The countdown has begun for the 14th annual Bushwick Film Festival, which will run from October 20-24, and is expected to feature over 100 films and bring together thousands of attendees, according to the festival’s website

This year’s festival will be a hybrid event of in-person and virtual attendance that will keep a similar virtual format as the 2020 festival. According to the 2021 media kit, films will be available to watch on the Bushwick Film Festival’s new streaming platform, and the festival’s most celebrated events, including the opening night show, awards ceremony and filmmaker panels, will be available on Facebook Live.

Unable to postpone last year’s festival once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were set in place, the Bushwick Film Festival managed to make the program — which included over 100 independent films from over 30 countries — completely virtual with the help of local volunteers. 

According to the Bushwick Film Festival’s case study on a successful pivot to a virtual running, the “visual platforms allowed greater access to filmmakers” and there was an increase in film exposure that resulted in greater engagement.

“It is definitely a testament to our passion and our commitment to independent storytelling to work really hard over these past months to ensure that, despite everything, we can still offer this service not only to filmmakers in our community but also to people who really believe in the power of storytelling,” Kweighbaye Kotee, CEO and Bushwick Film Festival director, told Bushwick Daily before last year’s event.

Kotee first launched the Bushwick Film Festival in 2007, the same year she moved to the Bushwick area as an immigrant from Liberia. What began as an idea among friends, all of whom were recent college graduates, evolved into one of the year’s most anticipated events with worldwide participation. 

Bushwick Daily is scheduled to speak with Kotee about the 14th annual Bushwick Film Festival once final adjustments to the program have been made for an insider look on the event. So stay tuned for a complete guide.

The Bushwick Film Festival is currently looking for volunteers. The Perks of becoming a volunteer not only include contributing your time “in supporting a female-founded and community-based festival,” gaining experience in the industry and developing long-lasting relationships, but also two free passes to the festival itself and an opportunity to network with filmmakers and other professionals in the industry.

Interested? You can sign up as a volunteer here.

Top image: Bushwick Film Festival Instagram

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