Serving a slate of lavender-leaning films, spirited post-screening Q&As and after-parties, NYC Pride and NewFest’s OutCinema film comes to Chelsea’s SVA Theatre this week with its lens focused on, they note, “the diversity of voices and perspectives within the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Of curating OutCinema’s fourth edition, which runs Monday though Wednesday, NewFest director of programming Nick McCarthy recalls, “My thought going into it was, it’s WorldPride [the Olympics of Pride]. Maybe I’ll think about showing some international cinema.”
Ultimately, McCarthy “came down to thinking, because we have so many wonderful people from around the world coming to celebrate, I want to show New York City at its queerest, as well as how we, as a multicultural city, express ourselves.”
On opening night, arriving from its warm welcome at Sundance, “Adam” is the feature debut from Emmy-nominated director Rhys Ernst. Set in 2006, the awkward titular character spends the summer with his older sister, who schools him in the ways of queer activism. Crushing on a young woman, he’s crushed when she assumes he is trans — but doesn’t refute the notion. Coming of age meets comedy of errors, with a smart, tart, LGBTQ+ twist.
The second night, Amy Watson and Dennis Keighron-Foster’s “Deep in Vogue” documents the thriving ballroom scene in contemporary Manchester in the United Kingdom. Inspired by the 1990 classic “Paris is Burning” (screening now through June 27 at Film Forum), “Deep,” McCarthy says, is a fitting choice, given how Harlem’s drag ball scene originated voguing, and “is something New York City is contributing to the world, then encouraging the world to amplify, through creative expressions of Pride.”
The festival closes with director Chris Moukarbel’s upcoming HBO documentary “Wig,” which chronicles the legendary Lady Bunny’s iconic East Village daytime drag gathering, as well as its 2018 “Wigstock 2.HO” Pier 17 rooftop reboot.
“What the documentary addresses, in a really open and forward-thinking way, is the inclusivity of trans performers in drag now,” McCarthy notes, thus asking “what the art of drag mean today, versus when Wigstock was created. You get all the really great archival footage of Tompkins Square Park in the ’80s and ’90s … and now you see drag have this explosion, and what that means today.”
McCarthy readily admits not knowing “the metrics of who’s queer and who’s not” among attendees, but he does note, “Any ally in these spaces is part of our family, because they’re celebrating our history alongside us.”
If you go
NYC Pride and NewFest’s OutCinema runs Monday through Wednesday at Chelsea’s SVA Theatre. For schedule and ticket information, go to newfest.org.