As fast as the music festival season is kicking into gear, plenty of films from all over the world are making stops in NYC. From the owners of local Williamsburg theatre, IndieScreen, comes the Brooklyn Film Festival screening over 107 films from May 30 through June 8.
The Brooklyn Film Festival aims to showcase films that are a bit more off the radar than its NYC festival counterparts, which makes it more difficult to predict but all that more exciting. We’ve scoured the list of films to find some exciting new filmmakers from Chile, Colombia, Spain and the U.S. (the fest features 34 countries in total) telling stories of everything from cute teddy bears hunting unicorn blood to the final days of a beloved neighborhood Mexican bakery. Enjoy!
Director: Fernando Frías
Born and raised in Mexico City, Fernando Frias completed a Masters in Fine Arts at Columbia University in New York City and presents the only Latino feature film in the 2014 BFF festival. The story circles around Rezeta, a 21 year old Albanian model who lands in Mexico to continue her fashion career. Soon after arriving, she meets the tattooed musician Alex and results in a film on escapades in love, sex, rock n roll, and life in modern Mexico.
Director: Alberto Vázquez
Ok so, the trailer is a bit disconcerting with a dooming voice narrating over pink teddy bears. This animated short by graphic designer/illustrator Alberto Vazquez follows two cartoon bears as they go out to hunt unicorns for their blueberry flavored blood that keeps them “cute looking.” The short has already had a pretty successful run at European festivals but don’t be too worried, we’re certain that plenty of celebs do far scarier things to stay cute looking than these guys.
Director: Anna Valdez Hanks & Anna Blandford
Untitled, 2013 is the third collaboration from directors Anna Blandford and Anna Valdez Hanks, together their works discuss themes such as ethics, sex and identity. Untitled is an experimental short film about a European photographer who takes images of Colombian prostitutes against their wishes, and they are later exhibited in a show in London. The lines of reality and fiction begin to blur and bring up questions of the morality of the photos.
Director: Marcos Mello
Marcos Mello began his career making fashion films in Brazil and in 2013 his first short participated in the Short Film Corner in Cannes. For his experimental short ‘Punk Love’, Mello developed a technique of ‘motion light painting’ to tell the ‘story of the cathartic encounter of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen’s souls.’ Two of punk music’s most memorable icons are immortalized in unique and mesmerizing black and white images. We doubt you’ve seen another film like this.
Director: Maximilian Williamson
Mateo’s Room follows Mateo, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, who is working as a runner at a restaurant in New York City. While struggling to make it during the bleak winter months, and having nowhere to go, he seeks refuge in the dilapidated home of an unaware elderly deaf man, whom he happens upon during his delivery route.
Director: Maria Badia
One of my most heartbreaking days on my way to the Remezcla offices was when I stopped by La Villita (home of our mascot, XoXa) for my favorite $2 breakfast sandwich and they were closed… for good. The Last Bread chronicles the final days of the family owned business that became a staple in the working class neighborhood, only to succumb to rising rents and gentrification. R.I.P.
Director: Beyza Boyacioglu & Sebastian Diaz Aguirre
Toñita’s is a portrait of the last Puerto Rican social club in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The short documentary dives into the microcosm of Caribbean Club (also fondly labeled ‘Toñita’s’ after its owner Maria Toñita) and comments on the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood including the Club’s resistance to this change. The film uses its colorful regulars, music, and dance to complete this love letter to Nuyorican culture.
Director: Soledad Aguila
Soledad Águila is a visual artist, illustrator, and animator director from Chile. To truly capture the landscapes of Patagonia, Aguila created a beautifully atmospheric portrait of places she visited in her childhood and others she had imagined. Her short film, Immersed, does just that by inviting us into a land whose flora and fauna are as mysterious as they are real.