Gina Argento of New York is President and CEO at Broadway Stages, Ltd. As one of New York’s largest film, music video and production companies, Gina Argento discusses below the Brooklyn Film Festival, and how to submit your film to break into this highly competitive platform.
Hollywood may be the place for blockbusters and celebrities, but Brooklyn is stepping into the limelight this month! Gina Argento of New York explains that the Brooklyn Film Festival, which is currently taking place at Windmill Studios in the Greenpoint neighborhood and Union Docs in the Williamsburg neighborhood, will highlight different films from around the world. These films will compete for the top festival award, The Grand Chameleon, but there are also opportunities to win other awards.
Gina Argento of New York talks about how the theme of this year’s Brooklyn Film Festival is Unthinkable. Executive Director Marco Ursino said that the theme came about due to the current “divisive times” and how politics and social media have created a “fabricated truth.” He went on to say that what used to define reality is no longer visible, “to the point that it has become almost unthinkable.”
What Is Happening at The Brooklyn Film Festival?
Gina Argento of New York discusses that attendees of the Brooklyn Film Festival can choose from 144 films, which will fall into one of six categories: Feature Narrative, Feature Documentary, Short Narrative, Short Doc, Experimental, and Animation. Gina Argento of New York says that all films will show at Windmill Studios (300 Kingsland Avenue) except for a 2-hour back-to-back program on Wednesday, June 8, which will take place at Union Docs (322 Union Avenue). The films will screen at 6:30 PM and 9:00 PM. Film show times at Windmill Studios are as follows:
June 3, Fri: 7:30pm
June 4, Sat: 2pm, 3:30pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 5, Sun: 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 6, Mon: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 7, Tue: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 8, Wed: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 9, Thu: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 10, Fri: 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 11, Sat: 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, 10pm
June 12, Sun: 2pm, 4pm, 7pm (Award Ceremony)
From a documentary about designer Elie Tahari’s rise to stardom to the Brazilian film Welcome, Violeta! based on the novel Cordillera, the Brooklyn Film Festival represents a diverse range of stories and styles. More information about the films can be found here.
Other Activities To Do
In addition to the main festival, Gina Argento of New York says there is also a KidsFilmFest happening simultaneously. All films can be played online 24/7 during the duration of the Brooklyn Film Festival. There are two programs: one for children aged 3-7 and another one for children aged 8-15. Both programs will consist of short animation, live-action, and documentaries, and are rated G. More information about the films can be found on the website.
Gina Argento of New York explains that the purpose of the KidsFilmFestival is to “discover and promote children’s filmmakers of all ages who make films for younger crowds.” Films are approximately 15 minutes in length and must adhere to the G rating (no strong language or adult themes).
How To Submit A Film To The Festival
Gina Argento of New York talks about how the festival is open to all submissions from independent filmmakers. They’re interested in people who already have films under their belt as well as debut filmmakers.
Gina Argento of New York Explains How To Submit To The Brooklyn Film Festival
Any film that is submitted for consideration must be in English or have English subtitles and must be at least 40 minutes long (exceptions are made for experimental and animation films). Entries cannot have been commercially released or broadcast and should not be more than two years old from the current year. Films can be submitted online here.
Submit To The KidsFilmFestival
Submissions for the KidsFilmFestival should not be longer than 15 minutes. Entries cannot have been commercially released or broadcast and should not be more than two years old from the current year. Films can be submitted online here.
A History Of The Brooklyn Film Festival
Gina Argento of New York discusses that the Brooklyn Film Festival was started by Marco Ursino, Susan Mackell, Abe Schrager, and Mario Pegoraro in 1998, and is organized by the non-profit organization Brooklyn Film Society. Prior to 2011, it was called the Brooklyn International Film Festival. Its mission is to “provide a public form in Brooklyn in order to advance public interest in films and the independent production of films.”
As an independent filmmaker, breaking into the industry can be hard, but independent film festivals such as the Brooklyn Film Festival are great for budding film creatives. According to the Brooklyn Film Festival website, many of the films that premiered at their festival have gone on to be nominated or win accolades at the British Academy Awards (BAFTAs), the American Academy Awards (Oscars), and the Canadian Screen Award.
Gina Argento of New York says that the Brooklyn Film Festival is dedicated to cultivating an interest in films, especially independent filmmaking. Every year they donate complimentary tickets to schools throughout the Brooklyn borough.
The Brooklyn Film Festival kicked off on June 3 and will end on June 12. Tickets cost $15 for one screening, although senior and student tickets are available for $12 (must be purchased at the venue). For the Short Doc, Experimental, and Animation categories, tickets are $10. If purchasing a ticket for online viewing, the film can be played as many times as wanted during the duration of the Brooklyn Film Festival. A Full Virtual Festival Pass costs $35.