By Joey Nolfi
April 09, 2019 at 03:00 PM EDT
Bruce Glikas/Getty Images; Tribeca Film Festival (2)

Hold on to your wigs, because the Tribeca Film Festival is serving up a full day of LGBTQ+ content during its 2019 edition.

The annual Manhattan-based film festival announced Tuesday it will honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots with a multi-faceted round of queer-centered media presentations as part of its Tribeca Celebrates Pride program.

Taking place Saturday, May 4 at the Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios, the block will reflect on the seminal moment for LGBTQ+ rights. Prominent members of the LGBTQ+ entertainment community — including Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris, Hedwig and the Angry Inch mastermind John Cameron Mitchell, The Normal Heart playwright Larry Kramer, and non-binary Billions actor and activist Asia Kate Dillon — will lead the program with a series of conversations alongside screenings of seven LGBTQ+ short films starring the likes of Angelica Ross (Pose), Brianna Hildebrand (Deadpool), and Zackary Drucker(Transparent), among others.

The day-long event will conclude with a world-premiere screening of the HBO documentary Wig, which chronicles the art of drag throughout history with a focus on Wigstock, an annual New York City drag festival. Following the premiere of the film (which features RuPaul’s Drag Race alums like Naomi Smalls and Willam), drag icon and Wigstock founder Lady Bunny will host a live drag show starring Willam, Charlene Incarnate, Bobby Samplsize, and Flotilla DeBarge.

Other feature films showing this year at Tribeca include the Margot Robbie-produced historical drama Dreamland — which stars the actress as bank robber Allison Wells — as well as Danny Boyle’s Beatles-themed dramedy Yesterday, Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, Downsizing star Hong Chau’s speculative drama based on the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst in 1974, Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams’ The Apollo theater documentary, Christoph Waltz’s directorial feature debut Georgetown (starring Annette Bening and Vanessa Redgrave), and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 3 champion Trixie Mattel‘s Moving Parts, a documentary about her rise to prominence on the folk music scene.

Panels and special presentations set for the annual festival include a restored version of Francis Ford Coppola’s classic Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now as well as cast and crew reunions for Cameron Crowe’s 1989 coming-of-age romance Say Anything…, beloved television show In Living Color, Rob Reiner’s first directorial feature This Is Spinal Tap (which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year), and Ben Stiller’s 25-year-old freshman filmmaking debut Reality Bites.

The 2019 Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 24 through May 5. Pass and package information is available on the festival’s website, while tickets for Tribeca Celebrates Pride and Wig are available here. Read on for a full breakdown of the Tribeca Celebrates Pride event.

TRIBECA CELEBRATES PRIDE:

Event time: 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Location: Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios

Speakers:

Neil Patrick Harris

The Emmy and Tony award-winning actor, writer, producer, singer and all-round entertainer, known most recently for his role in Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, will take a look back at some of his most significant milestones including being the first openly gay man to host the Academy Awards, being named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People, and being a father of two.

John Cameron Mitchell in conversation with Patti Harrison

The director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001), Shortbus (2006), Rabbit Hole (2010), How To Talk To Girls At Parties (2017) and the upcoming musical podcast series Anthem: Homunculus, reflects on being open about his queer identity throughout his career and how that has fed his creative work. In conversation with his Shrill co-star, comedian Patti Harrison.

Larry Kramer in conversation with his friend and biographer Bill Goldstein

The founder of ACT UP, playwright of A Normal Heart, and subject of the documentary Larry Kramer in Love and Anger talks us through his experiences from the Stonewall riots to today, and how he’s witnessed the LGBTQ+ movement evolve from protest to pride.

Asia Kate Dillon

Best known for their roles on Billions and Orange Is The New Black, and soon to be seen in John Wick 3: Parabellum, Asia Kate Dillon is a non-binary actor and activist who advocates for expanding the definition of gender identity beyond just man and woman.

Kathy Tu and Tobin Low are the co-hosts of “Nancy,” the critically acclaimed storytelling podcast from WNYC Studios exploring how we define ourselves, the journey it takes to get there, and the queer experience today. Praised as “warm and inspiring” by The Guardian, Tu and Low were recently named to the OUT 100 and to Logo TV’s Logo30 for being among the most “extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways.” 

Conversations:

Activism Through The Ages

An inter-generational panel of thought-leaders and changemakers discuss the different forms their activism takes, and share some of the biggest highlights and challenges they’ve encountered on the front line in the fight for LGBTQ+ equality.

Moderator: Twiggy Pucci Garcon

Panelists: Jason Walker, Fabrice Houdart, Staceyann Chin, Stacy Lentz 

Being A Multi Hyphenate  

This panel will bring together queer creatives who have interpreted their artistic visions across various mediums, from art and fashion, to theater and film. As multi hyphenate cultural producers, the influence of these individuals runs deep within the community. In this conversation, we will hear from authors, filmmakers, performers and Broadway producers who have found themselves experimenting with many artforms in order to express themselves and tell their story.

