11 Films You Absolutely Can’t Miss at NewFest 2018

The annual New York film festival spotlights the best of LGBTQ cinema.

NewFest LGBT Film Festival always brings the best and brightest of queer cinema to the Big Apple, and this year, the festival’s 30th iteration, is no exception. Read on for our editors’ picks of films you won’t want to miss at NewFest 2018.

  1. Boy Erased, a drama based on Garrard Conley’s harrowing 2016 memoir about surviving conversion therapy, is the U.S. centerpiece at this year’s festival, and for good reason. Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Troye Sivan star, and Joel Edgerton directs. Screening Thursday, October 25 at 8pm

  2. Set during the early years of the AIDS crisis, 1985 stars Cory Michael Smith as Adrian, an HIV-positive man who returns to his Texas hometown for Christmas. The film, shot in black and white and written by Yen Tan, is this year’s opening night pick. Screening Wednesday, October 24 at 7pm

  3. Cherry Grove Stories, a new doc from director Michael Fisher, explores the little-told stories of the famed Fire Island community, including dangerous drag dinner parties and heartbreaking memorials during the height of the AIDS crisis. Screening Saturday, October 27 at 1pm and Tuesday, October 30 at 4pm

  4. Rafiki, a critically acclaimed modern lesbian romance from Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu, has had quite the ride in its home country: Kahiu sued the Kenyan government after officials tried to ban the film from screening completely. (It did screen–and broke major records at the nation’s box office.) Screening Friday, October 26 at 6:30pm

  5. GIRL TALK, a dramatic narrative short about a queer woman’s misadventures through physical and emotional intimacy, comes from the minds of queer femme filmmakers Erica Rose and Chelsea Moore of Sour Peach Films. Screening Thursday, October 25 at 3:45pm and Saturday, October 27 at 9:30pm

  6. This Gus Van Sant-directed biopic of legendary civil rights activist and politician Harvey Milk made a splash when it premiered in 2008, winning writer Dustin Lance Black an Oscar for Best Screenplay. Ten years later, NewFest is celebrating the star-studded film’s impact (and the legacy of its trailblazing namesake.) Screening Saturday, October 27 at 7pm

  7. Drag queens and campy horror? Sign us up. Killer Unicorn is a new slasher written by José D. Álvarez and directed by Drew Bolton. It features Brooklyn drag staples like BibleGirl, Aja, Rify Royalty and Horrorchata. Plus, there’s plenty of eye candy with a hunky shirtless killer on the loose. Screening Monday, October 29 at 9pm

  8. Man Made, a doc from the mind of trans director T. Cooper, follows a group of trans men as they gear up for Trans FitCon, the world’s only trans male-centric bodybuilding invitational. Téa Leoni executive produces. Screening Friday, October 26 at 7:30pm

  9. Debuting on the heels of Trump’s disturbing and controversial call to ban transgender people from the U.S. military, TransMilitary follows four valiant transgender service members from 2015 to the present day as they defend their right to serve their country. The filmmakers and cast will be in attendance for a panel with GLAAD after the screening. Screening Sunday, October 28 at 5pm

  10. In this Swiss narrative drama, German soccer stars Mario and Leon strike up a passionate and forbidden romance that endangers both of their careers. Mario even asks his friend, Jenny, to pretend that they’re dating to dodge incriminating rumors. Screening Friday, October 26 at 9pm

  11. A new doc from first-time filmmaker Caroline Berler, Dykes, Camera, Action! chronicles the epic history of lesbian cinema, including candid original interviews, retro film clips, and archival footage. What’s not to love? Screening Saturday, October 27 at 6pm

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