Greenpoint Film Festival Returns with Drive-In Movie Experience

Greenpoint Film Festival Returns with Drive-In Movie Experience
Welcome to Greenpoint mural. Courtesy of Sicily Publicity.

Indie film-lovers needn’t panic; the Greenpoint Film Festival will return for its 9th year, and will run from August 1st to 9th.

The festival is divided into two parts: the first will take place in the parking lot at Meserole and Jewel Avenues in Greenpoint, and the second will take place at Long Island City event space The Foundry. To adapt to coronavirus restrictions, the festival’s organizers have turned the entire festival into a drive-in movie experience, allowing attendees to safely watch films and panel discussions from their cars, from a row of repurposed movie cars, or one of several socially distanced seat clusters, which can be purchased for groups. The festival is sponsored in part by New York production company Broadway Stages.

The line-up features 27 different short films and 8 feature films from both established and up-and-coming filmmakers, with a mix of experimental, documentary, narrative, feature, and short films. Kicking off the festival will be two films about influential Black musicians: the documentary Chuck Berry about the eponymous rock and roll legend, directed by British documentary filmmaker Jon Brewer, followed by the short film Last Fair Deal about the blues artist Robert Johnson, who died tragically young. A screening of the short film American Marriage co-written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and producer James Ivory, who wrote the screenplay for the wildly popular 2017 film Call Me By Your Name will take place on August 8th.

Festival organizers Anthony Argento and Ricardo Vilar, who took over this year from previous director Rosa Valado, were intent on making space in the program for filmmakers without the professional connections or platform necessary to finding success in the film industry.

“They still can produce and make amazing films that can completely transform somebody’s life,” Vilar said.

One of these individuals is Sonia Foltarz, a young graphic animation designer and School of Visual Arts student from Poland who collaborated with fellow student Jacob Kaplan on the film Ace screening August 7th. Another emerging talent is Nicholas Gray, the director of Last Fair Deal. Argento and Vilar also hope to draw attention to the Brooklyn youth featured in the documentary Microplastic Madness, directed by Atsuko Quirk and Debby Lee Cohen, about a group of fifth graders from Red Hook’s PS15 conducting a two-year investigation into the effects of plastic pollution. The theme of environmental sustainability also extends to two short documentaries: Contaminated and Forgotten by Fanny Texier and Martin Loper and BQGreen by Dewey Thompson.

Programming is also set to include a series of panel discussions featuring Academy Award-winning guest speakers, which Argento and Vilar have yet to confirm. Food and drink can be purchased from several food trucks, also to be decided.

Tickets for either the Greenpoint or the Long Island City screenings can be purchased on the festival website.

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