Summer movies in city parks seem like a distant memory, but several new drive-in theaters have made communal viewing possible in the wake of COVID-19. Now, Greenpoint Film Festival is latching onto the drive-in trend for the 9th annual Greenpoint Film Festival, which will screen 35 films between August 1st – 9th.
Films well be shown in the parking lot on Meserole Avenue and Jewel Street, hosted by Broadway Stages, and The Foundry LIC. The eight day event will showcase eight feature films and 27 short films. Special Guest Speakers and socially distant gatherings, which abide by state and city health stipulations, will also take place.
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The line-up includes an opening night screening of the official Chuck Berry documentary Chuck Berry, the world premiere of before/during/after written by and starring Orange is the New Black’s Finnerty Steeves, the NYC isolation thriller Locked Alone, the U.S. premiere of wild grizzlies documentary Bear-like, feature documentary Microplastic Madness that follows Brooklyn kids as they face the global plastic pollution crisis, and short film American Marriage from Academy Award-winning Call Me By Your Name writer James Ivory. The full program is viewable on the Greenpoint Film Festival website, where tickets are also now on sale, starting at $20 per car.
Car ownership, or even a rental, won’t be necessary for those who want to attend the festival. Organizers have arranged for a row of parked, stationary cars to be available for those who need a vehicle seat. A dedicated cleaning crew will be appointed to consistently reset and clean between, before and after each movie screening.
In lieu of a traditional concession stand, Wilson Rivas Catering will provide food trucks. Bathrooms will be located outside the lot with a dedicated cleaning team servicing them regularly. Filmmakers and celebrity guests will be invited to participate in a drive-through green “red” carpet. Frontline workers are also invited to contact the festival organizers for complimentary tickets.
“At a time when people are eager to connect and convene again after months-long social distancing, we’re excited to bring filmmakers and film lovers in Brooklyn together to showcase and celebrate their work in a safe environment and create a safe platform of opportunities,” – Anthony Argento and Ricardo Vilar, Greenpoint Film Festival organizers, said in an email statement. “Despite the circumstances this year has brought us to and against all odds, we are ever so grateful we can still rejoice in the act of storytelling for it is stories that shine the path to hope.”
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Introducing Anthony Argento, the new Director of the Greenpoint Film Festival starting this year, 2020. Anthony Argento has been in the film industry from the age of sixteen, forming part of many production teams which include NBC, Nickelodeon, and Saturday Night Live. While studying and working with young film groups Anthony was also working with Astoria Performance Art Center (APAC) for several years, and received one of their highest awards of being honored in 2018. Anthony studied Technical Design at Pace University, and filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. While attending NYFA studying film-making and working with people from all over the world he identified the high demand to learn film-making production, and decided to open his first company Rollin Studios in 2010. Working with students at first -from most of New York City’s film school programs: NYU, Pace University, Columbia College, The New School – the company soon grew to produce international projects with films like Indiana (using crews from Spain), Kill Me, Heal Me (with crews from Korea). Rollin Studios is now focused on producing Narrative, feature length films; some additions to the long roster include Indiana, Cortex, Silent Note, Angel Fish, and Lost in Russia. The company will continue to produce projects all over America with crews from all over the world. In addition to film and film production, Anthony is very passionate about working with community, and helping youth develop their visions -building their skills within the film industry. He believes “our youth are the makers that shape tomorrow”. — at Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Established in 2011, Greenpoint Film Festival is a not-for-profit annual event inspired “by the stories yet untold and giving voices to the voiceless” in the filmmaking industry. The themes of renewal and reclamation continue to play a major role in the social and creative fabric of the Greenpoint Film Festival, which also has a mission to encourage an eco-friendly future. This year, the festival has partnered with New York City’s largest soundstage company, Broadway Stages, which commits to renewable energy by using solar power for their soundstages and productions. In addition to the festival awards, special awards will be given to filmmakers spotlighting important environmental and social issues.