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Green screen: Film fest launches in Sunset Park • Brooklyn Paper

Green screen: Film fest launches in Sunset Park

Picking his way through the city: Julie Gratz’s animated hip-hop film “Rhythm of the City” will be part of the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” screening in Sunset Park on June 4.
Julie Gratz

You won’t be ignored, Brooklyn!

A film festival focused exclusively on the borough of Kings will kick off this weekend with a free outdoor showing on Sunset Park’s central lawn. The co-founder of the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival says the “Best of the Fest” screening on June 4 is a way to reach out to a neighborhood that does not enough attention from arts organizations.

“Other film festivals ignore audiences and focus only on North Brooklyn,” said Anthony DeVito. “We reach out so everyone feels included.”

The Art of Brooklyn festival, now in its sixth year, celebrates independent films that are set in Brooklyn, are about Brooklyn, or are made by creators who live in Brooklyn. The outdoor screening will feature some of the best short films shown during the fest’s first five years, including the science-fiction comedy “The Life and Times of Tommy Chaos and Stacy Danger,” the experimental piece “Confluence,” animated shorts “Rhythm of the City” (pictured) and “How You Doin’ Boy,” and the almost hour-long bloody horror flick “Lake Nowhere.” Each film won an award at the festival in 2014 or 2015.

The screening will start at 7 pm with a block party, with music from DJ Sugarfreebk, food, and drinks, with films starting at sunset.

The festival will continue June 8–12, with films at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, at PS/IS 30 Mary White Ovington School in Bay Ridge, and at Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill.

The first new film of this year’s fest comes from acclaimed Brooklyn-native Spike Lee. The short documentary “2 Fists Up: We Gon’ Be Alright,” deals with student protests over racial incidents at the University of Missouri, which led to the resignation of the university’s president. Other documentaries in the festival will examine sex trafficking in Brooklyn, and the travels of a Kings County acrobatic troupe.

The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival has grown over the years, attracting almost 2,000 visitors last year and getting an increasingly broad range of the borough’s residents, said DeVito.

“We don’t have a block audience. We’re incredibly diverse,” said DeVito. “We get a lot of younger and newer Brooklynites.”

“Best of the Fest” at Sunset Park Center Lawn (Fifth Avenue between 41st and 44th streets in Sunset Park, www.theartofbrooklyn.org). June 4 at 7 pm. Free. Festival continues at various locations June 8–12.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.

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