The Reeler


--Brooklyn International Film Festival
--Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
--Media That Matters Festival
--NewFest LGBT Film Festival
--Rooftop Films
--Swiss American Film Festival


--Japan Cuts: Festival of New Japanese Films
--NY African Film Festival
--NY Asian Film Festival
--NY Asian American Film Festival
--NY International Latino Film Festival
--Reel Venus Film Festival
--Rooftop Films
--Rural Route Film Festival
--Scanners: The NY Video Festival


--ACE Film Festival
--Central Park Film Festival
--LaCinemaFe Film Festival
--NY Korean Film Festival
--Rooftop Films


--Coney Island Film Festival
--Impact Festival
--IFP Market/Independent Film Week
--NY Brazilian Film Festival
--NYC Midnight Movie Making Madness
--Next Reel International Film Festival


--CMJ FilmFest
--E.Vil City Film Festival
--Fordham Law Film Festival
--Hamptons International Film Festival
--Harlem International Film Festival
--NY Film Festival
--NY Bad Films Festival
--NYC Horror Film Festival
--NY Turkish Film Festival
--Pordenone Silent Film Festival Weekend at BAM
--Russian Film Week
--South Asian International Film Festival
--Woodstock Film Festival


--African Diaspora Film Festival
--Avignon New York Film Festival
--Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival
-- International Dog Film Festival
--Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
--Native American Film + Video Festival
--NY International Independent Film and Video Festival
--NY Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival
--Queens International Film Festival


--Explorers Club Documentary Film Festival
--NY Jewish Film Festival


--NY Arab and South Asian Film Festival
--Red Shift Festival
--SinCine Fest


--Craic Film Fleadh
--Fusion Film Festival
--Harlem Stage on Screen
--Independent Thai Film Festival
--New Directors/New Films
--NY International Children's Film Festival
--NY Underground Film Festival
--Westchester Film Festival


--Brooklyn Underground Film Festival
--Gen Art Film Festival
--Havana Film Festival in NY
--NY African Film Festival
--Sprout Film Festival
--Tribeca Film Festival
--Urban Visionaries Film Festival


--Bicycle Film Festival
--Bosnian-Herzegovinian Film Festival
--NY International Children's Film Festival
--NY Minute Film Festival
--NY Polish Film Festival
--Pacifika: NY Hawaiian Film Festival
--Sundance at BAM
--Be Film / Tribeca Underground Film Festival

ONGOING --Animation Block
--Asbury Shorts of New York
--Caroline's Funny Film Shorts
--First Sundays Comedy Film Festival

NYC Film Festivals

Media That Matters Fest Has Issues

Filmmakers on the set of Rapping at Fear, one of the 16 films featured in this year's Media That Matters Festival (Photo: Arts Engine)

By Chris Willard

While their running times may be limited, the 16 short films that make up the seventh annual Media That Matters Festival are hardly lacking in social relevance. The festival was designed in 2001 as an online event aiming to garner attention for emerging filmmakers and to bring awareness of current social issues to audiences around the country. The subjects of this year’s films range from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to gang violence in Colombia to advances in space warfare. To program the festival, a jury comprising educators, film journalists and filmmakers filters through more than 500 submissions each year.

“Our general interest is eclecticism and promoting voices not generally heard," said Enrico Cullen, director of development and external affairs for Arts Engine, the production company that oversees the festival. "It’s not a documentary film festival; it’s really a social issue film festival. At the very least we’re hoping that one or more of the 16 films will attract attention and provide a context for (viewers) to consider an issue in a critical fashion and to take action on it in some form, either by telling friends about the films or helping organizations in their communities focusing on the issue at hand.”

Media That Matters originated as an online-only fest, but it expanded during its third year when the selected films were released on DVD and VHS. “We quickly realized people really want their media the way they want it,” Cullen said. The fest soon became available on the big screen through a series of traveling shows throughout the country. “The multi-platform approach really made a lot of sense for us, and it just developed out of demand from the audience.”

The Media That Matters Festival premieres tonight at IFC Center, where the 16 featured filmmakers will be present for the sold-out show and a post-screening Q&A. The films will also be screened Saturday at the Queens Museum of Art. To view the films online (and for more program and ticketing information), visit the Media That Matters Fest’s Web site.

Posted at May 30, 2007 11:23 AM

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