Now it its fourth year, New Faces New Voices continues its commitment to showcasing independent films often overshadowed by Hollywood. The festival runs from Tuesday, September 13th to Thursday, September 15th at The Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn. This year’s fest will be a hybrid format featuring a grand total of 40 culturally, ethically, and socially relevant selections from underrepresented voices across various genres. 32 selections will be screened in-person, and 8 selections will stream virtually throughout the week on XerbTV.
The festival coincides with the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and will spotlight stories from Hispanic filmmakers. The opening film, Dreams Carriers, directed by Esmeralda Hernandez, tells the story of a college-bound Chicana who reflects on the past generations of women and the migration of monarch butterflies. Mámi, co-directed by Marisela Grajeda Gonzalez and Christina Roussos, is a drama which follows a Mexican-American woman struggling to stay afloat in NYC while pursuing an acting career and dealing with her mom’s recent cancer diagnosis. Award-winning filmmaker Alejandro Lopez Miyashiro’s My Grandmother’s Door follows Ana (Jacqueline Guillen of Orange Is The New Black) a Mexican-American woman who impulsively drives to the abandoned childhood home of her recently deceased grandmother. The film explores the themes of grief, cultural acceptance, and what it means to be a Latinx person in America.
The Perfect Daughter by filmmaker Elijah Rodriguez is a cautionary tale of a film student’s location scouting trip that takes a dark turn. Marissa High’s comedic sci-fi short, I Was Never Here stars Sharilyn Vera as Sofia a cyber-security specialist working for the corrupt mayor of Los Angeles. When she receives a mysterious message from her future self, she must choose whether or not to alter the fate of the city. Let’s Leave The Planet! directed by Chelsea Lockie is a love letter to 90’s stoner films and alien movies. The short is co-written and stars Julia Rae Maldonado who plays a stoner living a humdrum life until her boyfriend Andy reveals he’s an alien and tells her they should leave earth immediately.
Thomas Cooksey’s Black Is Black sparks a much-needed discussion on colorism. On The Other Side of the Moon directed by Tavis Northman is an exploration of affection and vulnerability in Black male relationships. Pre-face directed by Sarah Gallegos depicts the story of a recent graduate who comes to new realizations about life after high school as she struggles to figure out what’s next.
Emily Everhard’s Workwear depicts the life of a corporate consultant by day and drag queen by night. Everything Will Be Okay directed by Junting Zhou follows two gay men waiting in line at a party as they reflect on gay clubbing culture and the pandemic. Kate diRienzi’s mesmerizing short film, Let’s Go Together investigates queer exploration through the unlikely pairing of two young college girls. The festival’s closing film, Countdown co-directed by Lucy Blumenfield and Arielle Friedman is a sentimental, romantic short that follows Olive, a young girl embarking on a journey to embrace her sexuality.
We covered last year’s festival where we interviewed filmmakers on the red carpet. Watch the episode here, and for more information on this year’s New Faces New Voices, visit the Katra Film Series website.