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Join the club! Cinema Club celebrates three years of indie screenings

for The Brooklyn Paper
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What do you do when you can’t find a club that will accept you as a member? Start your own.

That was the initial inspiration behind Cinema Club, the monthly screening series held at the Williamsburg video store-cum-screening room, according to one of the group’s founders David Lombroso.

“I made a short film and realized there were relatively few options for me,” he said. “You could play some festivals, put it online and then cross your fingers. There wasn’t much else.”

Quickly realizing he wasn’t alone in his frustration, he and fellow filmmakers Juna Skenderi and Daniel Yankiver started Cinema Club as place for other frustrated directors to give their work an audience.

At first, the group would pair a new work by an up-and-coming filmmaker with an established cult classic. Three years later, their screenings showcase submissions from around the world — with one simple criterion: “If we like it, we’ll screen it.”

“I firmly believe that every [film] deserves the right to be screened,” said Lombroso. “It’s unfortunate that we have to limit it to the amount of time we have each month.”

For their three-year anniversary party this Sunday at Glasslands in South Williamsburg, the Cinema Club will train their spotlight on music videos. The event will offer screenings of newly created clips alongside live performances by the Gothic-leaning pop trio New Myths and dance music producer Asher Nacht.

Things are looking even brighter for Cinema Club as it enters its third year. They are now registered as a non-profit and have a couple of potential partnerships that could help sustain them for years to come — though Lombroso couldn’t provide many details, since those relationships are still in their earliest stages.

Even without that help, the screening series isn’t hurting for new work to present to local cinephiles. They get at least one submission every day, and receive a steady stream of visitors to their website where they maintain an archive of all the films and videos they’ve screened.

When pressed for a favorite among the dozens of efforts he and his partners have presented, Lombroso goes all the way back to the club’s first meeting, which featured “Nothing Yet,” a low-budget road movie by James Benson and Bernardo Britto about an indie rock band on tour.

“Like any parents hold their first child more dearly to their heart, I remember that one fondly,” Lombroso said.

Cinema Club Three-Year Anniversary Party at Glasslands [289 Kent Ave. between S. 1st and S. 2nd Streets in South Williamsburg, (718) 599–1450, www.theglasslands.com]. May 18 at 8 pm, $10.

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