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New York’s NewFest 2023 Can’t Miss Films: View the Full Lineup

Rustin Movie NewFest 2023
Image: Higher Ground Productions

George C. Wolfe’s Rustin opens the LGBTQ+ film festival while the Annette Bening-starrer Nyad is named U.S. Centerpiece.

This year’s NewFest, New York’s largest LGBTQ+ film festival, celebrates cinema on a local and global scale. Running from October 12th to 22nd in-person, and virtually through October 24th, NewFest continues to amplify the diverse stories of the LGBTQ+ community. From 26 different countries, NewFest will premiere over 130 films, offering audiences an electric experience that proves queer stories aren’t going away anytime soon. Check out the must-see films of NewFest this year and view the full lineup below.

Opening NewFest is George C. Wolfe’s Rustin, starring Emmy Award-winner Colman Domingo in the lead role. This star-studded biopic, also starring Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Jeffrey Wright, Audra McDonald, CCH Pounder and more, shines a spotlight on Bayard Rustin, the extraordinary activist and organizer of the 1963 March on Washington.

The festival will close with the highly-anticipated followup from acclaimed director Andrew Haigh (Weekend, 45 Years), All of Us Strangers, starring Emmy Award nominee Andrew Scott (Fleabag) as a solitary writer who discovers that his late parents have reappeared at his suburban childhood home. The romantic drama also stars Academy Award and Emmy Award nominee Paul Mescal (Aftersun, Normal People), BAFTA Award-winner Jamie Bell (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool), and Emmy Award-winner Claire Foy (Women Talking, The Crown).

Announced as the festival’s U.S. Centerpiece, Nyad will have its New York City premiere alongside the International Centerpiece, Monster, and the Documentary Centerpiece, Beyond The Aggressives: 25 Years Later.

Nyad, from Oscar-winning directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, stars Annette Bening as athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach (played by Jodie Foster), swims the 110-mile open waters from Cuba to Florida.

International Centerpiece Monster is the Cannes award-winner from visionary director Hirokazu Kore-eda. Having received Best Screenplay and Queer Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Monster tells a multi-perspective story in Japan about an incident that occurs at an elementary school.

The follow-up to the groundbreaking documentary The Aggressives (2005), is the world premiere of Beyond The Aggressives: 25 Years Later. The doc revisits the lives of four queer masculine-presenting BIPOC folks as they navigate life and question what gender identity means.

Also showing this year at NewFest is an advance screening of SHOWTIME’s limited series Fellow Travelers starring Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey as two men who begin a clandestine romance in McCarthy-era Washington. Season 2 of Max’s Our Flag Means Death, starring Rhys Darby and Taika Waitit, will also be one of the series titles having an advanced screening this year.

Legacy screenings of New Queer Cinema films will include a 4K restoration of Isaac Julien’s Young Soul Rebels and a screening of Stephen Winter’s Chocolate Babies.

This year’s NewFest Queer Visionary Award will be presented to Todd Haynes, whose new film May December will have a special screening. May December stars Natalie Portman as an actress who heads to Savannah, Georgia to research a part for a film about a tabloid-riddled married couple’s past (Julianne Moore, Charles Melton).

There are a lot of ways to fest at NewFest this year, and there are a lot more films to check out. Don’t miss out on these films and view the full lineup at


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Nic Austin