Sept. 19, 2018 By Laura Hanrahan
The Bushwick Film Festival, a celebration of independent films, is making its return for the 11th year next month.
Running from October 10th to 15th, the festival will host a variety of events from feature and short film screenings to panels, comedy shows and industry mixers. The five-day festival will kick off with an opening night celebration at Bushwick’s Lot 45.
BFF showcases some of the best of this year’s independent films and web series, with an emphasis on providing a stage for women and people of color, who are traditionally underrepresented in the film industry.
This year’s lineup features work from creators near and far, most notably, award-winning Austrian director Adrian Goiginger whose feature film, The Best of All Worlds, tells an autobiographical story of a boy living with his heroin addicted mother, and Bushwick Beats, a compilation of six short films exploring the idea of unconditional love, with Bushwick as a unifying backdrop.
Awards will be given for best short film, best narrative feature film, best documentary feature and best web series. The rising star award, introduced just last year, acknowledges a BFF alum who has gone on to achieve notable success in the industry. In 2017 the award went to actress and filmmaker Diarra Kilpatrick.
BFF was founded eleven years ago by Liberia-native Kweighbaye Kotee. As a young girl, Kotee immigrated to the United States with her family and later went on to attend New York University, earning a degree in Media Culture and Communications. After becoming aware at a young age of the lack of diversity in films, both on set and on screen, Kotee began to envision a way to showcase diverse films and creatives—particularly films by women of color.
In 2007, with the help of a few friends, the Bushwick Film Festival was born.
Every year since, BFF has grown in size, receiving more than 1,300 film submissions this year alone. As it has grown, the festival has screened films from more than 40 different countries.
Many now-familiar faces have had their work showcased at BFF including Phoebe Robinson of 2 Dope Queens, Kahlil Joseph, director of Beyonce’s Lemonade film, and Kitty Green, director of Netflix’s Casting JonBenet. Kotee hopes to continue providing a platform to raise up underrepresented film makers.
“After 11 years, I still get so excited when the festival arrives,” Kotee told Broadway World. “It’s been a true privilege serving storytellers and my community through the BFF and we have an incredible lineup of films and a weekend of fun in store!”
Tickets for this year’s festival, along with a full film lineup, are available on the Bushwick Film Festival website.