Pair of comedies top NewFest awards


NEW YORK -- At NewFest, the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film Festival, which concluded Sunday, two coming-out comedies emerged as winners. Pete Jones' "Outing Riley" won best U.S. narrative feature, and Regis Musset's French comic drama "Times Have Been Better" won best foreign narrative feature at the 19th annual fest.

At the awards ceremony, NewFest artistic director Basil Tsiokos and administrative director Kerry Weldon also unveiled plans for a new screenplay competition, a staged screenplay reading series and a youth filmmakers initiative during the upcoming year.

The unofficial launch of a screenplay reading series took Tuesday evening with a performance of the Todd Stephens' sequel "Another Gay Movie 2: Gays Gone Wild." Several stars from the original film and drag entertainers RuPaul and the Lady Bunny were set to read the new script at New York's Zipper Theater.

Other NewFest award recipients included "Saving Marriage," Mike Roth and John Henning's chronicle of the Massachusetts fight over gay marriage, which won best documentary. The Showtime Vanguard Award went to Negin Kianfar and Daisy Mohr's docu "The Birthday," which looks at transsexuality in Iran.

Lee Friedlander's comedy about a straight woman mistakenly outed as gay, "Out at the Wedding," won the audience award for best feature film.