coming attractions

How queer is this year’s Tribeca Festival? Oh, gurl

Tribeca Festival

Billy Porter as a gay daddy in the same movie as our afternoon snacc crush Isaac Cole Powell, a deep dive into the legacy of Kevin Smith’s queer classic Chasing Amy, and a raucous night in Boston’s oldest gay bar with Lady Bunny confirm that this year’s Tribeca Festival is gay gay gay.

Celebrating its 21st year as New York City’s preeminent film festival, the 2023 line-up showcases emerging and established queer talent — both in front of and behind the camera. And since its inception, the festival has grown beyond film screenings.

Talk-backs and interactive sessions will offer attendees the chance to eavesdrop on Just Jack & Will, a live re-watch podcast with Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack, a panel discussion on transforming LGBTQ+ narratives with queer filmmakers Alok Vaid-Menon, Vuk Lungulov-Klotz, and Alexander Stegmaier, and even the opportunity for theater-loving gamers to check out Stray Gods, a roleplaying musical co-created by openly gay narrative designer David Gaider.

For those who prefer to binge-watch from the couch, Tribeca at Home returns with plenty of streaming options from June 19 – July 2.

Here’s a look at some of Queerty‘s favorite picks, or browse this year’s entire LGBTQ+ catalog, which includes 38 offerings.

Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive

Gloria Gaynor
A film still from “Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive.” Photo provided by Tribeca Festival

Director Betsy Schecter examines the life of singing legend Gloria Gaynor, known for her hit 1978 song, “I Will Survive,” which she describes as her mantra, stating on her website, “It is my privilege and honor to use it to inspire people around the world of every nationality, race, creed, color and age group to join me as I sing and live the words: ‘I Will Survive.’”

In 2016 the song was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry and has long been a queer anthem. The documentary explores the five years it took Gaynor to record and self-produce her gospel album Testimony. It also features never-before-seen archival photos and super 8 mm footage of her touring between 1972 and 1976.

Chasing Chasing Amy

A film still from Chasing Chasing Amy
Sav Rodgers in “Chasing Chasing Amy.” Photo by Bill Winters

“I wanted to make a movie about a story only I could tell,” said director Kevin Smith of his inspiration for the 1997 film Chasing Amy, which was ahead of its time in exploring sexuality and relationships. For 12-year-old Sav Rodgers, the movie provided a lens to examine his own queerness.

Now a filmmaker himself, Rodgers has revisited the film, tracking down Smith, some of the film’s stars, and other leading voices in Hollywood, including Fire Island director Andrew Ahn to explore the evolving queer representation in film culture.


Lady Bunny, let, and Gatekeeper Adrian in 'Playland.'
Lady Bunny, left, and Gatekeeper Adrian in ‘Playland.’

Filmmaker Georden West is fascinated with the legacy of queer spaces, centering their “transdisciplinary work of queer bricolage” on the legendary Playland Café, Boston’s oldest queer space, which closed in 1998. Starring Danielle Cooper, Lady Bunny, and Aidan Dick, West’s film converges storylines from various periods, using archival footage and stylized scenes to explore the evolution of queer identity.

Every Body

Intersex activist Intersex activist River Gallo
Intersex activist River Gallo in ‘Every Body.’ Photo provided by Focus Features

Director Julie Cohen (RGB, My Name is Pauli Murray) returns with another captivating film exploring the often-underrepresented intersex community. Cohen profiles the lives of Sean Saifa Wall, Alicia Roth Weigel, and River Gallo while also offering a broader perspective on our country’s transphobic history, binary definitions of sex and gender, and lagging medical institutions, which have often failed to support the needs of intersex individuals.

Breaking the News

The 19th editor-at-large Errin Haines.
The 19th editor-at-large Errin Haines. Photo by Heather Courtney

As Donald Trump prepared for his four-year reign of terror, journalist Emily Ramshaw saw the opportunity to provide a different voice for the American people, launching The 19th, a nonprofit newsroom named after the 19th Amendment. Ramshaw and co-founder Amanda Zamora launched the site, focusing on national politics’ impact on women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. Then the pandemic hit. Directors Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston, and Chelsea Hernandez take an insider’s look at what it takes to maintain an independent newsroom during such polarizing times.

Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed

Rock Hudson and Lee Garlington on vacation in Puerto Vallarta in 1963
Rock Hudson and Lee Garlington on vacation in Puerto Vallarta in 1963. Photo courtesy of the Rock Hudson Estate Collection/Lee Garlington

Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson mesmerized audiences throughout his career, starring in box office hits like Pillow Talk and Giant. But off-camera, the actor struggled to keep his sexuality a secret from an industry that would have quickly canceled him had it been revealed. Documentarian Stephen Kijak sourced archival footage and comments from some of Hudson’s closest friends to create a nuanced portrait of a legend who left us too soon.

Happy Clothes: A Film About Patricia Field

Patricia Field shopping in Bergdorf Goodman
Patricia Field shopping in Bergdorf Goodman. Photo by Samuel J. Paul

There’s nobody more deliciously queer-adjacent than costume designer Patricia Field, whose work on Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, and most recently, Emily in Paris has provided vicarious eye candy for all those forced to shop the sales rack. Director Michael Selditch spoke with some of Field’s muses, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Vanessa Williams, along with former employees of her New York City boutique (including Laverne Cox!).

Our Son

Billy Porter and Luke Evans in 'Our Son.'
Billy Porter and Luke Evans in ‘Our Son.’ Photo by Amy Mayes

It was just a matter of time before we got a gay bitter divorce film. Enter Our Son, writer/director Bill Oliver’s queering of Kramer vs. Kramer. Plenty of queer cameos, including Andrew Rannells and lots of Broadway gay character actors, color the action as the pair fights and (spoiler alert) reconciles over the custody of their son.

Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music

Taylor Mac
Taylor Mac. Film still courtesy Pomegranate Arts/Telling Pictures

Theater artist Taylor Mac, whose work has spanned New York City’s downtown club scene to Broadway, conceived a 24-hour musical performance backed with pop hits, glittery costumes, and spoken word. Captured by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (and edited to a reasonable 106 minutes), the concert film celebrates Mac’s wildly innovative performance style.

Break the Game

Break the Game documentary
A film still from ‘Break the Game.’

The gaming industry has become increasingly queer, both on-screen and off. Gamer Narcissa Wright is one of the world’s top players, but when she comes out as transgender, she faces unforeseen challenges as she explores the value of identity beyond pixels and imaginary worlds. Director Jane M. Wagner reviewed more than 3,000 hours of Wright’s live streams, along with cinéma vérité and 8-bit animation to create a multi-sensory viewing experience.

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated