March 17, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Organizers of the Queens World Film Festival have announced the event will go ahead this week and will be live-streamed over the Internet.
The event – which kicks off Thursday, March 19 – will screen over 200 films from 32 nations after receiving submissions from almost 800 moviemakers across the globe. The films will be available to watch for free.
Organizers have made a last-minute deal with online streaming platform DISCOVERED.TV to ensure the festival’s 10th anniversary will take place despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The opening night will go ahead as scheduled on Thursday from 7 p.m. and will feature six short movies by filmmakers from Iran to Brooklyn under the theme, Tales of Connectedness, which seeks to demonstrate human connectivity.
Moviegoers can watch screenings from the comfort of their homes via the DISCOVERED.TV website link here. On Saturday all the remaining movies planned for the festival will be uploaded and free to watch on-demand.
The festival was originally going to take place at the Museum of the Moving Image, located at 36-01 35th Ave. But as restrictions on public gatherings took hold due to the coronavirus, organizers decided to move the entire event online as opposed to postpone it.
“We’ve been working on this since July 1, 2019, and we wanted everyone in the borough to be so proud of our tenth showing and we were on course to have an incredible experience. People were coming from all over the world to be here including Finland, Russia, Italy, Chile and Brazil,” said QWFF Executive Director Katha Cato.
Moving the festival online ensures important topics discussed in the films are still shown to the public.
“In these times of crisis, it is even more important that we gather around the humanity provided in film,” Cato added.
The decision also means nominations and awards can also be announced as planned on the festival’s original closing day, March 29.
Twenty-four of the movies that will be shown have been produced by Queens residents; 26 from Brooklynites; and 10 have been made from children in QWFF’s education program.
There are 84 movies produced by women that will be shown and 43 screenings from Asian filmmakers.
Movies will be uploaded into thematic groups online, in line with the festival’s original programming, according to Cato.
Themes include Women’s Voices, Twisted Love Stories, and Kid’s Corner with three segments dedicated to LGBTQ issues.
“We literally have something for everyone,” said QWFF Artistic Director Don Cato.
“Expect to be delighted by cinematic treasures presented in thematic blocks from filmmakers residing from all over the globe—yet all engaged in similar conversations,” he added.