By Joe Marvilli
Movie buffs, prepare yourselves. The Academy Awards may be over, but there are a whole slew of films coming to Queens in early March for your enjoyment.
The Queens World Film Festival will return for its third year, running from March 5-10. The festival will bring 104 independent films made everywhere from New York City to Australia. Among those features will be 19 productions made by Queens filmmakers.
A festival pass that includes a VIP ticket to opening night is $75. A ticket without attendance at opening night is $50.
For this year’s festival, the films will be split up and showcased in thematic blocks, packaged together by a specific underlining topic. Some examples include “Tales of No Remorse,” whose characters are facing rarely seen sides of themselves, and “A Fork In The Reality,” which showcases films that deal with life on the fringes. These thematic blocks can be attended separately from the overall festival for their own individual price of $10 and $6 for students and senior citizens.
“It positions them so we can market them with like-minded films,” Katha Cato, the festival’s co-director, said. “Audiences are coming to see that type of film.”
Both Katha and Don Cato selected the 100-plus movies that make up this year’s festival, narrowing down an initial list of about 200 pieces. Both technical proficiency and authenticity played big roles in deciding what made the cut.
“What we’re looking for is very challenging films that stay true to themselves,” Katha said. “There’s technical evaluation, then there’s the gut.”
In addition to the past viewing locations in Astoria, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, the Festival is expanding its screenings this year to include Long Island City.
“You put a different breed of film in Long Island City than you would in Corona or the Rockaways,” Katha said. “It really has a huge artist population. It seemed like the next easiest step.”
In addition to the bevy of films, the Queens World Film Festival will also feature industry panels, special screening events and youth-oriented workshops. The panels will focus on putting together a business plan and protecting your investment when creating a film, which Katha says will help cultivate a long career for new artists.
The opening night ceremony will take place at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria. During the celebration, two Spirit of Queens award receivers will be recognized. Academy Award nominated actress and 1970s icon Karen Black and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who is also Chair of the Council’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, will be honored.
The closing ceremony will include a special showcase of the Festival’s winning films at the Secret Theatre, located at 44-02 23rd St., Long Island City. In addition, LGBT Films will be featured in an encore screening during the Queens Pride free film series.
“Whether they like them or don’t like them doesn’t matter to us, but get engaged with the community,” Katha said. “See something that you normally wouldn’t have seen.”
The other festival venues are the Jackson Heights Cinema at 40-31 82nd St. in Jackson Heights, P.S. 069 at 77-02 37th Ave. in Jackson Heights and the Renaissance Charter School at 3559 81st St. in Jackson Heights.
The Queens World Film Festival’s founding sponsor is Amalgamated Bank.
Reach Reporter Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.