The Very Best of Film/TV

53rd Annual New York Film Festival, NewFest, Freeheld and much more

The 53rd Annual New York Film Festival comes to NYC on Sep 25. Celebrate opening night with the world premiere of The Walk, directed by Robert Zemeckis. Films of all types abound, but one that will entice lesbian filmgoers is Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara—the long-awaited screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1950s novel The Price of Salt. The festival runs thru Oct 11.

On Sep 30, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, revisit a horrifying chapter in LGBT history: Paragraph 175 of the German penal code that targeted homosexuals. The eponymous documentary tells the story of how gay men and lesbians went from being a part of a vibrant subculture of artists and intellectuals to being systematically persecuted under the brutal Nazi regime.

Attention Grumpy Cat fanatics and kitten video addicts (you know who you are!) How Cats Took Over the Internet is taking over the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens this fall and winter. Exploring the aesthetics of cuteness, this exhibit highlights the history of cats online from Caturday and lolcats to celebrity cats via cat videos, GIFs and other feline images.

We’re so excited about Bravo’s The People’s Couch! The TV-obsessed, sassy couchers (like Julie and Brandy!) are back this fall for more buzzworthy show moments coupled with hilarious commentary, as season three of TPC returns with eight hour-long episodes. The series features recurring families and friends sitting in their living rooms watching the funniest, scariest and craziest moments on programming across all networks.

At long last, Freeheld comes to NYC theaters on Oct 2 for a limited release. Starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, Freeheld is the true story of a NJ police lieutenant and her legal domestic partner who try to secure pension benefits after the cop’s terminal cancer diagnosis. For those lucky New Yorkers who spotted Page and Moore during the shooting last year, here’s your chance to see the finished film! Scheduled for nationwide release on Oct 16.

We always look forward to NewFest, New York's premier LGBT film festival, now celebrating its 27th year with a diverse and compelling lineup of narratives, documentaries, shorts and parties! This year promises some extraordinary women’s programming, so it’s definitely not to be missed. The festival runs Oct 22-27, and there is so much great content to see. You'll find some of the best lesbian shorts and features of the year, not to mention topical panels with SAG AFTRA and NYWIFT, and look out for LGBT favorites like Clea Duvall, Lea DeLaria, Robin Weigert, Josephine Decker, Staceyann Chin and a new short by trailblazer Cheryl Dunye.

One of the NewFest highlights is the winner of this year's Sundance World Cinema Directing award, The Summer of Sangaile, a seductive French-Lithuanian coming of age romance about an aspiring pilot and her sultry muse. In Liz in September, Fina Torres (Woman on Top) delivers a beautiful adaptation of the beloved lesbian play Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, with Patricia Velasquez leading a gorgeous cast of Latinas. Nneka Onuorah's debut documentary, The Same Difference, is a definite must-see. It explores the phenomenon of lesbians discriminating against other lesbians—especially in African-American communities—over perceived violations of the strict code that separates butches, studs and aggressives from femmes. Onuroah breaks down each of the so-called codes, and talks to women who have been on the receiving end of hate for crossing those lines. Fans of Daniel Peddle’s The Aggressives will want to check this out, for sure. And While You Weren’t Looking heralds the remarkable feature debut of TV showrunner Catherine Stewart, using a multi-generational drama to explore the landscape of lesbian life in contemporary South Africa.

In addition to the screenings, New York Women In Film & Television (NYWIFT) will host a state of the union panel with established female directors to discuss the current renaissance of women in the entertainment industry. SAG AFTRA's National LGBT Committee will also lead a discussion about the evolution of transgender representation in film and TV with a panel of trans actors and moderator Tiq Milan.

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