing films, supporting storytellers, and engaging audiences in order to inspire dialogue, shift cultural bias and empower our diverse community.

GRAND JURY AWARDS
Grand Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
Grand Jury Award for Best US Narrative Feature
Grand Jury Award for Best New York Short Film

AUDIENCE AWARDS
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Audience Award for Best Documentary Short
Audience Award for Best Narrative Short

Films should be of interest to, and inclusive of, the queer community. We are seeking narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films (both features and shorts) in 35mm, 16mm, or DCP (upon acceptance, NewFest will provide projection options for the specific venue in which the film will screen—IF THE FILMMAKER CANNOT PROVIDE THE CORRECT PROJECTION FORMAT, THE FILM WILL NOT BE SCREENED).

Rough cuts and works-in-progress are eligible for submission if the completed film will be ready for QC by September 1st, 2019. Please label the screener “Rough Cut” and specify what is missing (i.e. temp sound, needs color correction, etc).

By submitting your work to NewFest, you grant to NewFest a non-exclusive license to use an excerpt of your submission of up to two minutes in length, for promotional purposes only.

Still photos from your work are requested with your submission and are required for all films selected for the festival. Good stills make a difference in film placement and press coverage, particularly for short films. Even the shortest short can get press coverage or festival prominence with a captivating still. Stills must be in TIFF or JPEG format and 300dpi (dots per inch).

You are also encouraged to enclose a synopsis, production credits, press information, and other collateral regarding your film.

CERTIFICATION
I have read and agree to the festival submission and participation requirements and certify that I am authorized to submit this film NewFest. I hold NewFest harmless from damage to or loss of the print en route or otherwise during the course of the festival’s possession of the film.


 

2019 films...

15 Years

When his best friend becomes pregnant and his longtime boyfriend starts talking about adopting, the usually-unfazed Yoav begins to unravel. Small arguments fester to extreme degrees in Yuval Hadadi’s stunning portrait of a relationship in crisis. Shot...
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A Dog Barking at the Moon

While visiting her broken family with her American husband, pregnant writer Huang Xiaoyu finds herself trapped between her cult-brainwashed mother and her secretly homosexual father. An epic Chinese family saga that unfolds over—and weaves together—multiple periods of...
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A Luv Tale: The Series

Based on the 1999 award-winning film, writer and creator Sidra Smith’s A LUV TALE: THE SERIES brings us back to Harlem: a section of New York City vibrant with brilliant, black artists. When we meet Taylor, she...
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A Night at Switch n’ Play

You are cordially invited to a night at Switch n’ Play! Meet the daring and dazzling queer artists behind one of Brooklyn’s most popular and groundbreaking performance groups. Come along for the ride as they display their...
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Shorts Program

All in the Trans Family

Traversing the spectrum from absurdly honest to honestly absurd, this tonally varied shorts program focuses on the myriad of trans experiences as they relate to family, acceptance, and home. Good, bad, and weird family dynamics are on full display here. From trans parents trying to teach their children about gender identity to cis relatives overcoming their struggles to support their trans loved ones, ALL IN THE TRANS FAMILY is a boldly challenging yet inspiring ode to imperfect relatives and the outsized impact they can have.

How to Make a Rainbow
Dir. Ryan Maxey, USA, 2018, 0:16:08, English
Over the course of two years, a young girl and her mother move together through transitions of home, identity and name.

Tell-By Date
Dir. Sarah Ball, USA, 2019, 0:13:30, English
Ryan gives himself a deadline to tell his son that he’s not his biological father, but it’s easier set than done.

Les Lèvres Gercées
Dir. Fabien Corre, Kelsi Phung, France, 2018, 0:04:51, French
In a kitchen, a mother and a child struggle to establish dialogue.

Bunny
Dir. Hunter Ray Barker & Tucker Tripp, USA, 2019, 0:13:30, English
She’s an actress, a sex symbol, a superstar, and my mother.

Little Boy
Dir. Adam Griffith, USA, 2019, 0:06:24, English
Reese meets with his sister, Shelley, reluctant to reveal his greatest secret, but she reassures him that fear is not a sign of weakness.

Miller & Son
Dir. Asher Jelinsky, USA, 2018, 0:21:28, English
A trans woman divides her time between running her family’s auto shop during the day and expressing her femininity at night, until an unforeseen event threatens the balance of her compartmentalized life.

Wonder
Dir. Javier Molina, USA, 2019, 0:16:21, English
An 11-year-old kid growing up in the hood secretly dreams of trick-or-treating as Wonder Woman for Halloween.


All We’ve Got

Since 2010, over 100 queer women’s spaces—from dive bars to bookstores and dance halls to health centers—have shuttered across the United States. As concern grows over the death and dearth of these essential social hubs, this documentary...
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And Then We Danced

Fresh from its acclaimed debut at Cannes, writer/director Levan Akin’s AND THEN WE DANCED delivers a passionate and exceptionally crafted tale of love and liberation set against the backdrop of Georgian traditional dance. Goal-oriented rule-follower Merab (Levan...
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Benjamin

Like a perfectly steeped cup of English Breakfast, BENJAMIN is satisfyingly bittersweet, a romantic comedy from the distinctive mind of Simon Amstell (NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS). Benjamin is an anxious, awkward filmmaker who feels stuck ahead of...
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Shorts Program

Beyond the Binary

There are more than two genders and these filmmakers explore the deep potential and power in that fact. Trans love, legacies, and longing are finally being brought to the forefront. Exclusively featuring films by trans, nonbinary, and intersex directors, BEYOND THE BINARY demonstrates the extraordinary diversity of experiences, perspectives, and approaches to storytelling in the queer and trans communities.

