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Pete Buttigieg documentary 'Mayor Pete' to open LGBTQ Film Festival NewFest

The Amazon Studios documentary about Buttigieg's run for president will be among 130 films and episodic series featured in the annual New York festival.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Port of Baltimore on July 29, 2021.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks at the Port of Baltimore on July 29, 2021.Al Drago / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

The 33rd edition of the New York LGBTQ film festival NewFest will kick off with the East Coast premiere of “Mayor Pete,” the Amazon Studios documentary about Pete Buttigieg's run for president in 2020.

Now Pres. Joe Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had hoped to have been the youngest and first openly gay president of the United States.

The 2021 hybrid edition of NewFest will take place Oct. 15-26 in New York City theaters and virtually on the festival’s on-demand platform. The lineup includes 130 films and episodic series from 31 countries. There are 30 narrative features, 14 docs and 11 shorts program screenings.

“This year’s festival is all about connection. The LGBTQ+ community thrives on connecting to one another, and having spent most of the past 18 months apart, we are hungry for experiences that remind us we are a part of something bigger than ourselves,” NewFest executive director David Hatkoff said. “We believe queer film provides an opportunity to connect in a unique and celebratory way. This year‘s program highlights that everyone in our community has a story to tell, and shows just how meaningful it is when we really listen to, learn from, and spend time with each other.”

Closing night film will be “Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s film about Amin Nawabi’s journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan. Other highlights include screenings of Rebecca Hall’s “Passing,” “Potato Dreams of America,” “Invisible: Gay Women in Southern Music” and “A Distant Place.”

Programming also features anniversary screenings of “Madonna: Truth or Dare” and “Pariah” and the world premiere of the 4K restoration of John Cameron Mitchell’s “Shortbus.”

“There’s nothing like a room full of queer people,” Hatkoff said. “We are thrilled to offer more than 50 in-person screenings and events throughout NYC, while still maintaining a virtual streaming element that will be available throughout the United States. Whether at the theater or at home, everyone will be able to experience these incredible films in the way that feels most comfortable for them.”

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