It’s in Queens
#PickoftheWeek | Festival of Cinema NYC screens films for 10 days
Are you ready to watch 12 movies a day?
The Festival of Cinema NYC will screen more than 120 films at the Regal UA Midway in Forest Hills between Aug. 2 and Aug. 11.
Now in its third year, the extravaganza’s lineup includes narratives, documentaries, shorts, experimental, animation, web series, and music videos from 40 countries. Most of the directors will attend their showings and participate in Q&A sessions with the audiences.
If that’s not enough, Midway, which is located at 108-22 Queens Blvd., has new recliner seats and state-of-the-art-projection and sound equipment.
There’s popcorn, too.
The movies — action, adventure, comedy, crime, foreign, horror, romance, etc. — are organized into thematic blocks. (Click here for the schedule.)
As part of the fun, Forest Hills Library, which is at 108-19 71st Ave., will host free screenings, presentations, and workshops every afternoon for five days. Plus, Queens Museum will show a selection of seminal video work culled from ArteEast’s archives on Aug. 4 at 1 pm and a special presentation by the Asian American Film Lab on Aug. 10 at 1 pm.
The festival kicks off with the East Coast Premiere of Camilo Vila’s “5th of July” on Aug. 2 at 7 pm. Starring Jaleel White, who played the lovable nerd Steve Urkle in the 1990s sitcom “Family Matters,” this blockbuster debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. The action ends with an Awards Ceremony at Queens Brewery in Ridgewood on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 6 pm. There are many special events in between.
A primer on the selected films follows.
5th of July
Director Camilo Vila, USA, 100 minutes, East Coast Premiere
While spreading his father’s ashes on a mountain lake, Orlando Leal (Jaleel White) utters a curse. From that moment onward, the universe turns on him.
Director Jonathan Smith, USA, 81 minutes, New York Premiere
Just before her April Fools’ Day wedding, a bride pranks her fiancé by saying that she thinks that they’ve lost that spark and they should call off the wedding and break up, only to discover that he feels the exact same way.
Director Heath Davis, Australia, 102 minutes, East Coast Premiere
A jaded high school English teacher is forced to re-evaluate his life when his novel is passed over for one by a student.
Down There in Heaven
Director Felix Schaefer, Germany, 82 minutes
Six men unsuspectingly follow an invitation to a party. Through a written message, they learn that they are part of a therapeutic intervention and have to perform tasks to have a chance to regain their freedom.
Director Walter Becker, Argentina, 78 minutes, East Coast Premiere
An unexpected event in Pablo’s life unleashes a series of events that leads him to unearth the father’s writings and connects him with an unknown reality.
Directors Harriet Maria Meining and Peter Meining, Germany, 43 minutes, East Coast Premiere
The film describes the romantic beginnings of a post-human era. Falter works in a laboratory on the production of artificial humans. To give his monotonous life divided between work, sport and sex a new meaning, Falter decides to share it with an android.
Ghost in the Graveyard
Director Charlie Comparetto, USA, 93 minutes, Queens Premiere
A small town comes under the thumb of Martha, a ghost who returns to haunt the children who witnessed her death during a game of Ghost in the Graveyard as young children.
Director Nacho Sesma, Argentina, 78 minutes, New York Premiere
Leo is a literature professor who is at the end of a long time relationship. As he struggles with economic problems and depression, he enters a big transition in his life between drugs and a particular affair with one of his students.
Director Julius Telmer, Australia, 74 minutes, East Coast Premiere
A dark shadow unsettles the town of Greenfield after a man’s secret is revealed.
Director Steffen Hacker, Germany, 88 minutes, New York Premiere
As Felicita’s life is turned upside down, she doesn’t know if her nightmares are taking over or if something bigger is trying to control her and the only way to find out the truth is her best friend Natascha, who is locked up in an asylum.
Director Heath Davis, Australia, 86 minutes, New York Premiere
A tech entrepreneur returns to his post mining-boom desert hometown for his father’s funeral where he’s reluctantly reunited with his ex-con brother, but soon finds himself entangled in an extortion scam at the hands of a band of desperate small town thugs.
My Soul to Keep
Director Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, USA, 91 minutes, New York Premiere
Like many young kids, Eli Braverman believes something menacing lives in his basement. When his older sister leaves him home alone one night, Eli discovers if this evil is real or all in his head.
Sin Novedad (No News)
Director Miguel Berzal de Miguel, Spain, 70 minutes, Queens Premiere
Lola lives alone with her son, Jorge, near an industrial estate in Madrid. One night, Jorge confesses to his mother that he has begun to keep in touch with his father, Marcos, who abandoned them a long time ago.
Ovid and the Art of Love
Director Esmé von Hoffman, USA, 115 minutes, World Premiere
A young man finds his life in danger when he writes a provocative guide to love and tangles with the brutal emperor. Based on the life of the famed Roman poet Ovid, this classic story gets a modern twist set in a mash-up world in contemporary Detroit.
Director Kate McLane, USA, 90 minutes
This darkly comedic family drama takes place over one dinner. Secrets are revealed and old conflicts re-emerge.
Director Santiago Rizzo, USA, 81 minutes, New York Premiere
Mills is a middle schooler addicted to graffiti tagging. His home life is mess with an abusive dad until a sympathetic teacher and champion of at-risk kids enters his life.
