NewFest 2021

New York City's Premier LGBTQ Film Festival

Everyone has been hit hard by the pandemic, but especially the LGBTQ community for whom a sense of connectedness is critical to our survival and sense of wellbeing. That we have lost many of our traditions and pastimes, both celebratory and routine, we have had few avenues to affirm our spirit, creativity, and joy at a time of such great hardship. Whether it is a grand display of Pride or convening at a regular watering hole, telling our stories and sharing in our collective experience is like family time; sometimes it’s all we’ve got.

Now in its 33rd year, NewFest, New York City’s most preeminent LGBTQ+ film festival, is one such tradition, offering an opportunity to both mingle and convene in ceremony. Occurring between October 15 and 26 in New York City, it offers an extraordinary opportunity that showcases the full tapestry of queer life and the queer experiences told by a diverse array of filmmakers from across the globe. This year’s roster of films represent many of the voiceless: women, people of color, trans, non-binary, indigenous, bi and disabled. Some 58% of films are directed by women, non-binary, and two-spirit filmmakers, and 68% of the line-up is by and about those underrepresented voices.

“The LGBTQ+ community thrives on connection, and queer film provides an opportunity to connect in a unique and celebratory way,” said Executive Director David Hatkoff. “We have created a dynamic 12-day event that will deliver our community and allies a much-needed jolt of beauty, humanity and emotion. Our hope is that audiences who join us safely in-person in Manhattan and Brooklyn or at home from anywhere in the United States will be moved and inspired by these incredible films, and feel a part of something bigger than themselves.”

There are a range of stories of perseverance, of overcoming and of becoming, as well as other films that push the envelope creatively or challenge the status quo. In “Mayor Pete,” filmmaker Jesse Moss captures an intimate look at Pete Buttigieg’s presidential run as the youngest person and the first queer candidate in history to run for the nation’s highest office. Director Dante Alencastre pays a long-overdue tribute to Connie Norman, the self-described “AIDS Diva” and ACT UP spokesperson in the early 90’s in Los Angeles in “Aids Diva: The Legend of Connie Norman.” And Phil Collins chronicles the story of a political collective and anti-incarceration dance party in Lower Manhattan in “Bring Down the Walls,” whose aim is to create a conversation to end America’s industrial prison complex system.

Unlike last year, this year’s festival will offer both in-person and virtual screenings for those afar and for those concerned about attending indoor events. There are over 130 films, including narrative features, documentaries, episodic shows, and shorts. The in-person premieres will take place at The SVA Theatre and The LGBT Community Center in Manhattan, as well as in Brooklyn for the first time at Nitehawk Prospect Park and The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). All virtual programming can be viewed online at NewFest’s website. To see this year’s complete lineup, visit


We’ve included below some details on a few standouts that we recommend, including the cost and where to buy tickets and to stream online.

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For Tickets and Information

Virtual Film Festival
Virtual All-Access Streaming Pass
$95 [Members – $85]
Individual Film Streaming Tickets
$14 [Members – $10]

October 15-26

In-Person Single Tickets: $18 [Members: $14]
In-Person Centerpiece Ticket: $25 [Members: $21]
Opening Night Film + Party: $85 [Members: $75]
Closing Night Film + Party: $75 [Members: $65]


How to Buy Tickets
(929) 480 – FEST
Sept 23 – Oct 15, Monday-Friday 2 PM – 6 PM
Oct 16 – 27, Monday-Sunday 2 PM – 9 PM.


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