The 34th NewFest, New York’s LGBTQ+ film festival announced the winners of the juried awards, with top honors going to director Carter Smith for Swallowed (Grand Jury Prize, Narrative Feature), director Maryam Touzani for The Blue Caftan (Grand Jury Prize, International Feature), director Juliana Curi for Uyra – The Rising Forest (Grand Jury Prize, Documentary Feature), as well as director Nyala Moon for How Not to Date While Trans (Grand Jury Prize, New York Short).
In addition, the inaugural Chevrolet Changemaker Award – given to a Black LGBTQ+ director that includes a $2,500 cash prize – was awarded to Director Michael Rice for his feature documentary Black As U R.
The Blackstone Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Awards, chosen by a jury of Black LGBTQ+ film industry professionals, was awarded to three separate directors whose short films screened during this year’s flagship festival. The three filmmakers who received the Blackstone Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award, which is accompanied by a $1,500 cash prize, were director Michael Donte Jemison for The Spirit God Gave Us, Rashaad Newsome for Build or Destroy, and Olive Nwosu for Masquerade (EGUNGUN).
This year’s NYWIFT & NewFest Emerging Filmmaker Grant, which is presented each year to a female filmmaker and carries a $1,000 cash prize, went to director Karina Dandashi for her feature Dress Up.
During the festival, director Elegance Bratton was also presented with NewFest’s inaugural Breakthrough Queer Visionary Award prior to their screening of The Inspection.
“Queer cinema is thriving, transcendent and stronger than ever, as the recipients of our juried awards demonstrate,” said NewFest Executive Director David Hatkoff and Director of Programming Nick McCarthy. “These varied films showcase our expansive community’s stories as well as the highest caliber of cinema. We’re particularly excited that select recipients come from genres too often under-celebrated for their craft such as comedy and horror. We are thankful to our esteemed juries and sponsors of these awards for their diligence and expert insights, and congratulate the award recipients and all of our filmmakers at NewFest34.”
The full winners and awards of the 2022 NewFest film festival are as follows:
International Narrative Feature Jury Awards
Grand Jury Prize winner: THE BLUE CAFTAN, directed by Maryam Touzani
Special Mention: Rodrigo de Oliveira for writing/directing THE FIRST FALLEN
U.S. Narrative Feature Jury Awards
Grand Jury Prize winner: SWALLOWED, directed by Carter Smith
Special Mention: The ensemble cast of UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS
Documentary Feature Jury Awards
Grand Jury Prize winner: UÝRA – The Rising Forest, directed by Juliana Curi
Special Mention: BLACK AS U R, directed by Micheal Rice
New York Short Jury Awards
Grand Jury Prize winner: HOW NOT TO DATE WHILE TRANS, directed by Nyala Moon
Special Mention: MONSIEUR LE BUTCH, directed by Jude Dry
Chevrolet Changemaker Award For A Black LGBTQ+ Director
Presented as part of NewFest’s Black Filmmakers Initiative, sponsored by Chevrolet
BLACK AS U R, directed by Michael Rice
Blackstone Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Awards
THE SPIRIT GOD GAVE US, directed by Michael Donte Jemison
BUILD OR DESTROY, directed by Rashaad Newsome
MASQUERADE (EGUNGUN), directed by Olive Nwosu
NewFext x NYWIFT Emerging Filmmaker Award
DRESS UP, directed by Karina Dandashi
Breakthrough Queer Visionary Award
Writer/director Elegance Bratton (THE INSPECTION)