Best of the ‘Fest

GO editors pick the most anticipated films at Newfest

Newfest, New York’s premier LGBT film festival, kicks off its 23rd season tonight with David Weissman’s We Were There, a moving doc about San Francisco in the 1970s; and a tribute to legendary producer Christine Vachon. Both events take place at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center.

Newfest’s incredible slate of LGBT features, shorts and industry confabs stretches over the next eight days and nights. But with so many buzzworthy NYC premiers and festival faves coming to screens near you, a little advance planning is needed to maximize your viewing time. Use this checklist as your guide to the most anticipated lesbian-themed films of the ‘Fest. (For full screening details, see Newfest.org.)

Wish Me Away

The buzz around this moving documentary about Chely Wright, the country music star who came out as a lesbian in 2009, is already deafening. Filmmakers Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf reveal Wright’s incredible courage and emotional journey.

Mary Marie

The compelling tale of two sisters whose intimate bond is threatened by outside forces. Brooklyn-based filmmakers/stars Alexandra Roxo and Alana Kearns-Green are receiving critical acclaim for their mysterious, erotic feature.

Circumstance

Maryam Keshavarz’s drama, set in a repressive Iran, won the audience award as this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In this coming-of-age tale, two girls’ close relationship is challenged by an older brother, who has recently joined the morality police.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Madeleine Olnek’s extraterrestrial rom-com stars three aliens sent to earth to get their hearts broken—but rather than cure their overactive emotions, they become entangled in decidedly earthly love affairs. This “sweet, funny, clever comedy” has won several awards on the festival circuit.

Girls on the Edge

This program of lezzie shorts shows the edgy, punk-rock side of the rainbow. Films include Katrina Del Mar’s Hell on Wheels, Meredith Heil’s Whistlin’ Dixie and Virginia Moser’s Grrrl Love and Revolution: Riot Grrrl NYC.

Lady Bits

A showcase of lesbian docs, fictional shorts and music videos. Highlights from two programs include Diane Busuttil’s Super Power, Laura Terruso’s Flyers, Jennifer Malmqvist’s Birthday, Melissa Finell’s No Direction and many more.

Hit So Hard

This rock doc exposes the highs and lows of Patty Schemel, mercurial drummer for the grunge group Hole. From rock celeb to homeless drug addict to wife and mom, Schemel’s story is at once grotesque and inspirational.