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BIT banner - New York's NewFest Sets 2019 Lineup for "HalloKween" Genre Program

New York’s NewFest Sets 2019 Lineup for “HalloKween” Genre Program

NewFest, York’s leading LGBTQ Film and Media Arts organization, has revealed the “HalloKween” genre-focused lineup for the 31st Annual New York LGBTQ Film Festival. The 2019 program, held the week before Halloween, includes the Nicole Maines (CW’s Supergirl) led transgender vampire film Bit; the documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street, about the controversial sequel of the Wes Craven classic that prematurely ended Mark Patton’s acting career; and the Spanish alien rescue mission film Brief Story from the Green Planet, which won the coveted Teddy Award at this year’s Berlinale Film Festival. The announcement was made today by NewFest Executive Director David Hatkoff and Director Of Programming Nick McCarthy.

“Following the inaugural and highly successful HalloKween spotlight at last year’s festival, which saw all three features delight sold-out screenings,” said director of Programming Nick McCarthy, “we’re delighted to reintroduce this popular program of fears and queers with three distinct and varied selections that are inclusive of representations across the LGBTQ+ spectrum, lending an intersectional lens to a genre that has always shown commitment to outsiders who take over to control their own narratives against evil forces.”

Bit, starring trans actress and activist Nicole Maines, follows trans teen Laurel (Maines) as she graduates from her small-town high school and immediately sets her sights on Los Angeles. She meets a mysterious group of girls — vampires, looking to recruit her into their glamorous, alluring world, where they have complete agency over their lives. But as Laurel becomes entrenched in their ways, she begins to doubt whether she’s ready to become one of them.

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is a documentary that sets the record straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which ended Mark Patton’s acting career, just as it was about to begin. Scream, Queen! follows Patton as he travels to horror conventions across the U.S.

Brief Story from a Green Planet follows a young girl as she finds out that her grandma has spent her final years in the caring company of a cute purple alien, and embarks on a journey through small-town Argentina with two close friends to deliver the creature back to its origins.

As a pre-festival bonus, NewFest will also be hosting a 35mm screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge as part of “Coming Out Again,” NewFest’s ongoing monthly retrospective series in partnership with Quad Cinema. The screening will take place on Tuesday, October 8th at Quad Cinema and tickets will be on sale soon.

NewFest will offer an exclusive sneak peek of the festival’s full lineup during its annual pre-festival launch party at Twitter HQ on Wednesday, September 18th. Press can RSVP to newfest@k2publicity.com. The festival will announce the full program of over 140 films at 12 pm ET on Thursday, September 19th. This year’s festival will run October 23rd – 29th, and take place at SVA Theatre, Cinépolis Chelsea, and The LGBT Community Center.

Ticket redemption for Festival Passholders begins at 12 PM EST on Friday, September 20th. There will be a Member Pre-Sale for tickets on Tuesday, September 24th. Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, September 27th. For more information, to purchase a festival pass, or to become a member, go to newfest.org.

NewFest is presented by HBO, and would like to thank the following sponsors: Hyundai (Signature Sponsor), Beam Suntory (Premier Sponsor), Room & Board (Premier Sponsor); Ace Hotel New York, Norwegian Airlines, and Amida Care (Official Sponsors); and Comcast NBCUniversal, T-Mobile, and Twitter (Supporting Sponsors). 

NewFest is grateful to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the New York City Council, and the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) for their generous support of our programs.

NewFest ‘HalloKween’ Program

BIT
Dir. Brad Michael Elmore, USA, 2019, 90 min
New York Premiere

BIT - New York's NewFest Sets 2019 Lineup for "HalloKween" Genre Program

Think Los Angeles is soulless? Try surviving the city’s underground feminist vampire scene. In this comedic-horror flick with a flair for the postmodern, Laurel (SUPERGIRL’s Nicole Maines) leaves the suburbs hoping to catch a breather and a couple of good rock shows while crashing with her with her brother Mark (James Paxton) in the City of Angels. Instead, she quickly finds herself swept up in a faction of vampires with hazy motives. Led by a centuries-old, discerning sanguisuge by the name of Duke (Diana Hopper), entry into this clique might be more than Laurel bargained for. As the age-old queer girl adage goes, she must find out whether they want to befriend her, date her, or turn her—before it’s too late.

HalloKween Centerpiece
SCREAM QUEEN: MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
Dir. Roman Chimienti, Tyler Jensen, USA, 2019, 100 min
New York Premiere

Following a successful stint on Broadway alongside stars such as Cher, Karen Black, and Sandy Dennis, closeted actor Mark Patton launched his film career with a prominent role in A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY’S REVENGE in 1985. What initially seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime soon became a horror story worthy of its own midnight movie. Appreciated fondly by razor-gloved connoisseurs the world over, FREDDY’S REVENGE’s intricately crafted gay subtext decimated its lead’s job prospects in a single swipe. In SCREAM QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, Patton finally strikes back.

SCREAM QUEEN - New York's NewFest Sets 2019 Lineup for "HalloKween" Genre Program

A consistently compelling film essay that also offers a glimpse at the human collateral of the AIDS epidemic in Hollywood, Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti’s documentary follows the disenchanted actor as he goes on tour during ELM STREET 2’s 30th anniversary, coming face-to-face with the screenwriter who sealed his fate and the queer fans who have reclaimed this homophobic horror as a cult classic.

BRIEF STORY FROM THE GREEN PLANET
Dir. SantIago Loza, ARGENTINA/GERMANY/BRAZIL/SPAIN, 2019, 75 min
New York Premiere

BRIEF STORY FROM THE GREEN PLANET 1024x688 - New York's NewFest Sets 2019 Lineup for "HalloKween" Genre Program

In the eerie early moments of this mesmerizing Teddy Award winner for Best Feature film at this year’s Berlinale, Tania–a transgender club performer–finds out that her grandmother has died. When she brings her two friends (the depressed Daniela and the dancey Pedro) to visit her late relative’s home, they discover that Tania’s grandmother spent her last years with a very special pal of her own: a small blue alien. Now Tania, Daniela, and Pedro must journey through rural Argentina to bring the alien back home before time runs out for the creature. Told through a genre-focused lens with a dry, Almodóvarian sense of humor, this bold tale of friendship fully satisfies the itch for a queer version of E.T. or THE GOONIES, while giving life to themes of self-discovery, embracing who you are, and the true meaning of home.

About NewFest:
Founded in 1988, NewFest: New York’s Film and Media Arts Organization presents year-round screenings and events, including the annual New York LGBT Film Festival. NewFest’s mission is to give voice and visibility to the full scope of New York’s LGBTQ community through films and programs that entertain, educate, and empower. In bringing diverse audiences and filmmakers together, NewFest creates spaces and conversations that have the capacity to open minds, shift cultural bias, and create positive change. NewFest is dedicated to bringing together filmmakers and audiences to build a community that encompasses the wide range of representations of the LGBTQ experience. We are committed to nurturing and presenting LGBTQ stories and emerging filmmakers. For more information, visit www.NewFest.org.

Are you attending NewFest next month? Which film are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.