Jackson Schroeder


The full program has been released for the 13th annual Bushwick Film Festival. Due to COVID-19, this year’s festival will be held entirely online and run from Oct. 21 until Oct. 25. 

The 2020 festival will feature more than 100 different films created by filmmakers from 30 different countries. The creators of the festival have built a secure streaming platform, similar to Hulu or Netflix, where all of the films and pricing options are currently listed. 

In addition to films, the festival will feature a two-day movie industry conference, screenplay readings, industry mixers, movie trivia nights, live music and daily Q&A sessions with some of the filmmakers and stars.  

To stay on top of it all, check out the full festival program. During the festival, the team will also be running a 10 a.m. morning news desk on Instagram Live, where updates, recaps and other information will be provided. 

The festival’s opening night and awards ceremony will be broadcasted on Facebook Live on Oct. 21 and Oct. 25, respectively. Both events will feature special messages from local celebrities and elected officials including Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, Council Member Antonio Reynoso, MOME Commissioner Anne del Castillo and Eric Gertler, President and CEO Designate of Empire State Development. 

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.

“As we have all felt in 2020, there have been massive changes and challenges that seem never-ending,” Kweighbaye Kotee, the founder and director of the festival, wrote in an email newsletter. “From COVID-19 to the loss of Black lives at the hands of police, the passing of our beloved heroes, wildfires, devastation in Beirut — it feels like the lines between reality and the films we watch on screen have become blurry.”

“The butterfly symbolizes the new year for us and for film in more than one way: periods of darkness can lead to brighter outcomes, and perseverance is necessary on the long journey there,” Kotee added. 

Since its birth, 13 years ago, the Bushwick Film Festival has shown the creations of nearly 500 filmmakers from Brooklyn and more than 50 different countries. It prides itself on shining a light on women and diverse filmmakers. Last year, approximately 50 percent of films shown at the Bushwick Film Festival were directed by a female or person of color. 

“After 13 years, I still get so excited when the festival arrives. Working with my team to present the festival this year despite all the challenges, is a testament to our collective love and commitment to storytelling,” Kotee said in a press release. We have an incredible lineup of films and great conversations in store!”

Tickets are available a la carte and by way of multi-film packages. A single film pass is $7. Bushwick residents can purchase the heavily discounted Bushwick Community Pass for $35. 

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