18th Brooklyn Film Festival Announces 2015 Theme

Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF), the first international, competitive film festival in New York, has closed submissions for its 18th annual edition themed Illuminate. BFF received over 2,300 films from 113 countries, a new record for the festival. The event will run from May 29 through June 7 at three new venues: Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Windmill Studios NYC at their new location in Greenpoint, and late night programming at Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg. BFF’s 11th annual kidsfilmfest will also be held in a new location, Made in NY Media Center by IFP in DUMBO. The festival will present 100-120 film premieres (final number TBA in May), and each film will be shown twice.

BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 2015 edition, “The festival is at an important juncture. We carry with us 18 years of Brooklyn experience while welcoming a brand new generation of filmmakers and their visions to be part of the larger Brooklyn creative story. With Illuminate, this year’s theme, the festival privileges storytelling without boundaries. We welcome multi-layered stories: the abstract and the inspirational, the intriguing and the ironic. We are simply looking for projects that reflect a creative, furious, explosive, and uncontainable intelligence. To accomplish just that, BFF has also welcomed a new director of programming, Bryce J. Renninger.

Renninger is a film programmer, filmmaker, writer and educator who previously served as Director of Programming at NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival and the Managing Director for the South Asian International Film Festival. He also served on the editorial team of Indiewire until 2013, and debuted “Hotline,” a feature film he produced, at Hot Docs and last year’s Brooklyn Film Festival.

I’m so excited to be joining the Brooklyn Film Festival,” Renninger said. “It’s a festival that celebrates independent vision and innovative storytelling, and we’ll continue that tradition this year with a number of fantastic screenings, panels, and special events.

For the fourth year in a row, the festival will continue its BFF Exchange project aimed ultimately at connecting filmmakers with film distributors. BFF Exchange will feature a pitch session and a “distribution” panel on each side of a working luncheon. The entire BFF Exchange will be broadcast live over the internet on June 6 (venue TBA).

BFF will award prizes totaling over $50,000 in film services and products to the festival winners. Prizes include a $15,000 camera rental package offered by Panavision NY to the “Best of Fest Grand Chameleon Award” winner. This prize will be called the “Scott Fleischer-Panavision NY Prize” for the 2015 edition.

On Saturday, May 30 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Made in NY Media Center by IFP, BFF will present the 11th annual kidsfilmfest, which aims to discover, expose and promote the youngest generation of filmmakers. The film program is tailored for children of all ages (films are rated “G”), and consists of numerous short animation, documentary, and live-action films. A Q & A with the filmmakers and a filmmaker’s workshop will follow the program.

We are thrilled that BFF’s kidsfilmfest has been able to bring quality films for children to Brooklyn for eleven years now. There are so many talented filmmakers in the world, we are happy to showcase their work to our youngest audiences,” said BFF’s kidsfilmfest Director, Lisa King.



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