That's not to say it hasn't also championed some huge names in the world of visual storytelling: Susan Sarandon, Ilana Glazer, Laverne Cox and Dolly Parton are all names who have previously participated in the festival, whether it be as talent or as judge or a panelist.
The eight-day event includes screenings, premieres, parties, interviews and panel discussions celebrating the work of those passionate about making movies. But with so many things to choose from, we've made it easy and pulled out programs with an LGBTQ focus:
Queer Shorts: Best of NewFest
Most notably, LESFF will be presenting four selections from New York's annual LGBTQ film festival, NewFest, which took place in October.
1. According To My Mother, about a gay man and his mother in the wake of a family death:
2. Head, following the inner monologue of a young gay man trying to figure out what the hell he's doing in life:
3. This Is You And Me, a story of an intense lesbian one night stand (the entirety of which is available below):
4. A Lack of Dating in Brooklyn, about the woes of navigating the dating world in your early twenties:
US Premiere of Mermaids
Closing the LESFF is the American premiere of Mermaids, a documentary feature film exploring the culture and obsession around the mythical enchantresses of the sea. Mermaids follows five stories of different women wearing tails and the worlds they swim into.
The Lower East Side Film Festival runs June 8-15. Tickets are available for purchase, here.