Moderator: Tre’vell Anderson

Panelists:  Alok Vaid Menon, Jordan Roth, Leilah Weinraub, Jacob Tobia

From Persecution to Asylum: LGBTQ Refugees Tell Their Stories

In more than 70 countries around the world, it is still considered a crime to be LGBTQ+. For nearly 25 years, Immigration Equality has provided free legal services to LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants fleeing persecution and has won asylum for more than 1,000 people. Hear first-hand testimonies from queer and trans asylum recipients about their experiences rebuilding their lives in the United States in partnership with Immigration Equality.

Moderator: Aaron C. Morris

Panelists: Denise Chambers, David Paul Kay, Ilo Rincón

LGBTQ Media Visibility

Media portrayals of our community have changed significantly in the past decade, not only becoming more frequent but also increasingly complex, representing intersectional identities across race, religion and genders. Inevitably, this LGBTQ representation has impacted societal attitudes. This conversation will look at how being out in the public eye has affected our panelists’ identities, their day to day lives and careers and also shaped the cultural conversation of this country. We will talk about the milestones our panelists have been part of, both scripted and unscripted – from onscreen coming out declarations to triumphant same-sex embraces, and how the professionals around them have supported or discouraged their living openly and honestly.

Moderator: Brad Calcaterra

Panelists: Joanna Lohman, Raul Castillo, Roberta Colindrez, Wade A. Davis

Narrative Ownership: Who Gets To Tell Whose Story?

Telling the story of a community that you don’t represent is a dicey prospect; filmmakers risk alienating the very audience the film is aimed at. Ego-free collaboration is crucial. This productive panel will include discussions of cross-community collaborations where trans, non-binary and intersex artists have joined forces with cisgender creatives to forge successful storytelling partnerships. The conversation will look at allyship and how filmmakers can use their privilege for good, putting historically marginalized characters front and center to tell unsung stories with respect and authenticity. Three teams will be showcased.

Moderator: Tiq Milan

Panelists:  Angelica Ross & Steven Canals, Ser Anzoategui & Tanya Saracho, River Gallo & Sadé Clacken Joseph             

Out in Office

A cross section of individuals from congress and state legislation discuss their personal path to leadership, the state of equality today, and the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the lawmaking process.

Moderator: Allison VanKuiken  

Panelists: House Representative Malcolm Kenyatta (PA), House Representative David Cicilline (RI), Sarah McBride

Queering the Industry

Hollywood gatekeepers determine whose stories get told, so it’s imperative that LGBTQ people are on staff at networks and studios if we are to see projects that authentically represent our lives. But there are also many other facets to the entertainment industry ecosystem, and queers have found subversive and innovative ways to support the creative lifeblood of our community. This panel brings together LGBTQ professionals who are doing their part to change the landscape of queer film and TV by championing the visions of queer creatives and engaging key audiences through their day-to-day work.

Moderator: Lesli Klainberg

Panelists: Jeffrey Winter, Nicole Martinez, Fran Tirado, Travis Chamberlain, Ellene Miles

Representing Hollywood

Several representatives discuss how they’ve supported and strategized the career trajectories of their high profile LGBTQ Clients.

Moderator: Bill Keith

Panelists: Simon Halls, Kevin Huvane, Joe Machota

Shorts Program Pride: Front and Center

Standing tall with these short films that celebrate Pride, this carefully curated program contains both narrative and documentary shorts, and poignantly explores LGBTQ+ life with humor, panache, kindness and compassion. Featuring Angelica Ross (Pose), Brianna Hildebrand(Deadpool) and Zackary Drucker (Transparent), prepare for a cross-cultural odyssey that ends, fittingly, with the safe queer haven of Christopher Street Pier. Curated by Tribeca Film Festival Shorts Programmers Sharon Badal and Ben Thompson. Featured shorts are: I Think She Likes You, Momster, Ponyboi, Black Hat, Carlito Leaves Forever, Framing Agnes and Stanley Stellar: Here For This Reason.

EVENING PROGRAM:

Event time: 8:00PM

Location: Tribeca Festival Hub

World Premiere of Wig

Wig, directed by Chris Moukarbel. Produced by Jack Turner, Bruce Cohen, David Burtka, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Weinberg, Jay Peterson, Michael Mayer, Todd Lubin. (USA) – World Premiere, Feature Documentary. Wigstock was an annual drag festival, which glamorously signaled the end of summer for the gay community in NYC for almost twenty years. Late one night in 1984, Lady Bunny and a few friends drunkenly wandered from the Pyramid Club in the East Village to Tompkins Square Park and staged an impromptu drag show in the bandshell. This would soon become an annual drag bacchanal, that lasted up until 2001. And now, Lady Bunny has brought it back. This past summer, the festival returned, bringing together legendary queens with some of the new children of drag, into one of the largest drag performances ever staged.

Wig explores the origins and the influence of the historic festival through rich archival footage, as well as provides a look into the contemporary drag movement that the festival served as a foundation for. It’s a celebration of New York drag culture, and those personalities and performances that contribute to the ways we understand queerness, art, and identity today. WithLady Bunny, Charlene Incarnate, Flotilla DeBarge, Kevin Aviance, Neil Patrick Harris, Willam, Linda Simpson, Naomi Smalls, Tabboo! HBO Documentary Films

After the Premiere Screening: A special drag performance hosted by legendary drag queen Lady Bunny including Charlene Incarnate, Bobby Samplsize, Flotilla DeBarge, Willam, and more.

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