Jackson Schroeder


The Bushwick Film Festival is right around the corner. The 13th annual festival, which kicks off Oct. 21 and runs until Oct. 25, will be held entirely online this year. 

Starting Oct. 21, festival attendees will log onto a secure streaming platform, similar to Hulu or Netflix, where festival films will be available for viewing. The Bushwick Film Festival is also hosting 10 interactive industry panels, where audience members can converse with industry professionals, filmmakers and talent.

Live music and other content, including games and special contests, will also be live-streamed during the week.

In previous years, the festival has attracted over 3,500 attendees and more than 1,500 film submissions from 60 countries around the world.

This year, the festival was threatened by COVID-19 and other challenges. Nevertheless, with a bit of help from local volunteers, the festival was able to be moved entirely online.

“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, the founder and director of the festival, told Bushwick Daily.

Kweighbaye Kotee 

Fittingly, the theme of the 2020 festival is transformation. To represent that theme, the festival has decided to make this year’s symbol the butterfly.

“Our butterfly glows and emerges from the electricity surrounding it, symbolizing profound transformation and honoring the energy it has to manifest to get there,” Kotee said in the festival’s press release. “We have had to endure many challenges this year: COVID-19, loss of black lives at the hands of police, the passing of beloved heroes, climate change wildfires, devastation in Beirut.”

“This year, we not only celebrate our filmmakers for always reminding us of our courage and perseverance through their characters, but we also celebrate each other and how much we have transformed as a global community.”

Tickets will be available a la carte and by way of multi-film packages. A single film pass is $7. Attendees can also purchase one of three ticket tiers for multiple films starting at $25 for 5 films up to $150 for unlimited access to the full catalogue of over 100 films. Live music, games and special contests, will also be live-streamed. A ticket to all 10 panels currently costs $25.

“We don’t want to lose focus of our Bushwick audience,” Kotee told Bushwick Daily. For that reason, there are also a number of discounted ticket packages available, including a $35 package for Bushwick community members.

A full list of ticket options is available here.

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