Oct. 12, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A film festival featuring nearly 160 movies from across the globe will return next month and the screenings will take place at theaters around the borough.
The festival, called The Queens World Film Festival, will run from Nov. 1 through Nov. 6 and will include 29 movies created by Queens-based filmmakers.
Now in its 12th year, the Queens World Film Festival will screen a mix of feature-length movies and shorts — all of which are independently made.
Cinema lovers can look forward to movies from countries such as Ukraine, Iran, Canada, India and Spain. There will also be three movies from Asia.
The movies will be screened at five Queens venues including Flushing Town Hall, The Museum Of Moving Image (MoMI), The Local, Kaufman Astoria Studios and the Queens Theatre.
Tickets for live screenings are on sale through Brown Paper Tickets at $15 per movie.
There will also be a virtual component to the festival which will run from Nov. 20 through Dec. 4. Film buffs will be able to stream all the in-person screenings via the Film Festival Flix app.
The festival’s opening night will kick off on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. with the screenings of six short films at the Queens Theatre. The theme of the shorts will be “films to remind us that we never know what’s next.” There will also be an after-party event where more than 50 filmmakers will be in attendance.
Katha Cato, who co-founded the festival with her husband Don, said that the festival offers budding filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their work in prestigious settings.
“Our filmmakers know that their work is appreciated and they’re receiving the world-class screening that films deserve.”
The movies and shorts at the festival will be categorized into 35 different themes known as “blocks,” with headings such as “what went wrong?” “messing with reality,” flirting with love,” “why we keep going,” “remarkable women,” “our New York home” and “stories of healing.”
A must-see documentary Cato is urging people to watch is “Real Fur,” a Canadian-produced movie that investigates the fur farming industry in Canada.
“This is an unflinching look at the fur factory – you will never look at fur the same way again,” Cato said.
The festival also highlights local talent and there will be 64 films made by filmmakers based throughout the five boroughs. Queens will have the greatest representation with 29 films.
Highlights from Queens include Shannon Ayala’s documentary detailing last year’s election race for the District 26th City Council seat called “District 26: A New York Election Story”
There is also a documentary from Rockaway-based filmmaker PJ Landers called “Rockaway Sunset” about a woman’s battle with cancer. Cato, who has overcome health challenges in the past, said that the film was particularly striking for her.
“It’s really important to me that we celebrate what we’ve come through and that we dedicate a block of stories that are about getting through it, rising up, surviving and being resilient,” Cato said.
There will also be movies by up-and-coming Queens-based filmmakers Patrick Chen and Anne Hu — who are of Asian descent, Cato said.
Chen’s short, which is called “A Fathers Son,” is based on a gang turf war in Manhattan’s Chinatown while Hu’s short, called “Lunchbox” examines anti-Asian racism and its effects on a mother and daughter.
“These two young people quickly come up through the ranks and have built an incredible growth arc, you can see the promise in them,” Cato said.
Meanwhile, five women will receive the 2022 Spirit of Queens Award at the festival.
The first four women will be honored on Nov. 2 for their various work helping the community before, during, and after the pandemic lockdowns. The honorees include Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director of Queens Theatre; Sade Lythcott, CEO of the National Black Theatre; Lucy Sexton, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Culture & Arts and Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director of Flushing Town Hall.
Sandra Schulberg, the president of IndieCollect, will receive her award on Nov. 3 in recognition of her contributions to American independent cinema. IndieCollect is a non-profit organization which digitizes and restores American independent movies in order to preserve them for future generations.
The presentation will be followed by a screening of “Filmmakers For The Prosecution” which Schulberg co-produced. It tells the story of a thrilling search for film evidence that was used to convict the Nazi high command at the Nuremberg trial. Schulberg’s father and uncle were among the investigators.
The full schedule for live and virtual screenings can be found here.
Tickets for in-person and online screenings can be purchased here.