Here With You
Dir. Nona Schamus, USA, 2018, 0:06:26, English
When Imani goes to her friend’s housewarming party, she meets a boy who piques her interest.

Denim
Dir. Daryen Ru, USA, 2019, 0:15:00, English
On a regular day at school, Micayla is outed by a former friend turned rival.

Framing Agnes
Dir. Chase Joynt & Kristen Schilt, USA, 2018, 0:19:12, English
Zackary Drucker, Angelica Ross, Silas Howard, and Max Wolf Valerio recreate interviews between Harold Garfinkel and his transgender patients, while discussing Agnes Torres’ legacy.

Ponyboi
Dir. River Gallo, USA, 2018, 0:18:59, English
On Valentine’s Day, Ponyboi, an Intersex sex worker, looks for love and a way out of his seedy life in New Jersey.

Skin
Dir. Audrey Rosenberg, USA, 2018, 0:21:00, English
A queer teenager struggling with the onset of puberty discovers a living cave that presents them with a new skin and a chance to explore their identity.

Across, Beyond, and Over
Dir. Brit Fryer, Nona Schamus, USA, 2019, 0:11:34, English
A hybrid documentary about two trans men who used to date in middle school reconnecting over a long weekend as they develop a film about their past.


Billie & Emma

In the Philippines during the 1990s, out teenager and rock-music-lover Billie is sent from Manila to live with her aunt in a rural village. Sticking out like a sore thumb in her strict Catholic high school, Billie...
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Bit

Think Los Angeles is soulless? Try surviving the city’s underground feminist vampire scene. In this comedic horror flick with a flair for the postmodern, trans teenager Laurel (SUPERGIRL’s Nicole Maines) leaves the suburbs hoping to catch a...
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Southern Shorts

Bless Your Queer Heart

As diverse as the region itself, this batch of shorts centering the experiences of LGBTQ Southerners will have you using “Ya’ll” as your go-to gender neutral pronoun in no time. From tender to terrifying, these six short films candidly consider queer and trans identity in the American South today.

Cherish
Dir. Terrance Daye, USA, 2018, 0:05:36, English
Allie wanders through various stages of her life struggling to choose between her sexuality and religion.

Truck Slut
Dir. Ryan Craver, USA, 2018, 0:15:30, English
A lonely, gay 13 year-old reflects on his complicated love for his volatile sister, the night she humiliated him, and her disappearance from their small, Appalachian town.

Flood
Dir. Hailey Abernathy, USA, 2019, 0:08:10, English
Allie wanders through various stages of her life struggling to choose between her sexuality and religion.

The Family Album
Dir. Anthony Chapman, USA, 2018, 0:20:00, English
A teenage home health care worker in the deep south forms a special bond with her first client, a trans man in the final months of his life.

Bait
Dir. Joshua Michael Payne, USA, 2019, 0:08:39, English
In a town riddled with racism and KKK activity, Carson, an African-American man, finds trust in the most unexpected places.

Ladylike
Dir. Rachel Bickert, Emily Tapanes , Emma Wang, and Lidieth Arevalo, USA, 2019, 0:20:19, English
A young queer woman in the American south comes to terms with her sexuality, shattering her deep-rooted religious beliefs and cultural stereotypes within her conservative community, family and self.

Other Black Boys
Dir. Nyles Washington, USA, 2018, 0:15:47, English
A queer, black college student is forced to confront the masks he wears from day to day when an old friend comes to visit.


Brief Story from the Green Planet

In the eerie early moments of this mesmerizing Teddy Award winner, Tania—a transgender club performer—finds out that her grandmother has died. When she brings the depressed Daniela and the dancey Pedro to visit her late relative’s home,...
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Shorts Program

Busy Thinkin’ Bout Boys

Let’s hear it for the boys! From a jubilant dance number to a California king-sized bed, this year’s signature program revels in and investigates the lives of gay boys surviving and thriving in 2019. Join us on a journey through polyamory, engagements, burgeoning young love, and the power of a super-cute sweater.

Sweater
Dir. Nick Borenstein, USA, 2018, 0:04:37, English
Corey’s day couldn’t be worse. Then he gets a free coffee.

Engaged
Dir. David Scala, USA, 2019, 0:16:58, English
Starring Daniel K. Isaac (BILLIONS) and Ryan Jamaal Swain (POSE), ENGAGED is an LGBTQ+ romantic comedy that follows Darren, who keeps trying – and failing – to propose to his boyfriend Elliot.

Tadpole
Dir. Jovan James, USA, 2018, 0:07:08, English
A shy teenager named Chris anxiously prepares his room for his friend, Alex, to spend the night. In the middle of the night, Chris makes a risky move that will change his and Alex’s relationship forever.

Marco
Dir. Saleem Haddad, UK, 2018, 0:22:00, Arabic & English
Omar meets Marco, a Spanish student newly-arrived in London, who’s doing sex work to earn some extra cash. But when Marco arrives, Omar can’t shake the feeling that something’s not right about the young man.

Ruok
Dir. Jay Russell, USA, 2018, 0:12:45, English
Best friends, Alex & Bryan, have a bitter fight entirely via text message, when one of them sleeps with the other one’s crush.

Three Months
Dir. Sasha Alcoloumbre, Canada, 2019, 0:17:00, French
A romance is shaken when a young man belatedly reveals his HIV status to his lover.

