Queens World Film Festival
The Leading Film Festival in Queens
Updated March 9, 2013 / Astoria, LIC & Jackson Heights / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended the 3rd annual Queens World Film Festival opening Tuesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria. As I arrived, independent film producers, directors, writers, actors and actresses mingled in the lobby.
A local TV film crew was interviewing one of the festival participants as I started mingling with the crowd. I met one man who has film showing Friday, another with a film showing Thursday, and a Belgian couple who co-produced a thirty second short that was to be shown at the opener tonight [they’re shown conversing with City Councilmembers Dromm and Van Bramer]. The photo above is a still taken from the short Heads Up, which is part of the Unexpected Destinations theme.
It wasn’t long before the festivities began, which included several speeches by sponsors [some are listed at the end of this report] and the Queens World Film Festival founders, Don and Katha Cato of Jackson Heights.
Queens World Film Festival
The Leading Film Festival in Queens - Festival Locations
March 5, 2013 / Astoria, LIC & Jackson Heights / Film in Queens / Queens Buzz. The evening was broken into two film viewing segments. The first block of films was entitled What’s Beneath It All and the second film block was entitled Unexpected Destinations. This sampler helps define expectations for the rest of the festival which continues Wednesday through Sunday at three different locations [Click for Queens World Film Festival Location Map: a) 82nd Cinema in Jackson Heights, b) the Renaissance Charter School also in Jackson Heights and c) the Secret Theatre in LIC].
Scroll down to end of the story for map links of the viewing locations. The photo above shows Don and Katha Cato opening the Queens World Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
Queens World Film Festival Founders - Don & Katha Cato
The Queens World Film Festival was founded by Don and Katha Cato. Don Cato teaches film and leads the curatorial effort of the event, while Katha is in management and has a flair for sales, marketing and organization, as she adeptly handles many of the business aspects of the event. As they are a husband and wife team, there’s a steady stream of consultations by both about everything associated with the week-long film festival. Katha Cato is shown at left and Don Cato shown at right, with Daniel Turkewitz shown in the middle.
Film Blocks & Film Categories - Queens World Film Festival
The festival is organized into film categories which Don & Katha created [they gave special mention to Jordan Mattos the Associate Programmer for helping organize the films]. And they group films into each category, so when you go to an event showing, you get about a couple of hours of viewing time.
QWFF Film Categories by Day Beginning Wednesday March 6
There are thirty two viewing categories / blocks in all including: 1) Beneath it All - which is about what happens when our love, trust or security is challenged, 2) Unexpected Destinations - which when we think we know where we are going [see photo to your left], 3) Summer Memories - which includes a film about nature and another about love in summer, 4) Sound of Music - which includes films with solid musical scores of various genres, 5) Grace Under Fire - which is about the trials and tribulations of people questioning the state of their lives, 6) Dinner Crumbs - which is about films where the action centers around the dinner table and meals,
Queens World Film Festival - Thursday March 7
7) Off The Beaten Path - which is about investigations into worlds beyond our comfort zones, 8) Southeast Asian Mysteries - which is about the haunting by a mythological creature or the loss of a loved one, 9) Letting Go - which is about Jewish culture, 10) Love with a Twist - which is about the beautiful, simple, reckless and destructive nature of love, 11) Tales of No Remorse - which is about people with a dark side, 12) LGBT Short Stack - which are short films about coming out, 13) Against the Odds - which is about going to places we've never seen, 14) A Fork in the Reality - which is about landscapes from earth and further out, 15) Ch Ch Ch Changing - which is about deep life-changing crisis arising when least expected ...
Queens World Film Festival - Friday March 8
Themes continued ... 16) O .. M .. G!!!! - which is about love, lust, loyalty and clashing personalities, 17) It's All About New York - shot in NYC, 18) Tales of Peace - which is searching for something to soothe the soul, 19) Reluctant Reunions - which is about the challenges of making and maintaining human connections, 20) Tales of Reconciliation - which is about the West Bank of Palestine and siblings, 21) It's All About Women - which is about women, 22) Tales of Precious Little Ones - which is about love, loss, healing and rebirth, 23) Men Are Dogs - which is about men, 23) It's About Jobs Stupid - which are comedies about the economy ...
