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
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--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 Weirdo Factor'

Symphony Space hosts a marathon of screenings Saturday dedicated to Tim Burton, whose Gothic vision and cryptic imagery have inspired countless filmmakers and filmgoers worldwide. The program includes the director's recent stop-motion animation, The Corpse Bride, his Bicycle Thief-influenced feature debut Pee Wee's Big Adventure, the comic biopic Ed Wood and Burton's masterpiece, Edward Scissorhands, reminding Hallowen-ready audiences all over again that a man with metal hands isn't half as frightening as Avon ladies and animal topiaries.

Caroline Rieders and Drew Tessier, the festival's co-producers, first conceived the series to provide viewers a chance to see his work in a theater. "Burton's films are really best seen on the big screen, and the scope of the worlds he creates are best inhabited in a grand manner," Rieders told The Reeler. Yet she added that there's more to celebrate than just Burton's tendency toward visual surrealism and macabre subject matter. "We chose Pee Wee because, like Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands and Victor [from Corpse Bride], he is a loner type, not the typical 'hero' by any stretch, something I think that Burton really excels at with his films -- making the underdog the guy you want to succeed," she said.

In addition to the Burton features, Symphony Space will also be screening the finalists for the New York Short Film Festival for the Strange and Unusual. "With each film, we will be showing one or two shorts that are deliciously oddball, silly, strange and unusual," Rieders said. "We have some animation, some experimental, some downright funny." The winning filmmaker will receive a year-long pass to all of the Thalia's screenings, and, perhaps most importantly, big-screen exposure to Burton fans.

With his next film -- the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's bloody musical Sweeney Todd -- still in the early stages of pre-production, the series also serves to hold over audiences anticipating Burton's return. Meanwhile, Rieders said she expects the screenings to "spark a rediscovery of Tim Burton's genius," with viewers leaving the festival haunted by the images and ideas of his groundbreaking work.

"Tim Burton has a weirdo factor that no one can deny nor has really duplicated," she said. "He's not afraid to let his freak flag fly, and I think this is something that should be celebrated." -- Jessica Freeman-Slade

The Tim Burton Film Festival runs Oct. 21 at Symphony Space; tickets are available at the venue's Web site.

Posted at October 20, 2006 11:43 AM

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