When the lobby of the AMC/Loews on West 34th Street begins to look like happy hour at Splash, you know that NewFest, the New York LGBT Film Festival, has returned. This year, the festival finally turned legal and the L, the G, the B, and the T all came out in full force to celebrate. The films played at a multiplex in the non-borhood between supergay Chelsea and bergay Hells Kitchen. Parties, panels, and polished patrons made it 11 days to remember. With over 200 films from all over the world, it was difficult to pinpoint the fests finest accomplishments. But here are our own Best of the Fest Awards for some of the most notable movies and moments.
Best Transgendered Narcoleptic Hooker Musical: 20 Centimeters
This fab flick was Rodgers and Hammerstein meets My Own Private Idaho, with a little Hedwig thrown in for good measure. But its an angry 20 centimeters that can be found under Monica Cerveras dress. You dont need a metric conversion chart to find that impressive. Great performances and sizzling grand-scale musical numbers proved that size does matter.
Best Gift Bag Swag: JOLT Caffeine Energy Gum
While the free boxes of Tylenol PM were a great help after the closing night party, it was the JOLT gum that kept filmgoers hopping from screen to screen over 11 days.
Best Pedro Almodovar Film Not Directed by Pedro Almodovar: Queens
This Spanish romp all about mothers with some dark habits followed a few women on the verge of a nervous breakdown in high heels and occasionally had them screaming, What have I done to deserve this? But it was totally original.
Best Opening Night Comments: Paul Dinello from Strangers With Candy
Before the screening of his Amy Sedarisstarring opus of bad taste and edgy queer humor, director and costar Paul Dinello quipped, As a Bush supporter and born-again Christian, I find my participation here deplorable.
Best Use of Produce: Another Gay Movie
Raunch was the order of the day with this fest favorite, leaving no gay sexual taboo unmentioned, from gerbiling to experiments with Belgian chocolate (dont ask). It should have you seeing the vegetable aisle (as well as glass coffee tables) in a whole new way.
Best Question Not to Ask the Stars of Another Gay Movie: Are you gay?Best Baby Daddy Drama: Beyond Conception
Eggs and sperm and wombs, oh, my! Making babies isnt just for straight couples anymore. This docs intricate step-by-step walk through the surrogacy process makes adoption look all the more appealing.
Best Movie With a Cute Bear (animated): Queer Duck
The hilarious Showtime short series Queer Duck has gotten the full-length feature treatment and looks fantastic. Adorable Bi-Polar Bear joins up with Openly Gator, Oscar Wildcat and, of course, Queer Duck for loads of fun and irreverent skewering of iconic celebrities like Liza and Rosie.
Best Movie With a Cute Bear (live action): Forgiving the Franklins
This story of a fundamentalist family who turns liberal after a car accident is an eye-opener. And burly porn vet Zak Spears steals his scenes as a high school coach who gives a little more than guidance to one of his football students.
Best Reason to Actually Get Out of Your Car When Driving Through Northeastern Mississippi: small town gay bar
Eat your heart out, Chelsea! The light that can be found in the gay bars of this documentary shines like a beacon, giving the LGBT community a way to exist and thrive in small, distant, primarily anti-gay locales.
Best Drag Name in a Movie: Suppositori Spelling from Filthy GorgeousFilthy Gorgeous, the fabulous documentary on San Frans legendary Trannyshack, shows that drag doesnt have to be a drag. These performers dont sing Whitney, but their performances belong in the Whitney; progressive, daring, and real.
Best Salute to Mary Lou Retton: The Gymnast
This years Jury Prize winner for Best Narrative feature soarsliterally! The acrobatics here are Cirque du Solicious and the story is an inspiration.
Most Endearing Stalker Movie: For the Love of Dolly
How much do you love Dolly Parton? Not as much as the subjects of this documentary who work beyond 9 to 5 to get close to the bosomy superstar. From building a life-sized replica of Dollys Tennessee mountain home to collecting her hair from a car she once rode in its enough to drive you crazy if you let it.
Best Seattle-Based Hustler Drama With an Interracial Relationship and Contemplative Narration: Boy Culture
Man, those guys are hot!