Following Queens’ nickname of the “World’s Borough,” the Queens World Film Festival is meant to represent diverse communities from around the city, country and world.
Among the more than 130 films to be screened, there are four films about the undocumented immigrant experience as well as four films dedicated to showcasing challenging mental health conditions and six films representing the LGBTQ community.
This year, the festival will feature 12 films from Germany, 7 from Spain, 4 from Iran and 8 films by Asian filmmakers from all over the city. City filmmakers will be well represented as 23 films are from Queens, 16 from Manhattan, 17 from Brooklyn and 1 from the Bronx. Queens World Film Festival will also have 50 films by women and three films that were collaborative efforts from educational institutions.
The program categorizes films in thematic blocks such as “Chiller Thriller,” “Outsiders,” “Is Justice Served?” and “The Immigrant.”
“These films examine love, loss, immigration, mental health and some take on these themes in progressive ground breaking style,” said Artistic Director Don Cato. “These films promise to move and entertain our audiences.”
On opening night at the Museum of the Moving Image, Queens native and filmmaker Julie Dash will receive the 2017 Spirit of Queens Award for her outstanding contribution to cinema. Dash, from Long Island City, made a splash in the world of cinematography. Her 1991 film, “Daughters of the Dust,” was the first American feature-film by an African American woman to receive a general theatrical release.
“Daughters of the Dust” follows a three-generation Gullah family, descendants of escaped slaves, living on St. Helena Island off the Southeastern United States. The family are influenced by the Great Migration and prepare to migrate north. The film was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2004.
Dash will host a Q&A session the next day, March 15, which will follow a Moving Image screening of “Daughters of the Dust.”
“Her work is majestic and intimate, assertive and nuanced,” festival organizers said.
Accompanying last year’s talented winners, such as Best Cinematography winner “City of Dreams,” this year’s nominees are incredibly versatile and brilliant.
Those nominated for Emerging Filmmaker include Pat Campo for “Swiss Cheez Brain,” Ahmad Saleh for “Ayny My Second Eye,” Amelie Wen for “Fata Morgana” and Farraz Khan for “Enhanced Interrogation.”
One highlight to look forward to is the screening of “After School” by Alec Tibaldi. Tibaldi’s 2016 film “Ride or Die” won Best Ensemble last year. “After school” follows sisters Addie and Xandra as they come to terms with a dark secret from the past in one explosive afternoon.
For a full schedule for the screenings and festival nominees, visit www.queensworldfilmfestival.com.