BROOKLYN — The 17th Annual Brooklyn Film Festival kicks off in Williamsburg this Friday with 107 official selections from 34 countries across six genres.
New to this year’s event is a Short Documentary category, whose addition allows shorter documentaries to be evaluated independently from feature length documentary films, said Executive Director Marco Ursino.
The festival regularly draws global interest and this year attracted more than 2,000 submissions from 114 countries, more than 100 of which will compete for 26 awards including Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Producer, Best Director, Best Score, Best Editing and more.
Selections hail from Brooklyn and beyond with films from Afghanistan, Madagascar and Senegal, and they will each be screened twice over 10 days across three Williamsburg venues including indieScreen, the Wythe Hotel and Windmill Studios.
“We were real pioneers of Williamsburg when we started the festival back in ’98," Ursino said. "We believed in Brooklyn and in return the neighborhood was very generous to us."
The festival’s aim is twofold — to identify and promote new talent and to support Brooklyn and New York-based filmmaking.
“And this year we have some great stories about Brooklyn itself,” said Nathan Kensinger, the festival’s director of programming.
Films in this year’s lineup with Brooklyn roots include "Born To Fly", a feature length documentary about the wildly extreme, Williamsburg-based action architect/ dance choreographer Elizabeth Streb, and "Third Shift," a short documentary about former Domino Sugar Refinery workers, which will be screened across from the now derelict factory in a building that used to be part of the sugar refinery complex.
In addition to directorial debuts, the festival will also have Brooklyn-based veterans including David Beilinson and Michael Galinsky, the award wining directors of this year’s festival entry "Who Took Johnny."
“Brooklyn is a hot-bed for culture and the arts now and a lot of great filmmakers live and work in Brooklyn," Beilinson said. "Having a strong film festival is paramount, and we’re in good company.”
The festival will run from May 30 through June 8. Single program tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for students, senior citizens. Full Festival passes are $100 and 4 Pack Passes are $30. For more information visit this site.