NewFest, the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival has announced its programming for its 21st annual edition, running June 4-11, 2009. It should prove a new fest indeed, with a new venue at the School of Visual Arts Theater in Chelsea, a new presenting sponsor in Logo, a shorter schedule (it runs 3 days less than last year), and some major behind-the-scenes shifts - as both Artistic Director Basil Tsiokos and Administrative Director Kerry Weldon left the festival last fall.
"2009 proved to be a very exciting year for NewFest," said NewFest Board President Louie Anchondo in a statement. "Not only do we have a new Acting Executive Director, former board member and documentary filmmaker Lesli Klainberg, and a brand new theater venue, but we also added the Logo Lounge, thus creating a new home base for NewFest in the heart of Chelsea- and we couldn't think of a better location! For the past few years, we have been fortunate to include Logo as a sponsor, but this year, we are very pleased and grateful that they have come on board as a Presenting Sponsor. Logo and our other generous supporters such as Premier sponsor Showtime help keep this festival alive!"
The festival will open on June 4th with director Jacqui Morris' "Mr. Right," which follows "the aspirations and romantic tensions of a group of London gay men," and close on June 11th with "Pop Star on Ice," a documentary about Johnny Weir, Olympic figure skater and three-time national champion. Directed by David Barba and James Pellerito, NewFest notes that "this playful documentary reveals how a young Russophile and Chihuahua lover from rural Pennsylvania rose to pop stardom."
NewFest's centerpiece film - on Saturday, June 6th - is set as as John G. Young's "Rivers Wash Over Me." The film follows a gay teen from New York City and the devastating challenges he faces when he's sent to live with family in the American South. The following night is Women's Night at NewFest, which will include a screening of Alison Reid's "The Baby Formula," wherein lesbian parenthood gets the "Best In Show" treatment in "a witty mock-umentary about the quest to produce the biological offspring of two women."
For more information on the festival, a full list of films, and related events, visit New Fest's freshly re-launched website. The website began selling tickets to members today.