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Get out of town! Williamsburg film fest leaves namesake nabe for outer borough

Brooklyn Paper
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It’s bored of Brooklyn!

This weekend’s Williamsburg International Film Festival won’t be held in its namesake nabe — or even in the borough — because hosting it in the hip enclave has become dull, according to event organizers, who are staging the showcase on the distant isle of Manhattan instead.

“If you don’t shake things up they get stale and boring,” said festival spokesman Michael Helman. “We want to give the attendees and filmmakers a different experience. The films are one part of it, but there are other ways to jazz things up.”

The three-day festival, from Sept. 15 to 17, will take place at Hunter College, leaving its past home at Williamsburg’s the Knitting Factory, where movies screened for the last couple years.

Previous incarnations were also held at Williamsburg Cinemas and community space El Puente, but those wanting to attend this year’s showings will have to trek across the river because the college offered fest honchos a partnership they couldn’t refuse, Helman said.

“A partnership developed for this year and we jumped on it as something different,” he said.

He did not say why the festival that touts Williamsburg’s name isn’t happening there, or whether organizers explored other partnerships in the neighborhood.

And even though it turned its back on Kings County, the event this year features Brooklyn-focused films. They include “Williamsbu­rg, Brooklyn: Then and Now,” a documentary about growing up in the area in the ’70s, and “Brooklyn Love Tales,” which chronicles the lives of three Kings County couples with developmental disabilities.

The festival’s parties and panel are also moving to Manhattan to make things easier for attendees.

But this is the only year it will be held at Hunter, according to Helman, who didn’t say whether the fest will return to its namesake nabe in 2018.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Posted 12:00 am, September 11, 2017
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