Queens International Film Festival Begins This Week
Queens International Film Festival History
The Queens International Film Festival was started by Marie Castaldo in 2002. Marie had been a film distributor, first in France in the early nineties and then in the U.S. After she took up residence in Queens at the turn of the millennium, she came up with the idea and began putting it together in 2002. In 2003 the festival began and has grown to become an annual event on the Queens landscape ever since.
The festival first began in Rego Park and stayed there from 2003 to 2004. During that time about 10 to 20 films were shown. It moved to Astoria from 2005 to 2007. In 2008 it was located in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia and this year returns to Astoria. This year is its biggest year ever, showing about 300 films.
Celebrities At The Queens Film Festival 2009
A number of celebrities will be attending the festival, along with many of the indie actors, producers and directors. We’ll highlight just a few of them. Marty Kove, actor, who had roles in Karate Kid, Rambo’s First Blood II and appeared on Cagney and Lacey. Francesco Quinn, son of legendary actor Anthony Quinn, who had a part in the blockbuster movie Platoon and a role in the final season of the Shield. And Kris Kristofferson who is a three time Grammy Award winner, with hits like ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ and ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’. He will be performing Sunday night at the Levon Helm tribute.
Queens International Film Festival 2009 - Schedule And Locations
The festival begins Thursday, November 12th at 11 am at the Holiday Inn at 39-05 29th Street in Long Island City. Most of the screenings take place at this location on this day, with two at the Frank Sinatra School Of The Arts at 35-12 35th Avenue beginning at 7.15 pm. The Opening Night Party begins at 9.30 pm at the Ravel Hotel at 8-08 Queens Plaza South in Long Island City. Links to maps are provided at the end of this story.
On Friday, at the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts there’s a complimentary networking breakfast from 9 am to 11 am. Screenings begin at 11 am at the Holiday Inn and begin at 5 pm at the Frank Sinatra School.
On Saturday, again a networking breakfast, same time and same place. There will be two panels during the day, one on youth film making at 10 am and one on film distributorship at 3 pm. The screenings begin at both the Holiday Inn and the Frank Sinatra School at 10 am.
On Sunday, again complimentary breakfast, two panels – one at 10 am is a conversation with actor Martin Kove and at 3 pm about women in film. Both at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts. At 5.30 is the awards ceremony and at 8 pm the Tribute to Levon Helm, with Kris Kristofferson performing for the audience. The screenings begin again at 10 am in both locations. There will be a closing party at the Renaissance Event Hall.
Queens Film Festival Tickets & Prices
The Queens International Film Festival ticket prices cost $50 for two passes to screenings, complimentary breakfasts and the opening night film and party. The Levon Helm concert with Kris Kristofferson is not included, but for someone who purchases the pass, admission per person is $30. To buy tickets per movie $8 for feature length and $4 for shorts and $50 advance for the Levon Helm tribute / Kris Kristofferson concert or $75 at the door.
Fascinating Psycho Drama
Astoria / Update - November 16,2009. Alas the Queens Film Festival 2009 is over. This year's festival was quite different from that of 2008. The festival last year, was held out at the LaGuardia Crowne Plaza Hotel, which was a sort of out-of-the-way venue for many of us in Queens. This year the festival was held near the heart of Astoria, in the beautiful and recently completed Frank Sinatra School Of The Arts. But both festivals had one thing in common - a plethora of interesting film makers, actors, actresses and directors. All of whom came attached to films shown at the festival. Pictured above is Peter McGennis, the driving force behind the movie 'Buffalo Bushido' which was a fascinating tale of redemption.
The Queens International Film Festival [QIFF] has grown in breadth, depth and stature since its inception in the early part of the decade. Over the past seven years it has evolved to become a significant contributor to the cultural growth and maturation of the borough of Queens. Our compliments to founder Marie Castaldo and the QIFF staff for putting on another great show.
Queens International Film Festival 2009 & Astoria - Related Links
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