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5 LGBTQ Films to see at Dances With Films DWF Film Festival

The indie Dances With Films (DWF) festival is premiering in NYC with a selection of defiantly independent movies, including these LGBTQ films

The defiantly independent film festival and Los Angeles favorite, Dances With Films (DWF), is celebrating 26 years in 2022 by expanding to New York City! DWF champions innovation, talent and creativity by spotlighting important, diverse, quality films and developing lasting relationships with filmmakers. The DWF film festival takes place in NYC at the Regal Union Square from December 1-4.

Dances With Films advocates for diversity and inclusion in film and has selected a film slate with topics including women’s rights, the war in Ukraine, religion, concentration camp survivors, mental health, LGBTQIA+ issues, conversion therapy and more.

5 LGBTQ films to see during the DWF: NYC festival

Queer and Frum


The story of two former Orthodox Jews, Chaim Levin and Lieb Swartz-Brownstein, in their unique journeys to becoming openly queer. Shot in Orthodox neighborhoods of New York City, the film takes a deep look into Hasidic life and the experience of living with intersecting identities in a religious world.

Help Her Live

DIR: Frankie Kraft
PRODS: Richard Linklater, Stefanie “Suss” Cowan

Executive produced by award-winning filmmaker Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused), “Help Her Live” documents Frankie Kraft, filmmaker and brother of the star of Linklater’s 2004 remake of “Bad News Bears,” Sammi Kane Kraft, years after Sammi is killed in a tragic car accident.

Frankie chronicles his search for meaning after devastating loss in a cross-country trip with the ultimate destination of meeting the recipient of Sammi’s heart. Featuring “Hallelujah” by HAIM, written about Sammi from their album, Women In Music Part III.

Frankie Kraft is an LA-based artist originally from New York City. Frankie’s dynamic range of work includes short films, live theatre productions, musicals, LGBTQ+ advocacy, streetwear, merchandise and podcasts.

The Reception

WRITER/ PROD/ DIR: Will Crouse

Shay and Becca’s beautiful wedding reception goes off the rails when an unexpected guest shows up and takes the party by storm.


WRITERS: Sonia Mena & Sarah Rattay-Maloney
DIR: Sarah Rattay-Maloney
PRODS: Sarah Rattay-Maloney & Sonia Mena

Two estranged childhood friends go on a road trip to golf, and do their best not to kill anyone or anything. Starring and co/written/produced by Sonia Mena, who stars at Pippa on the hit Hulu show Tell Me Lies. Mena identifies as Gender Queer.

They are passionate about telling stories that challenge the status quo and are currently the co-founder of SALTY a Los Angeles-based film collective dedicated to radical visibility in front of and behind the lens.


WRITER: Z. Joseph Guice
DIR: Kyle B. Thompson
PRODS: Z. Joseph Guice, Kyle B. Thompson, Bryant Hendricks, Leah Maher, Krystle Weaver, Keith Giosa

A drag queen protects a child during a crisis as prejudices reach a breaking point.

Since 1998, DANCES WITH FILMS has grown from presenting a handful of films to more than 200 each year. Their selections range from narrative features and shorts to include the top documentaries, music videos, TV & web on the circuit today. Since 2012, the film festival moved to its current location in Los Angeles at the famed Chinese Theatre in the heart of Hollywood. From there it has expanded to 11 days with ever increasing sold out theaters, and beginning in 2022, the festival will play in New York City.

Festival Founders Leslee Scallon and Michael Trent recognize that New York City is the artistic, cultural and creative epicenter of the country and the perfect city for Dances With Films. The 2022 indie film event will showcase over 70 never-before-seen short, documentary and feature films. Dances With Films New York (DWF: NY) takes place at the Regal Union Square from December 1-4, 2022.

Learn more and buy tickets here.