Actress Karen Black is shown in a still taken from the Great Gatsby.
Queens World Film Festival - Saturday March 9
Themes continued ... 24) Around the Corner with Local Filmmakers - which are a collection of shorts by indies, 25) Old Spice - which is an eclectic collection of shorts, 26) Artist Profiles - which is about artists going public, 27) Boxed In - which is about finding a way out, 28) Genre Bending Music Verite & Remix - music related films, 29) The Emerald Isle - films about Ireland, 30) Love's a Bitch - love post passion, 31) The Good Fight - documentary about community building & sustainability, and 32) Together ... Almost, LGBT Love Stories - films about longing.
Noteworthy Events of the Queens World Film Festival
A few of the highlights of the festival, which are free admission, include: 1) Young Filmmakers Program at PS 69 in Jackson Heights beginning Thursday morning 3/7 at 8.45 am and 9.45 am. Don Cato worked with a class to create films with the theme of America in 2020 when these kids will graduate high school. 2) Industry Panel at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights beginning Saturday 3/9 at 10 am. The panel includes a lawyer, a financier and a producer who will talk about the challenges of financing, creating and marketing films. 3) Awards Ceremony on Saturday 3/9 beginning at 8 pm [awards at 9 pm] honoring filmmakers at the Renaissance Event Hall in Astoria.
Tribute to Actress Karen Black - Stars In Friday Film: Vacationland
They also included a tribute to American actress, Karen Black, who stars in Vacationland, one of the films being shown on Friday at the 82nd Street Cinema in Jackson Heights. Karen has played a myriad of roles in well-known movies such as the Great Gatsby with Robert Redford, Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson and a long list of others. In addition to her roles in Hollywood Studio films, Karen also performed in a host of independently produced films, one of which was directed by Don Cato [Dixie Lanes], one of the Queens World Film Festival founders.
Preview of Queens World Film Festival Themes
We watched two consecutive blocks of films, broken up by the tribute to Karen Black who appeared in a video [see paragraph above]. As I had mentioned in the beginning of this report, the first theme was entitled What's Beneath It All. The first film is Heads Up, a short where two guys are sitting across a card table - one with a knife in his hand and the other with a gun in his. It's a short with an expected, unexpected twist [see photo in story opening above]. Lonely Eros, is a very short film, so there's no time for expectations, and it's kind of funny in a bizarro world. The Tits on an Eighteen Year Old is a short that lasts the length of an Italian cab ride. It's about a cabby and in a very short period provides an interesting cinematographical sketch of the man.
The second block of films we saw came from the theme entitled Unexpected Destinations. Planet Utero is an animated sci-fi, with a bit of Matrix in it. This was followed by At The Formal, where you don't want to be the guy they're railroading around as the film opens. Uh La La is a mix of cute, comedy and it made me feel a bit uneasy, which is some of what art is all about. It's about a homeless couple planning their Paris vacation. And lastly we saw Pollicino which is about a guy with Alzheimers. Beautifully shot, and open ended.
The evening ended with the introduction of the film producers, directors, writers and actors, many of whom were in attendance with the audience. An after party ensured at Studio Square in Astoria. Click here for our report on the Queens World Film Festival of 2011 and here for our coverage of the Queens World Film Festival of 2012. Click here for the Business Listing of the Queens World Film Festival where you can find contact information including a link to their website where you view individual movie descriptions, locations & times and purchase tickets.
Sponsors & Photos - Queens World Film Festival 2013
The Queens World Film Festival was funded in part by funds from the offices of City Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer of Districts 25 and 26 respectively. Kaufman Astoria Studios provided film / video equipment, each location venue was acknowledged for their contributions, as was Amalgamated Bank one of the founding sponsors. There were other contributing sponsors including one of our clients BRG LIC / Beaudoin Realty of Jackson Heights.
Click here for a photo album containing photos of the Queens World Film Festival 2013 as show below.
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