The winners at the 32nd NewFest the New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival were announced at a virtual ceremony on Sunday October 25th with top honours going to writer/director Anna Kerrigan for Cowboys which took the Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize; director Assel Aushakimova for Welcome to the USA, which won the Grand Jury Prize for International Feature; director Posy Dixon for Keyboard Fantasies: The Beverly Glenn-Copeland Story, which was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary Feature; and director Cai Thomas for the short film Queenie which won the Grand Jury Prize for New York Short.
This year’s festival also saw the introduction of three new juried awards as part of NewFest’s Black Filmmakers Initiative, created in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and in recognition of the need to create more opportunities for queer Black artists and to amplify their voices. The Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award, decided upon by a jury of Black LGBTQ+ film industry professionals, was awarded to three directors whose shorts screened during festival. The winning filmmakers, who will each receive a $1,000 cash prize, were writer/director/producer Blanche Akonchong for Mercury Afrograde; co-writers/producers/directors Elegance Bratton and Jovan James for Buck; and writer/director Terrance Daye for Ship: A Visual Poem. Meanwhile, as previously announced, the Directorial Feature Debut Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Award was awarded by NewFest programmers to a Olivia Peace for Tahara, accompanied by a $2,000 cash prize.
Here’s a full list of NewFest 2020 juried award winners:
NARRATIVE JURIED AWARD:
The NewFest 2020 Narrative Features jurors were Rhys Ernst (filmmaker, ADAM), Dino-Ray Ramos (editor, Deadline), and Isabel Sandoval (filmmaker, LINGUA FRANCA).
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize, Narrative Feature:
COWBOYS – Director Anna Kerrigan
Special Mention, Narrative Feature
CICADA – co-directors Matt Fifer & Kieran Mulcare, and actor/co-writer Sheldon D. Brown
DOCUMENTARY JURIED AWARDS:
The NewFest 2020 Documentary Features jurors were Tre’vell Anderson (journalist); Whembley A. Sewell (Editor-In-Chief, them); Barbara Vasconez (Programs Manager, NYWIFT; Documentary Programmer, New York Latino Film Festival).
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize, Documentary Feature
KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY – Director Posy Dixon
Special Mention, Documentary Feature
YOUR MOTHER’S COMFORT – Director Adam Golub
INTERNATIONAL JURIED AWARDS:
Ed Gonzalez (Co-Founder & Film Editor, Slant Magazine); Jazz Tangcay (Variety); Kathy Tu (The New York Times).
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize, International Feature
WELCOME TO THE USA – Director Assel Aushakimova
Special Mention, International Feature
DATING AMBER – Director David Freyne
SHORT FILM JURIED AWARDS:
The NewFest 2020 Short Films jurors were River Gallo (filmmaker, PONYBOI); Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright/Filmmaker); Julio Torres (Writer/Comedian/Actor).
Winner of Grand Jury Prize, Short Film
QUEENIE – Director Cai Thomas
Special Mentions, Short Film
SHIP: A VISUAL POEM – Writer/director Terrance Daye
SEE YOU SOON – cast James Cusati-Moyer & Jonny Beauchamp
EMERGING BLACK LGBTQ+ FILMMAKER JURIED AWARDS:
The NewFest 2020 Narrative Features jurors were Patrik-Ian Polk (filmmaker, PUNKS, NOAH’S ARC, P-VALLEY); Wellington Love (publicist & producer, THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY).
MERCURY AFROGRADE – Director Blanche Akonchong
NewFest’s New York LGBTQ Film Festival is currently running through October 27 and more than 120 new films from 29 countries are accessible to ticket holders nationwide via NewFest’s on-demand platform throughout the festival. Individual tickets and all-access passes are all available at newfest.org.