Ammonite to open Newfest

Festival will blend virtual and drive-in screenings

by Jennie Kermode

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite
Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

This year's Newfest is to open with a screening of Francis Lee's highly anticipated Ammonite, it was announced today. The film, which stars Kate Winslet as the famous fossil hunter Mary Anning, charts her relationship with a young woman convalescing by the sea, played by Saoirse Ronan. It is scheduled to go on general release in November.

Newfest poster 2020
Newfest poster 2020

In line with other festivals this year, Newfest, which is based in New York, will run mostly online, making its programme of LGBTQ+ films more widely accessible than usual. The Ammonite screening will be one of a small number held as drive-in events, and will be attended by Winslet, who will present the inaugural World Queer Visionary Award to Lee.

In a year when The New York LGBTQ Film Festival will be available virtually in people’s homes throughout the country, we are thrilled to have found a way to kick off the Festival safely in person with a drive-in event,” said the festival's executive director, David Hatkoff. “We can’t wait to gather with members of our NYC community to celebrate the beginning of 11 amazing days of local and international queer content."

The festival poster, designed by queer New York City artist Marcos Chin, was released today, along with the news that the online line-up will include panels and discussions around issues of importance to the LGBTQ+ community, alongside the films themselves.

Newfest will run from 16 to 27 October, with the full programme due to be announced on 23 September.

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