Brooklyn Film Festival at Windmill Studios, photo credit Yuko Torihara
Brooklyn Film Festival at Windmill Studios, photo credit Yuko Torihara

After receiving a record number of 2,659 films from 100 countries, Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) has closed submissions for its 2019 edition: THE GATHERING. The festival will select 120 film premieres to be announced in May. The films are divided in six categories: Feature Narrative, Feature Doc, Short Narrative, Short Doc, Experimental and Animation.

BFF’s selection criteria, a 22-year-old set of rules, constitute the true festival’s trademark. Participating films cannot be older than two years. Films are selected from submissions only. All the selected films are shown twice. All the selected films participate in the competition. And the smallest film can win the top festival award: The Grand Chameleon.

The festival will run from May 31 through June 9 at two main venues: Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg and Windmill Studios in Greenpoint. Additional programming will be presented on June 4 at Syndicated in Bushwick and on June 7 at UnionDocs in Williamsburg. On June 5 and 8, BFF will present a total of five shows at Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Dumbo, where it will also present the 15th annual kidsfilmfest on June 1. On June 8, the 8th annual BFF Exchange program will be hosted by Kickstarter in Greenpoint and on June 3, BFF will be hosted by Alamo Drafthouse in Downtown Brooklyn. Additional programming and networking events will be announced at a later date.

In a successful effort to broaden the festival’s Latin American horizon in terms of film submissions, for its 22nd edition BFF has been collaborating with several South American film organizations: Proimagenes (Colombia), ChileDocs, IMCINE (Mexico), Universidad del Cine (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Festival Internacional del Cine Buenos Aires (FIDBA). Locally, BFF has been collaborating with Cinema Tropical and Proyector Film Series.

BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 2019 edition, “We are calling the upcoming festival: The Gathering. The theme-statement is essentially a call to all those people who are searching for clarity and intelligent exchanges. On the programming side this year, more than ever before, we wanted to empower all those filmmakers who are thinking and working in critical systems, outside of the box, and against all odds. Understanding that for women the “system” is always critical, and inspired by the acceleration of the women’s movements, in 2019 BFF will feature the largest presence of female directors within a single festival edition up to date. I’m also proud to say that four out of our six festival programmers are women and the actual festival is run mostly by women.”

BFF’s list of sponsors for 2019 includes WNET, G-Star Raw, VER, AbelCine, Heineken, Florida State University, Final Draft, Big Screen Plaza, and for the 7th consecutive year, the “disruption company” TBWA/CHIAT/DAY will create BFF’s promotional campaign. Several BFF networking events this year will be organized in collaboration with Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, Brooklyn Documentary Club, Film Shop, Video Consortium and UnionDocs.

In each of the six film categories, BFF’s judges will select the Best Film while the festival will select the Spirit Award and the audience the Audience Award winners. Among all the six categories combined, BFF will award one of each of the following: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Composer, Bet Style, Best Editor, Best Cinematographer, Best Screenplay Writer, Best Producer, Best New Director and Best Brooklyn Project. Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF will assign to the winning filmmakers over $50,000 in prizes (products, services and cash).

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