Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite
Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

NewFest, the New York LGBTQ Film Festival will open this year with the NYC premiere of Francis Lee’s much anticipated film Ammonite, starring Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet and Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan. Winslet will also present Lee with the festival’s inaugural World Queer Visionary Award ahead of the special drive-in screening, taking place at the Queens Drive-In at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The 32nd edition of The New York LGBTQ Film Festival will take place October 16-27, 2020, with the majority of the program accessible online to ticket holders nationwide. The first-ever virtual edition of NewFest will include a robust lineup of panels and conversations surrounding LGBTQ+ topics, in addition to its regular programming of new features and short film premieres, and will incorporate virtual live events as well as select drive-in screenings. Key art for the festival, illustrated by queer NYC artist Marcos Chin, was released today. The full Festival program will be announced on September 23.

The World Queer Visionary Award celebrates and honors individuals who have delivered immense contributions to both cinema and the visibility of the LGBTQ community throughout the world. Francis Lee, the first recipient of the award, is a NewFest alum whose debut feature, God’s Own Country, was the festival’s International Centerpiece in 2017.

“In a year when The New York LGBTQ Film Festival will be available virtually in people’s homes throughout the country, we are thrilled to have found a way to kick off the Festival safely in person with a drive-in event,” said NewFest Executive Director David Hatkoff. “We can’t wait to gather with members of our NYC community to celebrate the beginning of 11 amazing days of local and international queer content by collectively experiencing Francis Lee’s stunningly crafted Ammonite, and to present NewFest alum Francis with this award in recognition of another landmark contribution to the world of queer cinema.”

“We are delighted to feature Ammonite’s delicate, textured, and humanistic portrait of two women discovering their passion and authentic selves on the largest screen possible in New York City at the Queens Drive-In,” said Nick McCarthy, Director of Programming. “The Queens Drive-In is adjacent to the New York Hall of Science, which will aptly highlight the scientific study of life that Mary Anning was devoted to, similar to Francis Lee’s artistic search for human truth and connection.”

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