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Celebrating 20 years of films being screened in rural New York, the 2019 Woodstock Film Festival is a momentous occasion. Running October 2 to the 6th in Woodstock, NY, the fest features film greats, narrative features, documentaries, and shorts from new talent and longtime filmmakers. Films in competition includes the world premiere 18 To Party, from director Jeff Roda. The film, set in 1984 outside a small-town nightclub, follows a group of 8th graders grappling with a spate of recent suicides, UFO sightings, their absentee parents, and each other. Another world premiere at the fest is Parkland Rising, a documentary from two-time Emmy Award winner Cheryl Horner McDonough, Parkland Rising looks at the lives of survivors of the 2018 Parkland Florida school shooting and the movement they’re leading for gun reform.
The wide slate of shorts will include animated works, teen films, music videos, shorts by and for women, documentaries and more. Panels at the fest explore filmmaking in the Hudson Valley, trending issues, women in film, conversations with actors and directors participatng in the festival, and more.
To learn more go to: https://woodstockfilmfestival.org/
2019 Woodstock Film FestivalOctober 2 - 6, 2019
Box Office13 Rock City RoadWoodstock, NY 12498
Now in its second year, the Female Filmmaker Festival (FFFEST), returns to the Quad Cinema (34 West 13th Street, NY, NY) from October 25 to the 27th. FFFEST celebrated the achievements of women filmmakers in cinema from all over the world. Along with screening gems and oddities, the fest is also a resource for women looking to learn more about the film industry.
For fans of cult horror, included in the festival is a double feature focusing on actor, playwright, and cinematographer Kei Fujiwara. First is Shinya Tsukamoto’s gritty cyberpunk body horror film, Tetsuo the Iron Man in which Fujiwara acted and shot, followed by her directorial 1996 feature Organ, based on her work in experimental theatre. Other films include The Music of Regret (with a Q&A with filmmaker Laurie Simmons and Shirin Neshat of Women Without Men), Variety, Women Without Men, and more.
Panels include How to Break in & Navigate Your First Film Deal, with panelists Desiree Akhavan, Dianna Agron, and Erin Lee Car. There is also Women in Film Programming with panelists Mahen Bonetti, founder and executive director of the New York African Film Festival; Cristina Cacioppo, programmer of Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn; and Nellie Killian, programmer of dozens of series including “Tell Me: Women Filmmakers, Women’s Stories,” the Migrating Forms festival, and the Sarasota Film Festival.
To learn more, go to: https://fffest.org/
FFFESTOctober 25 - 27, 2019
Quad Cinema34 W. 13th St.New York, NY 10011
Beyond The Raging Sea
Set against the scenic Red Sea’s resort town, the 3rd Annual El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) returns to Egypt. Running September 19th to the 27th, the festival includes shorts, features, and documentaries selected to foster unheard voices in cinema.
Making its World Premiere at GFF, Marco Orsini’s Beyond The Raging Sea follows the harrowing tale of two Egyptian adventurers, Omar Samra and Omar Nour (or O2 as some call them), as they make a perilous 3,000 nautical mile journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua as part of an annual ocean-rowing race called the Atlantic Challenge. Though their challenge in a race would change to become a challenge to face a growing refugee crisis.
In addition, the program in El Gouna will also feature a roundtable discussion: “Refugee Voices in the Film Industry.” This roundtable will look at how to shift the focus to refugees and migrants as audiences of films rather than simply subjects and shed light on how visual storytelling can empower and inform, while expanding the boundaries of humanitarian filmmaking.
The fest also includes 1982, a story of young love set against the backdrop of the military invasion of Beirut, and Adam, in which a single mother finds refuge in a Casablancan bakery.
And while the festival is going on it’s also a great oportunity to tour El Gouna’s coral reefs, sandy beaches, and resorts.
To learn more, go to: http://elgounafilmfestival.com/
3rd Annual El Gouna Film FestivalSeptember 19 - 27, 2019
VR, AR, 360º Video, Virtual Cinema—in immersive experiences, expect to be an active participant to drive your viewpoint and your narrative. The Convergence section of the 57th New York Film Festival takes place on October 10-13, 2019, at Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. For a reasonable $7 to $10, you can experience one of three Virtual Cinema programs. Anticipate wearing headsets and wait times with timed entry, but the interesting interactive installations and people surrounding you will distract.
