LONG ISLAND CITY — The city's most diverse borough will be home to more than 100 movies from filmmakers around the globe this week as the Queens World Film Festival returns for its fifth year.
The festival, which takes place at venues in Long Island City and Jackson Heights, aims to be a more inclusive alternative than mainstream ones, and this year's line up will feature 117 films from 30 different countries.
The roster also includes 19 films by Queens filmmakers, as well as 32 directed by women, according to organizers.
"It's just so important for this festival to remain inclusive," said Katha Cato, who runs the annual event with her husband, Don Cato.
"No matter where you are in the world, if you bring it to Queens, there's an audience here for your film in the language you shot it [in]," she said. "It's important for us to represent that."
The festival will kick off March 17 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria with an opening night fundraiser to benefit its Young Filmmakers Program, which helps students in Queens schools make their own short films.
Events will continue through March 22 at three venues: the Museum of the Moving Image, The Secret Theatre and P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights.
On Wednesday, the Museum of the Moving Image will screen "Azucar Amarga (Bitter Sugar)" by Cuban director Leon Ichaso, who is also being honored at the festival with this year's "Spirit of Queens" award.
On March 21, the festival will show "Dukhtar" by Pakistani filmmaker Afia Nathaniel, which tells the story of a mother in Pakistan who runs away with her young daughter to prevent her from being married off to an older man.
The festival will also showcase the work of more than a dozen Queens filmmakers.
Among them is "Eulogy," a short film from Astoria writer and director Don Capria about a man who returns to his home in the Bronx during a furlough from prison to deliver a eulogy at the wake of his brother, whose crime he's serving time for.
The cast includes actor Federico Castelluccio, who starred in "The Sopranos." It will screen Friday, March 20 at The Secret Theatre.
"This independent film community is making fabulous work," Cato said.