July 5, By Nathaly Pesantez
The Boulevard Film Festival (BFF) will return to Sunnyside for a second year later this month.
The festival will screen 30 short films from local and international filmmakers at four Sunnyside venues from July 20 through July 23. The films will be shown over the course of four days at Maggie Mae’s (41-15 Queens Blvd.), Bar 43 (43-06 43rd St.), the Dog and Duck (45-20 Skillman Ave.) and Thalia Spanish Theatre (41-17 Greenpoint Ave.).
Maggie Mae’s will host the festival kick off at 8:00 p.m. July 20 with a live musical accompaniment to a program of contemporary short films, selected and performed by The Flushing Remonstrance, an experimental music duo. Admission on opening night is free.
The other screenings will cost between $15 and $20 a ticket depending on the venue. The proceeds will cover the cost of putting on the festival and awards.
“The festival last year was great,” co-founder Amanda Barker-Carlson said. “We had a huge turn out. It was bigger than we expected.”
More than 800 entries were submitted for this year’s festival, compared to 85 last year. Films submitted for consideration were no longer than 30 minutes in length.
“We opened entries in April and closed them at the end of May,” Barker-Carlson said. “It was pretty crazy.”
Many of the films that will be screened have been created by Queens filmmakers, Barker-Carlson said. Several have also been made by filmmakers from countries such as Brazil, Germany, Spain and India.
“BFF’s annual festival celebrates the art of filmmaking in Queens, showcasing local filmmakers and international films that are emblematic to the borough of Queens,” according to Baker-Carlson.
The Boulevard Film Festival was founded by Barker-Carlson, a painter and filmmaker, and her husband, Matthew Carlson, who is also a filmmaker, after Sunnyside Center Cinemas closed in 2015. The film festival was also organized with the help of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Artists.
“This is a fun event to really help local businesses and local filmmakers,” Barker-Carlson said. “We want to give people a chance to see films made by locals, and we want it to be fun.”