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Upper West Side's Manhattan Film Festival Kicks Off This Week

Upper West Siders get their own film festival this week when Symphony Space hosts the Manhattan Film Festival from Wednesday through Sunday.
Upper West Siders get their own film festival this week when Symphony Space hosts the Manhattan Film Festival from Wednesday through Sunday.
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Flickr/Karen Given

By Leslie Albrecht

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — Movie lovers on the Upper West Side won't have to venture far from home to see new independent films this week.

The Manhattan Film Festival, which kicks off Wednesday and runs through Sunday, will screen dozens of movies at Symphony Space on Broadway and West 95th Street. Some screenings will be held at Village Pourhouse on Amsterdam Avenue and West 107th Street.

The festival offers a variety of films. The headliner is a full-length comedy called "The Apostles of Park Slope," about a tight-knit Brooklyn community.

The festival also features short films about Brooklyn and New York, comedies, action films and international offerings from a dozen countries. There's documentaries too, including one about Central Park.

Manhattan Film Festival president Philip Nelson said he moved the festival to the Upper West Side in part because the neighborhood is full of
Manhattan Film Festival president Philip Nelson said he moved the festival to the Upper West Side in part because the neighborhood is full of "working artists" who like movies.
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DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht

Tickets are available on the Symphony Space website.

In past years the Manhattan Film Festival held screenings in Tribeca, but festival president Philip Nelson, 32, said he moved the festival to the Upper West Side last year because he knew it would find a ready audience in the neighborhood.

"There's a lot of working artists on the Upper West Side," Nelson said. "We knew we would get more foot traffic."

Nelson, who lives in Brooklyn, said he got to know the Upper West Side and "fell in love with" Symphony Space when he sublet an apartment on West 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue a few years ago.

Festival attendees can get discounts at Upper West Side businesses including Village Pourhouse, Aged restaurant, Cleopatra's Needle, Georgia's Cafe and Bakery and others.