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NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival At Lincoln Center Brings Laughs, Drama With Film Screenings

(credit: Ernest Ortiz)

(credit: Ernest Ortiz)

By Ernest Ortiz

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The weather may not have been perfect in New York City last weekend, but it was nothing but rainbows at Lincoln Center as NewFest: the NY LGBT Film Festival kicked off their 24th event on Friday night.

Running through July 31st, the festival includes 14 features, 4 documentaries and various short films.  From drag queens to would-be rock stars, the programming is sure to find something for even the most discriminating moviegoer’s palate.

pat cleveland carol alt at about face qa NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival At Lincoln Center Brings Laughs, Drama With Film Screenings

Pat Cleveland & Carol Alt answer questions during a Q&A session at NewFest (credit: Jenny Lubkin)

Friday kicked off in a moving fashion as Edie Windsor received the 2nd annual Visionary Award – honoring activists who’ve made it their life’s mission to better the lives of LGBT people.  Edie was on hand to accept the honor and followed up the award presentation with an impassioned speech detailing the trailblazing role she has taken on throughout her life.   After, the opening night film ‘Four’ screened to a packed Walter Reade Theatre.  Detailing the lives of four seemingly disparate suburban inhabitants, you seem become aware things are not always what they seem at first glance.

With my movie list in I was determined to catch a few films on Saturday.  I took in a screening of ‘My Best Day,’ a comedy set in what could be any typical American town.  I left with my stomach sore from well- earned laughs.  Attributable to the quality of this years’ movies, the acting in the Sundance-screened feature was spot-on and I will not be surprised to see this hitting your local, albeit theatre, soon.

‘Jobriath A.D,’ Saturday night’s documentary feature concerning  Jobriath, a David Bowie-ish glam-rock singer with extraordinary stage presence , played to a sold-out audience.

youngwild still NewFest: The NY LGBT Film Festival At Lincoln Center Brings Laughs, Drama With Film Screenings

Young & Wild Film Screening (credit: Lincoln Film Center Society)

Admittedly, I knew nothing of Jobriath until this screening.  Even without prior emotional ties, l found myself moved as I viewed an artistic life that ‘could have been’ had it not been for a few, yet significant, choices made by both subject and his supporters that ended in commercial disaster.

Sunday I had the fortune to make it into the sold-out screening of ‘About face:  Supermodels Then And Now.’  Directed by renowned portrait photographer Timothy Greenfield –Sanders, I was taken back in time as he offered an unvarnished look of 70’s and 80’s iconic models as they offered insight into their lives then and now.

A visual treat, this documentary which premieres on HBO this week, dissected what it means to be beautiful in modern society.  Of particular note was the Q& A session afterward in which Timothy was joined by modeling greats Carol Alt and Pat Cleveland, both subjects in the film, to answer the delighted audience’s questions.

NewFest runs through July 31 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre.  ‘Young & Wild’ is the closing night film.  Full festival information is available at:  www.newfest.org & www.filmlinc.com