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Boulevard Film Festival Returns to Sunnyside For Third Year Next Week

via Boulevard Film Festival

July 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Sunnyside’s annual film festival is returning to the neighborhood for a third straight year, with screenings set for next week.

The Boulevard Film Festival will go from July 13 to July 15, where 25 films will be shown at several neighborhood venues and all followed by Q&A sessions.

Thalia Spanish Theatre, located at 41-17 Greenpoint Ave., will kick off the festivities with a one-hour viewing of six comedy films beginning at 7 p.m. on July 13.

The films in this section are between one and 22 minutes, and include shorts like “Brooklyn?” a four-minute film about a group of Manhattanites making their way to Brooklyn; “Black?” a 10-minute film on two roommates navigating what it means to be black in the acting world; and “The Baby,” a 22-minute film about first-time parents navigating life with their adopted child.

Thalia will also screen two more events on July 14, where dramas and documentary films will be screened.

The documentary programming begins at 2 p.m., and includes a screening of six films with a total run time of 50 minutes.

Selected films in this category including the nine-minute “My dream at the other side,” which tells the story of an undocumented immigrant from Mexico torn between going home but staying for his American son; “America Heard: Refugee of Hope,” a 5-minute work on Syrian refugees based in Syracuse and local responses; and “Shinobu,” a film about musicians discussing Japanese music and reflecting on life.

In the dramas screening, to be held at 7 p.m., six films will be shown spanning between six and 15 minutes for a combined 63 minutes of viewing. Films include “Innocence,” a nine-minute short about a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of being sexually assaulted, and “The Family Robinson,” a six-minute film on a young woman on the brink of confessing a secret to her conservative father.

Sanger Hall, the newly-opened bar at 48-20 Skillman Ave., will be the second host site for the film festival. The locale will hold a “Midnight Mischief” viewing, an experimental segment, with seven films premiering at 12 a.m. on July 15, and a closing party at 5 p.m.

Films like “Definitely Soy,” a surreal noir work on crime and punishment involving David and Goliath meet at a diner, will be screened, along with “Red Delicious,” about a man faced with an “unholy temptation.”

Tickets for either the drama, documentary, comedy, or midnight mischief events cost $10, and can be purchased online at Eventbrite.

The film festival was founded by artists Matt Carlson and Amanda Barker-Carlson, and is organized by a group of artists with the help of Sunnyside Artists.

Barker-Carlson said that about 1,300 films were submitted this year, but since the rules called for only New York City-based filmmakers this time, the number from the boroughs was actually between 600 and 800 films, with the rest of the submissions from outside the city.

The event usually sees a little over 100 attendees, but Barker-Carlson is hoping to up the number this year with the selected films and their local filmmakers.

All proceeds for the event will go toward operations and awards for filmmakers. At the end of each viewing, the audience will decide which filmmaker will be awarded a cash prize.

In addition, all 25 filmmakers this year will go home with a bag full of art supplies from Artist and Craftsman.

For more information on the film festival, including tickets, schedules, and how to volunteer, visit the Boulevard Film Festival online.

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Patricia Dorfman

Someone above used my name to say we were screening Stormy movies. Not me.

Not sure of why the hate comments here, or likes and dislikes, but might be the Transportation Alternatives folks?

The artists are struggling, gentle folks and need support. Festival gets better and better. The award is given to winning film by anonymous audience vote at the end of the session and it has been really hard to choose.

All screenings sold out, including one to start shortly at midnight at Sanger Hall tonight! Thank you everyone and congratulations to Amanda and Matt who worked so hard to bring so much innovative and exciting work to us! Some films brought people to tears.


I went last year and I’ll never go again. Terrible. Please do this somewhere else

El loco

Stay home and watch Netflix. I went and it was a wonderful event except for annoying comments by Manny Gomez. I can’t wait until next year. Well done event.


Best of luck to the event.

But let us not forget the one that started it all, “The Flynn’s Garden Inn Film Festival”!

Patricia Dorfman

Carbie Barbie:
Glad you brought that up! Some festivals are business but this one is not:


Matt Carlson and Amanda Barker-Carlson, young filmmakers and artists, founded, designed, and curate BLVD to encourage local film community, promote film excellence, and bring film art and entertainment in slow summer months for all of us. They do such a good job; it looks like a high-end festival! They, as Sherry Gamlin does for her more longstanding festival, do it as a labor of love.

Local audiences and filmmakers do. Amanda and Matt make no money. We volunteers & helping orgs make no money. No profit is made for hundreds of hours of work. Filmmakers do not pay to enter. This year Amanda and Matt looked at over 1300 entries, up from 90-some the first year! The audience picks four winners in a blind juried fashion who get small cash prizes which are more of a token for the thousands of $ all filmmakers scrounge up to create even a short film. Sunnyside Chamber is not involved this year. Non-profits Thalia Spanish Theatre and Sunnyside Artists are helping until the festival can stand alone just as we were helped get started by local organizations.

Local sponsors make it happen, such as Mike Novak, Manny Gomez, Angel Gil Orrios, Soledad Lopez, Patrick Walsh, Fabricio Saquicela, Anthony Lodati, William Lopera, Jules Fuentes, Dani Rose, prize donors and venues who donate space. All money out is spent locally. The Sunnyside Post and the Woodside Herald are not paid, and presumably cover as they would other local events of interest. It costs $3200 more than ticket sales generate at $10 each, lowest admission price in town. Tribeca Festival charges from $200 to $400 per ticket. So far, BLVD III ticket sales total less than $230. Matt and Amanda let volunteers come free so call if you want to help!

All films this year are from NYC and largest percentage so far from Queens. Three selections from the past two festivals have gone onto national/international distribution!

The films are “edgier” this year, in all four categories, as local filmmakers step up more into the experimental and daring subject matter – so not for all families, particularly midnight screening at Sanger Hall, “Mischief.”

The price is wrong

Previous comment never made it on, probably for calling out the amateur organizers of this non-event. So let’s call them Mat Gorfman and Panny Domez while we all stay home for this one.

And it’s not the chamber organizing this. It’s sunnyside artists, which is one of a half dozen or more self dealing non-profits these bad actors in our community are involved in.

The price is wrong, as it were. I will certainly not attend anything organized by these shady characters!

Matt and Amanda take note!

Not for nothing, but if the attendance consists of fewer than 100 people and there are more than 100 that simply won’t go because of Ms. Dorfman’s involvement it would appear that she’s the one who is both holding this thing back and wouldn’t be missed. There are also better venues for this in LIC. With a change in organizers and sponsors they can likely pull in 500+ tickets the first year.. and a much younger crowd!

Carbie Barbie

Is this an ad? I think the SP has “sponsored stories” or something like that, but this is not labeled as such.


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