New American Cinema Competition

Each of these films may not currently have a distributor, but they have a champion on the programming team. New American Cinema fields the largest number of submissions by far. We can select only a fraction to take to the finals, but the heavy competition leads to a truly remarkable collective output of U.S. independents. Our mission is to herald the diversity of the American experience through voices sorely underrepresented in American cinema.

The winner will be announced at the Golden Space Needle Awards May 21 and will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Egghead & Twinkie

USA | 2023 | 87 min. | Sarah Kambe Holland

Recently out Asian American teen Twinkie and her nerdy best friend set off on a 2,000-mile road trip to meet her online crush.

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USA | 2023 | 91 min. | Babak Jalali

An Afghan immigrant finds work in a San Francisco Chinese fortune cookie factory and desperately longs for connection and peace.

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Late Bloomers

USA | 2023 | 92 min. | Lisa Steen

A Brooklyn slacker breaks her hip and goes into physical therapy, where she makes unlikely friends with an elderly Polish immigrant.

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The Mattachine Family

USA | 2023 | 99 min. | Andy Vallentine

In this lovely dramedy about modern fatherhood, a gay man grapples with wanting a child after having to return his foster son.

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USA | 2023 | 87 min. | Vuk Lungulov-Klotz

A trans man must navigate how he’s perceived by people from his past over one long, hectic summer day in New York City.

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This Closeness

USA | 2023 | 88 min. | Kit Zauhar

A couple rents a room in a shared apartment with a strange host, only for their relationship to fracture almost in real time.

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