NewFest has added new films to what was already the festival’s largest slate ever. The festival will be hosting the U.S. Premiere of John Butler’s delightful Irish coming-of-age HANDSOME DEVIL (straight from sold out screenings at the Toronto International Film Festival) featuring two breakout performances from newcomers Fionn O’Shea and Nicholas Galitzine, and a terrific turn from Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”).
They will also be presenting a companion piece screening of Academy Award Winners Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman’s essential 2000 Documentary PARAGRAPH 175 on Oct. 22nd, which Epstein will be on hand in-person to introduce, along with a post-screening Q&A. This screening will stand powerfully on its own as well as a contextual cinematic partner to the festival’s Legacy Centerpiece, DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS, the newly restored 1919 narrative film by Outfest UCLA Legacy Project which screens in 35mm with live musical accompaniment by Steve Sterner on Oct. 21st, about two men torn apart by the Paragraph 175 law. The Outfest UCLA Legacy Project is a partnership between Outfest and UCLA Film & Television Archive and is the largest archive in the world exclusively dedicated to preserving and restoring LGBT moving images.
Epstein will also appear as part of the extended panel following the Legacy Centerpiece screening of DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS on Oct. 21st. He will be joined by fellow panelists Bob Hawk, filmmaker; Ashley Swinnerton, Collection Specialist, Department of Film at MoMA; and more to be announced. The panel will be moderated by Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster.
Friday, October 21st, 9:15pm, SVA Theatre 2
Dir: John Butler, Ireland, 2016, 95 mins
The toast of this September’s Toronto International Film Festival, HANDSOME DEVIL, Irish novelist John Butler’s second feature film, is a winningly funny, music-drenched coming-of-age story with a wry streak of visual invention. With his shock of red hair, proclivity for old rock songs, and general oddness, Ned is a certified outcast in his rugby-crazy, all-boy boarding school. His mind is set on expulsion or escape, until the arrival of a new English teacher (SHERLOCK favorite Andrew Scott) and a new roommate, a surprisingly sensitive rugby player with more than a few secrets, sets Ned on a path towards finally allowing himself to be heard.
Writer: John Butler
Cast: Fionn O’Shea, Nicholas Galitzine, Andrew Scott, Michael McElhatton, Moe Dunford, Ruairí O’Connor
Saturday, October 22nd, 10:30am, Cinépolis Chelsea
Presented by Academy Award winning director Rob Epstein
Dir: Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Friedman, US, 2000, 81 mins
Academy Award winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s riveting, must-see documentary features historian Klaus Müller as he interviews survivors of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals under the horrific German Penal Code of 1871, Paragraph 175. Narrated by Rupert Everett, this essential documentary exposes the bigotry that dominated WWII and the damning law that remained on German books through the 1960s.
This screening stands powerfully on its own or as a contextual companion piece to DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS, the newly restored 1919 narrative film which screens in 35mm on Friday, October 21st at 6:30pm at the SVA Theatre, about two men torn apart by the Paragraph 175 law.
OPENING NIGHT GALA
North American Premiere.
Dir: Ben A. Williams, UK, 2016, 88 mins
It’s the night before a make-or-break Championship soccer match, the pressure is high, and two rising star teammates Jason (Russell Tovey) and Ade (Arinze Kene) have an encounter in their hotel room that causes irrevocable consequences. Based on the lauded play by John Donnelly, who also adapted the screenplay, debut director Ben A. Williams’s taut, engrossing drama is split into three acts over the course a decade; tension and vulnerabilities intensify with each conversation, as secrets are buried deeper and lies become heavier. Themes of fame and sexuality take center field, leading to a devastating finale where the cost of denying one’s happiness is measured against protecting one’s public image. Russell Tovey (HBO’s “Looking”) originated the role of closeted athlete Jason on stage and he delivers a career-defining, powerhouse performance with top-tier assistance from co-star Arinze Kene.
Q&A with filmmakers and select cast will follow.
CLOSING NIGHT GALA
New York City Premiere.
Dir: So Yong Kim, 2016, USA, 84 mins
With her fourth feature film, acclaimed director So Yong Kim (TREELESS MOUNTAIN, IN BETWEEN DAYS) delivers a tender testament to the deep, emotional bond between Mindy (Jena Malone) and Sarah (Riley Keough) as they confront their long-unspoken intimacy. Digging far beneath the surface of female friendship while avoiding clichés, this nuanced drama exposes the complexity inherent in companionship. As her relationship with her husband deteriorates, Sarah calls her college friend Mindy for an impromptu road trip. Their connection intensifies along the back roads of Upstate New York, but the two lose touch until Sarah makes another trip, several years later, for Mindy’s wedding. Grounded by powerfully naturalistic performances from Malone and Keough, LOVESONG plays on the nearly spiritual dialogue between Mindy and Sarah that keeps the love story front and center, while balancing the blurred line between friendship and desire.
Q&A with filmmakers and select cast will follow.
THE TRANS LIST
Dir: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, USA, 2016, 58 mins
An HBO Documentary Film
The festival’s Special Centerpiece Presentation includes The HBO Documentary Film THE TRANS LIST, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and featuring interviews by trans author and advocate Janet Mock, and explores the experiences of Americans who identify as transgender. This film allows a diverse group of individuals to tell their stories in their own words, addressing identity, family, career, love, struggle and accomplishment.
DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS
East Coast Premiere.
35mm restored print courtesy of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project.
Dir: Richard Oswald, Germany, 1919, 54 mins, In German with English subtitles
Banned by censors and burned by the Nazis, it is a marvel that DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHERS, cinema’s first overt depiction of gay life, exists today. After a six-year restoration process, during which archivists consulted censorship records, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project has constructed the most complete and accurate version of the film since its initial release almost a century ago. Co-written by famed sexologist and pioneering LGBT activist Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, the film offers a sympathetic and devastating look at gay life in Germany under Paragraph 175, the law criminalizing homosexuality. Conrad Veidt portrays Kurt, a virtuoso violinist who falls in love with a male student. When an extortionist threatens him, Paul must out himself and face the social and legal consequences. Presented on 35mm film with piano accompaniment by Steve Sterner, this screening is critical for those who seek a full understanding of LGBT film history.
The Legacy Centerpiece screening will be followed by an extended panel on October 21st. Panelists include Academy Award Winner Rob Epstein, filmmaker; Bob Hawk, filmmaker; and Ashley Swinnerton, MoMA. The panel will be moderated by Outfest Executive Director Christopher Racster