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Cannes sensation puts Andamiro’s Pump It Up in spotlight; ‘Port Authority’ is generating lotsa buzz

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

NEW YORK CITY – “Port Authority,” a 2019 American drama film directed by Danielle Lessovitz and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, includes a dance scene on Andamiro’s Pump It Up videogame at the Chinatown Fair arcade here. The upcoming movie was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at May’s Cannes Film Festival, where it received thunderous applause.


Lessovitz’s film is a modern love story set inside New York's kiki ballroom scene. It follows Paul, a 20-year-old Midwesterner, who arrives at the gritty Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square, where he meets Wye, a 22-year-old girl “voguing” on the bus stop’s sidewalk. After Paul seeks her out in secret, an intense romance between them blossoms. But when Paul discovers Wye is trans, he is forced to confront his own identity and what it means to belong.

The first feature film direction by Lessovitz, “Port Authority” stars Fionn Whitehead (“Dunkirk”) as Paul and Leyna Bloom as Wye. Bloom is the first trans woman of color to lead a premiere in the Cannes Festival’s 72-year history.


Vanity Fair calls “Port Authority” one of the year’s most intriguing movies. “The buzz around this one is strong; it could be a breakout front-runner for the Queer Palm,” the magazine said.


Fionn Whitehead in Pump It Up scene set in Chinatown Fair arcade. (Copyright MK2 Diffusion)

It’s no surprise that the film’s director and production team sought out the storied Chinatown Fair arcade and Andamiro’s legendary Pump It Up rhythm and dance game to help tell the story of Paul and Wye. Andamiro’s dance game is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and the XX edition can be experienced at Chinatown Fair on Mott St.


“Port Authority” will be released in France in September and soon after in other territories. A U.S. theatrical release has not been finalized (we’ll let you know).

Chinatown Fair closes on Sept. 26, 2018, for "Port Authority" filming.

Production crew members and actors pack Chinatown Fair arcade for "Port Authority" dance scene on Pump It Up.

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