You Me and Him and Him
Dir. Patrick Boyd, USA, 2019, 0:19:00, English
Will is in an open relationship with four other men. When Will decides to sleep with someone else without telling the group, tensions arise and the very nature of their relationship is called into question.


Retrospective Shorts Program

Color Me Barbara

The first of her kind, the lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer paid homage to queer history, bodies, and subculture for over 50 years. During a retrospective of her work at New York Film Festival in 2017, Hammer expressed excitement that a void in the queer film pantheon was “now being filled by courageous, queer, wonderful, diverse, expansive lesbian, gay, and trans community.” This, in part, was her doing. An adored mentor, Hammer intentionally fostered a robust lineage of lesbian and queer filmmakers. This shorts program is an introduction to the next generation of radical lesbian and queer filmmakers.

COLOR ME BARBARA pairs Hammer’s works, memorable and underseen, with recent shorts by the latest and greatest experimental filmmakers who have been nourished by her films and friendship, including Scott Miller Berry, Joey Carducci, Liz Rosenfeld, Sasha Wortzel, and the winners of the Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaker Grant, Fair Brane and Miatta Kawinzi. By becoming the first, Hammer ensured we would never go without.

Save Sex
Dir. Barbara Hammer, USA, 1993, 1:14, English
A brief, rhythmic play on words, Hammer’s safe sex film makes a compelling case for ‘no glove, no love.’

Star Spangz
Dir. Miatta Kawinzi, USA, 2003, 4:12, English
A deconstruction of the US national anthem that uses performativity, musicality, and ethnic heritage as a launching point to think through the diasporic condition, US-Liberia aesthetic and historical connections, and the notion of home.

Dyketactics
Dir. Barbara Hammer, USA, 1974, 4:00, English
A celebrated and playful look at sapphic communalism in the 1970s, famously described by Hammer as a ‘lesbian commercial.’

Untitled (Dyketactics Revisited)
Dir. Liz Rosenfeld, USA, 2005, 7:00, English
A modern riff on Hammer’s Dyketactics, pleasantly updated for the urban queer era.

Fagtactics
Dir. Scott Miller Berry, Canada, 2002, 5:25, English
Gay boys need tactics, too. Fagtactics takes us on an irrevent electronic romp along Canada’s traintracks.

Women I Love
Dir. Barbara Hammer, USA, 1976, 22:39, English
A series of cameo portraits of the filmmaker’s friends and lovers intercut with a playful celebration of fruits and vegetables in nature. Culminating footage evokes a tantric painting of sexuality sustained.

Paint It Again
Dir. Sasha Wortzel, USA, 2010, 5:15, English
A house shared for 40 years and now the home of only one surviving partner, becomes museum-like, meticulously arranged and decorated, full of objects like artifacts that hold memories and hint at a shared life that is now gone.

Shirley Temple and Me
Dir. Barbara Hammer, USA, 1993, 3:00, English
A meditation on Barbara Hammer’s relationship to the celebrated child actor whose high-profile career dominated her childhood—and her parents’ highest hopes.

A Video Letter to Barbara Hammer
Dir. Joey Carducci, USA, 2018, 15:49, English
A tender coming out note to Barbara Hammer from a transgender mentee that transforms Hammer’s leftover footage into an intimate conversation.

The End of Things
Dir. Fair Brane, USA, 2017, 1:19, English
An ethereal look at the sharp divides between the binaries of material and scarcity, matter and atmosphere, stillness and movement.


Episodic Showcase

Comedy Episodic Showcase

The hilarious work featured in this episodic showcase demonstrates the incredible diversity of comedic situations that occur in the lives of queer folks and how we persevere through them. Awkward hookups, breakups, work disasters, and a birthday with the girls are just a few of the places these fast-paced series go. Come for the laughs and stay for what may end up being your next favorite show!

Butch
Dir. Harry Llyod, Australia, 2019, 0:10:40, English
After a bad breakup, uptight accountant Tiff has taken to microwaved hot dogs and re-runs of the L Word, whereas the ever-emerging artist Gem is processing the break up in the arms of multiple sexual partners. As Gem and Tiff drift further apart, their dog Butch, must go to drastic measures to get them back in the same room… even if it means an emergency trip to the vet.

This Isn’t Me. (Episode One)
Dir. Adrian Elliot, USA, 2018, 0:19:41, English
Unemployed and in the throes of self-destruction, Fred gets hired by an atypically empathetic owner of a tutoring company. On his first day on the job he must manage the demanding parents of a cross-dressing eighth grader, all the while trying to fit into his busy schedule a rendezvous with an impatient fetishist.

Motherstruck
Dir. Micaela Birmingham, USA, 2019, 0:15:00, English
Based on the one-woman play written by Staceyann Chin, MotherStrucktells the story of a lesbian’s quest to become a mother with the help of her close friends.

Humans of my Bed: Rex
Dir. Sam Permar, USA, 2018, 0:06:50, English
In this Mockumentary comedy, an aloof young documentarian interviews various people in his bed after he hooks up with them on Grindr.

5A5B the series (Episode One: Sunday)
Dir. Michael Cicetti, USA, 2019, 0:19:35, English
He’s a gay geek avoiding 30. She’s a suburban divorcée embracing 50. Together, neighbors Kev and Jan confront New York’s daily disasters…

Femme Queen Chronicles (Episode One: The Clock)
Dir. Ahya Simone, USA, 2018, 0:11:00, English
Femme Queen Chronicles is a web-series about the lives of four black trans women as they navigate through love, life, trade, and shade in the city of Detroit; written, directed, and brought to life by black trans women themselves.


