On Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m., film aficionados will fill the brewery located at 78-01 77th Ave. in Queens to view two screenings by women filmmakers focusing on the immigrant experience in New York.
This will be the fourth screening in the five-part series and will feature “English” and “Zaritsas,” two films that document the experiences of Eastern European female immigrants in New York City. There will also be a conversation with the directors after the screening.
Finback will provide moviegoers with a complimentary selection of their beers and all will be invited to join in on a post-screening reception full of delicious Eastern European cuisine.
The film “English” is written, directed, produced and acted in by Amanda Quaid. The 6-minute film follows an immigrant mother and her son as they go through a normal day. The mother quickly learns that her son is taking to American culture and speaking English more and more. She must decide if she wants catch up with her son, or be left behind him forever.
Quaid is an actor from New York City. “English” is her directorial debut and her stage credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional classical plays.
Directed, co-produced and written by Elena Beloff, “Zaritsas” is a 45-minute documentary about American stereotyping of Russian women as mail-order brides and sex workers. Beloff follows five Russian women for six months, interviewing each in her environment: a rapper in a Sheepshead Bay church; a saleswoman at the La Perla Madison Avenue Boutique; a model at home; a showgirl at a Brighton Beach restaurant and an exotic dancer.
Beloff is a Russian-born American filmmaker, author and trained hypnotist. She came to the United States as an exchange student in 1997 and graduated from New School University with a degree in filmmaking.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley was instrumental in selecting NYWIFT to receive funding for this series through the Cultural Immigrant Initiative. This is the second year Crowley has granted NYWIFT with funding from the Cultural Immigrant Initiative.
“NYWIFT shows immigrant women the unique opportunity of film producing — a lucrative field that is continually growing here in New York City,” Crowley said. “This program allows women to be creative and share their stories with their own voice, and I am very proud to have a hand in this initiative.”