Review by Tatiana Miranda
New York's largest LGBTQ+ film presenter, NewFest, is kicking off Pride Month with NewFest Pride, a 5-day event full of film premieres, filmmaker Q&As, and parties. While NewFest's annual festival is in the fall, NewFest Pride is happening in early June, which allows the festival to take advantage of the spring festival circuit and the plethora of films slated to release in the summer.
NewFest Pride opens with Fairyland, a star-studded film about growing up with a gay father in 1970s and '80s San Francisco. Several other films showing take place in the '80s, including the queer coming-of-age love story Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Based on the award-winning YA book of the same name, Aristotle & Dante centers around two Mexican-American teenagers as they learn about each other and themselves in return. Produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Aitch Alberto, this film gives an honest voice to queer Hispanics.
Problemista is another notable film showing at NewFest Pride from a Hispanic writer-director. Directed by and starring comedian Julio Torres, Problemista tells the story of Alejandro, a Salvadoran immigrant hoping to become a toy designer in New York City. The film also stars Tilda Swinton as an art world outcast and Alejandro's last chance to keep his work visa.
Produced by A24, Problemista has recently gained a lot of buzz from its premiere at SXSW. Surreal and intensely comedic, this movie takes Julio Torres' beloved wry humor from shows like Los Espookys to a new level.
Emma Seligman and Rachel Sennott's follow-up to Shiva Baby, Bottoms, was another hit at SXSW. Along with Rachel Sennott, the comedy stars The Bear's Ayo Edebiri. The two play teenagers who start a fight club in order to impress their cheerleader crushes. With Sennott and Edebiri's recent roles and work on Comedy Central's Ayo and Rachel Are Single, it's no wonder that this is one of the more anticipated movies of the festival.
After the screening of Bottoms, there will also be a Women's Night Out Party, which is a chance for both filmmakers and film lovers to mingle and unpack the film. Meanwhile, other films will be followed by a discussion with their respective filmmakers.
Along with the festival's live screenings at SVA Theater, NewFest Pride is hosting virtual showings for attendees to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes. Some virtual showings include 1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted Culture and Before I Change My Mind.
That's just the beginning, as there are even more movies showing at NewFest Pride. From much-anticipated indie comedies to documentaries about queer history, this festival has something for everyone and is the perfect way to kick off Pride Month.
NewFest Pride runs from June 1-5 in New York City.
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