Director Riccardo Salvetti, Italy, 90 minutes, Queens Premiere
Close your eyes and try to imagine. A man, a woman and their families. The fastest and most systematic genocide in history. He is Hutu, she is Tutsi. He must kill. She must die. A fate similar to many others in that bloody spring. But this time there is a slight difference. When you open your eyes, you will be in their shoes and now the choice is yours. And yours alone.
Director Dong Hwan Yi, South Korea, 93 minutes, North American Premiere
A comical story of a swindler disguised as a priest who can be exorcised.
Director Christopher Soren Kelly, USA, 99 minutes, East Coast Premiere
In the near future, the Tangle connects the world. A secret government agency watches over the Tangle from within tech safe rooms, locations impermeable to the nanobots.
This is Not a Love Story
Director Sidi Saleh, Indonesia, 87 minutes, World Premiere
Marlina, a paralyzed girl is found in a garbage truck by Jaya, a street vendor in Jakarta, and rescued. Jaya and his friend, Cak Nur want to use this opportunity to get rich.
Baba Babee Skazala: Grandmother Told Grandmother
Director Matej B. Silecky, USA, 69 minutes, New York Premiere
The little-known story of Ukrainian children torn from their homes in the crush between the Nazi and Soviet fronts in World War II. Spending their childhood as refugees in Europe, these inspiring individuals later immigrated to the United States, creating new homes and communities through their grit, faith, and deep belief in the importance of preserving culture.
Directors Rose Rosenblatt and Marion Lipschutz, USA, 77 minutes, Queens Premiere
From the moment Bei Bei Shuai steps out of jail on the arm of her lawyer, Linda Pence, their lives are consumed by an impending murder trial. If they lose, Bei Bei will go to jail for 45 years to life, setting a precedent that will affect all pregnant women.
Born as a Girl
Director Marek Klosowicz, Poland and Colombia, 62 minutes
Pregnant girls at age 13 and grandmothers at age 26 are normal in Colombian slums. In the poorest social class, violence against women is especially striking. Rape, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking of minors happen every day.
Director Jared Brock and Michelle Brock, Canada, 74 minutes, Queens Premiere
A clear-eyed examination of modern pornography and its effects on kids, teens, parents, and porn stars.
Director Mark Saxenmeyer, USA, 99 minutes, New York Premiere
Part “Paris is Burning” and “Pose, part “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and part Miss America, The Queens explores the transgender subculture of competitive female impersonation.
Directors Molly Dworsky and Dave Newberg, USA, 90 minutes, World Premiere
An aging chef from Minnesota has his life turned upside down when a relentless filmmaker from Las Vegas tries to make the chefs onion rings world famous.
We Were All Nobody’s
Director Charles Caracciolo, USA, 70 minutes
Times change. Buildings come and go. But there are some places that become a part of us, places that can never be torn down. This documentary honors one of those places, a Queens rock club.
The following are films and presentations that will be free and open to the public.
Monuments & Flowers (at the Queens Museum)
A selection of seminal video work culled from the archives of ArteEast with the work of contemporary voices. Curated by Regine Basha.
Race, Sex and Hold the Mayo (at the Queens Museum)
A special presentation by the Asian American Film Lab.
Surviving Birkenau – The Dr. Susan Spatz Story. 70 minutes, followed by a moderated Q&A with director Ron Small and distributor Dan Gurlitz (at the Forest Hills Library).
Carnaval de Cuba. 58 minutes, followed by a moderated Q&A with director Roberto Monticello (at the Forest Hills Library).
A Happy Woman, Spain
An Aspirational Space, USA
And Again, Her, Australia
Apologies To Mr. Battenkill, USA
Best Wishes, USA
Claire Means Well, USA
Coffee and a Donut, USA
Con Spirito, USA
Crab Special, USA
Disappearing NYC: Three Stories, USA
Dolls Don’t Die, Canada
Early Retirement, USA
Easy Money, USA
Every Nine Hours, USA
Final Act – Ultimo Acto, Portugal
Final Callback, USA
Fish Out of Water, USA
Full Moon and High Tide in the Ladies Room, USA
God of Insects, Canada
I Speak for the Trees, USA
I Will Not Write Unless I Am Swaddled In Furs, New Zealand
It’s Time for Tea, USA
Landscape, USA/Czech Republic
Midnight Talk, Australia/France
Mosul 980, Iraq
Nora Ephron Goes To Prison, USA
One More Shutter, USA
Over the Threshold, USA
Private Barry, USA
Roadside Assistance, USA
Run the Meter, USA
Secret Chord, Sweden
Shadow Puppet, USA
Some of Her Parts, USA
Songbird, United Kingdom
The Adulterer, USA
The Parker, USA
The Right Night, France
The Song of Her, USA
The Waiting Room, USA
Time Machinery, Switzerland
To Be Forgotten, USA
Bobo Touch Helpline – The Kisser, USA
Geek Lounge-Going Solo, USA
Killing Tigers, USA
Tom & The Domme, USA
Unique New York with Nathan Kaufman, USA
Animation, Experimental, Music Videos
#Taplife – Eyes, USA
Be Your Own Kind, Canada
Cupid is Not a Terrorist, Switzerland
Dialectic Diary, Germany
Issa Vibe, Switzerland
Italy & (This Is) Water, Austria
Jo é Pu, Argentina
Of Punishment and Other Demons, Italy
Red Dress. No Straps., United Kingdom
Red Hands, Italy
ROCKS! The Musical, USA
Run in Circles, Switzerland
The Journey, USA
Unskin, United Kingdom
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