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Brooklyn Film Festival 2019: The Gathering

Brooklyn Film Festival (May 31–June 9)


Connect with Brooklyn’s collaborative ecosystem of filmmakers at the Brooklyn Film Festival (May 31–June 9). True to this year’s festival theme, “The Gathering,” international filmmakers and the festival audience will assemble in Brooklyn over 10 days to watch 133 features and shorts from over 30 countries including Latin American countries.


Experience the films at the borough’s unique screening venues (Wythe Hotel, Windmill Studios, Uniondocs, Made in NY Media Center, Syndicated, Alamo Draft House). Wythe Hotel, a former factory, is an upscale hotel with a vaulted brick cellar screening room. Windmill Studios in Greenpoint is a full production studio and set/prop shop. Uniondocs is a well-regarded non-profit for independent documentary filmmakers. Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo is a powerhouse co-working, educational, and gallery space for developing cross-media storytelling. Syndicated and Alamo Draft House are restaurants, and you may order upscale comfort food and beer brought directly to your screening seat.



The festival’s Executive Director Marco Ursino, explains that The Gathering is “a call to all those people who are searching for clarity and intelligent exchanges. We wanted to empower all those filmmakers who are thinking and working in critical systems, outside of the box, and against all odds… Inspired by the acceleration of the women’s movements, in 2019 BFF will feature the largest presence of female directors within a single festival edition up to date.”


On opening night at the Wythe Hotel, director Claudia Myer’s supernatural tale, Above the Shadows (Audience Award for Feature Narrative), grounds the feminine spirit of the festival. In her Q&P panel for the film, she explains that the film is akin to a fairytale in the transformation of the characters. Bushwick Beats’ director A. Syeeda Morena offers another perspective on unconditional love as a lesbian woman of color. #Like by Sarah Pirozek is a dark cyber tale of revenge by a teenage female for her sister's suicide. Half of the documentaries in the festival are directed by women. Mariah Wilson’s Silent Forests (Spirit Award for Best Documentary), is a passionate outcry against elephant poaching in the Congo. Sanctuary (Grand Chameleon Award and Best Documentary Award) by Mexican filmmaker Andrea Cordoba follows a Guatemalan immigrant woman and her family for a year as she claims sanctuary in a church from ICE deportation. Luisita Photo Studio by Sol Miraglia and Hugo Manso is a poignant documentary of lost Buenos Aries' theatre of the '60s/'70s as photographed by a now elderly Luisita.


Out of the record number of submissions, only one of twenty were accepted in six categories: Feature Narrative, Feature Doc, Short Narrative, Short Doc, Experimental and Animation. Each film runs twice throughout the 10 days of the festival. Full passes are now $150, or you can buy single program tickets at $15/12.

Check out the full diversity of international films at BFF:

Kickstarter in Greenpoint is sponsoring the 2019 BFF Exchange on Saturday, June 8 starting at noon. These practical sessions are relevant to filmmakers: Lunching with Lawyers (rsvp This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); a fundraiser how-to through the Kickstarter platform; a Documentary Pitch Session with feedback from a panel of experts; and a party on Kickstarter’s rooftop follows. This day is free.


A side festival to BFF is the 15th KidsFilmFest held at Made in NY Media Center in Dumbo. On Saturday, June 1, from 1-3pm, screenings of animations and live action films made for children or by children will be screened. Free for children 12 and under; adults tickets are $15.

The social networking continues late night throughout the run of the festival with local Brooklyn filmmaker’s organizations at Williamsburg area clubs. Do RSVP for the parties sponsored by Heineken. The ambiance of Williamsburg in warm summer nights is neighborly and safe to walk from screening venue to clubs late at night, but be aware of the L train subway slowdown.


To find out more:


May 31– June 9

Wythe Hotel

80 Wythe Avenue at N 11th St Brooklyn, NY 11249

Windmill Studios

300 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

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