NewFest, New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival announced the complete feature film lineup for its 26th edition (July 24-29). NewFest is an annual showcase of the best of LGBT cinema, featuring works from renowned filmmakers as well as exciting discoveries. With a lineup of 16 narrative and five documentary features, this year’s group of films continues to carry out the festival’s mission of supporting diverse film communities and voices from around the world.
Lesli Klainberg, Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Executive Director said, “This marks the fourth year of having NewFest at the Film Society and we couldn’t be happier to continue our collaboration with Outfest. LGBT films and filmmakers are a vital part of cinema worldwide, and we are thrilled to offer this showcase on our screens each year.”
“In the year following spectacular LGBT civil rights advances across the country, the dynamic and fresh slate of 2014 NewFest films decisively demonstrates that artists and storytellers lead the charge in creating social change,” said Kristin Pepe (KP), Outfest’s Director of Programming.
Kicking off the 2014 festival is the New York City Premiere of Karim Aïnouz’s Futuro Beach, a visually stunning, emotionally resonant tale about three Brazilian men struggling across oceans of love, loss, and heartache. Closing out the festival is the New York premiere of Bruce LaBruce’s highly anticipated Gerontophila, a profound comedy about a handsome teen who refuses to feel shame about his unquenchable appetite for older men.
Among the many other highlights from the 2014 feature lineup are Stephan Haupt’s The Circle (winner of the Teddy Award at the 2014 Berlinale); Hong Khaou’s Lilting (a Sundance 2014 selection starring Ben Whishaw); Patrik-Ian Polk’s Blackbird (starring Mo’Nique and Isaiah Washington); Carter Smith’s Jamie Marks is Dead (a Sundance 2014 selection starring Cameron Monaghan, Judy Greer, and Liv Tyler); Sophie Hyde’s 52 Tuesdays (Sundance 2014, Berlinale 2014); and the world premiere of Kate Kunath’s We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite (a timely documentary about Brooklyn’s oldest gay bar).
Films, Description & Schedule
Screenings will take place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th St., New York, NY 10023 (between Broadway and Amsterdam), unless otherwise noted.
Karim Aïnouz, Brazil/Germany, 2013, DCP, 106m
German and Portuguese with English subtitles
When Brazilian lifeguard Donato fails to save a swimmer from drowning, he seeks out the victim’s friend Konrad, a handsome German biker. The two men begin a passionate affair, and Donato soon decides to follow Konrad to Berlin. Years later, their seemingly peaceful life is threatened by a visitor from Donato’s past. Director Karim Aïnouz (Madame Satã) delivers a visually stunning, emotionally resonant tale about three men struggling across oceans of love, loss, and heartache. A Strand Releasing release.
July 24, 7:00pm (preceded by Achievement Award presentation)
Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 2013, DCP, 81m
Lake refuses to feel shame about his unquenchable appetite for older men. The handsome teen defiantly signs up as an orderly at a local nursing home and quickly falls for Mr. Peabody, a charming, flirtatious soul with one last wish. Forget everything you know about filmmaker Bruce LaBruce: in what is easily his most romantic work to date, he dares us to look beyond fetish to embrace the beauty of all stages of life.
July 29, 7:00pm (Q&A with Bruce LaBruce)
Age of Consent
Todd Verow & Charles Lum, USA, 2014, HDCAM, 88m
The history of the HOIST, London’s first and only gay sex fetish bar, follows the cultural evolution of gay life and sex in modern London through AIDS, gentrification, and the ongoing political struggle to decriminalize homosexual activity in the UK.
July 26, 11:30pm
Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy
Andrea James, USA, 2013, 78m
In his hilarious new performance film, 2014 Outfest Fusion Achievement Award Winner and gifted comedian Alec Mapa (Switched at Birth)—accompanied by his family—takes his audience on a roller-coaster ride through the challenges and occasional triumphs of becoming a daddy. You’ll laugh and even cry as “America’s Gaysian Sweetheart” mixes life stories with his signature brand of sass. Contains adult language and catastrophic waffles.
July 27, 5:00pm (Q&A with Andrea James)
Patrik-Ian Polk, USA, 2013, 102m
A high-school senior named Randy (newcomer Julian Walker) and his band of queer friends fight for a life outside the constrictions of their small Southern Baptist town. Blackbird’s a powerful film, co-starring Academy Award winner Mo’Nique (Precious) and Isaiah Washington (Blue Caprice) as Randy’s conflicted parents, in which friends—black, white, straight, gay, and all things in between—discover firsthand both the rewards and consequences of growing up as outsiders.
