BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL

History has shown that bad times make for great art. This month, the Brooklyn Film Festival will bring that theme to life. We have a preview.

Aired May 31, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

FROM THE GREAT IMPRESSION OF THE 1930s THAT INSPIRED WORKS AS THE GRAPES OF WRATH AND LET US NOW PRAISE FAMOUS MEN TO THE NEW YORK FISCAL CRISIS OF THE '70s THAT GAVE US THE BEST GRAFFITI IN THE WORLD.

HISTORY HAS STHOEN THAT BAD TIMES MADE FOR GREAT ART.

AND THIS MONTH THE BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL BRINGS IT TO LIFE AS PARTS OF THE 21st ANNIVERSARY EDITION.

WITH KPLKS 125 FEATURES AND SHORTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, THE FESTIVAL AMPLIFIED THE VOICES OF FILM MAKERS WHO FOUND INSPIRATION FROM TODAY'S CHALLENGES.

HERE IS A LOOK.

> AND JOINING US NOW IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BROOKLYN FEM FEST.

MARC OF URSINO.

MARCO WELL TO THE PROGRAM.

THAUMG FOR HAVING ME.

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR AS I SAID AND AS WE SAW IT HARD TIMES MAKE FOR GREAT ART.

YES.

I THINK I KNOW WHY.

BUT WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS THEME FOR THIS YEAR?

WE HAVE BEEN COLLABORATING WITH TPWA A NON-ADVERTISING AGENCY FOR SEVEN YEARS NOW.

WHEN WE MET IN SEPTEMBER IT WAS THE VERY FIRST THING THAT CAME UP.

UM-HUM.

WE FIGURED WE LIVE IN VERY BAD SITUATION.

AND TIMES ARE DIFFICULT.

AND EVERYBODY IS COMPLAINING.

BUT ARTS ALWAYS GROW WHEN THOSE TIMES ARE BAD.

UM-HUM.

YOU KNOW, AND HISTORY TAUGHT US THIS.

SO FROM THAT POINT WE JUST DEVELOPED THE CONCEPT AND WE STARTED FOCUSING ON THEMES, ALTHOUGH WE RECEIVED 2554 THIS YEAR WE RECEIVED LAST MINUTE FILMS BUT WE FOCUSED MOSTLY ON CURRENT EVENTS AND THINGS THAT PEOPLE CAN RELATE NOW TODAY.

THERE IS 125 FILMS AS I SAID LONG AND SHORT.

I WON'T HAVE YOU GO INTO THE DETAILS OF ALL OF THEM.

BUT IS THERE ONE OR TWO THAT STICK OUT IN YOUR MIND.

FOR EXAMPLE, THERE IS A GREAT FILM CALLED TOMMY BOTTLES, THE SILVER SEA DRAGON.

AND IT'S AN AMERICAN FILM AND IT'S A MUSICAL.

IT'S AN EXPERIMENTAL MUSICAL.

IT WILL PLAY THIS SATURDAY AT THE WHITE HOTEL AT SUNDAY AT WINDMILL STUDIOS.

ANOTHER FILM THAT STICKS TO MIND IS ASK GUN CYCLES.

IT'S ABOUT WOMEN CYCLISTS IN AFGHANISTAN.

YOU GOT A COUPLE OF IRANIANS.

THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL I SHOULD TELL THE HAVE YOUER.

YOU SAID 21 YEARS WHEN YOU STARTED YOU WERE THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN AS FAR AS THE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WERE CONCERNED.

NOW THERE IS THE TRIBECA NOW THE HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

HOW HAS THE FESTIVAL EVOLVED OVER 21 YEARS?

WHAT'S STRIKING -- WHAT'S MOST STRIKING ABOUT THE CHANGES?

I.

> I WILL SAY AGAIN WE CHANGED NAMES THREE TIMES.

EVERY YEAR IS A BATTLE.

IT'S NOT EASY TO DO FUND RAISING.

IT'S NOT EASY TO FINE THE VENUES.

EVERYTHING IS DIFFICULT.

BUT ONE THING IS SURE, THE FESTIVAL IS ALWAYS THE SAME IN TERMS OF THE MISSION, YOU KNOW.

WHICH IS --

> WHICH IS BASICALLY DISCOVER, EXPOSE AND PROMOTE INDEPENDENT FILM MAKERS AND DRAW ATTENTION TO BROOKLYN AS A CENTER FOR CINEMA.

YEAH.

AND THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DOING 21 YEARS.

AND PLUS THERE ARE VERY SIMPLE CRITERIA THAT DEFINE THE FESTIVAL AND THOSE ARE ALWAYS THE SAME.

AND THEY ARE.

THE FILM MAKERS ARE THE FIRST OR SECOND FILM.

THE FILM CAN'T BE OLDER THAN TWO YEARS.

THE SMALLEST FILM CAN WIN THE TOP PRIZE.

THAT'S REALLY IT.

YEAH.

SO TO WRP UP WHAT KIND OF CONVERSATION DO YOU HOPE THAT THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL WILL INITIATE?

WILL INSPIRE?

THE THEME -- THE WORD THAT WE USE IS THRESHOLD.

YEAH.

AND BECAUSE WE FEEL THAT WE LIVE IN VERY -- VERY WERD TIMES WHERE WE ARE NOT IN THE PAST AND WE ARE NOT IN THE FUTURE YET.

AND OUT THERE THERE IS A LOT OF NOISE.

YEAH.

SO I FEEL THAT THE FESTIVAL THIS YEAR SHOULD TRY TO BE SOME SORT OF A SANCTUARY, A PLACE WHERE WE LEAVE THE NOISE OUTSIDE AND WE CAN HAVE AN HONEST, NICE CONVERSATION WITH THE FILM MAKERS AND THE AUDIENCE AND THE PRESS AND THE MEDIA AND WHO EVER COMES AS A GUEST.

ALL RIGHT MARCO THANK YOU VETSCH SO MUCH.

AS A FELLOW BROOKLYNITE I'M LEST YOU HAVE HAVING THE FESTIVAL THANK.

THANK YOU.

IT WILL RUN FROM JUNE 1st TO JUNE 10th.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO LEARN MORE LOG ONTO THE WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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