Astoria Film Festival Presents… QUEENS NONPROFITS shows that QUEENS is surviving and thriving as it finds its way forward through COVID

Astoria Film Festival Photo

Astoria Film Festival Presents… QUEENS NONPROFITS is a special series that highlights 7 different Queens Nonprofit organizations including Kaufman Arts District, Queens Economic Development Council, Entrepreneur Space, Queensboro Dance Festival, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Astoria Park Alliance, & Socrates Sculpture Park.

Each episode contains interviews with nonprofit executives, discussing how their organizations began, what they’ve been up to during COVID, and what they have planned next. Executives include Tracy Capune, Seth Bornstein, Keresia Batan, Kathrine Gregory, Sheila Lewandowski, Doug Monaco, Audrey Dimola, and Nina Fiore.

Promotional funding for Astoria Film Festival Presents… QUEENS NONPROFITS is provided by NYC & Company Foundation and the Queensborough President’s Office Department of Cultural Affairs.

Astoria Film Festival Presents is a half hour show that has run weekly on QPTV and on the Astoria Film Festival YouTube Channel. It features the films, filmmakers, and events from the past Astoria Film Festivals, as well as special series about the Queens community.

Astoria Film Festival in Astoria NY, a member of the Kaufman Arts District and of QEDC’s Entrepreneur Space, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that produces an annual Film Festival featuring Short Films, Feature Films, Web Series, and Podcasts from around the world. AFF also curates an annual Youth Film Festival, and an annual Halloween Horror Film Festival. The festival events take place in Kaufman Astoria Studios and at various bars/restaurants around Astoria and LIC, NY.

Astoria Film Festival also has an Education and Outreach division where they teach Filmmaking Workshops to ages 8-18 in schools and after school programs and lead youth through the production of class films. In addition, Astoria Film Festival runs a Film Fellows Program, where HS and College students around NYC who are interested in film/tv/digital media careers, work together with the Executive Director on real-world media projects. The goal of the program is to give these students work experience, enhance their producing and editing skills, and connect them with industry professionals who serve as mentors for the youth.

The Film Fellows and our ED Nina Fiore discussed what they could do to document life in Queens during Covid.  They began creating a collective Covid Documentary and they decided to also create video interviews with local nonprofits to help promote awareness of various nonprofit organizations around the borough and show how they’ve been coping with COVID changes. Nina Fiore had been working with Entrepreneur Space’s Managing Consultant Kathrine Gregory since the beginning of Covid Lockdown to pick up any unused food from the Industrial Kitchens and distribute them to local pantries and community fridges. They discussed the nonprofit series idea, Kathrine mentioned that there was a promotional grant available via NYC & Company Foundation and the Queensborough President’s Office, Nina applied, received the grant, and the Fellows began work on the series.

The series premieres new episodes weekly in April on QPTV and all episodes are available as of April 1 on the Astoria Film Festival YouTube Channel. The series features the creativity, resiliency, and communal nature of nonprofit organizations around Queens during COVID.