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Outfest Fusion: Queer Cinema Online & In Person


Los Angeles’ long running queer film fest, Outfest Fusion, returns March 24 to April 2, 2023. True to its name, Outfest Fusion is an offshoot of the Outfest film festival with online and in person screenings featuring the work of today’s leading, and emerging, QTBIPOC artists and storytellers at venues across LA including the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, and more along with most of the films being available for streaming. 

Outfest Fusion began in 2004 and this entry of the festival opens with a ceremony honoring two Outfest Fusion alum; Elegance Bratton (The Inspection) and Bird Runningwater (Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program).  The opening festivities will screen several short films, including Baba, directed by Sam Arbor and Adam Ali, in which a young gay Libyan man lives underground with his friends and dreams of fleeing to England, but when he has to find his passport, he finds warmth where he least expects it and questions whether he should leave.

Outfest Fusion also includes a plethora of shorts, features, docs, and panel discussions. Panel workshops such as How to Craft the Perfect Pitch and Navigating Commercial Filmmaking as a QTBIPOC Creative are free to attend. Fusion Family Day showcases short films aimed at kids and families, while the One Minute Movie Contest tasks filmmakers to create bite-sized cinematic works.

Running since 1982, the mission statement of Outfest is to create “visibility to diverse LGBTQIA+ stories and empowers storytellers, building empathy to drive meaningful social change.”

To learn more, go to:

Outfest Fusion
March 24 - April 2, 2023

Online and Various Venues in Los Angeles

Ten Years of The Socially Relevant Film Festival

The Socially Relevant Film Festival
(SRFF) is now in its tenth year of cinema and documentaries with a message. Running March 16 to the 31st, SRFF features filmmakers and stories from around the world with over 70 films from 23 countries. SRFF’s mission is to shine the spotlight on filmmakers who tell compelling, socially relevant, human interest stories across a broad range of social issues without resorting to gratuitous violence or violent forms of filmmaking.

The festival opens March 16 at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater with the documentary Shabu and feature Tnaash. Directed by Shamira Raphaëla, Shabu is a documentary from The Netherlands, follows a teenager from Rotterdam who must pay back the repairs for a trashed car over the course of one summer while also pursuing his musical passion. Tnaash, directed by Boudy Sfeir, is set in the aftermath of the August 4th Beirut Port explosion where Lebanon’s first trial by jury must decide the fate of an illegal Syrian refugee accused of brutally killing a social activist known for helping the damaged community after the blast. Other films include the New York premiere of Only Child in which a 60-year-old adoptee from Dublin navigates the misogynistic landscape of Ireland's past in a relentless search to find her birth mother with only her name and town of birth known.

Along with its extensive features block is six thematically divided short film blocks: Family and Adoption, Home and Health, Climate Change, LGBTQ, and BIPOC Films. SRFF will also include Q&As, Happy Hours, Workshops, Staged readings of scripts, and an Award Ceremony to recognize the work of the talented filmmakers that the jury will pick.

To learn more, go to:

Socially Relevant Film Festival
March 16 - 31, 2023

Various Locations in NYC and Online

2023 Annual Athena Film Festival: Feminist Cinema Takes the Stage

Judy Blume Forever 

Running in person March 2 - 5 at Barnard College is the 13th Annual Athena Film Festival. Centered around women in leadership, the festival includes film screenings, in-depth panel discussions and  live talks with filmmakers and industry experts, and special events in addition to shorts, feature films, and documentaries.

The festival’s centerpiece film running on March 4th is Judy Blume Forever, directed by Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, is a documentary on one of the most beloved and banned  authors in the United States.

Other films include the New York premiere of The Lost King, directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steve Coogan and Jeff PopeDaughter of Rage (La hija de todas las rabias), written and directed by Laura Baumeister de Montis, as well as screenings of The Lost King, directed by Stephen Frears, Angry Annie (Annie Colère), directed by Blandine Lenoir, and My Emptiness And I (Mi vacío y yo), directed by Adrián Silvestre. The festival will also screen Women Talking, directed by Sarah Polley, which is nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

“Entering the 13th year of the Athena Film Festival I could not feel more proud of the unique and exciting slate of films we are sharing with our audiences this year. We look forward to bringing these important and underrepresented voices to the big screen,” said Melissa Silverstein, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of AFF and Founder of Women and Hollywood.

“The narratives we see shape our understanding of the world,” said Umbeen Bhatti, Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership. “At the Athena Film Festival, audiences won’t encounter tired, outdated narratives, but rather, narratives that more accurately reflect the world we live in and the future we want to build.”

To learn more, go to:

Athena Film Festival
March 2 - 5, 2023

Barnard College

Winter Film Awards International Film Festival: Cinema Around the World On the Lower East Side


Featuring voices and visions from around the world, The Winter Film Awards International Film Festival is back from February 15th to the 25th. Running at Cinema Village (22 E 12th St, New York, NY) and NY Film Academy (17 Battery Pl), the Festival’s lineup includes 73 films from around the world from first-timers and seasoned directors alike. With works including animation, documentaries, comedies, romances, dramas, horror, music videos and web series, the WFA International Film Festival emphasizes diversity of voices, actors, and subject matter.

Cinema Village will feature several special blocks of films:

  • Documentary Day – Saturday February 18th 12pm-11pm. All documentaries, all day!

  • Bloody Sunday Horror Day – February 19th 4:30pm-11pm. Eleven frightening films from around the world!

  • Weekday Matinee Shorts Screenings – February 20-23 afternoon.  Animation, Made in NY, Documentaries and Horror

Films include 10:35, directed by Alan Sánchez and Isabel Reyes. After the death of his mother, Nico is in a crematorium waiting for her ashes. Nico begins working on an experiment with a virtual reality glasses to travel to a parallel universe and see his mother once again. Just like an hourglass, Nico will depend on the last grain of sand to accomplish his purpose.

ŁOBYRA, directed by Natalie Plaskura, is a chapter of an ongoing gloomy tale about the rise of the grouse king. It tells of strange looming figures, who emerged under unknown circumstances, not revealing if their intentions are good or evil. Seemingly attracted by an invisible calling, they are steering towards the summit of a mountain and summon something, which was put to sleep for a long time.

Miss Viborg, a feature directed by Marianne Blicher, follows a former beauty queen and senior citizen Solvej living in a social housing area on the outskirts of Danish provincial town Viborg. Each day, she performs the same old routines roaming around on her scooter dealing her prescription drugs, dreaming of a world outside Viborg and reminiscing over old love letters from her past. When unforeseen circumstances bring her neighbour’s daughter, rebellious 17-year-old Kate into her life, an unlikely friendship forms and new hope for the future emerges.

The festival will also feature evening Education Sessions that are free to the public. These discussions and lectures cover everything from filmmaking on a budget and legal issues for film makers, to elevating trans voices in cinema.

To learn more, go to:

Winter Film Awards International Film Festival
February 16 - 25, 2023

Various Locations in NYC


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