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Queens World Film Festival Kicks Off This Month, Screenings At Theaters Across The Borough

Image via Queens World Film Festival on Facebook

June 10, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A festival featuring nearly 200 films from across the globe will return for its 11th annual event this month– and the films will be screened at theaters around the borough.

The Queens World Film Festival, which runs from June 23 to July 3, will showcase 198 films—with 133 of them screened at live venues. The films will also be streamed online for those who are not ready to return to theaters given the pandemic.

The movies will be screened at a number of venues including the Queens Theatre, the Museum of the Moving Image, The Local NY and Culture Lab.

Two features from Nepal – Basenji and Sarita – will be screened at the United Sherpa Association, a Nepali community center in Elmhurst.

Film buffs can also stream all of the selections online, just as was the case last year, when in-person screenings were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The films can be streamed over the Film Festival Flix app.

Tickets for live screenings are on sale through Brown Paper Tickets at $10 per movie—although screenings at Culture Lab are free.

Virtual screenings can be purchased through Film Festival Flix at $15 per movie, $25 for a 24-hour pass and $125 for an all-access pass.

Katha Cato, who co-founded the festival with her husband Don, said that many film makers make great sacrifices to complete their films. Some, she said, lack money while others live under oppressive regimes.

“I always get very emotional when you think of this woman in Iran who is making this film, she doesn’t have a credit card to max out, she doesn’t have a family who is promoting her GoFundMe and the government doesn’t want her to draw attention to herself,” Cato said.

“But yet, she makes this film and gets it to us.”

The 198 films—of which 42 are full-length features and 156 shorts—come from 33 different countries. They were selected from 513 submissions from 45 nations.

There are 28 films from Queens-based filmmakers in the festival, one of which will headline opening night on June 23 at Museum of the Moving Image, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

That film will be Mouse, which was filmed in Kew Gardens and Forest Hills by Queens-based filmmaker Adam Engel. It is a thriller about a handyman who struggles to maintain his innocence following a local murder.

“We want Queens to be the hub of the indie community,” Cato said.

Elmhurst Hospital will be honored on opening night. It will receive the 2021 Spirit of Queens Award in recognition of the extraordinary work it has done during the pandemic

Meanwhile, Opal Hope Bennet, producer of the PBS short-form series POV Shorts, and artist Catya Plate, will receive the Lois Webber Pioneer Award.

Capacities will be capped at the live screenings, with 50 being allowed in at Museum of the Moving Image, 107 permitted for Queens Theatre, 90 at The Local NY, 75 at United Sherpa Association, and 300 at Culture Lab, which is an outdoor venue.

The full schedule for live and virtual screenings can be found here.

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