EXCLUSIVE: NewFest has taken the wraps off NewFest Pride, its new virtual summer film series that will kick off June 4-7. The event from the New York-based LGBTQ+ film and media organization aims to kick off Pride month showcasing six feature films along with a short-film program co-presented with Vimeo and LGBTQ-focused panels and special events.
Those events include a virtual live-read of Legally Blonde featuring an all queer and trans cast, NewFest said Thursday. The fundraiser comes as the film starring Reese Witherspoon celebrates its 20th anniversary, on the heels of the success of the all-trans live-read of Brokeback Mountain in October during NewFest’s New York LGBTQ Film Festival. Like before the live read will will be produced in collaboration with #MakeItGay live reads, founded by Gaby Dunn during quarantine to reimagine typically white, straight, cis and male films into ones with diverse casts.
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Proceeds will go towards The NewFest Future Fund, to benefit the organization and its programs for LGBTQ+ youth, filmmaker resources, and year-round screening programs. It will be available to stream for free with a suggested donation across NewFest’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
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The NewFest Pride screenings include Marion Hill’s Sundance NEXT Audience Award winner Ma Belle, My Beauty, Carlos López Estrada’s L.A. poetry showcase Summertime executive produced by Kelly Marie Tran, Todd Stephens’ comedy Swan Song starring Udo Kier, Harri Shanahan’s and Siân A. Williams’ documentary Rebel Dykes, Daniel Sánchez López’s Boy Meets Boy and Mari Walker’s See You Then. The full lineup including the to-be-announced shorts will be available to ticket holders via NewFest’s on-demand platform.
While virtual, introductions to the films will be shot in front of LGBTQ gathering spots throughout the city to celebrate their reopenings. Individual tickets and all-access passes are on sale now at newfest.org.
“Despite a year that has seen tremendous loss, collective trauma, and a societal reckoning with systemic injustice, the LGBTQ+ community has never lost touch with its Pride-ful spirit,” NewFest executive director David Hatkoff said. “We are thrilled to kick off Pride month with a virtual program that celebrates the very many things we are — rebellious, romantic, riveting and radical. And, for good measure, a queer Elle Woods!”
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