The Reeler
FESTIVAL CALENDAR

JUNE

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

JULY

--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

AUGUST

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

SEPTEMBER

--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

OCTOBER

--Cinekink
--CMJ FilmFest
--DocFest
--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

NOVEMBER

--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

JANUARY

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

FEBRUARY

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

MARCH

--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

APRIL

--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

MAY

--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
--NewFilmmakers

NYC Film Festivals

The Queens Scene

Only four years old but already sporting grown-ups' clothes, the 2006 Queens International Film Festival launches today with mandate to create a world-class international showcase for underexposed voices and local cinematic talent. Forty percent of the films being featured at QIFF were either produced by New York natives or filmed at New York locations, said festival founder and director Marie Castaldo, and this year's event has expanded its menu to include over 200 international and national films.


The understudies of Debra Eisenstadt's The Limbo Room, screening this week at the Queens International Film Festival

Additionally, Castaldo told The Reeler that this year's diverse festival emphases will be on women, films from emerging foreign countries and hip-hop music. "Music and films go together, and hip-hop has been influencing music and films," said Castaldo, who also programmed a music video category this year for the first time. "We wanted to add something that would be fun and see where it takes us."

Women's issues are highlighted in a variety of films, including the documentary The Shape of Water. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, it focuses on courageous women throughout the world who are struggling to make positive political or cultural changes. Two entries that skillfully and intelligently tackle the delicate subject of rape are Debra Eisenstadt's feature The Limbo Room and Rape, a documentary short directed by Michael Savage. Filmed in a mere nine days and inspired by many of Eisenstadt's real life experiences as an understudy, The Limbo Room examines the stalled career and long-term love relationship of aging actress Ann Joseph (Andrea Powell) projected against the backdrop of an Off-Broadway theater production's thorny sexual and political undercurrents. But while The Limbo Room is ultimately fiction, Rape unfolds over nine very real, intense minutes. Savage's spur-of-the-moment filming of Justine Elise Flores' recital of her poem "It Can Be Anyone" -- written about an acquaintance rape she'd experienced several years before -- exemplifies the groundbreaking films that are being featured this year. "I was ready to share," Flores said about allowing Savage to film her spontaneous poetry reading -- her first from memory. "I was able to let go of that piece of paper."

Perhaps QIFF's quirkiest cinematic gem is David Patton's Rhapsody in Red, a sick and twisted stroll through the dark valley of demented romance. Featuring love-scarred Babette (Caitlin Berry) as the unlikely wife of convicted serial killer Darryl Jacobi (Travis Boswell), Rhapsody in Red may be pure fiction, but Patton said his source of inspiration was the "stranger than fiction" world of reality. "What inspired this film were the true stories of women who write to, fall in love with, and marry men in prison," he said. "Go to the Internet and Google 'prison want-ads,' and you'll see that we could have gone even further in the film. But people wouldn't believe us."

In addition to screenings of shorts, features, documentaries, animated films and music videos, QIFF will be offering a retrospective of Oscar-winning Greek filmmaker Costa Gavras, a Women in Film panel discussion, a NYC-themed film competition and networking opportunities for filmmakers. -- Rachelle Nones

The Queens International Film Festival runs Nov. 15 - Nov. 19 at eight venues in Queens. For additional information, including ticket sales and a full schedule of the festival's screenings and special events, visit the QIFF Web site.

Posted at November 15, 2006 1:11 PM

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