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GoNOLA Picks: the LGBTQ Lineup of the New Orleans Film Festival

The 2016 New Orleans Film Festival includes widespread diversity and local talent on display Oct 12 – Oct 20.

New Orleans Film Festival: Brothers
The film "Brothers" follows a group of transgender male friends, exploring what it means to go up against traditional societal gender roles. (Courtesy photo)

The New Orleans Film Festival is held each fall and has grown into a major showcase of local, regional, national, and international films, attracting hundreds of filmmakers each year. While there is no separate program this year, for those interested in the LGBTQ lineup, GoNOLA has you covered! Check out the curated list below and the full #NOFF2016 program guide here.

‘Film is an art, and this year’s selections make that hard to deny. Festival-goers should be prepared to be challenged, moved, and awed by the bold and confident storytelling in this year’s lineup.’ — New Orleans Film Society Director of Programming, Clint Bowie

The 2016 festival lineup was chosen from almost 4,000 submissions from NOFF’s open call from independent filmmakers. Entries came from 115 different countries. Louisiana-made film submissions increased this year by 43 percent. Of the final selections, 45 percent of films are from female directors, and 36 percent are from directors of color.

NOFF lgbtq lineup

“Memories Of A Penitent Heart” at the New Orleans Film Festival.

“Memories of a Penitent Heart”

Beginning in the mysterious repentance that her uncle Miguel gave on his premature deathbed, director Cecilia Aldarondo is led on a path through family archives and interviews to understand a relative she barely knew. What comes out is a cathartic reconstruction of Miguel’s closeted life story: a charismatic gay actor who fled his oppressively Catholic family and the maddening socioeconomic situation of his native Puerto Rico for New York City. After finally encountering his lover, Robert, we come to understand Miguel as a passionate man haunted by the contradiction between his faith and sexuality. —Peter Goldberg

When & Where:
Saturday, Oct. 15 8:30 p.m. | Contemporary Arts Center
Wednesday, Oct. 19 4:15 p.m. | Ace Hotel New Orleans


Moonlight is the tender, heartbreaking story of a young man’s struggle to find himself, told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love, while grappling with his own sexuality. Anchored by astonishing performances and the singular vision of filmmaker Barry Jenkins, Moonlight is a groundbreaking exploration of masculinity — a sensual, intoxicating piece of cinema that uncovers deep truths about the moments that define us, the people who shape us most, and the ache of love that can last a lifetime.

When & Where:
Friday, Oct. 14 9:00 p.m. | Ace Hotel New Orleans

“Daddy’s Boy.”

“Daddy’s Boy”

Fabian listens impassively to his father’s story of a youthful affair with a male friend, departing to pose for a fawning photographer. Jorge’s brother Manuel journeys from Arizona to be in a guy-on-guy scene with Max, who can’t bring himself to confront the lie that walls him off from his own father. Their paths graze and skirt one another like imperfect parallels, each separately dreaming of a closeness that is never quite complete. — Jon Kieran

When & Where:
Friday, Oct. 14 8:30 p.m. | Canal Place Theatre 2
Wednesday, Oct. 19 9:15 p.m. | Canal Place Theatre 2

“Check It.”

“Check It”

In 2009, the Check It formed in answer to Washington D.C.’s record-high crime rate against its LGBT communities. Following members Day Day, Tray, Alton, and Skittles, Check It examines the cruelty its young members faced in childhood, the new family the Check It has given them, and the destructive behaviors that threaten its members’ futures. — Amber Love

When & Where:
Saturday, Oct. 15 4:15 p.m. | Contemporary Arts Center
Thursday, Oct. 20 4:00 p.m. | Ace Hotel New Orleans

“Waiting for B.”

“Waiting for B.”

How long would you wait for the chance to see Beyoncé? This documentary in Sao Paulo, Brazil interviews the most dedicated fans, who have camped out in front of the stadium for two months for a chance at the best seats. For many of these fans Beyoncé is not just an artist: she is a role model through whom they have found their confidence and explored their sexual orientation. Waiting for B. makes it clear that Beyoncé is part of a larger conversation involving class, identity, and acceptance. —Amber Love

When & Where:
Friday, Oct. 14 3:45 p.m. | Contemporary Arts Center
Sunday, Oct. 16 4:00 p.m. | Ace Hotel New Orleans

“Hara Kiri.”

“Hara Kiri”

Romeo and Juliet. Dido and Aeneas. Tristan and Iseult. August and Beto. Resolved to scratch their names onto the rolls of history’s doomed lovers, a soul-bonded pair of skater-boys roll off across LA on the last day of their young lives. —Jon Kieran

When & Where:
Saturday, Oct. 15 5:30 p.m. | Ace Hotel New Orleans
Monday, Oct. 17 9:30 p.m. | Canal Place Theatre 2

“The Benefits of Gusbandry.”

Web series

In addition to these fine films, this year’s NOFF Web Series almost exclusively features LGBTQ content on Friday, Oct. 14 6:30 p.m., Ace Hotel New Orleans:

“You’re So Talented”
Bea Freeman, a Chicago artist out of work and full of options, navigates the inevitable disappointments of her twenties.

“The Benefits of Gusbandry”
One woman, one man, a little crying, and absolutely no sexual attraction whatsoever. Love is so gay.

Follows a group of transgender male friends, exploring what it means to go up against traditional societal gender roles.

“Last Will & Testicle”
A man reveals his testicular cancer diagnosis to his quirky friends and family.

“Her Story”
Two trans women in Los Angeles have given up on love, when suddenly chance encounters give them hope.

“Last Meal”
Aaron, the son of the Grim Reaper, has recently taken over the family business after his father’s retirement, along with the support of Jessica, his fashion-forward, emotionally quirky spouse.

“New Deep South: Instababy”
A young queer couple in Jackson, Miss. try to adopt a baby on Instagram.

For passes and film packages, click here. For more information and news on the city’s LGBT community, sign up for New Orleans’ LGBT e-newsletter here.