Female And LGBTQ Filmmakers Get An Overdue Moment To Shine In NYC

The New York Premiere Film Festival aims to share rarely-seen perspectives.

A three-day New York festival is putting work by emerging women, LGBTQ and other marginalized filmmakers in the spotlight. 

The New York Premiere Film Festival, which kicks off April 10, will showcase short films, each of which must be no longer than 20 minutes, from all over the world. Each of the films will compete for a $1,000 grand prize, along with a televised debut on New York’s MNN Cable Network. 

Festival co-directors Nelson Moses Lassiter and John Logan created it to “not just to be heard and make a statement, but also to be supportive of one another and our community’s artistic endeavors,” Lassiter said. (You can view the trailer for “Golden Hour,” a queer-themed short which will shown at the festival, above.) 

“The LGBTQ community, women and minority groups play an active role in shaping society, this country and the world... but even with all of this influence and progress we have made, there are people out there who still seek to marginalize us,” he said. “These groups are underrepresented in cinema but have stories that should be told. We need to remind them that we are a part of society and have just as much right to be visible and make our voices heard.”

At the conclusion of the three-day festival, winners for Best Film, Best Performer and Best Director will be chosen. Lassiter said festival organizers are “not specifically looking for socially conscious films, but creative narratives that tell a story from a perspective we rarely see.” The judges will emphasize storytelling over technical expertise, too. “It is that perspective that is going to capture the audience,” he said. “’Tangerine’ was shot on an iPhone, so we know great stories can come from anywhere.”

Ultimately, Lassiter hopes that audiences will leave the New York Premiere Film Festival “inspired and aware that there is so much talent in our community, stories to tell and that there are no limitations to creativity and that anything is possible if you work for it.”

To read more about the New York Premiere Film Festival, head here

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