A little bit of Hollywood is headed for Astoria as the Queens World Film Festival returns in late March.
This year’s festival — the ninth annual — takes place from March 21 to 31 and will screen over 200 films from 31 countries, including 16 that are world premieres. Artistic director Don Cato highlights issues of inclusion and local flavor in this year’s lineup.
“There are films from four of our great boroughs and a groundbreaking 79 films by women,” he said. “We are also screening 14 LGBTQ-themed films and 15 films by Asian filmmakers and six films by kids, for kids — we literally have something for everyone.”
The lineup will be officially presented Monday, March 4, at the Museum of the Moving Image with a gala event featuring a sizzle reel showcasing highlights of this year’s slate and introductions of special guests. The festival will also debut its revamped new digital app, where our audiences can interact with filmmakers, festival personnel and sponsors.
Opening night is Thursday, March 21, also at the Museum of the Moving Image. The program will be a collection of seven short films under the title “Worldly Vision.” They include “Marguerite,” which was nominated at this year’s Academy Awards for Best Live Action Short.
While every night features something special, the standouts are often the “Spirit of Queens” honorees. Nancy Kelly and her partner Kenji Yamamoto will be celebrated for their 1991 film “Thousand Pieces of Gold” on Tuesday, March 26. The film, which stars Chris Cooper among others, will be presented in a restored 4K format.
Former Chief Curator at MoMI David Schwartz will also be feted during the festival and will screen the 1992 Sundance winner “In the Soup” at the museum on Thursday, March 28, to help celebrate. Post-screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmaker Alexandre Rockwell.
The festival closes on March 31, with the annual “Best of” Awards. They’ll be presented in categories including Best Feature, Best Director and honorable mentions.
Tickets are now on sale for all films at both the Museum of the Moving Image and the Zukor Theatre, as well as the festival’s website.