Comedy Shorts

Comedy Shorts - The Gag’s All Here

The gag’s all here in this program of riotous, fanciful, and wacky shorts filled to the brim with their own personal brands of humor, hijinks, and hilarity relating to the queer experience. Featuring a history of flagging, a talking fish, a transgressive PSA parody, and a stripper with godly powers, this collection presents a variety of comedic styles sharing one common bond: they bring the funny.

A Beginner’s Guide to Hanky Code
Dir. A.C. Lamberty, USA, 2019, 0:03:01, English
In the style of a 1950s sex ed video, the buxom Dr. Beverly Daggett-Smits of the H.A.N.K.Y Institute educates the viewers about an enduring LGBT tradition: the hanky code.

Hypotheticals
Dir. Viridiana Lieberman, USA, 2019, 0:03:28, English
A game of ‘would you still love me?’ with ulterior motives.

Next Level Shit
Dir. Gary Jaffe, USA, 2018, 0:11:16, English
Taylor (Ben Baur) prepares obsessively for the perfect third date with dreamboat Chris (Daniel K. Isaac), but his efforts backfire, sending the relationship spiraling to a whole new level of intimacy.

About a Short Film
Dir. Kevin Yee, USA, 2018, 0:06:34, English
Comedian Kevin Yee makes a short film about making a short film.

The Miracle Twerker
Dir. Nicolas P Minas, USA, 2019, 0:15:18, English
Carla, a stripper, discovers she has the power to resurrect the dead.

Sammy the Salmon
Dir. Jake Shannon, Australia, 2018, 0:06:30, English
Unable to pluck up the courage to tell his girlfriend he’s gay, Spencer comes across Sammy – a talking salmon who offers to get his love-life back on track.

The Tragic Fall of Valerie Mallory Finkerstein
Dir. Martina Monro, USA, 2018, 0:12:41, English
Valerie is throwing her best friend, Ava, a surprise birthday party, but the real surprise is Valerie’s plan to declare her love for Ava. Only problem: Ava’s boyfriend and some big news.

Shopping for Love
Dir. Mark St. Cyr, USA, 2019, 0:05:17, English
A noncommittal gift store clerk has a new chance at love when an unassuming customer walks in the door

Is Your Teen a Homosexual?
Dir. Tamara Scherbak, Canada, 2018, 0:05:50, English
Johnny comes out to his family, who is helped by an off-screen Narrator, but stereotypes and prejudices prove to be stronger than family ties.

Eat the Rainbow
Dir. Brian Benson, USA, 2019, 0:19:31, English
A musical fable about an odd yet kind man named Bayani who moves into a conservative suburban neighborhood and disrupts the otherwise comfortable homogeny.


Crystal City

Filmmaker Terrence Crawford delivers a respectful and intimate look into the lives of gay men dealing with the re-emerging crisis of crystal meth addiction in New York City. Crawford expertly traces the history of the drug while...
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Cubby

With a bold voice reminiscent of heyday ’90s independent cinema, CUBBY gives a whole new meaning to “adventures in babysitting." Written and co-directed by breakout star Mark Blane and shot in crisp 16mm, this quirky dark comedy...
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Shorts Program

Dancing with Myself

Are we human or are we dancer? This shorts program sets out to answer that timeless question. Whether at a party, a studio, or all by oneself, this dynamic program celebrates the varied art of dance and its role in our lives. Feel the rhythm and the beat in these six films that all explore culture, community and catharsis through the lens of identity and movement.

Blossomed
Dir. Synthia Hogan, USA, 2019, 0:03:25, English
This experimental film blends a lush landscape with freestyle dance to narrate the quintessential stage of blossoming.

Sweetheart Dancers
Dir. Ben-Alex Dupris, USA, 2019, 0:13:28, English
Sean and Adrian, a Two-Spirit couple, are determined to rewrite the rules of Native American culture through their participation in the “Sweetheart Dance.”

First Position.
Dir. Michael Elias Thomas, USA, 2019, 0:20:00, English
In the early 1980s, Zachary Campbell, an aspiring dancer moves to San Francisco and meets a choreographer, Jamie Callahan. These two begin a romance through dance, until Zachary notices warning signs on his skin.

Dance Dance Evolution
Dir. Jules Rosskam, USA, 2019, 0:17:40, English
A documentary exploring transgender people’s relationship to dance. Specifically, the film looks at how shifting ones gender might cause shifts in how one dances, whether or not one feels comfortable dancing, and how dance may highlight an individual’s internal experience of gendered embodiment.

Juan of the Witches
Dir. Andrew Houchens, Mexico & USA, 2018, 0:18:14, Spanish
Juan de las Brujas honors 82-year-old Juan Medellín’s legacy as an original company member of Mexico City’s prestigious Ballet Folklórico de Amalia Hernández.

Father Figure
Dir. Bibi Fadlalla, Netherlands, 2019, 0:25:00, Dutch
A poetic collage film following The Kiki House of Angels, a Voguing community in Rotterdam mostly comprised of young black gay men. Guilliano, its founder, struggles with the harsh realities of life outside of his community, and Voguing offers a temporary escape. Nonetheless, he still feels he has to hide certain parts of his personality.


