NewFest has added two premieres: the U.S. premiere of UNTIL RAINBOW DAWN and the U.S. premiere of the first two episodes of Desiree Akhavan’s new Hulu Original Series THE BISEXUAL to its upcoming 30th anniversary edition. NewFest will also look back at cornerstones of LGBT cinema with two retrospective screenings, including the Legacy Centerpiece – Lisa Cholodenko’s HIGH ART in 35mm print, celebrating its 20th anniversary (the film was also Opening Night at NewFest 1998), followed by a Q&A with Patricia Clarkson and Cholodenko, and a 10th anniversary screening of Gus Van Sant’s MILK with Stuart Milk in attendance (Global LGBT Rights campaigner, Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation and nephew of Harvey Milk).
NewFest continues to anchor itself as a platform for marginalized voices within today’s LGBT landscape by providing a stage for new talent. With THE BISEXUAL, the recent Sundance Grand Jury prize winner Desiree Akhavan (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR) co-writes, directs and stars in this new six-part comedy series in which she shines a light on the story of an underrepresented facet of the LGBT community – bisexual women. BAFTA-nominated Maxine Peake and Brian Gleeson also star in this painfully funny series that explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of Leila – who finds herself, for the first time, doing both.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be premiering The Bisexual at Newfest, in my hometown of NYC. The festival is the perfect home for us to launch the series and I can’t to share it with the people who crave authentic representation like I do.” said Akhavan.
THE BISEXUAL hails from Channel 4 in the UK and will make its U.S. debut as part of the Hulu Original slate this November.
The U.S. premiere of the Japanese narrative film UNTIL RAINBOW DAWN further highlights the festival’s commitment to providing an inclusive platform. The film focuses on two young women who meet in their sign language group and seek self acceptance in Tokyo as deaf, lesbian women. Told entirely in sign language, this tender and sweet story showcases the beauty found within intersectionality and marks a breakthrough in Japanese and LGBT cinema with an entirely deaf cast and crew.
As the festival continues to look forward with emerging voices and new talent, the NewFest program would not be complete without a nod to the rich history that has fortified the foundation of LGBT cinema. This year NewFest will present the masterful lesbian drama HIGH ART as a Legacy Centerpiece in 35mm print in celebration of the film’s 20th anniversary. The festival will also present a 10th anniversary screening of Gus Van Sant’s MILK, with special guest Stuart Milk, who has dedicated his life to follow the steps of his uncle, Harvey Milk, in the fight toward equal rights for the LGBT community.
The Bisexual: Episodes 1 & 2
Dir. Desiree Akhavan, UK/USA, English, 2018, 65 mins
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Desiree Akhavan (THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR) co-writes, directs and stars in this new six-part comedy drama produced by Hootenanny (A Sister Pictures company) for Hulu. BAFTA-nominated Maxine Peake and Brian Gleeson also star in this painfully funny series that explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of Leila – who finds herself, for the first time, doing both. Coming to Hulu this November.
Followed by a talkback with director, co-writer and star Desiree Akhavan and select cast
High Art (20th Anniversary Screening)
Screening in 35mm
Dir. Lisa Cholodenko, USA, 1998, 102 mins
“Twenty years ago, this intelligent and unassuming indie drama took home the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance ‘98 and quickly became anchored in the LGBTQ consciousness as a lesbian classic. The debut feature from Lisa Cholodenko (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) was praised by Roger Ebert upon its release as “masterful, perceptive and mature” and made countless critics Top 10 Lists.
When magazine editor Syd (Radha Mitchell) moves into the same building as German actress Greta (Patricia Clarkson) and photographer Lucy (Ally Sheedy) her arrival prompts Lucy to consider leaving her reclusive drug-fueled days behind. Caught at the center of this triangle, Lucy is torn between keeping her work intimate versus venturing back into the photography business.
This 20th Anniversary presentation–screening in a gorgeous 35mm print–of NewFest 1998’s Opening Night Film is a must see opportunity to experience HIGH ART’s entrancing qualities and celebrate the enduring impact of a cultural touchstone of queer cinema.”
Followed by a talkback with Patricia Clarkson and more cast & crew to be announced
UNTIL RAINBOW DAWN
Dir. Mika Imai, Japan, 2018, 63 mins
When Hana falls in love with Ayumi, a girl she meets in her sign language group, she comes out to her parents who swiftly reject her. In an effort to cheer her up, Ayumi takes Hana to a deaf LGBTQ group in Tokyo, as they both find self-acceptance. A landmark film with a deaf cast and crew, this tender and sweet story showcases the beauty found within intersectionality and will warm the hearts of deaf and hearing audiences alike.
Presented in partnership with The ReelAbilities Film Festival, New York
MILK (10th Anniversary)
Dir. Gus Van Sant, USA, 2018, 128 mins
With special guest Stuart Milk; Global LGBT Rights campaigner, Co-Founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation and nephew of Harvey Milk