Get ready for the third annual Art of Brooklyn Film Festival

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival (AOBFF) is upon us!

Although one of several film series and film festivals to occur in our diverse, vibrant, best of boroughs, AOBFF is the only festival to showcase emerging filmmakers who are Brooklyn-born, Brooklyn-based, or Brooklyn-centric.

“That means cast or crew members were born, raised, or have lived in Brooklyn, the film was shot in Brooklyn, or Brooklyn was a major inspiration in its creation,” explained co-founder Anthony DeVito, who noted that “We are the only festival that requires filmmakers to tell us how their film is connected to Brooklyn when they submit. [This way], it keeps our submissions a little more focused. We know that every film we get is about Brooklyn in some way.”

This year’s lineup includes nearly 40 films — some features and some blocks of shorts — over five days of screenings, from Wednesday, May 15 through Sunday, May 19, at St. Joseph College’s Tuohy Hall Theater and St. Francis College’s Founders Hall and Maroney Theaters.

Films selected include documentaries, art films, comedies, horror films, dramatic and indie shorts, and more — many of them world premieres and many others the debut creations of promising filmmakers and actors.

Kicking off Opening Night are “Rescue! Brooklyn,” Charlie Spickler’s documentary about the nonprofit Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and “Casual Encounters,” the comedy/drama feature debut by director Will McCord, about the unexpected results of internet sex personal ads.

Other intriguing films include “If These Knishes Could Talk,” Bronx-born Heather Quinlan’s exploration of New York accents; “The Dark Side,” a series of short films from different directors reveling in our senses and deconstructing our psychological fears; Juan Pablo Zaramella’s animated short, “Luminaris;” and the NYC Premiere of “Brewed In Brooklyn,” by John Weber.

For the full schedule, plus brief synopses and ticket information, visit!tickets/c1z09.

In addition to being an educational tool, AOBFF is a juried competition.  Chosen films face a screening panel of 15 people and the chosen films will now be viewed by a judges panel that includes Brooklyn-born actress Annabella Sciorra (“Sopranos” and “Hand That Rocks The Cradle”), frequent Brooklyn resident Eric Mabius (“Ugly Betty” and “Resident Evil”), director Elliott Lester (“Blitz” and “Love Is The Drug”), and Terry Nelson of the Beacon Independent Film Festival.

Sciorra grew up in Bergen Beach and Brooklyn “influenced who I am as an artist. Hollywood has always had a love affair with Brooklyn, which now has a festival worthy of its diverse indie film scene.”

“The whole idea of bringing New and Classic Brooklyn together. . . nobody else is doing that, until NOW,” added Mabius.

According to DeVito, each year, AOBFF “gets exponentially better and bigger” but this year, “this year, everything has taken off even more in terms of interest, people reaching out, and submissions that have a huge jump up in quality. . . We’re [also] in May which is perfect timing.”

The Festival is as much for Brooklynites as it is a platform for artists,” said DeVito.

“I’m born and raised in Brooklyn so obviously I love it, but it’s really interesting to meet people who get so excited when they find out what the festival is about. They love Brooklyn so much and this type of pride and love that we’re doing this event for Brooklyn,” he said. “People love to mingle before and after screenings, meet filmmakers and castmembers. It’s always fun to see every type of Brooklyn mingling in the same room.”

AOBFF is a nonprofit and was founded by Jason Cusato (director), Alfred Accettura (graphic artist) and Anthony DeVito (actor/writer). The nonprofit is sponsored by The Field; the event is sponsored by Yelp, HBO, NuHotel, St. Francis and St. Joseph Colleges, Perelandra, Apothecarie, Forerunner Creations, Speedpro Imaging, and Cotton Hustle.


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