Brooklyn Film Festival Announces Opening Night Program

This comes to us via the Brooklyn Film Festival

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, May 20 2020Brooklyn Film Festival’s (BFF) 23rd edition: TURNING POINT, an online festival out of the norm with more than 140 films viewable for free from May 29 through June 7 at  www.brooklynfilmfestival.org, announces today its plans for its opening night program, along with a compelling video campaign created by the “disruption company,”TBWA\Chiat\Day New York . The lineup of Narrative Shorts, Documentary Shorts, Animation and Experimental Films are also announced below.

The 2020 festival opening strategy on May 29 will be driven mostly, and loosely, by our own planet’s time zones. As the various program blocks slowly populate the festival’s website, BFF will target different time zones. In other words, the group of programs that will appear at 6:00 a.m. on May 29 in Brooklyn, NY (EST) is meant to specifically serve the geographical area that includes New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and eastern China where by then it will be early evening. The second group of film programs will target the area that spans from India to Turkey. The third group will target the all of Europe and the fourth the Americas. All the programs that slowly populate our website will do so in a counter-clock fashion so that specific programs will virtually land on specific territories at the best possible viewing time: early evening. We estimate the entire BFF Opening trajectory to take about 12 hours in total and by 6:00 p.m. in Brooklyn, NY (EST) all the 2020 programs will be available for free after registration throughout the 10 days that will follow. We feel this Opening Programming could be a fun way to mix art and science.

As an additional prize for the 2020 filmmakers, a selection of winning BFF films (Best of Fest) will air on WNET’s Reel 13 as a summer showcase. This will be a 4-hour block dedicated to BFF and the projects BFF handles.

For the 8th straight year, BFF is working alongside TBWA\Chiat\Day NY, which delved into the shortlisted films and extracted some of their most moving moments and reframed them as series of ‘refresher courses,’ reteaching some of life’s most basic interactions such as How to Be a Sports Fan, How to Hug, How to Have Dinner Parties, How to Do The Beach, Grooming Ritual, Singing in Public, The In-Person Meeting: or the Art of Being Aligned and The Restaurant & You. The series aims to promote the incredible talent of the Brooklyn Film Festival, the inherent humanity in independent film, and shows a great idea can be scaled without spending a lot of money on bespoke production.  Chatting Without Your Phone is the first in the Relearn How to be Human creative series. Using footage from Brooklyn Film Festival 2020 submission “Blocks” by Director Bridget Moloney, the creative aims to show people how to behave as normal humans in a normal society once social distancing is a mere memory. The films will run across a combination of TV and online media placements. Ricard Valero, Executive Creative Director TBWA\Chiat\Day New York notes “Independent film offers a raw, uncut, and honest look at what it means to be human. After months of sheltering in place, TBWA\Chiat\Day NY’s latest creative for Brooklyn Film Festival is helping us remember how to stay human.”

As previously announced, all Brooklyn Film Festival films will play for free via BFF’s website for the whole duration of the festival, but viewers must first open a free account and can begin to pre-register starting today on the BFF website at  https://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/bff-audience-registration. The video server will be hosted by Vimeo. Audience voting will be limited to one vote per account. BFF will also organize parallel live events such as filmmaker introductions and Q&A sessions on the BFF website, Facebook and other social media. 

BFF Executive Director Marco Ursino said of the 23rd edition: TURNING POINT, “Just a few months ago, nobody, not even the most daring sci-fi screenwriter, could have predicted the current situation and/or the extent of the COVID-19 takeover. Besides the fact that we are all still dealing with the basics and a resolutive approach feels still far away, one thing seems certain: we won’t be able to go back to the pre-virus thinking and lifestyle anytime soon. The fear of the ‘invisible danger’ that threatens our life is radically modifying our own life routine and the way we deal with our neighbors. It is a ‘Turning Point’ in history. It is a moment that will ultimately reveal who we are as human beings. The Brooklyn Film Festival, with its 2020 event, plans to highlight and dissect people’s character and problem solving attitude as it shifts from one time zone to the next. The international role BFF has always played on the world’s stage, will now come truly handy while with our film lineup we travel from one corner of the planet to another. ‘Turning Point’ is about refreshing our own point of view. It’s about rethinking our old assumptions and learning from the people who share our screen whether they live in a different continent or across the street. ‘Turning Point’ is about reinventing our planet and our life.”

BFF’s list of sponsors for 2020 includes WNET-Thirteen, The Quebec Government, Yelp, Sobre Vista Resort, AbelCine, Be Electric, Xeno Lights, Lifevine Wine, Big Screen Plaza, Final Draft, MPE, Media Services, The Pod, Noble Jewelry and Brooklyn Film Society.

In each of the six film categories, BFF’s judges will select the Best Film, while the festival will select the Spirit Award, and the audience the Audience Award winners. Among all the six categories combined, BFF will award one of each of the following: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Composer, Best Style, Best Editor, Best Cinematographer, Best Screenwriting, Best Producer, Best New Director, and Best Brooklyn Project. Through the resources of our sponsors, BFF will assign to the winning filmmakers more than $60,000 in prizes (cash, products, and services). To view the list of this year’s judges, visit https://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/judges.  

The full film lineup can be found on the BFF site by clicking here.

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