The independent film community will be heading to Bushwick next week for the eighth annual Bushwick Film Festival (BFF) on Oct. 1-4.
The festival highlights independent films, shorts, documentaries and web series from not only Bushwick artists, but from independent film makers from around the world.
“All of our films are independently produced. We have film screenings from 13 different countries this year,” said Kweighbaye Kotee, founder and CEO of the BFF. “We wanted to give the festival an international twist. We also feature local film makers as well. We want to make sure everyone is represented and make sure our stories are relatable to the viewers.”
With a total of over 400 submissions from 28 different countries including Australia, Israel, Dominican Republic, New Zealand and more, it is not hard to see how the BFF has grown considerably from its first run in 2007.
“This year we have doubled in size, it’s incredible. It’s really exciting,” Kotee said. “I have a great team that works with me and it is interesting to see that we are touching people from all over the world.”
Kotee founded the BFF in 2007 after moving to Bushwick as a way not only to show her love of independent films to her new neighborhood, but also to bring the community together through film.
“I have a really strong passion for independent films. When I first got to experience indie films, it was later in life,” Kotee said. “I attended the Tribeca Film Festival while in NYU. It was my first film festival. It was pretty exciting to see the films, directors and actors all in the same room. When I moved to Bushwick, I realized I had part of the immigrant community in me, being from Liberia, and part of the new artist community. I had a foot in both worlds. I thought it would be cool to bring a film festival to the area to bring the neighborhood together.”
The four-day festival will feature 27 screenings, including 10 documentaries, 13 narratives, two short films, a web series, and an arthouse film selection.
“We always highlight program favorites on opening night,” Kotee said. “One in particular is ‘Wallabout.’ It has very interesting characters and a great cast. All of the programming team agreed on this film, there was no arguing about it. I also really liked the film called ‘Jake from New Zealand.’ It was one of those films that had a twist that you would not expect.”
This year, the festival is expanding their screening locations beyond Bushwick as well, with screenings taking place in Williamsburg, DUMBO and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Ridgewood Times is one of the event’s co-sponsors.
For more information about the BFF and to purchase tickets please visit the Bushwick Film Festival website at http://bushwickfilmfestival.ticketleap.com.