It’s that time of the year again.
March 15 marked the start of the 8th Annual Queens World Film Festival. The event, which first came to Queens in 2011, has become a staple of the borough, and a way to shine a light on locally and globally sourced independent films.
The program, which runs for 11 days until Sunday, March 25, brings some of the best talent from around the world to Queens to showcase their work, in addition to talent that’s already in the borough.
There were 611 films submitted from 48 nations this year. Out of the 189 films selected to be screened at this year’s festival, 31 of the entries are from Queens.
One of the short films featured in the festival, “Rudy’s Hobby Shop,” gives viewers an up-close look at one of Astoria’s most beloved businesses, Rudy’s Hobby & Art.
Films, even short films, can help bring people and places to life, which is something we should cherish here in the World’s Borough, where there are so many interesting stories waiting to be shared.
The festival does not discriminate — people of various ages and backgrounds have entries this year. There’s even a Kids Corner, which features films made by children ages 14 and under.
One of the best features of this year’s festival is the diversity of its filmmakers. Out of the 189 films, 65 come from female filmmakers.
Perhaps an event like this can help tip the scales in Hollywood, where women are fighting for respect in the movie industry.
The festival was created by Jackson Heights husband-and-wife team Katha and Don Cato with the goal of bringing people together and providing opportunities for independent filmmakers.
But the festival is just one part of what the Catos created. The QWFF helps filmmakers year round and also hosts interns from Queens College, LaGuardia Community College, the Renaissance Charter School and the Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts.
It’s not always easy to unite people of many backgrounds, but with the Queens World Film Festival, there’s a place for participants to set aside their differences and join forces to salute the work of a talented collection of filmmakers from across the globe.
An event like this should be celebrated and it’s great to see the continued success of the festival in our borough.