The Brooklyn International Film Festival is back, and this year, one of its two venues is in the middle of nowhere, which totally sucks.
The BIFF had only one last year, the Brooklyn Heights Cinema (70 Henry Street, Brooklyn), which was right between the 2, 3, and A trains and extremely easy to get to. This is New York, and we have one of the best subway systems in the world. Not only that, but they had a bus to get to the big opening party! But that was then…
The festival still has a bunch of screenings at the BHC, but the other venue is indieScreen (285 Kent Avenue), which is over a mile from the nearest station. Allegedly there's a bus, but I didn't see any, and the bus stop looked unused. indieScreen is actually pretty nice for what it is. It's brand new, and is very faux futuristic, that is when you find it, but it's difficult, as from the outside it's rather nondescript and really doesn't look like a theater.
Once I got in, I saw a couple of awful shorts, and Higgs, Into the Heart of Imagination (Dir: Hannie van den Bergh & Jan van den Berg, Netherlands, 54 min), a nifty documentary on the CERN Supercollider straddling the Franco-Swiss border. The Higgs boson is the Holy Grail of particles, which if found would prove Steven Higgs' theory that mass is created by friction of particles with the ether, nowadays called the Higgs field. Steven Higgs himself makes an appearance. He's an old man who hates publicity and getting him is a real coup. The others are mostly young physicists who are having the time of their lives -- that is until the thing broke down for two years. (It just got back online.)
But getting back to the point of it all. An urban film festival should have venues that are easy to get to, and even though the BIFF is near the river, it's far from everything else.
What's even worse, from a moral standpoint, is that some of the parties are in Manhattan. While it makes it easier for me personally, but if you call something "Brooklyn," then don't you think it should be in Brooklyn?
The same thing happened with Tribeca, which is now mostly in the East Village or mid-Chelsea -- nowhere near Tribeca. I fear that this may be the BIFF's fate.