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The 12th Annual Manhattan Film Festival Kicks Off Spotlighting a New York-centric Short

 Art Shrian Tiwari, photo credit Lapacazo Sandoval

Now in its 12th year, The Manhattan Film Festival unspools from April 18-29, 2018 with most films being shown at the Cinema Village theater (22 East 12th St.) Among its many films, “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” explores New York City’s bottle collectors, giving a glimpse into what it really means to return bottles and cans and glass containers for money as necessary income. Written produced and starring Indian immigrant Art Shrian Tiwari, and  directed by Daniel Guillaro, it looks into a world that takes place in plain sight of many unaware New Yorkers, and captures the experience in this, his first short film which ushers in a change in the writers/actors' life.

There’s another perspective a person gains when one "literally" gets their hands dirty, perceived by many as unappealing, performing an act that many would never do, preferring instead to beg. As one character, an older white woman in her late 70s, says in the film, "begging is a lot harder than picking bottles, I tell you that!"

To prepare for the role and become part of the fabric of this community, Tiwari did just that. He rolled up his sleeves, and picked up discarded cans and bottles, turning them in for the five cents each one is worth at the many drop off locations around the city. It's messy hard work and a far cry from the software engineering and program management work Tiwari performed when he arrived from India several years ago.

For a long time, Tiwari’s extensive experience in e-commerce and financial services as well as an expertise in web and mobile domains led him to work for such well-established organizations as the Weight Watchers, Scholastic, Sprint, Starwood Hotels and New York Stock Exchange in New York City. Now in his 30s, he decided to make a change. He left the financial security of the IT field and stepped out to pursue writing and acting full time . This he did along with becoming a husband and father.  

Says Tiwari, “I’m proud of being an immigrant in America, an Indian-American.  I grew up in a middle-class family, with a happy upbringing surrounded by family, love, and support. My father was in Air Force, with a transferable job, thus we moved a lot. That opened me up to experiencing new cultures, people and be more open-minded in general”.

Writers write about what they know, or where they live, but Tiwari took a look inside a part of this city that most New Yorkers never care to know about. “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” tells of a single day in the life of a bottle collector, and his challenges of navigating the streets of New York. The April 24th screening of this short takes place at Cinema Village East Theater at 5 pm. It stars Tiwari, Nitin Mandan, Ilissa Jackson, Dequan Deveraux, and Mary Lu Garmone.

As Tiwari explained about wrestling his idea into a script, he learned quite a bit about bottle people. “We see these people around us in this great city every day. But we don't know anything about them. We just assume them to be homeless, scavengers or beggars of the sort. But in reality, they truly work hard for a meager amount of money. Of course, that little money can mean a lot, when you are in need."

To learn more about the festival go to

The Manhattan Film Festival
April 18 - 29, 2018

Cinema Village
22 E. 12th St.
New York, NY 10003

15th Annual The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival at SVA Theatre

 Two Schools

Now in its 15the year, The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival (BHFF) is a showcase for contemporary Bosnian-Herzegovinian cinematography, and films with Bosnia and Herzegovina as their theme. Running April 11 - 14 at the SVA Theatre (333 W 23rd St.), the fest features shorts, features and documentaries that focus on Bosnian-Herzegovinian heritage and history.

Special events include a panel with journalist and justice activist Refik Hodzić, and Cultural Studies professor Jasmina Husanović of the University of Tuzla accompanying the a special screening of Srđan Šarenac’s Two Schools, about an ethnically segregated high school in Travnik. Pilar Palermo’s Winter Sun, a short film about the life of an elderly Bosnian couple navigating a daunting healthcare system, will open for Two Schools.

To learn more, go to:

The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival
April 11 - 14, 2018

The SVA Theatre
333 W 23rd St.
New York, NY 10011


19th Havana Film Festival: The Cinema of Latin America in NYC


The 19th Havana Film Festival, running April 6 - 17 returns to venues across NYC with a plethora of features, shorts, and documentaries celebrating Latin-American Cinema.  The films chosen each year reflect strong cultural and social identities rooted in their respective countries with films from Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, México, Puerto Rico, and the US.

The festival features works from directors young and old alike, such as Killing Jesus, directed by Laura Mora, in which a young woman witnesses  the murder of her father and crosses paths with a young man she believes to be his killer. Joaquim, directed by Marcelo Gomes, chronicles in a partly fictional, partly historical tale, the life of Brazil's national hero Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, aliás Tiradentes. The documentary Filiberto is the story of a professional musician who abandons his trumpet and family to live the clandestine life of an armed revolutionary for Puerto Rican independence.

To learn more, go to:

The 19th Havana Film Festival
April 6 - 17, 2018

Various Venues Throughout NYC

KINO!2018 Festival of German Films: Banks, Bars, & Tigers

Now in its 5th year, the KINO!2018 Festival of German Films returns to a new venue at the Landmark at 57 West (657 W 57th St.m NY, NY) to feature new and classic works of German cinema. The fest opens with the US premiere of Ewald André Dupont’s 1925 silent film Varieté accompanied with live music by pianist Stephen Horne and composer Martin Pyne.

Next Generation Short Tiger 2017 is a slate of short films made from winners of the German Federal Film Board’s FFA Short Tiger Award for the best German short films under 5 minutes. Two episodes of the German bank thriller Bad Banks from director Christian Schwochow. Marieke Schroeder’s documentary, Bar Talks, is a boozy global tour with barman Charles Schumann, a legendary cocktail connoisseur as he takes time to chat candidly with colleagues, friends and admirers about the importance of creating the perfect drink.

To learn more, go to:

KINO!2018 Festival of German Films
April 6 - 12, 2018

Landmark at 57 West
657 W 57th St.
New York, NY 10019


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