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Film Festivals

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema Film Fest 2019


Featuring the freshest films from Italy, the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema film fest kicks of the Summer of cinema in NYC. Running June 6 to 12 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Open Roads has 17 films, 8 of which are North American premieres.

The Opening Night film is Claudio Giovannesi’s Piranhas, adapted from the novel by Gomorrah writer Roberto Saviano. Piranhas follows a group of cocksure young men enraptured by the local Camorra who find themselves gradually descending into the violent, paranoid world of the Napoli mafia. Other films include Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro, a satirical reimagining of the fall of Silvio Berlusconi with The Great Beauty's Toni Servillo as the disgraced and debaucherous prime minister. Open Roads will also feature a special repertory screening of Bernardo Bertolucci's 1962 directorial debut La Commare Secca, a savvy, formally audacious murder mystery adapted from a short story by Pier Paolo Pasolini that marks a fitting introduction to the Italian master, who passed away in November at the age of 77.

Documentaries at Open Roads include the North American premiere of Agostino Ferrente's lyrical and moving Selfie, a chronicle of adolescent friendship in the gang-ravaged Traiano region of Naples largely filmed on smartphones by the 16-year-old subjects

To learn more, go to:

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2019
June 6 - 12, 2019

Film Society of Lincoln Center

Celebrating its 7th edition, the Israel Film Center Festival Presents a Diverse Films and TV Shows at The JCC

In its 7th edition, the Israel Film Center Festival includes 10 features and two TV series running from June 3rd-12th. The program spotlights Orthodox-themed films, ones which show the diversity of Israeli life which includes Arabs, youth at risk, Ethiopians, the military, the young and the elderly — a full spectrum.

Said Israel Film Center Festival director and founder Isaac Zablocki, “Beyond the clear trending of Orthodox-themed films, one can also see the diversity of life in Israel through our selections. Our film themes highlight Arabs, youth at risk, Ethiopians, military, the young, the elderly?a full spectrum of life.”  

Launching the day after Sunday Israel day Parade, New York’s leading Israeli film festival celebrates with a powerful lineup of diverse, award-winning, and cutting-edge films and television programs. Its host, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street) showcases many of the  best new releases from Israel’s booming film industry with Q&As with acclaimed Israeli filmmakers after select screenings. 

The festival’s Opening Night selection will be Joseph Madmony and Boaz Yehonatan Yacov’s thought-provoking film Redemption (“Geula”). The story of a devout Chassid who must return to his rockstar lifestyle in order to pay for his daughter’s medical bills explores the issue of how to balance one’s religious devotion with art, family, and friendship, all while making peace with the past. The film won both the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Best Actor award (for star Moshe Folkenflik) at the 2018 Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and the Audience Award at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival. Redemption screens Monday, June 3 at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with director Boaz Yehonatan Yacov.

Tel Aviv On Fire, Sameh Zoabi’s witty and warm-hearted movie, is the Closing Night film and is having its NY premiere. Having had its world premiere at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, it won the Orizzonti Award for Best Actor (for Kais Nashif); its North American premiere took place at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and it won the Best Film award at the 2018 Haifa International Film Festival. It screens Wednesday, June 12 at 7 pm, followed by a Q&A with co-writer Dan Kleinman.

Other highlights include:

• Fig Tree (Winner, Eurimages Audentia Award for Best Female Director at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival & Ophir Award nominee for Best Picture) — is Ethiopian-Israeli filmmaker Aalam-Warqe Davidian’s beautiful and haunting debut.

• The Dive (Winner, Best Israeli Feature Film, Best Actor and Best Israeli Debut Film at the 2018 Jerusalem Film Festival) — Yona Rozenkier’s semi-autobiographical feature debut and intense family drama has its New York premiere.  

• The Other Story (Official Selection, 2018 Toronto International Film Festival) — one of this year’s most successful Israeli films, come see veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher’s latest film.

The festival honors Nesher — a leading voice in Israeli cinema for over four decades — with a retrospective on Friday, June 7, screening two films from his filmography. Israel’s all time biggest box office success, his Turn Left at The End of The World (2004) helped revolutionize Israeli cinema as a profitable industry; a newly restored Rage and Glory (1984) — about a Stern Gang cell that falls apart during an attempt to assassinate a senior British officer in pre-state Israel — also screens.

As in previous years, the festival shines a spotlight on Israeli television, which has become an international phenomenon and one of Israel’s leading exports. Included will be the New York premiere of the first two episodes of Stockholm and the first two episodes of Automnomies. Both will be part of the JCC’s annual free, all-night Tikkun Leil Shavuot event beginning Saturday, June 8th at 10 pm and ending Sunday, June 9th, at 4 am.

The Israel Film Center of the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is the leading resource for Israeli films in America, with the goal of expanding Israel's emerging film industry and promoting Israeli culture in America. A program of the Carole Zabar Center for Film, it serves as an exhibitor, promoter, educator, funder, distributor, producer, network organizer, advisor, and festival producer, and includes a viewing library and online database of Israeli cinema and the leading Israeli film streaming site.

Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape. Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. The cornerstone of progressive programming in Manhattan, the JCC serves over 55,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants' minds, bodies, and spirits.

 Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs, classes, and events that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages of their lives. 

Learn more at

For the complete festival schedule go to:

 the 7th Israel Film Center Festival
June 3-12, 2019

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue at 76th Street

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

99% Genius at the World Science Festival 2019

World Science Festival 2019

"Awaken your inner genius" at the World Science Festival 2019, for us starstruck mortals who perspire 99% of the time more than inspire. From May 22 through June 2, New York University in Manhattan will be host to some of the greatest minds in science. From the micro of DNA engineering to the macro of black holes, dark matter and string theory in the cosmos, scientists will discuss The Big Ideas and present their mind-bending research to a lay audience.

Experience Mars in full 3D imagery (We Will Be Martians, May 29); watch the world premiere of film, The Bit Player, about Claude Shannon, the binary “bit” father of the Information Age (May 29 at the Museum of Moving Image); enjoy David Pogue hosting a panel about wearable and implantable computers (The Technology that Transforms Us May 30).

A week before the stage talks commence, the festival opened with a Lincoln Center performance of “Light Falls: Space, Time and an Obsession of Einstein.” This was a tribute to the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and will be broadcast on nationwide on May 29 at 10/9C.

Astronaut of Apollo 11, Michael Collins, will appear on May 31 for Apollo 11's 50th anniversary, and also for a special sold-out children’s book presentation for children 10-14 on June 1. STEM programming for children plays a large role in this festival, with free events centered around the City of Science hub (June 1-2 weekend) and paid events such as Cool Jobs and the Apprentice series.

Not to worry, adults can enjoy free public events such as counting local fish, or Science and Story Cafe book signings. The Stargazing in Brooklyn Bridge Park event promises to have a professional telescope available, meet Astronaut Yvonne Cagle, and watch a film about the Hubble Telescope on Saturday night, June 1 (RSVPs still open).

To learn more, go to:



238 Thompson St

New York, NY 10012



566 LaGuardia Place

New York, NY 10012

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