July 25, 9:30pm (Q&A with Patrik-Ian Polk)
Mischa Kamp, The Netherlands, 2014, DCP, 78m
Dutch with English subtitles
After making it onto the track team, 15-year-old Sieger instantly grows close to fellow runner Marc. Sieger, dealing with family troubles, and Marc, outgoing and engaging, fall in love over the course of a summer spent running, swimming, and stealing kisses in the forest. But Sieger must weigh how his widowed father feels against the joy and freedom he finds in Marc’s arms in this adorable romance.
July 24, 10:00pm
Stefan Haupt, Switzerland, 2014, DCP, 101m
German with English subtitles
A Teddy Award winner at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, The Circle captures an extraordinary romance set against the backdrop of Switzerland’s thriving post-WWII underground gay movement. Director Stefan Haupt has fashioned a gorgeous hybrid of a film, uncovering a vibrant love story between a singer and schoolteacher who bravely defied the constraining laws of their era.
July 26, 10:30am
Eytan Fox, 2013, Israel, DCP, 90m
Hebrew with English subtitles
During their annual get-together to watch the kitschy Universong competition, one of a sextet of friends is nursing a broken heart. The other five spontaneously compose and perform a song to cheer her up, which leads to a viral video that transforms these six nonprofessionals into Universong competitors. As colorful and infectious as a pop song, the latest from Eytan Fox (Yossi) is a delirious sugar rush of a comedy.
*July 28, 7:00pm (Screening at the JCC, 344 Amsterdam Avenue)
Nejc Gazvoda, Slovenia/Croatia/Denmark, 2013, DCP, 102m
English, Slovenian, and Danish with English subtitles
Iben, a free-spirited Danish woman, gets stuck in Slovenia overnight when her connecting flight gets canceled. She asks Tina, a young lesbian minivan driver, to show her around Ljubljana. Both women are at a crossroads: Tina has a big interview for a bank job in the morning, and Iben is harboring a dark secret. Romantic feelings slowly build between them, and they hatch a plan to run away together.
July 27, 12:00pm
Sophie Hyde, Australia, 2013, DCP, 114m
Sixteen-year-old Billie (played by Australian rising star Tilda Cobham-Hervey) is blindsided by the news that her mother is planning to transition from female to male and that, during this time, Billie will live at her father’s house. Billie and her mother, now called James, agree to meet every Tuesday during their year apart. As James undergoes changes and becomes less emotionally available, Billie covertly explores her own identity and sexuality with two older schoolmates, testing the limits of her own power, desire, and independence. A Kino Lorber Release.
July 24, 4:00pm
The Foxy Merkins
Madeleine Olnek, USA, 2013, DCP, 81m
Margaret is a down-on-her-luck lesbian hooker-in-training. She meets Jo, a beautiful, self-assured grifter who’s a pro at picking up women, even though she considers herself a card-carrying hetero. The duo hits the streets, encountering bargain-hunting housewives, double-dealing conservatives, husky-voiced seductresses, shopaholic swingers, as well as a mumbling erotic-accessory salesman (Alex Karpovsky of Girls). Writer-director Madeleine Olnek (Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same) melds her singular brand of comedy with the buddy-film genre to pay homage to and riff on iconic male-hustler films.
July 25, 7:00pm (Q&A with Madeleine Olnek)
I Always Said Yes: The Many Lives of Wakefield Poole*
Jim Tushinski, USA, 2013, 90m
Wakefield Poole was a respected Broadway choreographer and ballet star until he rocked the mainstream world by becoming a groundbreaking hardcore gay filmmaker during the tumultuous 1970s. At the time, anyone making what the government considered pornography was at risk of prosecution. Poole challenged the system with his iconic Boys in the Sand, becoming famous for the defiant artistry he instilled in dozens of sexually explicit works, whose impact forever changed adult film.
*July 28, 9:00pm (Screening at the JCC, 344 Amsterdam Avenue)
I Am Happiness on Earth
Julián Hernández, Mexico, 2013, 115m
Spanish with English subtitles
Julián Hernández, one of Mexico’s premier queer filmmakers (Raging Sun, Raging Sky), returns with this tale of a film director struggling with the line between his sexually charged reality and equally arousing cinematic creations. Will Emiliano be able to sustain his relationship, or will his lust for beauty and meaning lead him elsewhere? Furious couplings between gorgeous men include an exhilaratingly explicit play-within-a-play. Hernández’s boldly poetic romance compares with such films as Fellini’s 8½, Godard’s Contempt, and others exploring the connections between love, sex, creativity, and filmmaking.
July 26, 9:00pm
Jamie Marks Is Dead
Carter Smith, USA, 2014, DCP, 100m
When the ghost of bullied teenager Jamie Marks (Noah Silver) appears to Adam (Cameron Monaghan), the straitlaced track star becomes caught between two worlds. Despite a budding romance with Gracie (Morgan Saylor), who found Jamie’s body, Adam is fascinated by the sexy spirit, who leads him into a ghostly underworld. Also featuring Judy Greer and Liv Tyler, this supernatural-horror love story—a Sundance gem—delivers a poetic tale of sexuality and the tough choices it creates.
