Greenpoint Gazette

Greenpoint Film Festival Returns Next Week

BY Kevin D’Angelo

The Greenpoint Film Festival is back for its third year, running from September 19th to the 22nd. The festival, which in the past featured a retrospective of David Lynch and a premiere of Jonas Mekas’ My Mars Bar Movie, will screen an exciting collection of films at venues including West Street Studios and The Gutter Bowling Alley on North 14th Street.

Since its first year in 2011, the festival has grown from a simple collection of films and video art pieces to a dynamic festival of documentaries, feature length narratives, shorts, animation and experimental pieces mixed with various curated programs.

Visual artist and founder of the festival, Rosa Valado, founded the festival as a platform to bring visual ideas and a variety of voices to the North Brooklyn community. A resident of more than 20 years, Rosa felt compelled to launch a film festival in a neighborhood as culturally vibrant as Greenpoint.
“Here we are with one of the biggest art and film communities in New York” she said. “I thought it had to happen.”

Highlights of this year’s festival will include Elk Grass, an animated short by Waiting for Superman animator, Abbey Luck. Additionally, Canadian filmmaker Maryanne Zehil delivers the powerful, La Vallée des Larmes (Valley of Tears), a story that chronicles the correspondence and relationship of a French Canadian woman with a Lebanese refugee. Max Kutner’s short documentary, On the Corner of 3rd and 3rd chronicles a community’s apprehension around the fate of the renowned Coignet Stone Company Building in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

Film submissions, which were not an original component of the festival, have more than doubled since its introduction to the festival in 2012. The submissions undergo a rigorous pre-screening process by a panel and are eventually selected by judges in the final round. The 2013 film jury includes Tom Jarmusch, actor and son of Jim Jarmusch, and New York-based film producer/director, Jeremy Kipp Walker.

Fitting for Greenpoint’s environmental diversity is one of the most progressively curated fixtures of this year’s festival – the Environmental Program. Organized this year by Dewey Thompson, the Environmental Program is at the core of what Valado wanted to explore when she pioneered the festival.

“We wanted to create opportunities for dialogue about what steps everyone can take to address these environmental issues.”

Broken up into two parts, the Environmental Program will open the festival on Thursday, September 19th and close the festival on the 22nd. Part I, North Brooklyn UpClose, will feature “local content by local people.” Highlights of UpClose include Birth of a Boat Club, a ten-minute documentary about the development of the North Brooklyn Boat Club, and East River Dolphin, which captures amazing scenes of a rogue dolphin swimming in the East River. Part II will screen three feature-length documentaries addressing environmental issues, such as climate change, land use and pollution.

“In the 21st century there is this sense of accountability to take care of things,” Valado said. “These films present a kernel of new possibility and new thinking”

Other programs will showcase music videos, performance art and a special program devoted to DIY, or do-it-yourself, filmmakers making films on a micro-budget (less than $50,000). The program, put together by Matt Glasson, will screen two feature films, a collection of shorts, with a panel of DIY filmmakers.
Join them and the rest of the Greenpoint community for the opening reception at West Street Studios (67 West Street) on September19th at 6 p.m.


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