Brooklyn Film Festival, the largest independent, competitive, international film festival in the borough, has closed submissions for its 17th annual edition themed Formula. BFF received over 2,000 films from over 100 countries, with 60% of the submissions being U.S. productions. The competitive event will run from May 30 through June 8 in Williamsburg at indieScreen (289 Kent Avenue) and Windmill Studios NYC (287 Kent Avenue). The festival will present over 100 film premieres, and each film will be shown twice.
BFF’s prestigious alumni have gone on to garner both critical acclaim and nationwide distribution. A record number of feature films from the 2013 edition went on to receive U.S. theatrical releases. These include Jeremy O’Keefe’s Best Narrative Feature Winner Somewhere Slow, Nathan Silver’s Soft in the Head, and Jeffrey Karoff’s Cavedigger, which went onto receive a 2014 Oscar Nomination for Best Documentary Short. Other BFF alumni include: Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky’s Battle for Brooklyn (shortlisted for a 2011 Academy Award nomination); Katie Dellamaggiore’s Brooklyn Castle (2013 nationwide broadcast on PBS’ P.O.V.); and Kelly Anderson’s My Brooklyn (a successful DIY release in 2013), amongst many more. Numerous films from the Brooklyn Film Festival have gone on to be nominated for and win awards by both the American and British Academy Awards.
BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 2014 edition, “Our theme this year deals with an enigma: Is there a winning Formula to communicate with the audience and ultimately create a successful independent film? We ponder this complex question by thinking about the chemistry that might ultimately achieve such a formula. Do formulas apply exclusively to big budget filmmaking, are there formulas for independent filmmakers, and is there such a thing as formula-free filmmaking? How does a project preserve its independent spirit when the story is told by adopting proven storytelling formulas? And what has the independent film movement done in recent years to adapt new methods of filmmaking? We encourage our filmmakers, audiences, industry guests, Brooklyn, all New Yorkers and the rest of the world to stir the ingredients in this potent and perplexing formula.”
After last year’s successful “Expand Your View” campaign, TBWA returns as a sponsor for BFF 2014 with a brand new promotional campaign to be announced soon. “TBWA partners with Brooklyn Film Festival because we support creativity and giving filmmakers a platform to feature their disruptive ideas, creativity and perspective not necessarily following any mainstream rules,” said Lizzie Dewhurst, TBWA PR & Communications Manager.
For the third year in a row, the festival will continue its BFF Exchange project aimed ultimately at connecting filmmakers with film distributors. BFF Exchange will be staged at indieScreen on June 7, and will feature a pitch session and a “distribution” panel on each side of a working luncheon.
BFF will award the winners with prizes totaling over $50,000 in film services and products. Prizes include a seven-day theatrical release at indieScreen for the Best Narrative Feature and Best Documentary award winners, and for the first time as well for the Best Narrative Short and Best Documentary Short.
On Saturday, May 31 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at indieScreen, BFF will present the 10th annual kidsfilmfest, which aims to discover, expose and promote children’s filmmakers while drawing worldwide attention to Brooklyn. The film program is tailored for children of all ages (films are rated “G”), and consists of numerous short animation, live-action and documentary films. A Q&A with the filmmakers and a filmmaker’s workshop usually follows each program.