A Leaner NewFest Offers The Reel Deal For Queer-Film Fans In New York

The schedule for NewFest, New York‘s annual LGBT film festival, is out now, and though it’s a smaller lineup than in years past, there are some real gems.

Now jointly produced by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and L.A.’s Outfest, NewFest runs July 27 to 31 at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. This year, the fest’s 24th, offers some 14 feature films, four documentaries, short films, and special guests including Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker of Cloudburst and Thora Birch and Christine Lahti of Petunia.

“Our new partnership with OutFest and NewFest marks an exciting time as we look forward to extending our reach, and support, to the LGBT community,” said Rose Kuo, executive director of The Film Society of Lincoln Center. “There are a great deal of talented filmmakers and important voices to be heard. We’re thrilled to be able to help bring such talent to audiences.”

Opening the festival on July 27 will be the East Coast premiere of the Neil LaBute-produced Four. Directed by Joshua Sanchez and adapted from the Christiopher Shinn play of the same name, it depicts a turbulent  Fourth of July holiday for a quartet of characters, including a teenager (Smash‘s Emory Cohen, right) who sneaks out to meet the man he’s been chatting with online (The Wire‘s Wendell Pierce).

My Brother the Devil, coming off a wave of buzz and an award at Sundance, screens at Water Reade on July 28. Directed by Sally El Hosaini, the London drama focuses on two Arab brothers, the impressionable Mo and the charismatic Rashid (James Floyd and Fady Elsayed, left), member of a local gang. Things go haywire when Rashid begins to question his faith and his sexuality, creating a rift between the two.

Servingup  laughs is Petunia, the latest from writer-director Ash Christian (Mangus), an ensemble comedy about a dysfunctional family with a philandering wife (Birch), her gay-but-celibate brother (American Pie‘s Eddie Kaye Thomas) and their pothead therapist mom (Lahti). It also screens on July 28.

Speaking of laughs, it’s Shaun of the Dead meets Girls Will Be Girls in the Filipino drag comedy Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings, screening July 29. When a serial killer targets gays, homophobic Remington—who’s been turned homo by a vindictive voodoo queen—must find a cure or become the next victim.


On July 30, fans of John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus will definitely need to check out I Want Your Love, writer-director Travis Mathews’ directorial debut about a young San Francisco artist who tries to reconnect with his ex-boyfriend on the eve of his departure. With a blaring indie rock soundtrack and unsimulated sex scenes, Love offers both slice-of-life realism and steamy escapism.


Noteworthy shorts this year include “Jackpot,” Adam Baran’s tale of a young teen in 1994 who’s on a desperate quest to get a secret gay-porn stash home before the local bullies catch him; France’s “Beautiful Bitch” (right), about a hustler forced to take drastic measures to scrape together a present for his sick mom; and “It Gets Bitter,” a sardonic spoof of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign.

It all wraps up on July 31 with Chilean first-time filmmaker Marialy Rivas’ Young and Wild, in which Sexually adventurous Daniela details her pansexual exploits in her blog, leading to unintended conflict in her strict Evangelical family.

Visit NewFest’s website for information on additional screenings, events and parties.

Photos: NewFest