July 28, 9:30pm (Q&A with Carter Smith)
Hong Khaou, UK, 2013, DCP, 86m
English and Mandarin with English subtitles
The sudden death of Kai, a young London man, leaves his Chinese Cambodian mother Junn (Pei-pei Cheng) and his boyfriend Richard (Ben Whishaw) profoundly grieving. Feeling a strong sense of responsibility for Kai’s only family member, Richard reaches out to her. Though Junn speaks little English, her dislike of Richard is plain, and she responds with stony resistance. Since they share no common language, Richard hires a translator to facilitate communication, and the two improbable relatives attempt to reach across a chasm of misunderstanding through their memories of Kai. Writer-director Hong Khaou’s moving and intimate debut dances between the real and imaginary to express the unspeakable loss that both characters experience. Boasting delicate performances by both Whishaw and Cheng, this Sundance award-winner is a perceptive meditation on the connection between two human souls, revealing that what separates us can also bind us together. A Strand Releasing release.
July 27, 7:30pm
Stewart Thorndike, USA, 2014, DCP, 65m
Lyle, Stewart Thorndike’s sinister ode to Rosemary’s Baby, finds the perfect mom-to-be in Gaby Hoffmann. Her electrifying performance as Leah, a pregnant lesbian confronted by an unspeakable evil, brings out a primal terror that’s difficult to shake. With dark humor and razor-sharp camerawork, Thorndike takes audiences into a growing nightmare as Leah begins to question the motives of her partner, friends, and neighbors.
July 28, 7:00pm (Q&A with Stewart Thorndike)
The Third One
Rodrigo Guerrero, Argentina, 2013, DCP, 70m
Spanish with English subtitles
An attractive older couple stumbles upon a flirtatious young man in a chat room and, after teasing some skin, convinces him to come over to their apartment for dinner. With fumbling honesty and no shortage of sexiness, The Third One celebrates the awkwardness and euphoria of a one-night stand gone right, culminating in an explicit, 10-minute threesome that’s as erotic as it is playful.
July 29, 9:30pm (Q&A with Rodrigo Guerrero)
Wade Gasque, USA, 2014, HDCAM, 76m
Two estranged gay brothers attempt to make amends in Wade Gasque’s charming small-town drama. Set against the sun-kissed fields of Central California, and anchored by strong performances from Mark Strano and porn-star-turned-leading-man Frankie Valenti (aka Johnny Hazzard), Tiger Orange pits two diametric opposites against each other—the closeted introvert versus the out-and-proud hunk. The result is a blunt, playful meditation on queer sibling rivalry and the childhood bonds that force us together.
July 26, 6:30pm (Q&A with Wade Gasque)
The Way He Looks
Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil, 2014, DCP, 96m
Portuguese with English subtitles
Set to the bouncy beats of Belle and Sebastian, this euphoric, sun-kissed coming-of-age fable—a sensation at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival, where it won a Teddy Award and FIPRESCI prize—dances entirely to its own tune. Stuck fending off bullies and over-protective parents, Leonardo spends his days allowing his best friend Giovana to drag him around town. Being blind has always been an inconvenience for Leonardo, but his angsty adolescence gets a lift when the handsome and smooth-talking Gabriel turns down numerous offers from ogling girls to hang with Leonardo after school. The longer they spend together, the more apparent their shared attraction becomes—not just to them but to a spurned Giovana as well. As social pressure mounts on both to fit within their confined social boxes, the two must decide whether to ignore their feelings or to throw caution to the wind and admit that they might actually be falling in love. A Strand Releasing release.
July 29, 4:30pm (Q&A with Daniel Ribeiro)
We Came to Sweat: The Legend of Starlite
Kate Kunath, USA, 2014, DCP, 70m
When Brooklyn’s oldest black gay bar, the Starlite Lounge, is faced with eviction, the community decides to fight back. Will they be able to save this pre-Stonewall safe haven? Or is gentrification unstoppable? Kate Kunath’s timely portrait of a community banding together to preserve their culture and history is a stirring must-see.
July 25, 4:30pm (Q&A with Kate Kunath)
What It Was
Daniel Armando, USA, 2013, 85m
In Daniel Armando’s multilayered film, Adina, a successful Latina actress, returns to New York in the aftermath of her sister’s death and her marriage’s collapse. Unable to face her mother, she finds herself in a fog, drifting through the days. Memories dissolve into the present as she tumbles through a series of intense, complex connections with a sexy, butch body artist, a young college student, and a former girlfriend. With confident directing, assured performances, and intuitive editing and cinematography, What It Was masterfully conveys the emotional textures of Adina’s waking dream of a life.
July 26, 4:00pm (Q&A with Daniel Armando)