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‘Leather’ opens N.Y. fest

NEW YORK — David DeCoteau’s “Leather Jacket Love Story” will open the ninth annual New York Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, which opens Thursday and runs through June 15 at Manhattan’s Joseph Papp Public Theater and the New York Film Academy.

Written by Rondo Mieczkowski and produced by Jerry Goldberg, “Leather Jacket” is a romantic comedy set in Los Angeles. It tells the story of a love affair between a hip 18-year-old Valley boy and a 30-year-old carpenter and motorcycle enthusiast.

The festival closes June 15 with the New York premiere of Yvonne Rainer’s new film, “MURDER and murder,” which won a Teddy at the Berlin Film Festival. A Zeitgeist Films release, “Murder” is a passionate lesbian love story that takes an unflinchingly look at illness and aging.

The fest screening of “Murder” will be followed by a weeklong run at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre, where it will play as part of a Rainer retrospective that begins June 20.

A total of 27 new features and 24 documentaries will unspool during the 11-day New York Lesbian & Gay Festival. The bulk of the features and feature-length docus will screen at the Public Theater while the short programs, retrospectives and special presentations will take place at the New York Film Academy.

Festival sponsors include Tanqueray, the Tzabaco Catalog, Alize, the Sundance Channel, the Rainbow Card and Waterbearer Films.

The programming committee for the fest includes Stephen Soba, Peter Bowen, Daryl Chin, Patricia White, Martha Gever, Tony Whitfield, Rose Troche, Jose Munoz, Michael Peyton, Willington Love and Robin Vachal.

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