Monthly Film Festival

June 01, 2024 03:00pm PDT - 10:00pm PDT

Find more details about the InFocus: LGBTQ+ Cinema program below. The InFocus: LGBTQ+ Cinema program is a part of the week long NFMLA Monthly Film Festival. If you would like view additional NFMLA Film Festival Programming blocks that are taking placing on May 30th, please click here.

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) hosts its June Monthly Film Festival dedicated to its celebration of its annual InFocus: LGBTQ+ Cinema program. The day consists of two InFocus: LGBTQ+ shorts programs showcasing a diverse range of exciting work from emerging LGBTQ+ creators whose films have screened at a variety of festivals and will take you on a journey, as well as writer-director Benjamin Howard’s queer coming of age feature film, Riley.

The day begins with InFocus: LGBTQ+ Cinema Shorts I, a collection of work that explores gender and gender identity, nonmonogamy, queer high school drama, history, passion, the struggle and joy of being an artist and complex family dynamics. This block includes two world premieres, Molly Kirschenbaum‘s Harpies, and a brand new episode of Frank Arthur Smith’s series Open to It.

The afternoon continues with InFocus: LGBTQ+ Cinema Shorts II, a selection that highlights queer joy, self-expression, vulnerability between strangers and yet more complex family dynamics in the face of one’s own journey to authenticity. This block also includes two world premieres, Leigh Reddick and Jordyn Katz’s The Craine Maiden – Friday Night Dinner and Derek Mari’s Skunk.

The evening concludes with the Los Angeles Premiere of Student Emmy Award Winner Benjamin Howard’s debut feature, Riley. The film is a a grounded, modern and deeply personal coming out story of a high school athlete. “I wrote this film as a way to express what thousands of queer youth are going through right now,” says Howard. “Riley is a movie that aims to shine a light on the coming-out experience through a contemporary lens, and to tell these young, queer athletes that they aren’t alone in their journeys – and that everything is going to be okay.”

NFMLA showcases films by filmmakers of all backgrounds throughout the year, across both our general and InFocus programming. All filmmakers are welcome and encouraged to submit their projects for consideration for upcoming NFMLA Festivals, regardless of the schedule for InFocus programming, which celebrates diversity, inclusion and region by spotlighting communities of filmmakers within our filmmaking community as part of our monthly program. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The South Park Center is an ADA compliant venue and is wheelchair accessible. We request captioned films from all filmmakers participating at our Festival. For any accessibility needs, please send a request to at least 72 hours prior to the event.

Schedule Details

Program #1 – InFocus: LGBTQ+ Shorts Program I
3:00 PM – 3:15 PM – Pre-Reception
3:15 PM – 5:00 PM – Program
5:00 PM – 5:15 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #2 – InFocus: LGBTQ+ Shorts Program II
5:15 PM – 5:45 PM – Pre-Reception
5:45 PM – 7:30 PM – Program
7:30 PM – 7:45 PM – Audience Q&A

Program #3 – Feature Narrative | Riley
7:45 PM – 8:15 PM – Pre-Reception
8:15 PM – 9:45 PM – Program
9:45 PM – 10:00 PM – Audience Q&A

Event Location

Event Entrance
1139 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles 90015

Parking (fee)
1133 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Program #1 – InFocus: LGBTQ+ Shorts Program I
Harpies Thumbnail
Dir. Molly Kirschenbaum, Writ. Molly Kirschenbaum, Payson Whitwell & Prod. Raven Robinson
10 Mins | USA
Open to It (Episode 8: Open to Body Language)
Dir. Jules Dameron, Writ. Kristy Thomas & Prod. Frank Arthur Smith, Afrika Jonee, Sarah Whitaker, Josslyn Glenn, Matt Hartman, Troy Barboza
16 Mins | USA
Girl Coded Thumbnail
Girl Coded
Dir. Grace Valerie-Lynette, Writ. Grace Valerie-Lynette & Prod. Dianna La Grassa
9 Mins | Australia
Maja Thumbnail
Dir. Cindy "Mimi" Phan, Prod. Michelene Cherie & Elysian Valley Arts Collective
14 Mins | USA
Dir. Aleksei Borovikov, Writ. Aleksei Borovikov & Prod. Chris Sonnenschein, Aleksei Borovikov, Mohammed Shaik Hussain Ali
18 Mins | USA
Night Hawkes Thumbnail
Night Hawkes
Dir. Atlas Ferrera, Writ. Atlas Ferrera & Prod. Atlas Ferrera, Kailey Mann
13 Mins | USA
Sunflower Nicky
Dir. Clifton J. Adams, Writ. Clifton J. Adams & Prod. Clifton J. Adams, Victoria Villarreal, Alvin E. Ford, Jr., Caleb Miller White, Charmee Taylor, Andrew C. Carson
19 Mins | USA
Program #2 – InFocus: LGBTQ+ Shorts Program II
Last First Kiss
Dir. Kacy Boccumini, Writ. Kacy Boccumini & Prod. Paola Piccioli, Carlena Britch
14 Mins | USA
Come Clean Thumbnail
Come Clean
Dir. Sal Bardo, Writ. Sal Bardo & Prod. Sal Bardo, Laura Maccabee
13 Mins | USA
Kings of Taiwan Thumbnail
Kings of Taiwan
Dir. Syrus Sadvandi, Writ. & Prod. Nha Van Duong
16 Mins | Taiwan
Terroir Thumbnail
Dir. Miles Parker, Writ. Miles Parker & Prod. Caleb Brunman
10 Mins | USA
Elsewhere Love
Dir. Stephanie Zenee Perez, Writ. Stephanie Zenee & Prod. Stephanie Zenee Perez
5 Mins | USA
The Craine Maiden – Friday Night Dinner
Dir. Rachel Leigh, Jordyn Katz, Writ. Jordyn Katz & Prod. Ciao Zhao
9 Mins | USA
Passion Of X
Dir. Camille Ora-Nicole Elston, Writ. Grey Rain Valdez, Samata Allen, Figgy Baby, Mik Berry, Ren Liu & Prod. Camille Ora-Nicole Elston, Soleil Burgess
18 Mins | USA
Dir. Derek Mari, Writ. Derek Mari & Prod. Dan Sima, Derek Mari, Kimberly Pinkston Parker
14 Mins | USA
Program #3 – Feature Narrative | Riley
Dir. Benjamin Howard, Writ. Benjamin Howard & Prod. Benjamin Howard, Tommy Anderson, Laura Scarano
93 Mins | USA