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Queens World Film Festival to Kick Off Ninth Year Next Month in Astoria

Queens World Film Festival opening night 2018. (via QWFF on Facebook)

Feb. 27, 2019 Staff Report

The Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) will be returning for its ninth year next month, with more than 200 movies to be shown over the course of 11 days in Astoria in what marks the longest festival yet.

The festival will begin on March 21, where works from international and local filmmakers will be showcased at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI). This year, the film lineup represents 31 countries, with 16 films to be shown for the first time at the festival, among other works.

“This year’s submissions increased by 34 percent, and QWFF programmers screened 814 films from 55 nations,” said Don Cato, artistic director for the festival, adding, “There are films from four of our great boroughs and a groundbreaking 79 films by women. We are also screening 14 LGBTQ-themed filmed and 15 films by Asian filmmakers, and six films by kids for kids—we literally have something for everyone.’

Films, ranging from more than an hour long to 10-minute shorts, are split into categories including feature narrative, animation and short narrative—the largest collection in the festival. Works in the multi-day festival will also be shown in 61 blocks engaging in a theme.

The opening night, for instance, is titled “Worldly Vision,” and offers “a taste of what’s to come” during the festival.

The seven films shown in this block include “Marguerite,” a 19-minute film that tells the story of a growing friendship between an aging woman and her nurse “that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past.” The film, nominated for a 2019 Academy Award in the Live Action Short Category, is directed by Marianne Farley, who is based in Montreal.

Another opening night film, “Deeply Absurd Lucidity,” is about a man trapped in a strange limbo of random, projected visions after a shapeshifter hacks into his mind. The 8-minute film is directed by Sammy Sayed, an Egyptian filmmaker.

Six Queens directors are represented in the event, whose works will be shown in the “Queens Corner” block on the last day of festivities.

Films in this block include “The Secret Nobody Knows,” a 8-minute piece set in the 1950s during the Korean War that depicts a couple’s last few hours together before departing. The film is inspired by a poem by E.E. Cummings, and is directed by Nick Ronan, an Astoria resident who also stars in the piece.

“Eodiya,” another film in the block, is about a young man on a quest to find his long-lost brother a year after his mother’s death. The 13-minute film is directed by Astoria resident Jules Suo.

While the festival begins on the third week of March, a kick off presser will be held inside the Museum of Moving Image on March 4 at 9:30 a.m., where the full lineup of films will be announced and a sizzle reel shown. The kick off will also grant “Spirit of Queens” awards to three honorees. The award, given each year, pays tribute to outstanding filmmakers or community members for their contributions to their field and body of work.

As part of the festival, an official QWFF app will also launch at the kick off. Users will be able to interact with filmmakers, festival personnel and sponsors through the new app in real time.

Tickets for the festival are now available for purchase on the QWFF website. Attendees can purchase single program tickets or full festival passes.

For more information on the festival, including a list of all films, visit the QWFF website.

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