Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Fest + B2: Production's Upcoming Event

The New Fest 2006
Every year around this time one of the few catalogues I actually anticipate arrives, and it was no different this week: the 18th New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival, or New Fest, one of the US's premiere LGBT film festivals, begins tonight, and runs until June 11, 2006.

As always, this year's festival includes filmmakers forums, lots of shorts and a couple of parties, but it also has four films in Spanish and more transgender-oriented features and documentaries than ever before.

One of the highlights this year is the film version of the cult TV series Strangers with Candy (Paul Dinello, 2006), starring Amy Sedaris reprising her role as the 47-year-old ex-convict "junky whore" who returns home after 32 years as a runaway and resumes her old life where it ended, as a high school freshman. Others in the film include Bush-lacerator Stephen Colbert, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Allison Janney, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. Other films on the schedule that caught my attention include:

  • Rag Tag (Adaora Nwandu, UK/Nigeria, 2006), in which two young Brits, Rag and Tag, fall in love while visiting Tag's native Nigeria (photo above, at left);
  • Backstage (Emmanuelle Bercot, France, 2005), a cautionary tale about a young fan's growing obsession with a Deborah Harry-look-alike pop star;
  • Two Drifters [Odete] (João Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal, 2005), a new movie featuring a turbulent love triangle by the director of the haunting film O Fantasma;
  • Cruel and Unusual (Janet Baus, Dan Hunt & Reid Williams, USA, 2006), which takes on a rarely discussed topic, the incarceration and difficult experiences of transgender women in men's prisons, because of bureaucracy, static notions of gender, and homophobia;
  • How Do I Look (Wolfgang Busch, USA, 2006), a new look at the ball scene from 1997 (and I wonder what Frank Léon Roberts and others who are active in the ball world think of this piece);
  • The Life of Reilly (Barry Poltermann & Frank Anderson, USA, 2006), which examines the life of that homo icon of the 1970s talk show, not Paul Lynde, Charles Nelson Reilly!;
  • Pick up the Mic (Alex Hinton, USA, 2005), a documentary about "queer rappers performing queer hip-hop," or homohop;
  • Screaming Queens (Victor Silverman & Susan Stryker, USA, 2005), a documentary that explores the all but forgotten pre-Stonewall Riots revolt in 1966 by transgender prostitutes and gay activists at San Francisco's Compton's Cafeteria that marked out an critical moment in the LGBT rights movement;
  • small town gay bar (Malcolm Ingram, USA, 2005), which looks at the experiences of LGBT in, well, small towns in the US (still at right).
One final note: if you have the time and interest, the New Fest is always looking for volunteers, and you can sign up on their website if you're so inclined.

B2: Productions
B2: Productions, an organization that, in its own words, aims "to create a national network of venues for professional performers of color which will serve as a support structure for the ongoing development and proliferation of talent and new works generated by and produced by people of color," just sent me the following email about its upcoming celebration of the nominees of color at the Tony Awards. B2: Productions is offering a $1000 grant to a performer or producer with a track record of success, and the application requirements are listed below (the deadline is Friday at midnight, so if you qualify, get your headshot and 2-page essay ready!). They're also looking for volunteers, and the positions needed are listed below. Let me add that I can't vouch for the event, but I do regularly receive their info and thought some readers out there might be interested in them.

Greetings Community,

We are thrilled to announce that on Sunday, June 11th, 2006 at Black 2: Broadway Celebrates the Tony Awards we will be presenting our "Legend Award" to theater icon and legend Mr. Ben Vereen and our Vanguard Award to Sarifina producer and arts activist, Voza Rivers. This event is shaping up to be one of the most exciting evenings on Broadway so make sure you get your tickets soon as there are only about 60 tickets don't sleep on this one. We hope to have tickets available the evening of the event, but it looks like we may sell out...not a bad problem to have.

With The Color Purple receiving 11 nominations and Sarah Jones being presented a special Tony Award, we are ready to party and celebrate hard as we view the 2006 Tony Awards live in the heart of Times Square. Come soak up the energy of live theater and celebrate performers of color who have made a difference and who will make a difference on Broadway.

As a reminder we will be in Lucilles @ B.B. King which seats about 150. Between co-host Jennifer Holliday, Obba Babatunde, Ben Harney, Brenda Braxton, Ben Vereen, Adriane Lenox, Voza Rivers and an all star line-up of past Tony Award Winners...Black 2: Broadway Celebrates The Tony Awards @ B.B. King's is the place to be on Sunday, June 11th, 2006.

Here's a sample of what to expect!


Black 2: work will be awarding its second annual $1000.00 Grant to a Professional Artist of Color at Black 2: Broadway Celebrates The Tony Awards. To be eligible you must be a professional performer or producer of color with a history of success in your field.

To apply please submit a headshot, bio or resume and a 2 page essay describing your project and/or how you would use the grant to forward your career or project. We are looking for projects and stories that touch, move and inspire the reader and audience. You must also be willing to mentor a young artist of color for one hour a month for one year. Black 2: work will assign the young person.

Submissions are due no later than midnight, Friday June 2nd, 2006 and may be sent via email to: or via mail to; Black 2: work c/o Sean Hollingsworth, 205 4th Street, #1, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

Ben Vereen

Voza Rivers

Jennifer Holiday
Obba Babatunde
Ben Harney
Brenda Braxton

Jennifer Holliday
Adriane Lenox
Still needed:

Post Card distributors/street team
Floral Arranger
Champagne Sponsor
Car Service
Items for Gift Bags

B.B. King Blues Club is located at 237 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, near Times Square. On Sunday, June 11th doors will open at 700p.m. with the cocktail hour beginning at 7pm and Showtime at 8 p.m. sharp. Ticket prices are $75.00 in advance and $85.00 at the door day of event. This includes passed hors d’oeuvres, buffet, dessert and coffee station....

1 comment:

  1. this event sounds incredible ... i am huge jennifer holliday fan