For the second year in a row, a film festival in Sunnyside will showcase shorts from local and international filmmakers alike.
The Boulevard Film Festival was created by Sunnyside filmmakers and artists who felt that the closing of Sunnyside Center Cinemas in 2014 was a huge loss for the community. Co-founders Amanda Barker-Carlson and Matthew Carlson aimed to to create an alternative space for the neighborhood to watch films.
“There was a very positive response from filmmakers and the audience [last year],” Barker-Carlson. “Momentum built throughout the main day last year and the midnight screening sold out and became standing room only. It was a lot of fun for everyone.”
A total of 31 films will be screened this weekend and each day is organized by theme. Though last year’s festival focused on Queens artists, the organizers decided to expand their search to include international filmmakers and received more than 800 submissions.
“This year we have more films and have also included some international submissions along with the local filmmakers,” Barker-Carlson said. “We feel that the international films we selected can really speak to the Queens audience. For example, we are really excited to present an all Spanish-language screening at the Thalia Spanish Theatre on Friday night.”
On July 20, The Flushing Remonstrance — a musical duo that scores films — will provide live accompaniment for several films at Maggie Mae’s starting at 8 p.m.
On July 21, “Cine En Español” will take place at the Thalia Spanish Theatre, where seven shorts from filmmakers from Queens, Argentina, Spain and Chile will be screened starting at 7:30 p.m.
The festival is catering to night owls by hosting a “Midnight Madness” screening at midnight to kick off the slate of screenings taking place on July 22. Shorts during this block will be a “mad mix of comedy, animation, sci-fi, horror and music videos.”
Three Queens filmmakers will be highlighted in the “Queens Selects” block on July 22 at Thalia Spanish Theatre at noon. Daniella Turano’s “Taking in Quinn,” a story about two estranged sisters reconnecting will be screened along with “Choices” by Rick Hamilton. “Impervia” by Patrick Devaney follows a family under the rule of humanoid robots.
Also on Saturday, a handful of shorts highlighting cultural and social issues ranging from mental health to transgender equality will be shown at Bar 43 starting at 5:30 p.m. Films include “Buddha of Superposition” by UK-based filmmaker Alexis Kirke, “The Still Life” by Queens-based Yun Xie and “That’s My Boy” by India-based filmmaker Akhil Sathyan.
The festival will end with the Audience Choice Awards on July 23 at noon where filmmakers from each block will be honored. The ceremony is open to the public and will take place at Thalia Spanish Theatre.
“We want this event to continue to be a positive and fun thing for local filmmakers and our community as a whole,” Barker-Carlson said.
For a full list of screenings and to purchase tickets, visit the Boulevard Film Festival website.