Convergence programmer Matt Bolish selected the lineup this year to reflect our world crisis happening now. “The work in this year’s edition of Convergence really confronts some of the most pressing issues of the day: humanity’s impact on the environment (Anthropocene Project, Last Whispers), how we care for the most vulnerable among us (Metro Viente, Send Me Home), the terrors of homelessness and the opioid epidemic (Homeless: A Los Angeles Story, Ghost Fleet, Holy Night), with equal measures of pathos and humor (Eyelydian, Your Spiritual Temple Sucks).”
In a narrative, how would virtual cinema add empathy or add another layer of information or provide context? An example is the Anthropocene Project. While you are immersed in a VR headset, the scale of 360º video as the camera pans and zooms out of a manmade disaster in nature is breathtaking yet alarming.
Death, memories, and loss extend to a special off-site immersive theater installation of Poe’s The Raven in a world premiere at NYFF57 Convergence. The highly anticipated live theater performances will take place October 10–13 at The American Irish Historical Society’s mansion on Fifth Ave., across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (The Society hosted James Joyce’s play “The Dead” earlier this year, where the audience and actors moved from room to room.)
Live actors and AR headsets emitting audio cues and sonic ambience will guide you through the elaborate interactive installation. The premise is that Edgar Allen Poe has invited you to his wake. Over the course of the performance, you come to realize why you are truly there. Nevermore!
For the 170th Anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s mysterious and destitute death, NYFF57 Convergence team collaborated with Lance Weiler, Ava Lee Scott, Nick Fortugno, and Nick Childs to develop an experimental immersive theater installation with emergent technology. From their production notes, the concept is: “Fifty participants wearing Bose AR glasses will move through the building and ‘Poe’s mind’ with the Internet of Things lanterns in hand. The experiment will be released under a Creative Commons License. The goal is to develop, document and release our code so others can remix and share.”
Lance Weiler and Nick Fortugno run the Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab and the DSL community collaborators’ meetups (which I do recommend) at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Lincoln Center. Columbia DSL also has a worldwide collaboration community, Sandbox, for prototype developers: columbiadsl.mn.co. Ava Lee Scott is the founder of Actors Theater of NYC (who will be performing) and specializes in immersive theater as a performer (Sleep No More, Home of Enchantments).
MAIN SLATE (September 27–October 11)https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/sections/main-slate/
PROJECTIONS (October 3–6)https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/sections/projections/
CONVERGENCE (October 10–13)https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/sections/convergence/
Virtual Cinema: Program One (21 min.)3 films from the Anthropocene Project
Virtual Cinema: Program Two (43 min.)Metro Viente, Eyelydian, Ghost Fleet, Send Me Home
Virtual Cinema: Program Three (39 min.)Your Spiritual Temple Sucks, Last Whispers, Homeless: A Los Angeles Story, Eyelydian
Immersive Theater Experience: Edgar Allan Poe The Raven (60 min)American Irish Historical Society mansion991 5th Ave / 81st St., New York, NY
Interactive iPad: Holy NightThe U.S. opioid crisis in a small Rustbelt town through the eyes of a preacher, grandmother, and teen. FREE
To learn more and buy passes/tickets: https://www.filmlinc.org/nyff2019/ Passes on sale now. Single tickets go on sale Sept. 8.
Venue & Box Office Information
Alice Tully Hall – for advance in-person ticket purchasing 1941 Broadway (between 65th Street and 66th Street) Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday: Noon – 6:00 p.m. Also open until 30 minutes after the start of any performance. 212.671.4050
Film at Lincoln Center Box offices open one half hour before the first screening and close 15 minutes after the start of the last show.
Walter Reade Theater 165 W. 65th Street, north side, upper level (between Broadway and Amsterdam) 212.875.5600
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W. 65th Street, south side (between Broadway and Amsterdam) 212.875.5600
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