Queens World Film Festival to honor Elmhurst Hospital ‘heroes’

The Elmhurst Hospital staff will be honored by the Queens World Film Festival for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

As it gears up for its 11th annual run beginning in June, the Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) will celebrate the first responders and staff of Elmhurst Hospital for their heroic actions amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As of last month, more than 54,000 patients have been discharged, 3.8 million COVID-19 tests have been administered, and 260,000 vaccinations have been administered at Elmhurst Hospital which became known nationally just over a year ago as the “epicenter of the epicenter.”

As part of the recognition, on Monday, May 10, at 10:30 a.m., the festival will provide all 6,000 hospital staff members with a full festival all-access pass for the upcoming spring festival. Each pass purchased for an “Elmhurst Hospital Hero” will provide the staff member an opportunity to enjoy unlimited viewings of 196 independent films for the entire duration of the festival.

QWFF executive director Katha Cato said this is their way of providing the heroes of Elmhurst with a bit of a break, an opportunity to experience the world of independent cinema without leaving their homes. She added that the festival is all about hope, by featuring work from maverick filmmakers of all orientations, ethnicities, countries and cultures.

“Queens World Film Festival is making sure creative expression and a passion for truth is alive and well in Queens,” Cato said. “This is a tough time on us and for our planet. Now is the time to hold up a mirror to show us who we are, and what we have done, and who we can be.”

Community members can purchase a $10 full festival pass for an Elmhurst Hospital Hero here.

The 11th annual QWFF will feature 196 films from 33 nations over 11 days, from June 23 to July 3.

Throughout the year, QWFF will also curate an ongoing lunchtime screening called “Movies on the Menu” to be televised internally within Elmhurst Hospital. In addition to the annual festival, QWFF includes year-round screening opportunities for QWFF alumni, special events to bring the indie film community together, industry networking events, and an educational initiative for youth and seniors.