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Sunnyside residents put plans in place to hold a local film festival

Matthew Carlson, Amanda Barker, Manny Gomez

Matthew Carlson, Amanda Barker, Manny Gomez (L-R)

April 8, 2016 By Michael Florio

Sunnyside will play host to a film festival this summer.

Two residents are putting together their first festival that will run on the weekend of July 15th through 17th. It will be called the Boulevard Film Festival and feature the work of Queens filmmakers.

Amanda Barker, who has lived in Sunnyside for the past five years, is co-organizing the event and said she wants to showcase the work of Queens residents.

“I’ve always thought why don’t we have more events for filmmakers here,” she said.

The films will be screened at venues throughout Sunnyside.

Barker, who is putting the festival together with her fiancé Matthew Carlson, thought about the concept of a festival soon after Sunnyside Center Cinemas closed.

“It was a big loss to the community,” she said. “It was really sad when it closed because a lot of people went there.”

In addition to showcasing the talent of local film makers, Barker hopes to help local businesses.

The screenings will be held at different Sunnyside venues, such as opening night at Thalia Spanish Theatre. Other venues include Bar 43, The Dog and Duck, and Claret Wine Bar. She is looking to add more venues.

“We are doing this for the love of film and the love of Sunnyside,” she said.

Ticket prices have yet to be determined.

Barker began accepting submissions for the festival this week. Short films (less than 45 minutes) of any genre can be submitted as long as they have been made in the past five years, she said.

Those who are interested in submitting can visit or email The deadline to submit is May 31st. There is no submission fee.

Barker and Carlson have teamed up with members of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Artists to organize the film festival.

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Broken Bike

Please ensure that “The Black Knights of Skillman” and “The Vortex”, two films made by a bunch of folks from Flynn’s (when it was a fun place) are included.


Is that you, Ruben? Under what name are you posting these days? Still obsessed with that poor panhandler?


So it’s a revival of the Sunnyide Shorts Film Fest started back in the early 2000s? Awesome!

Amanda Barker

Thank you so much to Michael Florio of the Sunnyside Post for writing about us! However, the festival strategists and vision is bigger than Matthew and myself. We would have not gotten far on our own.

On our steering committee and hosting a Spanish-film venue, and reception is Angel Gil Orrios, Executive Director of Thalia Spanish Theater, Manny Gomez, VP of the Chamber who is setting up the individual local venues with a prix fixe, Pat Dorfman, Chamber Executive Director who did our logo and poster and who is helping us get our dream to fruition, Becky Barker, past president of Sunnyside Artists and the Chamber as strategist, and other local talented and established people coming on board.  All of them have shaped and planned with us. We all want this to be a permanent way to enhance our art scene, encourage our filmmakers, help our businesses when summer slowness is on, and give local residents something fun and worthwhile to do on hot summer nights and days!

We are also very grateful to our sponsors so far, the Sunnyside Post, the Woodside Herald, and all of the venues, including Claret, Bar 43, Dog & Duck and the Thalia who will host our screenings! They all stood up for us right out of the box!


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