The 6th Annual Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) that features films, shorts and narratives kicks off next month.
The popular film festival will take place from March 15 through March 20, with screenings taking place in Astoria, Sunnyside, Long Island City and Jackson Heights.
The festival will host screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Ave.) in Astoria, the Secret Theater (44-02 23rd St.) in Long Island City, All Saints’ Episcopal Church (43-12 46th St.) in Sunnyside and P.S. 69 (77-02 37th Ave.) in Jackson Heights.
The festival will feature a wide variety of films from various countries and filmmakers.
“It will be six days, five screens, four venues, 143 films from 23 nations, 38 feature length films, 85 short films, narratives, LGBTQ, animation and family friendly films, 29 world premieres, 22 U.S. premieres, 29 filmmakers from Queens, 42 female directors, and 30 female producers,” Queens World Film Festival Artistic Director Don Cato said.
On why he believes it has such wide-reaching appeal, Cato explained, “This year’s films come from many of the countries whose diasporas are represented in Queens…There are tender films, heartbreaking films, and several works that are extremely provocative, even disturbing. Taken as a whole, I feel this year’s selection ties us into discussions people are having around the world.”
Executive Director Katha Cato went on to define the ethos that makes QWFF so compelling.
“From the beginning of time we have gathered in darkened caves around flickering lights to share our stories,” she said. “Today, we’ve upgraded the caves, the flickering lights are now zeroes and ones, but the impulse to gather, to tell our stories, remains.”
Each year, the festival seeks to bring in sponsors who wish to help these stories make it to the silver screen, such as longtime supporting sponsor Investors Bank. Sr. Vice President and N.Y. Regional Manager Ana M. Oliveira said, “Our company and QWFF truly share the same core values and mission. Everyone at the Bank is impressed by Katha and Don Cato’s incredible energy and passion for the Festival, which has grown in size, scope and importance each year.”
The Museum of Moving Image (MoMi) has also served as one of the principal supporters for many years.
“The MoMi has served as the opening night venue for the Queens World Film Festival since its first year, but since then our partnership has expanded,” Carl Goodman, Executive Director of the museum, said. “This year we’re very proud to be hosting many screenings in the festival.”
In addition to films from all across the globe, some of the films which will be screening were either shot in Long Island City, or feature actors or filmmakers who reside in the neighborhood.
“The Fear Inside”
Rick Hamilton, a longtime Queens resident who has lived in Long Island City for the past 10 years, will have his film “The Fear Inside” screened on Friday, March 18 at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sunnyside at 8 p.m.
The film is a psychological thriller with an all female cast. It focuses on an agoraphobic woman, or someone who is commonly referred to as a “shut in.” She is afraid to leave her apartment, but what begins to frighten her more is something she sees manifesting within her own four walls. It was filmed indoors on 11th Street. Tickets are available at this link.
“Pop Meets the Void”
Another film shot in Long Island City is William Cusick and Tarafawn Marek’s “Pop Meets the Void,” which will screen at the Museum of the Moving Image on Friday, March 18 at 8 p.m.
The film follows a musician who is trying to finish his first album, but has a hard time separating fantasy from reality. In order to visually manifest this experience, the film is shot in both live action and animation. Tickets are available at this link.
Independent film lovers, or those who wish to support local creatives and the programs offered by the Queens World Film Festival, can purchase an All Access pass to blocks of their choice at any venue through Brown Paper Tickets.
Disclaimer: The parent company of the LIC Post is a Media Partner for the Queens World Film Festival