Festival of Cinema NYC

Sun 22nd Jan 17: Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema on The Wall Street Journal! Submit Today!

Already being hailed by The Wall Street Journal as New York City's next major film event, and as mentioned on The Huffington Post, Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema is a non-profit organization established to support the development of and help expand the audiences for independent cinema from around the globe. The inaugural festival will take place Aug. 4-13, 2017. Screenings will be hosted exclusively at the historic Kew Gardens Cinemas, Queens’ only operating arthouse theater, built in the 1930s. This marks the first-ever and only film festival to be held in Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema was founded by three local independent filmmakers with a passion to get movies made and to expand the reach of artists’ work. Recognizing the challenge of the visibility of independent film, the Festival’s aim is to establish a presence in and spread awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens and its vibrant and culturally diverse neighboring communities including Forest Hills, Rego Park, Woodhaven and Glendale.

Not only is Kew Gardens known as the neighborhood that raised comedians Rodney Dangerfield and Ray Romano, but just a few minutes away is the recently built Broadway Stages. This area of Queens has now been featured in several blockbuster Hollywood films like “The Babysitter,” “Goodfellas” and “Spider-man” as well as major network TV shows including “Daredevil,” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Get Down,” “Luke Cage” and “SNL.”

As a competitive festival, the program will run for 10 days and consist of more than 100 remarkable short- and feature-length films from all genres, including often-overlooked categories such as documentary, horror, comedy, animation and experimental. Each film will be judged in its respective category by the Festival’s specially selected jury of industry professionals, renowned for their work with Sundance, Woodstock and Sarasota film festival, to name a few. In addition all films selected will have the opportunity to transfer their film onto DCP at a remarkable discount being provided by Simple DCP, leader in DCP conversion for other major festivals, including SXSW and NewPort Beach film festival and HollyShorts.

Along with filmmaker Q&A’s after each screening, the festival will also hold industry panels featuring some of the best names in independent cinema discussing their strategies, their struggles and how they broke into the film business. Other panels will consist of conversations with independent producers, casting directors and distributors. Joe Minion, known for writing the Martin Scorsese cult hit After Hours and the Nicolas Cage favorite Vampires Kiss, will be presenting his never before seen feature film, Trafficking. Industry guests who have expressed interest in participating in the Festival are Lloyd Kaufman, founder of TROMA films; Larry Fessenden, actor/writer/director/producer with Glass Eye Pix; Other guest expected to attend include Tony Danza, Andrea Navedo and Kevin Bacon.

Winners for every category will each receive a personally engraved unique statuette at the Grand Awards Gala on the final night of the Festival to take place on the rooftop penthouse of the world-famous Terrace on the Park, built for the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, it features panoramic views of some of Queens’ greatest landmarks, including the renowned Unisphere and the New York State Pavilion.

“We aspire to draw not only artists and filmmakers from around New York City, but from all over the world,” said Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema Founder and Executive Director Jayson Simba. “We are giving the residents of Kew Gardens and its surrounding neighborhoods the opportunity to experience Hollywood in their own backyard.

“What makes our festival stand out is that we are focusing on the truly independent film. We want to see the work of filmmakers and their teams who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into making their vision come to life. Our goal is to remind people why film festivals exist in the first place—to give otherwise unknown filmmakers the opportunity to screen their film in front of large audiences and have their work seen.”

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