Drag Kids

Four very different drag performers under the age of 12 meet and celebrate their shared interest for the first time in Megan Wennberg's marvelously entertaining and touching documentary DRAG KIDS. Nemis, Stephan, Bracken, and Jason have faced...
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Episodic Showcase

Drama Episodic Showcase

30 ROCK’S Jenna Maroney once said “Drama is like gay man Gatorade.” So come replenish your electrolytes at this episodic showcase that entirely focuses on what the heart wants and needs—and don’t limit it to just gay men. If you’re the type of binger who loves to sit with expertly well-drawn characters, then this showcase is for you. These six episodes explore the extraordinary depth of the LGBTQ+ community with grace, honesty, and a couple of jokes for good measure.

At Seventeen (Episode One)
Dir. Finley King, USA, 2019, 0:05:15, English
A catholic school student tests the limits of his desires.

I’m Fine (Season Three. Episode Three: All About Jeff’s Mother)
Dir. Andrew J. Ceperley, USA, 2019, 0:21:51, English
In the third episode of the final season of I’M FINE, Jeff brings Zachary to meet his mom back home, now on her way to recovery after a health scare; while there, Zachary unearths some hidden insecurities even Jeff isn’t ready to face.

Linked
Dir. Stacey Maltin, USA, 2019, 0:24:00, English
In a city of uncomfortable proximity, how do the gaps between us feel so wide? LINKED is an exploration of how people are inexplicably connected–through sex, loneliness, and jewelry.

King Ester (Episodes One & Two)
Dir. Dui Jarrod, USA, 2019, 0:14:52, English
This is the story of Ester, a trans woman struggling to find her path in New Orleans during the week before Hurricane Katrina. In the face of an evacuation order, she is forced to make a choice that will impact her future forever. Will she get out on time? Written and directed by Dui Jarrod (Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. on BET.com), this short form scripted series explores the intersection of race, class, and gender in a uniquely NOLA context. Starring Janet Hubert (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), Angelica Ross (Pose, Her Story) who also executive produces, and introducing Rowin Amone as Ester.

Eastsiders (Season Four, Episode Three: Back East)
Dir. Kit Williamson, USA, 2019, 0:29:01, English
Shot primarily in New York’s Central Park and LA’s Echo Park, “Back East” takes place between the events of season 2 and season 3. When Thom (Van Hansis) has a chance encounter with handsome fiction editor Clifford (Jake Choi) at a catering gig, he finds both his career and his relationship taking unexpected turns. Jeremy (Matthew Mckelligon) and Derrick (Leith M. Burke) have big decisions of their own to navigate, as a romantic date in Echo Park turns into a debate about commitment and parenthood.


Fabulous + Burn the House Down

Audrey Jean-Baptiste’s triumphant FABULOUS follows Lasseindra Ninja, a notable fixture of the ballroom scene in Paris, who travels from France to French Guiana in order to teach the art of voguing to LGBTQ young adults in her...
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Go Fish

Opposites attract in this New Queer Cinema staple that defined ’90s lesbian zeitgeist. Camille ‘Max’ West (GUINEVERE TURNER, CHARLIE SAYS, and THE L WORD) is a tony young lesbian living in Chicago. Despite being a part of...
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Holy Trinity

HOLY TRINITY is an absolute acid trip of kinky, drug-induced, gender-fluid adventures through an alternative universe's Chicago. We follow Trinity, a queer dominatrix, who, after huffing a new brand of magic aerosol, can see dead people. If...
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Shorts Program

Hot Girl Mixtape

The girls are back in town! Our latest batch of short films that focus on the lives and loves of lesbian and queer women celebrates vintage coming out stories, the importance of holding one’s own at the beauty salon, and femme top catharsis.

Friends Like That
Dir. Francesca de Fusco, USA, 2019, 0:08:22, English
After getting dumped, Maia seeks solace by crashing with her best friend and ex Alex.

Ladies Day
Dir. Abena Taylor-Smith, UK, 2018, 0:08:31, English
Amma, a young, black lesbian, spends the day in an Afro-Caribbean hair salon getting her hair braided. It’s full of fun, sheen spray, gossip and laughter, but how will she deal with the casual homophobia?

Potion Masters
Dir. Cameron Laventure, USA, 2018, 0:11:55, English
A quarreling NYC couple tries to fix their relationship by experimenting with a series of magic potions.

Throuple
Dir. Chrisse De Guzman, USA, 2019, 0:19:15, English
Hungover from a bad breakup, a not-so-great stripper makes a house call to a progressive married couple, whom eventually challenge the way she sees love, life and her own sexuality.

Origin
Dir. Simone Lyles, USA, 2019, 0:19:08, English
Kora solicits self-help conversion therapy tapes as a way to repress being in love with her best friend, though, that attempt proves trivial when the truth of her sexuality is the undeniable journey to bare.

Dress Code
Dir. Melanie Notinger, USA, 2018, 0:09:25, English
Dani, an introverted poetry student, experiments with her image in an effort to be seen.

Misdirection
Dir. Carly Usine, USA, 2018, 0:13:58, English
Camila is your average college freshman with obsessive-compulsive disorder and a big, gay crush on her roommate. After both situations come to a head in a near car crash, Cam is stuck trying to find a distraction.


Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life

Jonathan Agassi, one of the world's most successful gay porn stars, splits his time between Israel, where both his parents live, and Berlin. The recipient of multiple international porn awards, Agassi built his fame on something considered...
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Last Ferry

Fire Island during the early summer off-season makes for a perfectly isolated setting for this singular comedy-thriller. When lonely lawyer Joseph (Ramon Torres, who also serves as writer/co-producer) ventures out to The Pines for the first time,...
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Leonard Soloway’s Broadway

Leonard Soloway is a Broadway legend, and he’s got the Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and unforgettable stories to prove it. Narrated by Campbell Scott, this documentary follows the octogenarian producer as he works tirelessly to bring Maurice...
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Markie in Milwaukee

In this remarkable documentary, transgender TSA agent and former minister Markie Wenzel struggles with being ostracized within her conservative community as she debates whether to de-transition. On the eve of her confirmation surgery, Markie professes that she...
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MONSTERS.

Presenting a clear snapshot of a contemporary Romanian couple through three distinct chapters, Marius Olteanu’s formal portrait of a marriage in silent disarray is immersive in its naturalism and sneaky in its sense of humor. Subtly exploring...
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Mr. Leather

Get up close and personal with Brazil’s leather community in Daniel Nolasco’s playful documentary about the titular competition. Nolasco follows judges, past winners, and current contenders for the title of Mr. Leather Brazil as they prepare for...
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Music for Bleeding Hearts

In present-day São Paulo, a trio of young hearts are about to break. Ricardo has both a steady boyfriend and a wandering eye for a new coworker. Isabella is taking a break from both her boyfriend and...
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Nevrland

Seeking escape from his drab life at home and at work in a slaughterhouse, Jakob retreats into online worlds in search of excitement. After making a connection with tight-torsoed Kristjan in a cam chatroom, Jakob ventures out...
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Shorts Program

Nocturnal Dream Shows

Up late and looking to go down a queer rabbit hole? Look no further than NOCTURNAL DREAM SHOWS, our collection of all things shocking, surreal, sensual, and short! Borrowing its name from visionary visual artist and filmmaker Steven Arnold’s curation of Midnight Movies, this dream-like shorts program is best accompanied with an open mind and a desire to dive into the deep end.

Do You Even Carrot at All?
Dir. Daniel Sterlin-Altman, Canada, 2018, 0:02:40, English
Everyone needs to reach carrot, but carrot won’t have any of it.

Terminally in Love
Dir. Emily Jenkins & Justin Black, Canada, 2018, 0:17:00, English
A first-person journey through the mind of Quinn, a neurotic stoner struggling to get over her ex-girlfriend as she slips from reality into a stream of heroic fantasies, wistful memories, and cringe-worthy dreams.

Bullfrogs
Dir. Brent Joseph, USA, 2019, 0:05:30, English
A nameless scavenger finds a body in the swamp. Moss is set on fire. The horror of being alive leads to a loving embrace. We might be seeing the beginning of a new life or we might be seeing a nightmare that endlessly repeats itself.

Pepper
Dir. Jayil Pak, South Korea & USA, 2018, 0:15:00, Korean
The Korean goddess of birth visits a maternity ward, hanging a red pepper on the doors of patients she deems worthy of bearing a son. When a boy among a group of souls refuses to bite into a spicy pepper for his reincarnation, the ghost of a little girl inhabiting the hospital offers to go in his stead.

Stranger Out of You
Dir. Matthew Risch, USA, 2019, 0:16:00, English
After meeting his ideal man, obsession quickly morphs into possession in this psychosexual thriller that ventures beyond reality.

Speak Easy, B
Dir. Becca Park & Jun Shimizu, USA, 2018, 0:14:52, English
During a therapy session, a young woman struggles to vocalize the source of her depression stemming from heartache.

Safe Among Stars
Dir. Jess X. Snow, USA, 2019, 0:09:31, Chinese & English
A queer Chinese-American woman struggles to tell her immigrant mother and partner the reason why she left school. Using her powers, she teleports into her own galaxy where no violence can touch her.

Deep Clean
Dir. David Wilson, UK, 2019, 0:04:17, English
Cleanliness is next to godliness. A celebration of objectophilia (the love of objects) and self-pleasure.


One Taxi Ride

When Erick was 17 years old, his life changed forever. Ten years after a traumatic taxi ride, he's ready to reclaim his future andset out on a journey that will shift not only his path, but...
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Our Dance of Revolution

An audience favorite at this year’s Hot Docs, OUR DANCE OF REVOLUTION is an enriching documentary that celebrates the unsung heroes of Toronto’s black LGBTQ community. Tracing four decades of necessary rebellion while highlighting the crucial role...
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Shorts Program

Outer Borough Realness

A vibrant collection of stories that reach beyond Manhattan and take you on a funny, romantic, powerful, and very queer quest through Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens (sorry Staten Island) faster than a ride on the G train, OUTERBOROUGH REALNESS is where local talent shines, reaching far and wide to place the undersung majority of New York City’s population front and center.

Welcome Back, Lenny
Dir. Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, USA, 2019, 0:09:11, English
After a few months away in Vermont, Lenny is back in NYC and crashing at her cousin’s place but tensions quickly rise to the surface.

The Making of Panthera
Dir. Renee Mao & Savannah O’Leary, USA, 2019, 0:05:00, English
Panthera Lush, a Brooklyn-based drag artist, introduces us to her world.

After You Left
Dir. April Maxey, USA, 2019, 0:09:25, English
Andrea, struggling to move on from her last relationship, must meet up with her ex-girlfriend to get a few last items from their prior life together.

Drip Like Coffee
Dir. Anaiis Cisco, USA, 2019, 0:17:00, English
In the gentrified community of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, Kali, a Black barista attracted to her co-worker, struggles to establish a private space outside of work and home.

