3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival ready for its close-up

Lloyd Kaufman, Pat Kaufman NYS Film Commissioner, Toxie
Photo courtesy of Queens World Film Festival

The 3rd Annual Queens World Film Festival is just around the corner, with organizers and filmmakers from near and far ready to take the stage.

“Brooklyn has an identity, Manhattan has an identity, everyone has an identity, except for Queens,” said festival director Katha Cato who arranges the event along with her husband, Don. “Everybody needs to understand this is a great place to see films and to make films.”

The festival, which brings together international and local filmmakers, will take place from March 5 – March 10 and feature 104 films, with 19 works from Queens. The films include shorts and feature lengths, documentaries, animation, fantasies, LGBT, “regular ol’ boy meets girl,” and many more.

The six day festival begins at 8 p.m. at the Museum of Moving Image in Astoria with a block of seven films and will also honor City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer for his years of service to the borough.

The opening night films include five international, one from Brooklyn and one animation movie called “Planet Utero” from Queens filmmaker Faiyaz Jafri. Along with Jafri, other Queens films include William Cusick’s feature narrative “Welcome to Nowhere” and Flushing native Adrian Manzano’s “BQE.”

The celebration of independent films will continue at venues such as the Jackson Cinema in Elmhurst, The Secret Theatre in Long Island City and the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights.

“It’s all about bringing people together,”said Cato.

The films are divided into different blocks based on subject and will each have a host organizing the night. Guests will also have the opportunity to interact with filmmakers in Q&A sessions afterward.

“You want people to talk, to be engaged in the film. Whether they enjoy them or not,” said

Cato. “We are trying to build community here.”

Also, 50 guests will be able to reserve a package for a “Dinner and a Movie” night on Wednesday, March 6. Hosted at Armondo’s Italian Restaurant in Elmhurst, the $50 price tag includes a cocktail, appetizer, entrée and dessert. Once the film lovers have enjoyed their dinner, they will be able to take a walk down to The Jackson Cinema and enjoy a film block called “Grace Under Fire.”

On the final night of the festival, films will be awarded Crystal Globes and all winning films will be rescreened at The Secret Theatre.

“We really hope that all of New York picks up their ears and listen to what’s happening in Queens,”said Cato.

Tickets for the festival are $10 for regular admission and $6 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at www.queensworldfilmfestival.com. To reserve a package for “Dinner and a Movie,” call Armondo’s at 718-429-8552.