The 11th annual Bushwick Film Festival kicks off October 10th and runs until the 14th, meaning it’s time to secure your passes and tickets before we edge any closer to Opening Night. The film festival is a great way to see different up and coming creators, learn about the world (or about a different perspective on NYC)
According to organizers, the 11th Bushwick Film Festival curated a record-breaking 1,300 submissions and this year the festival will present 95 films from over 110 filmmakers.
If you’re unsure of where to start, why not begin with one of the following films – each conceived by Bushwick directors or is set in the streets of yours truly!:
Bushwick Beats / East Coast Premiere/ Directed by Anu Valia, Brian Shoaf, James Sweeney, Sonejuhi Sinha, Sayeeda Moreno, Chloe Sarbib
House of YES on Wednesday Oct 10 at 7:30 p.m.
The lights dim this Wednesday at House of YES for the festival’s Opening Night and 7.30pm screening of Bushwick Beats. The film captures six unique snapshots of unconditional love as perceived by each director (including Sundance Film Festival award winner Anu Valia and Cannes and Tribeca Film Festival alum Sonejuhi Sinha). Set in the always-colorful streets of Bushwick, Bushwick Beats promises to deliver on the emotional front (and confirms the many reasons you call it home).
Bushwick Homecomings- The Record / World Premiere / Directed by Stefanie Joshua
Syndicated Theatre on Sunday Oct 14 at 3:30 p.m.
New York is an impossibly fast city to live in at times, a speed that translates to its rapidly changing neighborhoods in recent decades. Bushwick Homecomings – The Record explores the pronounced evolution of Bushwick in the last 20 years through the words and experiences of three Bushwick natives and figures in the arts – writer- Vanessa Martir, visual artist- Danielle DeJesus and musician- DJ Evil Dee.
One Bedroom / Dir. Darien Sills-Evans / 83 min / USA
Syndicated Theatre on Saturday October 13 at 3:30 p.m.
One Bedroom might be your Friday night-in rom com, until it’s definitely not. The story follows a 30-something couple in the end stages of a long term relationship, chronicling their final afternoon together as one of them packs her things to move out. The ensuing arguments and reflections that transpire are both melancholy and comforting reminders of the universality of falling in and out of love and the prospect of starting new.
Don’t Be Nice / Brooklyn Premiere / Max Powers
Chemistry Creative on Saturday October 13 at 7:40 p.m.
Don’t Be Nice documents a group of young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer Slam Poets in NYC as they prepare for the National Championships in the fall of 2016. Mentored by a coach who challenges them to write from a place of honesty and vulnerability, the group grapples with personal boundaries and identity in the face of a competition that favors crowd-pleasing productions over making a statement.
Caroni / New York Premiere / Dir. Ian Harnarine / Narrative / in Female Cinematographer
Lightspace Studios on Saturday October 13 at 2:35 p.m.
Caroni tells the story of Rajni, a West Indian nanny living in New York City, whose relationship with her daughter in Trinidad exists only through video chat. When Rajni becomes fixated on making it home for her daughter’s birthday, changes are set in motion. Caroni is the second work of Bushwick-based director Ian Harnarine who was inspired by the many nannies in New York City, their sacrifices and stories.
Oleg / North American Premiere / Dir. Alexander Brodsky, Boris Krichevsky / Doc / in Oh Me Oh My
Chemistry Creative on Sunday Oct 14 at 5:10 p.m.
Bushwick based directors Alexander Brodsky and Boris Krichevsky take a candid close up of Russian painter Oleg Kudryashov in Oleg. The film follows Kudryashov and his wife Dina as he cares for her in her final days through observational point of view, giving the audience both an intimate look into the life of one of Russia’s most important contemporary artists and an unguarded portrait of the love between two people.
Cole / New York Premiere / Dir. David Call / Narrative / USA / in You, Stranger
Lightspace Studios on Sunday October 14 at 2:40 p.m.
Cole follows a young US combat veteran and his struggle for employment after returning from duty while living with a traumatic brain injury. Bushwick-based director David Call (who also stars in the film) set out to confront the civilian military divide that’s exacerbated by portrayals of war in the media and the stigmas that plague many veterans upon their return to the civilian world.
Alpha Squadron / dir. Michael Litwak / Narrative / USA / in The Gang’s here. Alpha Squadron
Syndicated Theatre on Saturday October 13 at 8:20 p.m.
Alpha Squadron is one of the few Sci-Fi films showcased at this year’s festival, and although it’s filmed in Bushwick, you won’t recognize any of your neighborhood hang outs (unless you happened to stop by Chemistry Creative during filming that is). The narrative follows a fighter pilot and his efforts to keep his crew united during their intergalactic travels.
Beam Me Up / World Premiere/dir. Matthew Charof / Doc / USA – World Premiere
Chemistry Creative on Saturday October 13 at 10:10 p.m.
You’ve seen his tag materialize all over Brooklyn, now it’s your chance to meet the man behind the message. Beam Me Up follows Caribbean born, Bushwick-based Graffiti artist Gazoo ToTheMoon as he moves through the city, taking viewers along on his quest to spread love and positivity through his art.
Bushwick Stories Community Screening – presented by B&H Photo
Lightspace Studios on Sunday October 14 at 5:45 p.m.
In pursuit of supporting young filmmakers and creativity in the community, Bushwick Film Festival partnered with Canon and B&H Photo this August to offer a free 5-day workshop to 15 young filmmakers. The course connected students with industry professionals – including Adam Neuhaus, Director of Development at ESPN Films, costume designer, Alexyz Kemp (Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, The Hunger Games), and Filippo Piscopo, Director of the original HBO documentary It Will Be Chaos – to help them in creating five short films, each reflecting the filmmakers’ unique outlooks on the community.
Catch a glimpse of these unique takes on the neighborhood at the premier and free screening of Bushwick Stories at Lightspace Studios on Sunday evening.
Cover photo courtesy of Noom Peerapong