Mass
Dir. Linus Ignatius, USA, 2019, 0:10:35, English
Surrounded by hulking men in the gym and beyond, Trey feels small.

Girlsam
Dir. John Kilberg, USA, 2019, 0:12:00, English
During Hanukkah, Sam is left to watch her girlfriend’s cat who suddenly goes missing.

Dom
Dir. Meryl Jones Williams & Jane Stiles, USA, 2019, 0:15:24, English
After old friends Beth and Dom run into each other, they spend the day exploring New York City, each other, and the unspoken truth that lies between them.

Baby
Dir. Jessie Levandov, USA, 2019, 0:08:00, English & Spanish
Ali, a Dominican teenager from the Bronx, buys a present for his crush.


Shorts Program

Postcards From Brazil

With the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, the world’s eyes suddenly turned to Brazil. But the country’s history with oppression of LGBTQ+, Afro-Brazilian, and low-income communities has been a complicated one for quite some time. POSTCARDS FROM BRAZIL provides an essential and intersectional platform for the strong voices of marginalized populations, and celebrates the queer and trans lovers, fighters, and everyday Brazilians working toward lives free from discrimination.

The Orphan
Dir. Carolina Markowicz, Brazil, 2018, 0:15:00, Portuguese
Jonathas has been adopted but then returned due to his ‘different’ way. Inspired by true events.

Selma After the Rain
Dir. Loli Menezes, Brazil, 2019, 0:11:38, Portuguese
Selma is a trans woman who built her life far away from family. One day she gets a call to go to her elderly mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and needs treatment.

Infinite While It Lasts
Dir. Akira Kamiki, Brazil, 2019, 0:18:38, Portuguese
After falling in love at a party, Danny and Seiji just want to be together. However, their differences might prove stronger than their feelings.

Antes Que Seja Tarde (Before It’s Too Late)
Dir. Leandro Goddinho, Brazil, 2019, 0:15:00, Portuguese
Brazil, the first week of 2019. A new president takes office in a scenario of fanaticism, prejudice, and violence. Locked in a hotel room, two teenagers decide to change the course of their lives.

From the Other Side
Dir. Bob Yang & Frederico Evaristo, Brazil & Taiwan, 2018, 0:14:00, Chinese
On the eve of an important ruling, a Taiwan Supreme Court Judge receives an unexpected letter from her son who has been living in Brazil.

Marielle and Monica
Dir. Fabio Erdos, Brazil & UK, 2018, 0:24:55, Portuguese
Marielle Franco, a Brazilian LGBT and human rights activist turned politician, was killed in March 2018. Her widow, Monica Benicio, is continuing her fight for better treatment of the poor, the LGBT community, and black Brazilians.


Queen of Lapa

Against the backdrop of political corruption and flagrant transphobia in Brazil, the late, great Luana Muniz—cabaret performer, activist, and sex worker since age 11—minced no words about the challenges in calling Lapa, Rio de Janeiro home. In...
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Queer Genius

Effortlessly multigenerational, interdisciplinary, and diverse in scope, QUEER GENIUS peers into the lives of five virtuosos who have challenged artistic formalism, gender roles, and heterosexism without apology in both their private lives and creative practices. Composed of...
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Queer Japan

While queer and trans subject matter remains somewhat taboo in parts of Japan, Graham Kolbeins assembles an extraordinary group of artists, activists, and community leaders who are fighting to shift societal and political perspectives on the LGBTQ+...
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Queering the Script

Fangirls have long been overlooked and disregarded, but Gabrielle Zilkha’s documentary beautifully honors the queer women who have consistently supported some of television’s most popularly coded shows, such as XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER....
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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street

Following a successful stint on Broadway alongside stars such as Cher, Karen Black, and Sandy Dennis, closeted actor Mark Patton launched his film career with a prominent role in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE...
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Second Star on the Right

In the blink of an eye, gregarious bisexual Emilia (Silvia Varón) has gone from being a core member of a tight-knit group of women to its biggest burden. As her thirties close in on her, Emilia flits...
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Sell By

Delivering laugh-out-loud humor alongside wry truths, SELL BY is proof that witty writing and a strong ensemble are a true cornerstone of New York City filmmaking. Actor Mike Doyle’s delightful directorial debut explores the lives and loves...
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Seventeen

Reminiscent of subtle tales of sapphic desire like SHOW ME LOVE and MY SUMMER OF LOVE, Monja Art’s feature is an adroit portrait of young love and its complex yet inexpert motions. As summer looms in bucolic...
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Siberia and Him

Meek farmhand Sasha and policeman Dima have a fraught relationship. They’re brothers-in-law, travel companions, and⁠—secretly⁠—lovers. Over the course of their journey to visit Sasha’s grandmother, unspoken truths are uttered, intimacy is built, and authenticity is challenged. Although...
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Steven Arnold: Heavenly Bodies

Academy Award winner Anjelica Huston narrates this exploration of the spectacularly dreamlike world of Salvador Dalí protégé Steven Arnold and his strikingly creative body of work. Arnold’s photography, filmography, paintings, and illustrations are filled with occult rituals,...
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Straight Up

Heralding in a fresh voice of contemporary independent cinema, writer/director/producer James Sweeney stars in this witty comedy as Todd, an obsessive-compulsive and GILMORE GIRLS-loving twentysomething plagued by intense anxieties. Todd has never been comfortable with his queerness,...
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Teen Shorts

