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Drive-In Theaters Return to Brooklyn & Queens

The Brooklyn Drive-In at sunset (photo by Lou Aguilar, courtesy of Rooftop Films).

2020 has certainly brought some unexpected events, and the resurgence of drive in theaters is joining the list. Rooftop Films, in partnership with the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), announced the opening of two drive-in festival locations in New York City. The Queens Drive-In will open in partnership with MoMI and NYSCI on the grounds of the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Brooklyn Drive-In is located at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (80 58th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220), in partnership with NYCEDC. Both venues will present films throughout the summer and fall of 2020.

The Brooklyn Drive-In screenings feature the NY premieres of The Fight, directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, and Eli Despres, on Thursday, July 23, 2020. The Flight follows a scrappy team of heroic ACLU lawyers in an electrifying battle over abortion rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights and voting rights. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures and Topic. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, directed by Bill Ross and Turner Ross, screens July 24th. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is a mosaic of disparate lives, teetering between dignity and debauchery set at the wee hours of a Las Vegas dive bar. IFC Midnight’s Relic, in which first-time writer/director Natalie Erika James crafts a new spin on the haunted-house movie, starring Emily Mortimer, and screens July 25th.

Rooftop Films provided a safety FAQ here and ask you follow these guidelines to ensure safety:

  • You must attend in a car. We would love to see you all there, but it really is essential you arrive in a car and stay in your car (except when going to the restrooms).

  • The passenger side window must stay rolled up so that there is a safe barrier between you and the next car.

  • You must make sure you're wearing a mask during check-in, to protect our lovely employees, and keep it on whenever you are outside of your car.

Programming for the Queens Drive-In will be curated by Museum of the Moving Image and Rooftop Films, with Rooftop Films handling curation of films for the Brooklyn Drive-In. Both venues will include films from the Rooftop Films’ 2020 Summer Series, which will showcase many of the best new independent and foreign films from 2020. Drive-In guests can expect entertaining pre-show experiences, live demonstrations, talks and videos, as well as an ongoing showcase of local and emerging artists. Do-it-yourself science tips and tricks, as well as conversations with subject matter experts, will connect the nights' themes—from horror to climate change—to the moviegoers' everyday lives.

Programming will include:

  • Premiere events and sneak preview screenings of new independent and foreign films programmed by Rooftop Films that reflect the diverse communities of Brooklyn and Queens.

  • Classic repertory and thematic programming by the New York Hall of Science and Museum of the Moving Image, with series including Science on Screen, sci-fi showcase See It Big!: The Future Is Now, Queens on Film, Jim Henson’s World, and a special presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • Free programs for local communities, including new and classic family films

  • Special events of all types, understanding that certain events will be restricted depending on New York’s re-opening phase.

To learn more or RSVP. go to: or

Tribeca Drive-In Screens Across The Country

 Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible

Tribeca Films is the latest organization to take their films to the drive-in. The Tribeca Drive-In features screenings at Orchard Beach, NY, Nickerson Beach, NY, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, The AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and The Hard Rock Stadium in MIami. As part of the many films being screened is two documentaries from ESPN:

  • 30 for 30’s Be Water
    July 18 at AT&T Stadium (TX) & Nickerson Beach (NY)
    The film explores the fascinating story of kung-fu legend and movie star Bruce Lee and his rise to fame after being rejected by Hollywood in 1971. After this crushing blow, Lee returned to his parents’ homeland of Hong Kong to complete four iconic films. Exploring questions of identity and representation through rare archival footage, interviews with loved ones, and Bruce’s own writings, Be Water captures Lee’s charisma, passion, philosophy, and the eternal beauty and wonder of his art.


  • ESPN Films’ Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible
    Multiple dates & locations
    This short film exposes the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and takes you inside a gym formed on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana that teaches young girls how to defend themselves in response to violence. It is a film about fighting—for respect, identity and acknowledgment. There are no scorecards or knockouts on the Reservation; the prize at the Blackfeet Nation Boxing Club is far more vital: survival.

Other films being screened at Tribeca’s Drive-Ins include:

  • Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
  • Selena
  • Girls Trip
  • John Wick
  • Casino Royale
  • Inside Man
  • Beetlejuice
  • The Bodyguard
  • Crazy Rich Asians

And many more.

To learn more, go to:

Various Locations

New York Film Festival Announces Collaboration With Other Fall Film Fests


An NYC staple for decades, the New York Film Festival announced it will be collaborating with the Venice, Toronto, and Telluride film festivals in the coming fall season. Still scheduled for September 25 to October 11, 2020, it is currently unclear if the festival will be virtual or taking place at Lincoln Center. While the New York Film Festival has not gone into any specifics about their plans, a press release sent out July 8 said “This year, we've moved away from competing with our colleagues at autumn festivals and commit instead to collaboration. We are sharing ideas and information. We are offering our festivals as a united platform for the best cinema we can find. We're here to serve the filmmakers, audiences, journalists and industry members who keep the film ecosystem thriving. We need to do that together.”

To learn more, go to:

New York Human Rights Watch Film Fest takes to Streaming

Coded Bias

The latest film fest to switch to a digital platform is the New York edition of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF). Running June 11 - 20, 2020, the HRWFF will be streamed for audiences from

The opening night film, Belly of the Beast, directed by Erika Cohn, looks into the oppressive practice of involuntary sterilizations of women in the federal prison system. Radio Silence, from Juliana Fanjul,  tells the story of fierce radio journalist Carmen Artesegui, who was censored by the Mexican government for fighting against corrupt disinformation. Máxima, directed by Claudia Sparrow, about the noted environmental Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña, who fought intimidation, violence and criminal prosecution in a fight to keep her home in Peru. Coded Bias looks at how the world of AI has been dominated by white men, leading to misinformation being taken as fact. Down a Dark Stairwell, about criminal justice and race in NYC, and the HBO film Welcome to Chechnya by David France (How to Survive a Plague) which uses deep fake technology to mask the identities of gay Chechnians trying to escape the country.

Many of the films will also include live Q&As with filmmakers and special guests that will be streamed (be sure to register for them ahead of time).

To learn more, go to:

Human Rights Watch Film Festival New York: Digital Edition
June 11 - 20


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