Popular film festival moves from Kew Gardens to Forest Hills

Kew Gardens Festival is rebranding itself as FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC.
Courtesy of Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
By Naeisha Rose

With a new move to Forest Hills, the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema has dropped the neighborhood name and rebranded itself as the FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC, according to a spokesman for the organization.

Before its third annual event takes place from Aug. 2 to Aug. 11 in 2019, the FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC announced Tuesday that it’s new home will be Regal UA Midway, a movie theater with stadium-style seating located at 108-22 Queens Blvd., according to the spokesman.

In the competitive independent film festival’s two years of existence, FilmFreeway, a platform for film festival submissions, has ranked FESTIVAL OF CINEMA as one of the “Top 100 Best Reviewed Festivals,” according to comments from users of the website. Out of 6,000 similar festivals and creative contests, FOC NYC ranked in the top two percent on the site.

The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Time Out New York, have also praised FESTIVAL OF CINEMA NYC for its ability to spotlight independent filmmakers, according to the organization.

To support grassroots filmmakers, FESTIVAL OF CINEMA tries to expose them to as many news outlets as possible by providing them promotional opportunities, festival podcasts and red carpet interviews. The organization tries to place the filmmakers on independent film industry panels as well.

The festival is sponsored by the Queens Museum, located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and Regal Entertainment Group, the second largest theater chain in the United States.

Filmmakers and guests of the next festival will also be able to go to Queens Museum to take advantage of free programming, industry panels, workshops and additional screenings at the visual arts museum, according to FESTIVAL OF CINEMA.

Films at Regal UA for the festival will be on screens that have state of the art sound and projection systems.

The other local and international sponsors of the festival include the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, SAG-AFTRA, Moviemaker Magazine, Variety 411, Final Draft, and Simple DCP, among others.

The festival accepts films of all lengths, genres and subjects and hands out awards in more than 15 categories. Winners can walk away with a custom statuette as well as more than $15,000 in prizes from sponsors, according to the organization.

Every filmmaker who submits their work will automatically receive a one-year subscription to Videomaker Magazine, a leading service that focuses on guiding independent filmmakers with online tutorials and publications, according to the organization. They will also get Full Access film badges allowing entry to all screenings and networking events during the festival, and the latest edition of either the New York or Los Angeles Variety 411.

Filmmakers and guests alike will also enjoy other events such as karaoke, trivia, comedy, billiards and after parties taking place near Forest Hills hosted by the sponsors of the event, according to the organization.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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