Teen Shorts

Through an inclusive and endearing collection of short films, this program is exclusively offered to high school students and provides access and empowerment for LGBTQ+ youth to see themselves on screen while promoting media literacy and encouraging...
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Temblores

In Guatemala, earthquakes (or tremors) can be a very common occurrence. TEMBLORES explores what happens to an affluent religious family as a rumbling rift symbolically tears them apart after patriarch Pablo (a revelatory Juan Pablo Olyslager) reveals...
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The Archivettes

Led by local heroes Deb Edel and Joan Nestle in the 1970s, a group of young lesbians frustrated by misogyny and homophobia within academia huddled together and built an accessible archive of lesbian documents and artifacts for...
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The Shiny Shrimps

After an Olympic swimmer nearing the end of his career makes a homophobic comment on TV, he’s barred from any further events unless he agrees to coach the Shiny Shrimps, a flamboyant gay water polo team. They...
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The True Adventures of Wolfboy

The story of a young, constantly bullied boy who runs away in search of the mother he never knew might sound familiar, but Martin Krejcí’s moving, magical film gives this well-worn tale an unforgettable twist—its protagonist is...
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These Thems

After realizing she may be a lesbian, Gretchen (Gretchen Wylder) befriends nonbinary dog-walker Vero (Victoria Ortiz), who decides to stop training dogs and start training cishets. Vero takes Gretchen under their wing and introduces her to the...
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To The Stars

Set in the conservative, bobby-socked setting of a 1960s Oklahoma high school, mysterious cosmopolitan new girl Maggie (Liana Liberato)—a coveted recruit among the popular girls—takes an unexpected shining to Iris (Kara Hayward, MOONRISE KINGDOM), a withdrawn pariah....
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Tongues Untied

The seminal documentary on black gay life, Emmy Award-winning director Marlon T. Riggs’ 1989 TONGUES UNTIED uses poetry, personal testimony, rap, and performance (featuring poet Essex Hemphill and others) to describe the homophobia and racism that confront...
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Top 3 (and other animated tales)

Dir. Sofie Edvardsson, Sweden, 2019, 44 mins

In this inventive and bittersweet animated rom-com, perpetual list-maker Anton falls in love with David and the two share a globetrotting young romance. But things start to go awry when Anton realizes that his dreams could be in direct opposition to his crush’s. Sofie Edvardsson’s charming and moving tale of miscommunication, idealization, and star-crossed love premiered at Frameline and won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at Outfest. Presented alongside a variety of animated short films, TOP 3 (AND OTHER ANIMATED TALES) is sure to be one of the most delightfully crowd-pleasing programs in this year’s festival.

Desert
Dir. Sofia Pashaei, Denmark, 2019, 0:04:14

A woman hitting rock bottom. Hardship buries her alive. She is of this world, yet decidedly not.

Sweet Sweet Kink
Dir. Maggie M. Bailey, USA, 2018, 0:13:22

A sweet, sweet peek into the kinky world of bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism through four different stories of intimate connection, consensual exploration, and deep self-reflection.

Tom Has a Plant
Dir. Thinh Nguyen, Denmark, 2019, 0:06:00

Tom has a plant, he just wants to give away to the one he loves.

Ur Aska
Dir. Myra Sofia Hild, Denmark, 2019, 0:07:06

Two women live happily together, but one starts to transform, disturbing their usual dynamic.


Tu Me Manques

After his son Gabriel passes away, conservative Bolivian patriarch Jorge (Oscar Martínez) accidentally Skypes Gabriel’s ex-boyfriend Sebastian (Fernando Barbosa), leading him on a journey from Bolivia to New York City in search for the truth about his...
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UNSETTLED: Seeking Refuge in America

Tom Shepard's new documentary follows four asylum-seekers from Syria, Angola, and The Democratic Republic of Congo as they try to start fresh in the United States. Subhi, Junior, Mari, and Cheynne have come a long way from...
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Episodic Showcase

Work in Progress

Dir. Tim Mason, USA, 2019

WORK IN PROGRESS, a new half-hour comedy series created by Chicago improv mainstays Abby McEnany and Tim Mason and co-written by Lilly Wachowski (THE MATRIX, SENSE8), is a funny and uniquely human comedy. WORK IN PROGRESS features McEnany as a 45-year-old self-identified fat, queer dyke from Chicago whose misfortune and despair unexpectedly lead her to a vibrantly transformative relationship. Chicago-based performer Karin Anglin co-stars alongside Celeste Pechous, with Julia Sweeney (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) appearing in a crucial role as herself and serving as executive producer. Theo Germaine (THE POLITICIAN) will also appear as a guest star. WORK IN PROGRESS is executive produced by McEnany, Mason, and Wachowski, who also serve as co-showrunners. Lawrence Mattis, Ashley Berns, and Josh Adler of CIRCLE OF CONFUSION also serve as executive producers, along with Tony Hernandez of JAX Media (DESUS & MERO).

Writers: Abby McEnany, Tim Mason

Your Turn

Lucas “Koka” Penteado, Marcela Jesus, and Nayara Souza were three ordinary high school students whose lives suddenly changed when the state of São Paulo announced plans to close 94 public schools. In response to corruption and inefficiency...
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Zen in the Ice Rift

Maia “Zen” Zenassi is a quick-tempered, nonconforming 16-year-old living in a provincial Italian mountain village. A standout on the local boys’ hockey team, Zen uses the sport as a vital outlet for rage, an escape from emotional...
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