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New Film Festival Wants to Bring Sundance Experience to Kew Gardens

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | December 6, 2016 2:33pm | Updated on December 7, 2016 2:48pm
 Kew Gardens Cinemas will host its first film festival next summer.
Kew Gardens Cinemas will host its first film festival next summer.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

Kew Gardens will soon also host its first film festival.

The inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema will take place Aug. 4 to 13 next year, with  screenings hosted at the historic Kew Gardens Cinemas at 8105 Lefferts Blvd., the organizers said.

The goal of the festival, they said, is to “spread awareness of cinematic creativity throughout Kew Gardens and its vibrant and culturally diverse neighboring communities including Forest Hills, Rego Park, Woodhaven and Glendale.”

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who was recently honored with a mural in Kew Gardens Cinemas Park, grew up the neighborhood. The area has also been featured in several film productions and TV shows, including “Blue Bloods,” “The Get Down,” and “Orange is the New Black,” the organizers said.

TV and film production company Broadway Stages also built several film studios in nearby Glendale.

"I founded the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema mainly because I felt Queens, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Glendale and Woodhaven specifically, has had a major presence on film and T.V. in recent years yet no one knows who or where these neighborhoods are,” said Jayson Simba, who is also the executive director of the festival.

The festival will run for 10 days and consist of approximately 100 short- and feature-length films from all genres, including documentary, horror, comedy, animation and experimental, the organizers said.

“We aspire to draw not only artists and filmmakers from around New York City, but from all over the world,” Simba said.

The festival will also include Q&As with filmmakers after each screening as well as panels featuring independent producers, casting directors and distributors who will discuss various issues pertaining to the film business. 

Winners will each receive a statuette at the Grand Awards Gala on the final night of the festival which will be held at the Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, according to the organizers.

“We are giving the residents of Kew Gardens and its surrounding neighborhoods the opportunity to experience Hollywood in their own backyard," Simba said. 

For more information and to submit entries, go here