‘Passing’ and ‘Miguel’s War’ Win Top Prizes at LGBTQ Film Festival NewFest

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Rebecca Hall’s “Passing” won the U.S. Narrative Feature Jury Award at the 33rd LGBTQ film festival NewFest in New York City.

The jury statement reads, “A chance encounter between two friends kicks off this film’s exploration of race and sexuality in 1920s America. The film’s expressive cinematography, beautiful performances, and clear directorial vision all come together in this devastating story of destabilized identity.”

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The Documentary Feature Jury Award went to “Miguel’s War,” directed by Eliane Raheb. The jury described the doc “as emotionally captivating as it is visually stimulating.

“’Miguel’s War’ impressively tangles with deep human emotions and complex aspects of the human condition in its wide-ranging exploration of trauma, repression, the fallibility of memory, and the messiness of fantasy,” the statement continued. “Using fictional techniques to unearth essential truths, ‘Miguel’s War’ combines traditional interviews with staged reenactments and fanciful animation to take viewers on an immersive journey of the subject’s self-examination, mining dark depths (war, abuse, etc.) with a surprisingly light and disarmingly playful touch.”

NewFest ran from Oct. 15-24 virtually as well as in-person in New York City theaters.

“Queer film connects us all, as the recipients of our juried awards demonstrate,” NewFest executive director David Hatkoff and director of programming Nick McCarthy said in a joint statement. “Spanning place and time, these very varied films remind us that when we listen to, and learn from, each other, we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are grateful to our esteemed juries and sponsors of these awards, and congratulate these and all of our fantastic filmmakers.”

The complete list of juried awards is below.

Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Filmmaker Awards

“The Beauty President,” directed by Whitney Skauge

“How to Raise a Black Boy,” directed by Justice Jamal Jones

“Prayers for Sweet Waters,” directed by Elijah Ndoumbe

International Narrative Feature Jury Awards

Special Mention: “Metamorphosis,” directed by J.E. Tiglao

Grand Jury Prize winner: “A Distant Place,” directed by Park Kun-young

U.S. Narrative Feature Jury Awards

Special Mention, Performance: Colby Minifie, “Homeboy”

Special Mention: “Potato Dreams of America,” directed by Wes Hurley

Grand Jury Prize winner: “Passing,” directed by Rebecca Hall

Documentary Feature Jury Awards

Grand Jury Prize winner: “Miguel’s War,” directed by Eliane Raheb

New York Short Jury Awards

Special Mention: “Cariño,” directed by Carlos Taborda, Ashley Williams, and Roshel Amuruz

Grand Jury Prize winner: “Fervor,” directed by José Manuel Vélez

Hornitos Tequila #TakeYourShot Award for First-Time Feature Filmmaker

“Death and Bowling,” directed by Lyle Kash

NYWIFT Grant Award

“Pure,” directed by Natalie Jasmine Harris

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